Just in case you are not reading Kevin D. Williamson’s newsletter,The Tuesday,you should go do it right now. You can skip the language part if you like. Today he is covering the teapot tempest of a few conservative pundits debating the wisdom of how much of GOP should be destroyed because of The Donald. There is also The Lincoln Project that appears to be a group of political consultants trying to create a winning record to get future gigs.
Kevin cuts right though the discussion with his usual balance of overstatement, insight, and acerbity. Here are a great couple of sentences:
Everybody loves a good purge, but real progress means recruiting new allies and forming new alliances. And that is what the Trump movement in fact did, aligning the soft xenophobic tendency (anti-trade, anti-immigration) with the entitlement mentality (“Don’t touch my Social Security!”) and a whole Chalmun’s Cantina of social anxieties, while promising a salubrious purge (“Drain the swamp!”) of effete elitists who secretly run the world while being simultaneously entirely irrelevant.
There are three things to talk about in the quote. First, does he really think that EVERYBODY loves a good purge? And yet it is true that folks spend an inordinate amount of time trying to exclude other folks. On the right, conservative is the premier designation. Is The Donald a conservative? No, of course not but some disagree. Are his detractors on the right conservatives? Sometimes. On the left there is a whole host of preferred classifications based on race, sexual preferences, and so on that leads to the cancel culture of their purges.
Second, unlike everyone else in the kill the GOP discussion, he gives The Donald credit for creating a winning coalition. At the same time he recognizes that excluding parts of that coalition is unlikely to be a winning strategy.
Sidebar: Kevin expects the reader to work. Other than the articles he doesn’t use many links. An example in the quote above is when he uses Chalmun’s Cantina rather than the more common Mos Eisley Cantina without any link. End Sidebar.
We can infer the third part from the second. What are these pundits going to do to build a coalition if they are busy with the purges? Elections in the USA are much different from those in the USSR. The Stalin approach won’t work here.
The question is: do you want The Donald or The Frontrunner as president? We can accept either answer. All the pundits that Kevin links to have really run out of interesting things to say. Kevin, of course, is the exception.