Today's National Review column about how what Trump just said was not so bad really
And neither is whatever he says tomorrow
I rise in agreement with my National Review colleagues Jim Geraghty and Charles C.W. Cooke (and several others) that this whole “Trump will be a dictator” thing you may have been hearing lately is absurdly overblown.
Sure, the former (notice I said “former”!) president has said some unfortunate things — such as that he would be a dictator only on “Day One” of his new term. I guess I can see how liberals, humorless crybabies who are always saying “that’s not funny!” when someone makes fun of whatever-we’re-supposed-to-call-them-now minority groups, would fail to see that this is just a funny joke, unlike our friends in the Republican Party who just laugh it off when reporters who might print what they say ask them about it.
But I would point out to my nervous-nelly liberal friends that Trump did add that qualification about only doing the D-thing on the first day. Even if you’re disinclined to take his word for this — and OK, I can understand how some people might interpret some of the things he says as what a nit-picker would call “lies” — isn’t it telling that he felt the need?
Surely someone who really wanted to be a dictator would just flat-out say so —especially a conservative such as Trump. (Notice I didn’t say a good conservative! I have only endorsed about 65% of what he did in his first term, tops.) Conservatives such as Jeanne Kirkpatrick have been quite blunt about the need for authoritarian leadership when a nation strays from the proper path, and National Review has backed several unfortunate-but-necessary dictators over the years.
Liberals, on the other hand, act like they’re against dictatorship and then suddenly they become dictators — look at Mao, Hitler, Woodrow Wilson, Allende, Trudeau. (I might even add Biden to this list, as conservatives such as Allysia Finley at the Wall Street Journal and countless social media posters have — but I am of the center-right, and only say intemperate things in the closing weeks of an election campaign.)
Then there was that comment about foreigners being “vermin.” I suppose it might strike some listeners as similar to, or even exactly like, what Hitler said. But Hitler said a lot of things. Supposing Hitler said, “I could go for some blueberry cheesecake.” If I like blueberry cheesecake, does that make me Hitler? To radical feminist-liberal vegans, perhaps, but not to reasonable, patriotic Americans.
Also I don’t know why anyone is talking about Trump and Hitler when we have conclusively proven, in 275 columns over the past two months, that it’s Democrats who are the real antisemites. Really, did they complain like this when FDR blew up German hospitals? And however many billions Joe Biden is sending Israel, you know Donald Trump would double it, even after the Saudis get their cut.
I see that since my colleagues wrote about him, Trump has said a few more unfortunate things, like calling the January 6 rioters “hostages” and praising Putin for mocking the United States and claiming immigrants are “poisoning the blood of our country” — which, to be fair, may be a reference to the lab leak that I’m pretty sure caused COVID, but never mind. Everything I said about all those other unfortunate comments applies to these unfortunate comments as well, and to any other unfortunate comments Trump might make in the future.
Remember when Salena Zito said you should take Trump seriously but not literally? Well, now you shouldn’t take him literally or seriously — in fact, don’t listen to anything he says at all, just remember when he’s the nominee (which we sensible conservatives are still trying to stop, by the way!) that Joe Biden is woke trans Brandon Black Lives Matter riots inflation antisemitic trans woke — and if by chance some of what Trump’s saying happens to get through, remember: He’s not talking about you.
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