As Hillary Clinton’s once double-digit lead over Donald Trump narrows to only three percentage points, according to the WSJ, it’s important to understand that voters for Donald Trump are doing more than just rejecting President Obama and his policies. Equally important is that they are rejecting “the brand of unprincipled ‘conservatism’ that marked the Bush years. Conservatism is supposed to be about improving people’s lives and opportunities. Free markets and limited government,” writes Stephen Moore.
Sorry, the Bush years didn’t turn out so well for the middle class. Wages started stagnating around 2000.
It turns out that conservatives today — the tens of millions who voted for Mr. Trump, are challenging many of the worn-out orthodoxies of the party. No, we don’t want to be the policeman of the world. Yes, we are going to insist that Europe pay the cost of defending itself. No, we don’t think the federal government has done anything to advance educational outcomes in America. No, we don’t want to let terrorists into the country simply because political correctness says we have to.
Is this “anti-intellectual?” No, it is common sense. I’ve been to Trump rallies. There are thousands of veterans who served our country valiantly. They are patriots.
Supporters have had to listen to holier-than-thou sermons from the people who shoved the biggest expansion in Medicare and No Child Left Behind down their throats. Under Bush, the Department of Education spent money at twice the pace of Bill Clinton; the Treasury Department wrote a $700 billion check to bail out financial companies; and Americans went into Afghanistan for a tragically failed attempt at nation-building. How about passing the worst energy bill in American history? The one that regulates every electrical appliance in your home, from the light bulbs in your bedroom to the energy efficiency of your refrigerator.
As Mr. Moore points out, anyone can disagree with the priorities or even the values of those voting for Donald Trump. What is shameful, however, is to call them misogynists, bigots, anti-intellectuals and anti-science. “No wonder the grass roots thumb their noses at the Republicans’ intellectual leadership. They’re just returning the favor.”
More commentary from Stephen Moore here: