Is Donald Trump an "authentic" Republican?

  • 2 June 2016
  • NormanL
Is Donald Trump an "authentic" Republican?

A number of conservatives will not, under any circumstances, vote for Donald Trump in November. He's neither a conservative, nor a very good Republican, they say. His message is wrong, even dangerous, they charge.

But could they be wrong? This piece from George Mason University law professor F.H. Buckley argues Mr. Trump is the first authentic Republican voice to come on the scene in a long, long time:

A stray comment by Donald Trump is being taken as his campaign’s lodestone, the key to all his beliefs. Asked what the Republican Party would become under him, he told Bloomberg Businessweek, “You’re going to have a worker’s party. A party of people that haven’t had a real wage increase in 18 years, that are angry.”

If anything more had been needed to stoke the GOP establishment’s ire, that was it: a confession that he wanted the party to attend to the needs of ordinary Americans. How socialist! How fascist! How Democratic! You can easily imagine what Paul Ryan’s hero, Ayn Rand, would have said about this. Equally bad, for libertarians, was the suggestion that, in a Trump administration, Americans should matter more than non-Americans. Of all the nasty words in the libertarian lexicon, none is dirtier than nationalism. But if Randists and libertarians have problems with American First economic policies, so much the worse for them. They don’t get Trump, and more importantly they don’t get free market conservatism. Had they looked about, they’d have realized that the countries that beat us on measures of economic freedom are all ones that more closely resemble Trump’s vision for America than anything the Republican establishment offers.

The establishment is right about one thing, however. The party they thought they owned is dead, as dead as the Whigs in 1856, and a new Republican Party is beginning to emerge,one shaped by two crises that the establishment had ignored: income immobility and corruption. Compared to other First World countries, America’s rankings on both issues are mediocre at best, and this represents a betrayal of the promise of America.

It's a novel argument, and one which is sure to generate a lot of controversy because it runs counter to the conventional wisdom.

We encourage you to read the entire piece, and decide for yourself: is Trump an authentic Republican? Or is the author, Prof. Buckley, way off base?