The latest edition of National Review that hit book stands Thursday night is entitled Stop Trump. It didn’t mince words in saying why Mr. Trump shouldn’t win the GOP presidential nomination. Its opening paragraph read like an indictment against Trump’s core beliefs, saying “Donald Trump leads the polls nationally and in most states in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. There are understandable reasons for his eminence, and he has shown impressive gut-level skill as a campaigner. But he is not deserving of conservative support in the caucuses and primaries. Trump is a philosophically unmoored political opportunist who would trash the broad conservative ideological consensus within the GOP in favor of a free-floating populism with strong-man overtones.”
Trump is a politician and deal maker. The bad thing is that Trump’s unprincipled populism makes him unpredictable in terms of what types of deals he’d make and with whom. In the recent past, Mr. Trump has supported Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, the Clinton Foundation, the Democratic Party of New York, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, (D-NY). Spitzer was run out of office for frequenting a prostitution service.
Apparently, Mr. Trump doesn’t think character matters. It’s apparent from his campaign that hogging the spotlight is what matters most to Mr. Trump. Apparently, political ideology isn’t a priority, either. Problem solving isn’t a priority for Mr. Trump, either.
He pledges to build a wall along the southern border and to make Mexico pay for it. We need more fencing at the border, but the promise to make Mexico pay for it is silly bluster. Trump says he will put a big door in his beautiful wall, an implicit endorsement of the dismayingly conventional view that current levels of legal immigration are fine. Trump seems unaware that a major contribution of his own written immigration plan is to question the economic impact of legal immigration and to call for reform of the H-1B–visa program. Indeed, in one Republican debate he clearly had no idea what’s in that plan and advocated increased legal immigration, which is completely at odds with it. These are not the meanderings of someone with well-informed, deeply held views on the topic.
Mr. Trump is famous for bringing up subjects, then not providing solutions to the headlines he’s just talked about. Mr. Trump loves talking about himself as the next Reagan. That’s insulting to the greatest president of the Twentieth Century. President Reagan had thought things through. He confidently navigated the nation through an economic crisis worse than the Great Recession.
Unlike Mr. Trump, whose gift is sloganeering, President Reagan offered solutions anchored in conservatism’s guiding principles. Mr. Trump rarely offers solutions. When he offers a solution, it’s usually filled with inconsistencies and logical deficiencies that can’t be explained away.
Trump’s politics are those of an averagely well-informed businessman: Washington is full of problems; I am a problem-solver; let me at them. But if you have no familiarity with the relevant details and the levers of power, and no clear principles to guide you, you will, like most tenderfeet, get rolled.
While Mr. Trump is a skilled politician, Mr. Trump isn’t a skilled policymaker. Mr. Trump isn’t even an amateur policymaker. That’s at least 2-3 pay grades above his current level.
Trump has shown no interest in limiting government, in reforming entitlements, or in the Constitution. He floats the idea of massive new taxes on imported goods and threatens to retaliate against companies that do too much manufacturing overseas for his taste.
Mr. Trump won’t govern by a set of time-tested principles. That’s what President Reagan did. The results President Reagan achieved are impressive. The result a Trump administration might achieve wouldn’t be impressive because that isn’t what motivates him. The fortification of his self-worth is what motivates him. Period. Being a man of integrity isn’t on Mr. Trump’s bucket list, either.
Mr. Trump is an historical figure. He just isn’t qualified to be president. He doesn’t have the temperament to be president. He doesn’t have the integrity, either.
That’s why he should be told he isn’t hired.