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Listening to a podcast by Jonah Goldberg it suddenly dawned on me why the guy is skeptical of Trump. As he said on the podcast, he has lived in Washington D.C. most of his life. He worked in think tanks there for years and all of his friends are government or political wonk types. He goes to all the big insider parties and functions. Most of the guests he has on the podcast are DC insiders, often second or third generation Swamp Creatures. He’s a Swamp Creature.
I have no doubt that he’s conservative and smart, but apparently he’s a Swamp Creature first and foremost. In fact, after a little research, I found that many of the other prominent conservative Trump skeptics are similar. They’ve been in and out of government in DC and/or work in this or that conservative think tank or publication. I expect that their first loyalty is to the place from which they draw their sustenance. Any threat to that is going to evoke a visceral reaction. And we all know what Trump promised to do and is doing with the Swamp.
First comes the emotional reaction, then there follows the rationale for it. With time this rationale becomes more elaborate, and what you’re left with at the end are conclusions that make no sense. So you have Bill Kristol saying that Trump has turned him into a Democrat. Editors of the Bulwark are advocating for a third-party candidate and David French is saying that Christians should not vote for Trump. This against the most firmly conservative, effective, and anti-abortion president ever.
Some of them say that Trump is an “existential” threat to the country, and he is in fact a threat to what they hold dear, but under Trump, the rest of the country is doing fine.
I’m not sure how fond of democracy any of these guys ever were, but increasingly they are open about being skeptical of it, and that’s apparently because democracy and the people have turned against the Swamp. And let us remind ourselves about why this has happened — the Swamp failed a large number of the American people. Washington insiders have contempt for ordinary Americans, and their policy preferences show it. Free trade and relatively open borders, among other things, boosted the economy and made Swamp Creatures and their friends rich and powerful. Ordinary Americans suffered from a loss of jobs and income, depression, dislocation, drug abuse, and suicide. The people have pushed back against Creature policies. This the conservative Swamp Creatures deride as populism and warn of mob rule, but instead of picking up pitchforks the people elected Donald Trump and most likely will do so again.Published in