Originally posted January 29, 2016.
The American Conservative’s Rod Dreher writes about a conservative friend’s view of Mr. Trump. “I’m really torn. I can’t stand Trump, but I love what he’s doing.” And Rod concludes, “I bet a lot of people feel that way.”
Last night’s Trumpless Fox Republican debate, not surprisingly, appears to have done little to change the outlook for the Republican presidential nomination (Mr. Trump), but it may well have been a pretty decent launching pad for a Marco Rubio for VP movement, as Mr. Rubio seems to have impressed viewers with his ability to think on his feet.
The one-two punch for a Republican nominee is the willingness to halt third world immigration (read more here and here) and the ability to squash Hillary Clinton this fall. So labeled conservatives are today in a rage because Mr. Trump does not appear interested in flying the small government flag. NRO recently devoted a whole issue of its fine magazine to an anti-Trump message. I support small government even more than do most so labeled “conservatives.” I in fact, a couple of days ago, had dinner with my long time friend Bob Levy, chairman of the Cato Institute, Peter Goettler, Cato’s new and marvelously received CEO, along with a handful of key Cato supporters. As everyone in the Washington beltway knows, no other think tank preaches the small government mantra stronger than Cato does. In the most recent Cato Policy Report, CEO Goettler wrote, “One of our goals as libertarians—and a key objective of Cato’s work—is to substantially reduce the power of government.”
NRO, for its part, would prefer that their guy be of a robust foreign policy sort. Cato, for its part and the part of cousin-in-arms The American Conservative, would rather a more reserved foreign policy approach along the Realism track.
In order to “move the chains,” the remnants of the Obama disaster team must first be swept from the White House. And the world-class liar and Marxist-oriented retread Mrs. Clinton must not be allowed to move in.
As the cards line up today, those of us in the small government camp are most likely going to have to hold our collective nose and get behind Mr. Big, Donald J Trump. Trump is all about big—big ego, big mouth, big buildings, big hair, you know … Big. And that at the outset implies big government.
Victory for the small government crowd, by necessity, will need to arrive in stages. Stage one means electing a Republican this fall. The voters are incensed like never before. And Donald Trump has captured the mood of the people. The American people want an end to the danger posed by radical Islam. This feeling is number one on the mind of voters. And Donald Trump has heard the message and called for at least a temporary ban on Muslim immigration. This a winning hand and broadly supported by anti-radical Islam voters across the voter spectrum. Mr. Trump has seized the moment and continues to gain momentum despite childish and unsuccessful road blocks put up by the likes of the Fox network.
Trump looks all set in New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina and Georgia. Looks like a pretty good foundation to me. Yes, indeed, small government voters like me are going to have to play the hand we are dealt for a period, recognizing that in order to win the war, some battles, painful as it may be, will be lost along the way. Mr. Trump tells the voters he wants to “Make America Great Again.” Given Trump’s track record and his ability to get along with folk from all walks of life, there is a chance he can deliver. Even though hope is not a strategy, in this case a little hope is required.