[I]t’s a stretch to liken Donald Trump to Lincoln and Reagan or Jefferson, but we’re discussing politicians and not candidates for sainthood or chairman of the New York Yacht Club. In politics, exaltation comes in different ways, and especially in winning elections. All that the National Review and Weekly Standard worthies have in common with the regulars to whose assistance they are now flying is their dislike of the alleged non-conservative upstarts who seem to have hijacked most of the support of the Republican rank and file, while encroaching on working-class Democrats and expanding the electorate.
The conservative thinkers seem to have no clearer understanding than the mainstream national media do that the country is disgusted with 20 years of failure in national government by both parties in all three branches. The system has broken down, and the country wants people in charge who are not complicit in the shambles of the housing bubble and the Great Recession, the Iraq War, the doubling of the national debt in seven years, the botch of health care, the humiliation of the country in a misconceived pursuit of universal democracy, followed by an incoherent appeasement of Iran, the imposition of self-erasing red lines, and being frequently out-maneuvered by the Russians.