Why Donald Trump can be the real conservative

Countless self-proclaimed conservatives are denouncing Trump (or being coy in promising future support) for being insufficiently conservative.  Leaving aside whether there exists some authoritative written-in-stone conservative doctrine, this assessment misunderstands why a Trump administration will probably be more conservatives that the likes of a Ted Cruz or others asserting greater authenticity.

Trump’s conservative bona fides are not based on private assurances that he will ignore past liberal inclinations.  It also has nothing to do with all the “big issues” usually employed to certify ideological orthodoxy.

Trump’s conservatism will be rooted in inaction, a view of conservatism that has not infused politics since the days of golf-loving President Eisenhower or, better yet, Calvin Coolidge.  In this conservatism, the White House does not deliver fatwas about transgendered bathrooms or otherwise engage in myriad radical egalitarian-driven social engineering schemes.  It does not sponsor White House conferences on schoolyard bullying.  It is laissez-faire conservatism sans libertarian baggage.

Trump can accomplish this mission almost effortlessly.  No need to hire policy wonks to draft dense reports or negotiate complicated deals with Congress.  Nor will Donald run the risk of being overruled by liberal judges – inaction can in principle violate the law, but it is not easy to prosecute sloth, and in many instances, indolence is the perfect antidote to the legacy left by President Obama and his energetic pen and cell phone.

The secret to Trump’s do-nothing conservative agenda will come from his appointments in the often obscure federal bureaucracy, not introducing new laws to please religious fundamentalists or going to court to reverse job-killing EPA rules.  Here, far beyond public view, is where unelected ideologues with extra time on their hands run wild.  These are zealots who pressure universities to override due process to purge the campus of alleged sexual aggression at some frat house, agonize over federal guidelines regarding what constitutes a healthy school lunch, and threaten legal action if public schools fail to use racial quotas in handing out suspensions and expulsions.  Meanwhile, thanks to these bureaucrats on a mission, the residents of Smallville are forever threatened that their lives will be disrupted by having to sign a Department of Justice consent decree to build 1,000 new large federally subsidized apartments for troubled inner-city residents.  In fact, the millions now wasted on promoting diversity and inclusion in the military can fund a whole new squadron of F-35s.  And this list of intrusions that will never occur under President Trump is almost endless.      

No need to scour all the résumés that will be sent to Trump’s transition team to uncover trusted folk disinclined to reclassify every puddle into a navigable waterway.  Trump will just not fill these positions, and while this “lazy” strategy lacks the sex appeal of a spirited public confrontation, the impact is just what the doctor ordered – bloated budgets shrink, and America escapes egalitarian busybodies viewing every inequality as a crime needing Washington’s intervention.  When social justice warriors whine about the Office of Civil Rights in the Department of Education’s lackadaisical handling of complaints that The Boy Scouts Act, a rule that requires Boy Scout troops meeting on school grounds be hyper-inclusive, the Donald will merely say, “I’m working on it.”

Doctrinaire conservatives might disdain such passivity and prefer high-profile, feel-good assault to undo decades of liberalism.  Leaving aside the long odds of success, this approach fails to grasp how the often obscure regulatory processes, not high-profile laws like the Affordable Care Act, are the deeper menace.  It is here that totalitarianism slowly metastasizes.  Trump, with scant effort, can advance the traditional idea of national government: strong in its constitutional responsibilities, especially defense, and limited elsewhere.

Ironically, of all the candidates seeking the conservative mantle, Trump may be by temperament and outside obligations best suited to achieve victory via apathy.  He has a business to oversee, disdains policy minutia, and will undoubtedly use all available energy for what really drives his passions – effective borders, a strong military, economic prosperity, and not how best to rescue pre-teens with a confused sexual identity.  His slogan should be Elect Trump, the Do-Nothing Conservative.

Countless self-proclaimed conservatives are denouncing Trump (or being coy in promising future support) for being insufficiently conservative.  Leaving aside whether there exists some authoritative written-in-stone conservative doctrine, this assessment misunderstands why a Trump administration will probably be more conservatives that the likes of a Ted Cruz or others asserting greater authenticity.

Trump’s conservative bona fides are not based on private assurances that he will ignore past liberal inclinations.  It also has nothing to do with all the “big issues” usually employed to certify ideological orthodoxy.

Trump’s conservatism will be rooted in inaction, a view of conservatism that has not infused politics since the days of golf-loving President Eisenhower or, better yet, Calvin Coolidge.  In this conservatism, the White House does not deliver fatwas about transgendered bathrooms or otherwise engage in myriad radical egalitarian-driven social engineering schemes.  It does not sponsor White House conferences on schoolyard bullying.  It is laissez-faire conservatism sans libertarian baggage.

Trump can accomplish this mission almost effortlessly.  No need to hire policy wonks to draft dense reports or negotiate complicated deals with Congress.  Nor will Donald run the risk of being overruled by liberal judges – inaction can in principle violate the law, but it is not easy to prosecute sloth, and in many instances, indolence is the perfect antidote to the legacy left by President Obama and his energetic pen and cell phone.

The secret to Trump’s do-nothing conservative agenda will come from his appointments in the often obscure federal bureaucracy, not introducing new laws to please religious fundamentalists or going to court to reverse job-killing EPA rules.  Here, far beyond public view, is where unelected ideologues with extra time on their hands run wild.  These are zealots who pressure universities to override due process to purge the campus of alleged sexual aggression at some frat house, agonize over federal guidelines regarding what constitutes a healthy school lunch, and threaten legal action if public schools fail to use racial quotas in handing out suspensions and expulsions.  Meanwhile, thanks to these bureaucrats on a mission, the residents of Smallville are forever threatened that their lives will be disrupted by having to sign a Department of Justice consent decree to build 1,000 new large federally subsidized apartments for troubled inner-city residents.  In fact, the millions now wasted on promoting diversity and inclusion in the military can fund a whole new squadron of F-35s.  And this list of intrusions that will never occur under President Trump is almost endless.      

No need to scour all the résumés that will be sent to Trump’s transition team to uncover trusted folk disinclined to reclassify every puddle into a navigable waterway.  Trump will just not fill these positions, and while this “lazy” strategy lacks the sex appeal of a spirited public confrontation, the impact is just what the doctor ordered – bloated budgets shrink, and America escapes egalitarian busybodies viewing every inequality as a crime needing Washington’s intervention.  When social justice warriors whine about the Office of Civil Rights in the Department of Education’s lackadaisical handling of complaints that The Boy Scouts Act, a rule that requires Boy Scout troops meeting on school grounds be hyper-inclusive, the Donald will merely say, “I’m working on it.”

Doctrinaire conservatives might disdain such passivity and prefer high-profile, feel-good assault to undo decades of liberalism.  Leaving aside the long odds of success, this approach fails to grasp how the often obscure regulatory processes, not high-profile laws like the Affordable Care Act, are the deeper menace.  It is here that totalitarianism slowly metastasizes.  Trump, with scant effort, can advance the traditional idea of national government: strong in its constitutional responsibilities, especially defense, and limited elsewhere.

Ironically, of all the candidates seeking the conservative mantle, Trump may be by temperament and outside obligations best suited to achieve victory via apathy.  He has a business to oversee, disdains policy minutia, and will undoubtedly use all available energy for what really drives his passions – effective borders, a strong military, economic prosperity, and not how best to rescue pre-teens with a confused sexual identity.  His slogan should be Elect Trump, the Do-Nothing Conservative.