Conservative scholars and writers for Trump 1

The editors of American Greatness held a symposium of scholars and writers who are for Donald Trump’s presidency.

We select some contributions and quote what we judge to be the most salient points.

The full texts of all the contributions can be found here:

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I always thought that Donald Trump was perfect … [being] the only person who could defeat Hillary Clinton. What with her corrupt ways, her alliance with the most destructive policies imaginable, and especially the manner in which through her immigration policies she’d render it impossible for any conservative to win in my lifetime, this was an easy one. It became easier still when I saw the fainéants and milquetoasts on stage with Trump at the first candidates’ debate in Cleveland in 2015. But on the positive side I also saw in Trump someone who could rescue what is living from what is dead in conservatism. And by dead I mean what passes for the higher thinking of today’s conservatism, the contempt for the poorest Americans, the indifference to mobility, the compromises with corruption, and mostly the sense of failure, the small-souled man’s belief that our best days are behind us. Against that, I take my stand. – F.H. Buckley is a law professor at George Mason University and the author of The Way Back: Restoring the Promise of America.

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There are many reasons for Americans of varying political persuasions to support Donald Trump for President. Among these reasons, three are especially important: First, Donald Trump has a plan to re-energize the U.S. economy after more than a decade of slow growth, stagnating incomes, and rising government debt. He will slash corporate taxes to encourage businesses to repatriate more than $3 trillion that they are holding offshore because of the current corporate tax rate that is the highest in the industrial world. Those funds once brought back home can be invested in American enterprises to provide jobs and incomes for American workers. He will cut individual income taxes to encourage work and investment, and economic growth. Just as important, he will cut regulations that have accumulated during the Obama years and that are discouraging investment and the hiring of U.S. workers. Second, Mr. Trump will focus on national security in all of its dimensions by attacking the interlocking problems of terrorism, illegal immigration, and rising crime in the inner cities. He is committed to restoring America’s borders as an essential feature of national sovereignty and to fulfilling the first duty of government, which is to protect the security of its citizensThird, Donald Trump is by far the preferred alternative to Hillary Clinton who promises to entrench further the failed economic and foreign policies of the past eight years. For conservatives and moderates who hope for a stronger and more dynamic America, and a nation of rising incomes, strong communities, and secure borders, the choice could not be clearer. Donald Trump … is the candidate in this race who promises to restore American greatness. – James Piereson is, most recently, the author of Shattered Consensus: The Rise and Decline of America’s Post War Political Order. His essays appear in many newspaper and journals, including The Weekly StandardThe American SpectatorThe Wall Street JournalCommentary, and The New Criterion.

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I register my support on this list not as a conservative partisan, but rather as a young academic with a critical perspective on the prevailing left-right political paradigm — a subject I have taught at the university level both in the United States and in Europe. … The Bush-Clinton politics of the past 30 years is the rotten carcass of a politics that perhaps made sense in the past but has proven woefully inadequate to address the contemporary challenges we face. Donald J. Trump is the first major politician to reflect an understanding of this post-Cold War reality and to point boldly toward an alternative — for this he has my admiration and my support. – Darren Beattie is Visiting Assistant Professor Department of Political Science, Duke University.

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Donald Trump shows an intuitive grasp of what most politicians must have explained to them: here in America, the people rule. Popular sovereignty requires borders, and it requires security. The people cannot govern by reflection and choice if they must forever respond to accident and force. Popular sovereignty also requires that the people not be slaves to an unelected and unrepresentative administrative state. The laws as well as the agencies of government must be trimmed and tamed so that they once again serve the people. Donald Trump grasps this too: the Supreme Court is the least republican branch of the federal government, and the people cannot rule if they are subjected to capricious judicial edicts masquerading as constitutional interpretation. Trump has put forth a serious list of judicial nominees who would only go where the text, tradition, logic, and structure of the Constitution — rather than currently fashionable political preferences — point. Beyond this, Trump has wisely called for the resignation of a transparently political Supreme Court justice, thereby reminding us of constitutionally legitimate political checks against an overweening judiciary. – Bradley C. S. Watson is Professor of Politics and Philip M. McKenna Chair in American and Western Political Thought at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, where is co-director of the college’s Center for Political and Economic Thought.

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No other presidential election in my lifetime has had so much at stake. The differences between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton could not be starker. If Clinton wins, she has promised that the Supreme Court Justices that she will appoint will overturn Citizens United. Few people seem to understand that would mean that the federal government would be able to ban movies and books deemed too political during election years. It is hard to believe that we could soon be living in a country where movies and books could be banned because of their political positions. The judges that Trump has listed as the ones he would appoint would protect the 1st Amendment and would not allow the government to ban movies or books based on politics. – John R. Lott, Jr. is President of the Crime Prevention Research Center.

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Of all the contenders for the office of president in the primaries and general, Donald Trump was alone in recognizing the seriousness of our national condition, and declaring that his goal was to make America great again. He understands that our national standing is on the line. A third of our adults do not “participate” in the labor force. Entrepreneurship and innovation are frozen. The stifling tax and regulatory policies of the last eight years have left us with the lowest productivity and family income growth in three generations. These are big problems, and Mr. Trump is willing to apply big solutions. Small-ball economics won’t save us. In national security matters, he has had the courage to break with past Republican mistakes and focus on America’s national security interests. We still have an opportunity to reverse course; after another four years of Democratic governance, it may be too late. Donald Trump is our last, best hope. – David P. Goldman (Spengler) is a columnist for Asia Times and PJ Media, and the author of How Civilizations Die (and Why Islam is Dying, Too). 

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America has become unmoored from the constitution that has maintained and encouraged her freedom, justice, and prosperity and has entered a period of post-constitutionalism that imperils the natural rights of her people  Coincident with the decline of American constitutionalism has been the rise of a ruling class that exercises authority through control of the state and elite cultural institutions without regard to the interests or consent of the sovereign people.  The ruling class is insensible of, when they are not openly hostile to, the legitimate interests of the American nation and her people.  They long for a post-national millennial utopia and will use whatever means necessary to achieve it.  Trump’s candidacy has already done the nation a great service by giving voice to the nagging, sometimes urgent, concerns of ordinary people imperiled by ruling class hegemony.  They said only Nixon could go to China so perhaps only a billionaire could name the peril posed by the globalist ruling class.  Only Trump, of the two candidates running this year – or of any candidate running since 1984 – has shown an innate understanding of the challenges the country faces and a willingness to name them publicly and face them head-on. – Chris Buskirk is the publisher and a senior editor of American Greatness.

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There are three basic principles of government in America, and only Donald Trump is likely to maintain them. These are that government exists to protect our rights and not to redistribute our property, that the only legitimate source of authority is the American people themselves, and that the sovereignty of the people cannot survive without adherence to the rule of law. These principles can only be secured if we have a judiciary committed to implementing the original understanding of our Constitution and laws, and not one committed to altering the meaning of the Constitution and laws to shift resources to groups or causes particularly favored by elite opinion. These were the views of the late Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court Justice whose recent passing has left the United States Supreme Court precariously divided and unable to fulfill its responsibilities. Donald Trump has made clear that his potential Supreme Court nominees would be in the mold of Justice Scalia, and any of them would begin the necessary process of restoring the Supreme Court and our nation to a point where the federal leviathan can be restrained, and where the American people can once again enjoy our ultimate Constitutional right, self-government. – Stephen B. Presser is the Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History Emeritus at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law, and the author of the forthcoming Law Professors: Three Centuries of Shaping American Law.

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America’s influence is in tatters, thanks to Obama and Clinton’s feckless foreign policies. Our friends no longer trust us. Our enemies are emboldened. This leadership vacuum has made America — and the world — far worse off than we were eight years ago. Terrorist attacks occur near-daily due to incompetent border-enforcement. ISIS is growing, thanks to Obama and Clinton’s suicidal policies. Trump has pledged to reverse these dysfunctions — through protecting our borders, fighting Islamic terrorism, and returning national-security-critical industries to America. At home, Trump would expand the economic pie for lower- and middle-income Americans through lowering taxes and reducing regulations. America’s dignity can be restored. But not if we continue the liberty-threatening, economy-killing policies championed by Obama and Clinton. Americans crave a change. Donald Trump alone can bring it. – Thomas K. Lindsay, has served as a university dean, provost, and college president. He was Deputy Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities from 2006-2008. He is co-author and editor of the college textbook, Investigating American Democracy. 

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Donald Trump is the only choice for those that look around the world — and at home — and see something very much wrong going on.  What is that wrong?  The inversion of common sense.  We conservatives have long-lamented the increasing state of political correctness and multiculturalism, the “kick me” sign on our country’s back, and the increasing hostility to our allies and appeasement of our enemies.  Donald Trump stands athwart the latter and has staked his campaign on reversing all of the former — in a way no other Republican has, in a very long time.  I will vote and urge others to vote for Donald Trump. – Seth Leibsohn is a Contributing Editor at American Greatness, a Senior Fellow of The Claremont Institute, and the host The Seth Leibsohn Show on KKNT in Phoenix. He is the co-author with William J. Bennett of The Fight of Our Lives.

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I am for Trump not only because of what he is not but because of what he is. He is not a progressive ideologue like Hillary and so there is greater reason to believe his nominations for the federal courts and executive branch will help extend the lives of these key freedoms. But I am also for Trump because he has shown great fortitude in insisting on the need to discuss topics of truly existential import like the growing influence of radical Islam in the United States. – Tiffany Miller is Associate Professor of Politics at the University of Dallas

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The political amateur Trump was the only one in 2016 who could assemble a majority for the elementary principles of American democracy — the sovereignty of the people, the consent of the governed, and standing on one’s rights as Americans. Political correctness had prevented conventional partisans from making obvious objections to nonsensical policies ranging from restrooms to terrorism; objectors were derided as bigots or dog whistlers. But “government of the people, by the people, and for the people” is absurd if government continues to ignore real people. That is the open secret of Trump’s victorious message. – Ken Masugi has been a speechwriter for two Cabinet members and for Clarence Thomas, when he was Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He has taught at the U.S. Air Force Academy,  James Madison College of Michigan State University, the Ashbrook Center of Ashland University, and Princeton University.

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One contributor to the “Against Trump” forum in the Feb. 15 issue of National Review wrote, “Should [Trump’s] election results match his polls, he would be, unquestionably, the worst thing to happen to the American common culture in my lifetime.” If Wikipedia is to be trusted, the author of this sentence was born not yesterday but in 1961, since which America’s common culture … has been nearly obliterated. The same issue of NR contained a review of two books on Bush 41, whose break with the politics of Reagan hurried America down the road of globalist post-constitutionalism and initiated three decades of bipartisan political ineptitude … that has driven America from a high point in its history to its knees. It read in part: “If ever there was an indispensable man at an essential time, it was George H. W. Bush.” The publication of such rubbish in National Review indicates that not only has conservatism failed to conserve a way of life consistent with our founding principles … but that too many conservatives have been co-opted by the administrative state or have grown so accustomed to it that they have forgotten what that way of life looked like and are incapable of imagining its recovery. Hence the realignment we see occurring, long overdue, for which we have Trump to thank. – Douglas A. Jeffrey is vice president for external affairs and editor of Imprimis at Hillsdale College.

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All the contributors state or imply that Hillary Clinton MUST be kept out of the presidency, and only a majority of votes for Donald Trump will do that.

In addition, taken together, they cover the most important positive reasons why Donald Trump is needed now, urgently, to be president of the United States.

  • liz

    All of these are excellent, based on sound reasoning that puts the “never Trumpers” to shame. To prefer a Clinton to Trump is “rubbish” that, as Douglas Jeffrey points out, indicates that not only has conservatism failed, but that after Bush 41 “hurried America down the road of globalist post constitutionalism and initiated three decades of bipartisan political ineptitude”, too many conservatives became co-opted by the administrative state, and are unable to even imagine a recovery from it. What losers.
    The more Trump stands in contrast to “crooked Hillary”, the more I like him, warts and all.