National Review is ‘Against Trump’

National Review, a journal whose conservative credentials trace back to its founder and long-time editor, William F. Buckley Jr., has published an entire issue devoted to stopping Donald Trump’s march to the Republican nomination for president.

The cover simply says: “Against Trump.”

Its lead editorial, and the cover of the web version of this special anti-Trump edition, says: “Trump is a philosophically unmoored political opportunist who would trash the broad conservative ideological consensus within the GOP in favor of a free-floating populism with strong-man overtones.”

Among the 22 conservative heavyweights joining in the “Against Trump” argument are Glenn Beck, Erick Erickson, L. Brent Bozell III, Mona Charen, Ben Domenech, William Kristol, former Attorney General Ed Meese, John Podhoretz, Cal Thomas and Thomas Sowell.

I have no idea whether this will hurt Trump or help him. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.

Trump has replied, on camera and in several of his famous tweets, by trashing National Review. Here’s one: “National Review is a failing publication that has lost it’s way. It’s circulation is way down w its influence being at an all time low. Sad!” 

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Comments (19)

  1. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 01/22/2016 - 12:35 pm.


    …I doubt that Mr. Trump is the first presidential candidate who could be labeled a “political opportunist.” That said, it IS pretty amazing that National Review would so publicly oppose his nomination. Are we seeing the disintegration of the modern Republican Party, or is this just an intramural spat?

  2. Submitted by Edward Blaise on 01/22/2016 - 12:40 pm.

    Plan the Trump Inaugeral

    The Donald just got his ticket punched. William Kristol, never right, whoops, I mean correct, on anything has come out full on anti-Trump. It is now inevitable. Order the gold plating for all of the White House bath fixtures.

    And I wonder what William Buckley would think of the likes of Glen Beck being legitimized on the NR cover. As noted by Alan Miller, a long time contributor to the NR:

    “I have long lamented the glaring contrast between Buckley’s intellectual civility with today’s hate-merchants who have hijacked the conservative movement.”

    Glen Beck, the Amazon of hate merchants.

  3. Submitted by Tim Smith on 01/22/2016 - 01:44 pm.

    reminded a lot lately

    of my favorite William F. Buckley quote: “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views”.

    • Submitted by Ray Schoch on 01/22/2016 - 02:42 pm.

      Good line from Buckley

      …and the same might be said of those who call themselves “conservatives,” as well. Most of us, regardless of political persuasion, are less than pleased to discover that some of our most cherished beliefs are regarded as laughable and stupid by others.

  4. Submitted by Rick Ryan on 01/22/2016 - 01:50 pm.

    Buckley’s “civility”

    Was but a thin veneer for racism and hate speech. His eastern patrician accent and laconic style masked the truly awful things he would say.

    • Submitted by Tim Smith on 01/22/2016 - 02:04 pm.


      have any? or just another example of liberals divide and destroy?

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/22/2016 - 04:57 pm.

        There are plenty

        Try reading his infamous essay from 1957, “Why the South Must Prevail,” in which he discussed what he called the “cultural superiority of white over Negro.” He also said that “The central question that emerges – and it is not a parliamentary question or a question that is answered by merely consulting a catalog of the rights of American citizens, born Equal – is whether the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas in which it does not predominate numerically? The sobering answer is Yes – the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race.”

        Shortly before the 1965 Voting Rights Act was passed, Buckley warned that “chaos” and “mobocratic rule” might follow if “the entire Negro population in the South were suddenly given the vote.” He was also a staunch supporter of the apartheid regime in South Africa, because he believed that black Africans” left alone “tend to revert to savagery.”

        To be fair, he did condemn the 1963 bombing of a black Birmingham Church that killed four children Of course, his point there was that it “set back the cause of the white people there so dramatically,” He added that “Certainly it now appears that Birmingham’s Negroes will never be content so long as the white population is free to be free.” The idea that the white race was in danger of being subjugated was a recurring one for him. Read his debate with James Baldwin at Oxford.

      • Submitted by Logan Foreman on 01/22/2016 - 05:04 pm.

        How about an example

        Of how liberals divide and destroy?

        • Submitted by Jim Million on 01/22/2016 - 08:44 pm.


          Have you noticed there are few positive comments about anyone in these various political pages of MinnPost?

  5. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 01/22/2016 - 02:30 pm.

    Time for 2 Republican parties.

  6. Submitted by Steve Titterud on 01/22/2016 - 04:42 pm.

    The obvious thing here…

    …is that there is no candidate this group is FOR !!!

    The intellectual leadership of the conservatives are united in their whirlpool of negativity only in opposition – to Obama, to the ACA, to Democrats, and now, to Trump !!

    Such a bunch of charmers !!!

  7. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 01/22/2016 - 06:23 pm.

    Rush Limbo

    I happened to be in the car when Rush Limbaugh started talking about this. He nailed it.

    His commentary went on for 30-45 minutes but I copied the most pertinent part of the transcript here:

    “They’re in a state of panic. (The National Review and the establishment republicans). They hate Cruz for any number of reasons. He has taken ’em on in the floor of the Senate. He’s challenged their integrity and their honesty. I mean, the reasons are understandable. “But to hell with party loyalty. I mean, if he gets the nomination, screw it!”

    I’ll tell you this. If Cruz gets the nomination, they will work — some of them will work — to undermine him. I mean, there’s no question. The same thing with Trump. There’s too much at stake here for the Republican Party, folks.

    This is the point that I’m trying to make. All these age-old Jurassic Park dinosaurs, they want to hold on to their club. They want to hold onto control of the club. They want to be able to be the ones to determine who gets in the club. They want to be able to determine who is a leader of the club.

    They don’t want to lose the club and they don’t want to lose control over it, and it doesn’t matter what happens to the country in the process. This is their livelihood, as far as they’re concerned. This is their careers. This is their money. This is their income. This is their future. See, when it’s their future on the line and it gets threatened, then they’ll do whatever it takes to protect it. When it’s your future that’s imperiled resulting from policies they either don’t oppose in Washington or support, you’re supposed to gut it up, toughen up, and understand that there are larger things we have to work on here.

    And then you’re told you must continue to donate, you must save the party, you must support the party. The party won’t even come out and openly support you, because to do so might get them called racists or something by the media. I’m looking at all this, and I think it’s just momentous what’s happening here. I think it’s bigger than anybody even realizes, because everybody that’s talking about it is really looking at it personally. “Oh, my God, what’s this gonna mean for me? What’s this gonna mean for my think tank? What’s this gonna mean for my magazine?!

    “What’s this gonna mean for my party? What’s this gonna mean for my committee chairmanship! What’s this gonna mean for…?” And to the people — the people, the voters — none of that is of any concern to them. The stakes for them are personal, too, and the places they have sent money and offered support, thinking that their causes and that their interests were gonna be advanced or represented or defended, they haven’t seen any of that. So they’re saying, “Okay, fine. We’re on our own, and we’re going wherever we think we can best stop the Democrat Party, Barack Hussein Obama, and anybody else who’s part of that organization.”

    It really isn’t more complicated than that.”

    • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 01/23/2016 - 09:48 am.

      Now if only Trump were that “superior man” who stood above petty personal gain…

      If only the Tparty wasn’t interested in the preservation of their own club…

      If only the forces behind the Tparty were like Washington, Jefferson, Madison (but NOT Lincoln)…

      There is a certain naivete with respect to WHY organizations and parties are founded.

    • Submitted by Matt Haas on 01/23/2016 - 11:59 pm.

      Problem is

      Despite their failings (too numerous to list) the one thing those “establishment types” have on the conservative masses is a clear understanding of what poison the conservative ideology is when let into the light of day. They understand the fine line of actually having a platform from which to achieve actual success vs the resounding defeat any conservative who espouses the heartfelt desires of the Tea Party would face on a national stage, as well as the further losses such a defeat would engender in the future. What the rabid right is experiencing is the problem all zealots face, the inability to understand that their true belief doesn’t extend to everyone, and that no matter how much they yell from the rooftops, they’ll never be able to make that change. Though for the sake of everyone else, I certainly hope they are successful in destroying the only institution that gives them even the slightest pathway to the levers of power.

  8. Submitted by Dennis Litfin on 01/23/2016 - 11:57 am.

    Like Neal says……

    “Time for 2 republican parties”

  9. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 01/23/2016 - 12:40 pm.

    There was nice article about this stuff in the NYT’s

    Couple days ago: “Donald Trump or Ted Cruze? Republicans Argue Over Who Is Greater Threat”

    They discuss the coming intellectual assault on Trump, the “Review” issue is a part of that.

    • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 01/24/2016 - 09:26 am.

      Great piece

      As someone who has never been a member of, nor given a dime to, the republican party but who simply votes for the most conservative candidate in the race, I’m loving the intellectual combat, and the taking of sides over the future of the most fundamental elements of republicanism.

      As any conservative will tell you, I have no interest in the survival of the republican party other than as a label or indicator of how a candidate will probably vote on a given piece of legislation. But the politicians have been so unreliable in that regard (see George Bush, see Tom Emmer, see Paul Ryan, see Marco Rubio, et al) that the label has come to mean any number of things.

      The same could be said of the democrats. Is Bernie Sanders doing well in the polls because 43% of democrats say they’re really socialists or are they supporting Bernie Sanders because they can’t stomach the likes of Hillary Clinton? I’ve heard both arguments.

      Where’s the equivalent intellectual navel gazing on the Left? Where’s the similar call on that side for the recent convert to the party to run as an independent?

      The difference is, where the right has always been engaged in a clash of ideas, debating the minutiae of a flat tax versus a consumption tax, the role of the federal government versus the role of the states, using the military as an offensive weapon or strictly defensive, banning public unions or allowing them to exist, conceal carry versus open carry, etc., etc., etc. …

      Conversely, the left has built a party that is a collection of demographic groups, each with a perceived grievance that the party has promised to address (but never actually fix) and who’s only unifying belief is that collectivism is the answer and that government was put here to solve their problems. Their only real debate is who gets what.

      And it’s too bad because with all this antiestablishmentarianism in the air on both the left and right, the same debate about the future of the democrat party should be happening but isn’t.

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