I'll live-blog my reading of it. The subtitle is "Conservatives should vote for the Republican nominee," so this is not an argument aimed at me, but I'm interested to see how he attempts to sell Trump to conservatives.
... [E]ven before the latest revelations from an eleven-year-old Access Hollywood tape, in which Trump crudely talked about women, he had long ago in the primaries gratuitously insulted his more moderate rivals and their supporters...
Trump’s personal and professional life has been lurid — as, again, we were reminded by the media-inspired release of a hot-mic tape of past Trump crude sexual braggadocio. The long campaigning has confirmed Trump as often uncouth — insensitive to women and minorities. He has never held office. His ignorance of politics often embarrasses those in foreign- and domestic-policy circles. Trump’s temperament is mercurial, especially in its ego-driven obsessions with slights to his business ethics and acumen. He wins back supporters by temporary bouts of steadiness as his polls surge, only to alienate them again with crazy nocturnal tweets and off-topic rants....Hanson begins by digging a deep hole, so it's hard to stick around to see how he will purport to dig us back up out of it.
... The daily news... demands a candidate of change. The vote is not for purity of conservative thought, but for the candidate who is preferable to the alternative... not necessarily Trump per se, but the fact that he will bring into power far more conservatives than would Hillary Clinton....Hanson says the Clintons' misdeeds are much worse that Trump's. I'll just give one sample sentence:
The problems with Trump University are dwarfed by for-profit Laureate University, whose “Chancellor,” Bill Clinton, garnered $17.6 million in fees from the college and its affiliates over five years — often by cementing the often financially troubled international enterprise’s relationship with Hillary Clinton’s State Department.That was not a randomly chosen sentence, but I picked it for a reason that has nothing to do with who should win the election.
Trump’s defeat would translate into continued political subversion of once disinterested federal agencies, from the FBI and Justice Department to the IRS and the EPA. It would ensure a liberal Supreme Court for the next 20 years — or more. Republicans would be lucky to hold the Senate. Obama’s unconstitutional executive overreach would be the model for Hillary’s second wave of pen-and-phone executive orders. If, in Obama fashion, the debt doubled again in eight years, we would be in hock $40 trillion after paying for Hillary’s even more grandiose entitlements of free college tuition, student-loan debt relief, and open borders. She has already talked of upping income and estate taxes on those far less wealthy than the Clintons and of putting coal miners out of work (“We are going to put a whole lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business”) while promising more Solyndra-like ventures in failed crony capitalism.That's well put, but it's followed by: "We worry about what Citizen Trump did in the past in the private sector and fret more over what he might do as commander-in-chief." Hanson's argument is that those are only anxieties about the unknown, as if the known problems about Clinton are more troubling than the unknowns that Trump embodies. But why? Hanson says "we can only compare the respective Clinton and Trump published agendas," but that makes no sense to me. Anyone with the money to hire consultants can crank out published agendas, but we can't trust just anyone with the presidency. Me, I trust no one, but I recognize that someone must be President. It's a terrible feeling, and Hanson's direction to look only at the published agendas isn't relieving me of it.
Hanson says that "Something has gone terribly wrong with the Republican party, and it has nothing to do with the flaws of Donald Trump" — "the Republican establishment in the media and government" have "lives and concerns" that are different from "half their supporters." I'm surprised it's as little as half.
Anyway, Trump deserves credit for seeing that huge disjuncture and going straight to those people and appealing to them directly. I'm impressed that he's bypassed the elite and interfaced with the public at the ground level day after day, seemingly without rest, for well over a year.
Most of the elite Republicans want to keep their distance from the people Hillary Clinton consigned to the "basket of deplorables." (I call them People of the Basket.) Those are Trump's people. He got where he is by absorbing and shaping their wants and desires. If that makes him untouchable to you, are you not an elitist?
Do our elites ever enter their offices to find their opinion-journalism jobs outsourced at half the cost to writers in India? Are congressional staffers told to move to Alabama, where it is cheaper to telecommunicate their business? Trump’s outrageousness was not really new; it was more a 360-degree mirror of an already outrageous politics as usual....Hanson encourages us to embrace creative destruction and not to cling to what is reliable and known. The known is going in a terrible direction for conservatives, so it's not really conservative to resist plunging into a bizarre unknown.
When Trump shoots off his blunderbuss, is it always proof of laziness and ignorance, or is it sometimes generally aimed in the right direction to prompt anxiety and eventual necessary reconsideration?...
A President Trump might shake up U.S. foreign policy in controversial and not always polite ways.... Should we be more terrified that the socialist and largely pacifist European Union is afraid of Trump, or that it welcomes even more of Barack Obama’s type of leadership?...
The irony is now upon us that Trump may have been the most conservative Republican candidate who still could beat Hillary Clinton — and that if he were to win, he might usher in the most conservative Congress, presidency, and Supreme Court in nearly a century.Yeah, he might. But he also might screw up everything. We should roll the dice? Hanson offers the old William F. Buckley rule: Vote for the most conservative candidate who can win. If that's the rule and there's no exception for someone too bizarre and too risky, then conservatives should vote for Trump. That's Hanson's argument, the best argument you're going to get for Trump.