Right-wing statism

In his recent piece on right-wing statism, Jonah Goldberg writes:

Progressives brought statism to American soil. They largely succeeded by replacing the aristocracy of noble blood with the aristocracy of “expertise.” As a result, classical liberals migrated to the right side of the political spectrum. I don’t think Trump will ever be president, but he represents a return of a “right-wing statism” that is repugnant to me. As Yuval Levin put it, Trump “poses a direct challenge to conservatism, because he embodies the empty promise of managerial leadership outside of politics.”

I often read the Twitter profiles of the Trump supporters who pester me. Sometimes I discover they’re phony “TrumpBots” created by some marketing firm. Sometimes I see that they’re members of the coprophagic phylum of white supremacists using Trump as a blocking tackle for their repugnant cause. But just as often, I see these people describing themselves as “classical liberals” or “constitutionalists” or “Goldwater Republicans,” and my heart weeps. There’s nothing classically liberal about Donald Trump. To the extent he’s a conservative at all, he’s a throwback to a time when a Herbert Hoover and Richard Nixon were “conservatives.” Nixon’s politics of resentment led to his impeachment. Hoover’s “best practices” gave us the Depression and Franklin Roosevelt (whose policies made the Depression Great).

Both Hoover and Nixon were better, smarter, and more competent men than Donald Trump, but measured against their failures, I have no doubt that Trump would outshine them both.

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