Bill Kristol Relents, Sort Of
""Bill, the time has now come for you, me, and other reluctant warriors to be "all-in" for Trump, a place I never thought I would be.
"A New York Post article described the reactions of good ordinary people, mostly Democrats, after watching the first Trump-Clinton debate in a Latrobe pub. These folks are not buying what Mrs. Clinton is selling. (The tavern, the Tin Lizzy, is in Arnold Palmer's home town.) Ken Reed, a Latrobe farmer, small businessman, and a Democrat summed it all up very nicely, 'the policies she [Clinton] talked about tonight ultimately either hurt me or ignore me.' In my words, the elites don't give a damn about the people in the heartland.
"Your writers' observations of Mr. Trump's debate performance were accurate; and I share some of them myself. Yes, he was not prepared; he missed opportunities, he was too defensive, and he spent too much time with needless braggadocio. Yes, Trump has huge faults and shortcomings; but he is an underdog in a presidential race to defend and promote the very things you, I, and countless other Americans care most about: our families, our country, and our institutions that safeguard liberty, the rule of law, and the life and dignity of every person. Donald J. Trump, not Hilary Rodham 'Milhous' Clinton, is the true defender of these things.
"The ruling political, academic, and media class think Mr. Trump is a billionaire real estate, hotel, and casino man—a constant promoter and a buffoon. But, in truth, he is a deeply insecure, self-centered man unaccustomed and unprepared to be in the place in which he finds himself. Simply put: he is ill equipped for the political battle of our lifetime, and in the lifetime of our country. But, he will fight, and as Lincoln said of Grant after the first day's disastrous losses at Shiloh, "I can't spare this man; he fights." Remember people were suggesting to Lincoln that he replace Grant who, despite previous successes, was totally unprepared …and maybe drunk… at Shiloh when Johnston attacked and nearly overwhelmed Federal forces. Trump alone is the person who can and will fight in this terrible battle. We don't need more McClellans.
"Trump's core instinct is right. A country without borders is not a country. And ours is a country rooted and bordered in an idea, an idea of liberty and self-government that is withering under the unrelenting corruption of its ruling class in both parties. Trump, for reasons vain and glorious, is willing to go to battle to save the great idea that is America—and, as our schoolchildren remind us every day, this America is a Republic: one Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.
"The elites of the ruling class…and many of us as well…see Trump as 'Trump Tower'—large and ritzy in all things. They/we hold him in contempt. They're wrong. We're wrong. In reality, Trump is a common laborer in that Latrobe saloon. He is just a rich 'Joe the plumber.' He is the plowman of Braintree who does not have an Adams to follow; so he goes himself, and calls out to one and all to join him, no matter who they are.
"Bill, my friend, yes, I have come to believe that Trump is the best defense that can be mustered at the moment (sad, but true). Take heart though that it's 'We, the people' in Latrobe, Toledo, Scranton, Macomb County and across the country who chose Trump over all others….and yes, these are the same people at another time who chose Roosevelt, JFK, the Bushes, McCain, and Reagan. "What we saw in the first debate was someone who isn't particularly articulate. He is not up on the details of policy and he has not honed the skills of a debater on the national scene. Yet, he knows something is wrong with his country. He only wants to make our America great again. And he is mocked. He seeks to restore the greatness, the winning edge—and then most likely to go home again to that wild tavern of his life. "Trump is the one who saw the makings and reality of our country's discontent in a way others did not. He also saw the clear outlines of the corruption of our institutions long before anyone else did, even before Bernie. But that's what leaders do. They see beyond the rest of us.
"...his army remains committed to him. This army of citizens knows something is wrong in America, they cherish what is good in America, and they are prepared to fight for this good in America, and not for themselves alone. They want to sustain our experiment in constitutional liberty and self-government—and preserve the richness and vitality of the little platoons of our lives. And Trump is their leader...and their numbers grow.
"I too am sick at heart—but now it is a sadness that many who should know better are not rising up to support someone, who may be very imperfect yet is so willing to take on all the corruption that is represented by HRC and protected by her elite allies. Where shall I tell my son I was in this great epic battle when Trump, the uncouth underdog like Don Juan of Austria before him, is 'riding to the sea…..and shouting to the ships'? For me, it is a new answer. It is now time to go off to war with him and his army."
~ by an anonymous, longtime friend of Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol, who is as #NeverTrump as they come.