Having just read Ilana Mercer’s blistering attack on the pseudo-conservative credentials of Donald Trump’s “conservative” opponents, I sent her polemic to a young friend. Whereupon the friend told me that Ilana’s blast at South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s for pulling down the Confederate Battle Flag may not be a good thing for Trump to get into. After all, many Americans now identify the Battle Flag with the Swastika; and bringing up this divisive matter may not be advisable for a Republican presidential candidate.
I disagree totally and don’t believe that leftist bullies, including Max Boot and his ilk, can be defeated unless war is waged against them at all levels. Note that I’m not suggesting that a presidential campaign focuses on the vile cowardice of officials like Haley, who run to accommodate the bullying media as soon as the Washington Post and New York Times start to call the opposition “fascists,” “racists,” “homophobes” or “anti-Semites.” What I am suggesting is that there’s no use ducking certain issues. The ruling class acts on the basis of the old French saying” L’appétit vient en mangeant.” Every time one concedes an issue to them, they get bolder and demand something even more outrageous. I hope I’m not the only one who noticed that as soon as the ruling class, with ample assistance from the GOP establishment, got to insult the long vanished Confederacy, with minimal opposition, they immediately went on to another burning moral issue, namely beating up on the Southern state of North Carolina for not allowing the transgendered to use a gender-specific restroom of their momentary choice.
The two developments were not only temporally contiguous. They were related in the same way that once Hitler took the Sudetenland, he then felt free to help himself to the rest of Czechoslovakia. Nikki, being a true establishmentarian, has done nothing to oppose the latest move by the totalitarian Left on behalf of the transgendered, any more than she did to resist the earlier leftist offensive. After all, Nikki is too busy advancing “conservatism,” which as in the case of that exemplary conservative Paul Ryan, means providing illegals with a legal status. That, of course, would result in granting this group de facto citizenship, a step that will be pushed by the Democrats and then supported by “compassionate conservative” Republicans as soon as the media go on the warpath against the hesitant.
Concessions to the Left have consequences; and every time the Right (or whatever remains of one) cedes a social issue, it will lose even more badly the next time the Left unleashes a temper tantrum. One thing about the Trump campaign that I enjoyed was the candidate’s willingness to go after Political Correctness. Although the Donald didn’t always use this practice wisely and was sometimes outrageously rude to his opponents, he wasn’t afraid to push the envelope in talking about immigration and feminist excesses.
I see no reason that his efforts couldn’t be expanded in the context of a crusade for restored American freedoms, including the rights of states to fly Confederate Battle Flags and to insist that the use of rest rooms be restricted to those of the gender indicated on the door of the facility. Since Trump has become the presumptive nominee of his party in spite of liberal elites and their neoconservative pals, he has no need to fawn on his irreconcilable adversaries. It won’t do him much good anyhow, if what he craves is the approval of Jonah Goldberg, Paul Ryan, and the Wall Street Journal editorial board. Trump is not likely to appease his enemies on the Left, not even the ones who deceitfully attach the “conservative” label to themselves and such worthies as Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush. Trump has spearheaded a populist revolt and like Ilana, I think he should make the most of the moment.
By the way, there is another issue that given my unhappy life’s vocation, I would be delighted if Trump engaged. He has already identified the true nature of “student loans” when he described the student borrower as “the conduit through which the government gives more money to universities.” But Trump has also called for making loans cheaper, by eliminating what he sees as government profits in the way loans are repaid. How about ending these bribes to “higher education,” which saddle students with crushing loans while encouraging academic administrations to go on raising their already bloated tuitions? That might be the first step in a happy divorce between public administration and academic institutions. From everything, I saw in forty years as a professor, this particularly incestuous relation was poisonous. It worked against academic freedom and intensified all the leftist totalitarian practices that have taken hold in American universities. While pulling the government out of universities would not necessarily end their deplorable practices, at least public administrators would not be imposing PC as the required measure for “fighting discrimination.” Nor need Trump worry that he would lose the support of the academic community if he offered fewer carrots with fewer sticks. Most academics hate him irreversibly, which speaks well for his candidacy.