National Review has, from the very start of the Trump phenomenon, been one of the conservative outlets most critical of the man who ended up a) the Republican presidential nominee and b) president. Many writers of the magazine have explained in recent years why they can’t support the man and why they believe he is no friend to traditional conservatism.
Even NR has to admit now, however, that former Congressman Joe Walsh is delusional if he thinks that there will be a Republican challenger to Trump. As the magazine’s roving correspondent Kevin D. Williamson explains:
Walsh has gone one way since 2016, and the Republican party has gone another. There were a lot of heaving sighs and melancholy little gestures of resignation in 2016 — “It’s Trump or the commies!” they told us. A lot of people seemed to think that the word “binary” offered a smart-sounding way out of that. That was then. But unless I grievously misread the mood of Republicans, that’s not really the case anymore. The Republican party has embraced not only Trump but also Trumpism. It is his party now. There is not likely to be any challenge to Trump from the right because the Right is, by all indicators, satisfied with him.
That’s exactly right. Back in 2016, I wasn’t exactly a Trump fan. Quite the opposite, even: I was highly critical of the man. The main reason for this attitude of mine toward Trump was that I was afraid he was lying about his views in order to get nominated and, after that, elected. He would, I was almost sure, rapidly transform into a moderate Democrat once in office.
I’m happy to admit that I was wrong. Okay, sure, Trump hasn’t been as conservative as president as, say, Ted Cruz would’ve been, but he has certainly done a very decent job. He was elected as a Republican and he has governed as one. That’s all we could’ve asked for… and he has clearly delivered. At the same time, he’s constantly bringing it to Democrats in a way that we could only have dreamed of a few years ago, with the willy-nilly, weak Republican leadership.
Trump has made America respected again on the world stage. The economy is booming. In Gorsuch and Kavanaugh he has added solid constitutionalist judges to the Supreme Court. And we get some anti-Democrat red meat thrown at us every single day. What more could we have possibly hoped for (in a president whose name isn’t Ted Cruz)?
It should be obvious, then, that Williamson is 100 percent correct. There will not be a serious challenger to Trump from within the Republican Party. Trump is doing quite well. You’d have to be an utter fool as a Republican to risk dividing the party and, by doing so, handing the White House over to the Democrats, who have truly gone insane with all their SJW crap.