The conservative movement that Bill Buckley championed with grace, wit and stoicism has been warped into something more extreme, divisive and potentially less successful under President Trump, according to Richard Brookhiser of National Review. Buckley would routinely engage those who opposed him in constructive dialogue. In his rise to power, Trump ravaged the G.O.P, diminishing Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio among others. He has created a personality cult around himself, not the party, surrounding himself with weak personalities to make himself seem stronger. When his chapter ends, the G.O.P will suffer because of this.
President Trump may symbolize the modern conservatism that beats the populist drum and hotly condemns anything left of center, but this development preceded his presidency, argues Henry Olsen in American Greatness. Two big factors united conservatives in energetic partisanship: the lack of a clear outside enemy, once presented by Communism and the Soviet Union, and a lack of strong leadership. Without a uniting mission and cause, opposition to the left became the easiest solution. Intellectual conservatives were cast aside for a simpler agenda that thrived through finger-pointing. Trump is a symptom of this movement, not its pioneer.