The Republican Civil War Has Begun

You can’t build a small-government movement on the backs of people you think are welfare cheats

The conservative intelligentsia have found themselves at odds with a significant portion of the Republican Party's base. (photo: Scott Audette/Reuters)

he white American underclass is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles,” Kevin D. Williamson wrote recently in The National Review, the stalwart voice of the right for more than 60 years.

The conservative intelligentsia — the collection of free traders, tax cutters and government shrinkers who have dictated the Republican Party’s agenda since the Eighties — have had it with the losers of globalization who make up a significant portion of the party’s base: the white males of modest education who have been most full-throated in their support of Donald Trump.

In the mainstream organs like the op-ed pages of The New York Times or the editorials of The Wall Street Journal, right-wing columnists might support using the Republican convention process to deny Trump the nomination, but they discuss it in language that offers some respect to the legitimate anger of Trump’s supporters. Last week, David Brooks tried to play nice, writing, “Well, some respect is in order. Trump voters are a coalition of the dispossessed. They have suffered lost jobs, lost wages, lost dreams.”

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