The Republican NeverTrump Tic

Here is another good article from Bruce Thornton — this time focusing on the NeverTrump tic:

Trump Derangement Syndrome branches out into new pathologies.

Having suffered from Trump Derangement Syndrome for two years, those disaffected Republican NeverTrumpers have developed a verbal tic. Whatever the topic, they can’t resist taking a few shots at Trump that are usually irrelevant to whatever point they are making. They are seemingly unaware that in doing so they function as Fifth Columnists for the progressives, at the same time they repeatedly demonstrate the entitled arrogance of the entrenched elite that Trump successfully ran against, and that they continue to deny exists.

Here’s an example from NRO’s Jonah Goldberg in a column contrasting John McCain and Donald Trump. And not surprisingly, considering Goldberg’s persistent animus against Trump, the comparison is invidious. You know what’s coming when Goldberg gratuitously contrasts McCain’s captivity in Hanoi with Trump’s five draft deferments. Of course, a splendid service record and medals for bravery are admirable, but not necessarily guarantees of political wisdom. They are achievements deserving of honor, but they don’t exempt a mediocre politician from criticism. Goldberg’s contrast is merely a species of ad hominem attack.

Goldberg uses this fallacy as a lead-in to another simplistic contrast: between “the forces of democracy and the forces of nationalism,” a struggle the nationalists, as he defines them, are winning. Again, this is an either-or fallacy rooted in choosing one dimension of some nationalisms, such as Russia’s, and then proclaiming via another begged question that Donald Trump embodies it. Goldberg finishes with an even more egregious begged question: “Trump defines national interest in almost autocratic terms,” hinting at the preposterous smear that Trump is some sort of inchoate Adolph Hitler.

Goldberg knows better. He wrote Liberal Fascism, a book about the totalitarian and fascist roots of modern progressivism. He knows that fascism never got as close to the levers of American power as communism did during the Roosevelt administration, or obtained the still active influence of collectivism in the schools, universities, and popular culture.

Read more: FrontPageMag

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