The presumptive Republican presidential nominee met with the Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives on Thursday, and we would have loved to have been there. In ordinary circumstances it would have been a predictable discussion of how to best stick it to the very vulnerable Democratic and thoroughly awful nominee, and both coming out with unabashed statements of party, but in this extraordinary election cycle the big news is that both sides came out with no schoolyard taunts and even some talk of “progress.”
In this extraordinary election cycle the presumptive Republican presidential nominee is Donald J. Trump, the self-described billionaire real-estate-and-gambling-and-strip-joint-and-professional-wrestling-and-reality-show-and-scam-university mogul who won the party’s nomination mostly with the support of anti-establishment party members who flood the internet comment sections with talking of burning it all down, and the Speaker of the House is Ohio Rep. Paul Ryan, the former right-wing Tea Party darling who now represents the dread if ill-defined Establishment. It is therefore not at all surprising that Ryan has previously expressed less than the ordinary enthusiasm for his party’s presumptive nominee, and that Trump has been boasting he can win without such Republican establishment losers, and that the very vulnerable presumptive Democratic nominee still has a chance of extending her party’s disastrous seven-and-a-half-year presidential reign, and that it’s all a very messy business for both the Republicans and the Republic at large.
As we’ve been interns to the once-notorious right-wing villain Sen. Bob Dole, the once quintessentially establishment Republican who’s now on board with the Trump nomination, and often opposed him during a newspaper career that brought us into conflict with his deal-making ways and earned us a reputation as anti-establishment radicals, and have always advocated both for and against the “establishment positions” of any given movement, and at any rate are far too penurious to be considered part of that “donor class” that seems to currently afflict both parties, we would consider ourselves quite objective observers of that extraordinary meeting.
We won’t be voting for Trump in any case, nor his admittedly at least as equally awful major party opposition, being the Burkean yet anti-establishment types we are, and matter how far such a lone hold-out on national solvency such as Ryan progresses in getting Trump on board with real capitalism we’ll hold out hope the country least doesn’t go bankrupt. Call us establishment types, which is apparently quite the slur at the moment, but that’s what we’re grasping at. Despite his frequent over-judiciousness and sobriety, we hope that a Speaker of the House Paul Ryan will somehow prevail in this extraordinary election cycle.
— Bud Norman