Originally published at the Newsmax by Bill Hoffmann.
National Review’s scathing indictment of Donald Trump will do very little to dissuade most Republicans from supporting him for the GOP presidential nomination, conservative pundit and acclaimed documentary filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza tells Newsmax TV.
“I don’t think this is going to dent Trump’s real support,” D’Souza said Friday on “The Steve Malzberg Show.”
“What it will do probably is ostracize Trump a little bit more within the intellectual ranks of the Republican Party, but those intellectual ranks are a small part of the overall strength of the party.”
D’Souza also suggested that National Review — founded in 1955 by William F. Buckley and an influential voice for conservative news and commentary — should be going after the Republican elite instead of Trump, who remains the GOP presidential front-runner.
“We have a mystery, which is here you have a Republican Party and by and large its activists are conservative. How is it possible that a man who betrays the fundamental principles of conservatism is leading in the polls?” D’Souza said.
“Ultimately the problem would not seem to be with Trump, it would seem to be with the Republicans who support Trump. So National Review in a sense is being a little weak in not attacking them because they’d be attacking their own constituency, their own readers.”
D’Souza said there are three reasons for Trump’s broad-based appeal.
“Number one, he’s the most politically incorrect man in America. That’s appealing. The other Republicans always seem to hold a little back, Trump holds nothing back. Number two, he’s a Republican candidate for president who’s not scared of being rich. Really important,” he said.
“Look at [Mitt] Romney, who is like so defensive about making money. He allowed the Obama attacks to wear him down. Trump [says], ‘I’m rich, in fact I’m richer than you think and I’m proud of it.’ Very positive.
“The third thing is that Trump is willing to go where other Republicans aren’t. I mean people feel like if Trump is elected, he’ll lift up all the stones and the Obama administration look under them. We’ll find out all the stuff that’s been going on behind closed doors. The other Republicans won’t do that.”
D’Souza said Trump “ultimately represents a certain upping of the ante.”
“And we’re at a moment where the American Dream is precarious. We need a guy to sort of take it to the next level,” he said.
Still, D’Souza added, National Review’s monster rant — its entire issue is devoted to the arguments of 22 well known conservatives as to why Trump must not be elected — is good for the debate.
“It is good for intellectual conservatives to weigh in on this. Their points are not entirely invalid. Also, National Review historically has had a role of, you may say, policing the right. Even in Buckley’s day,” he said.
“There was a John Birch Society, there were people who were anti-Semitic while claimed to be conservative and Buckley saw it as his job to say the fence is drawn over here, you’re on the outside of the fence.
“So they’re trying to play a little bit of that historical role, but of course the circumstances are quite different.”
But D’Souza doubts National Review would have done the same hit job on Sen. Cruz of Texas, who is Trump’s closest rival going into the upcoming primaries, and whom some Republicans consider more extreme than the billionaire developer.
“Cruz is an intellectual guy. I don’t think National Review would say those things about Cruz they said about Trump. But, there is a common denominator … They are the two ultimate outsiders of the Republican Party because Cruz has alienated much of the establishment,” he said.
“Trump is no member of the establishment. So there’s not a secret that the inner inside guys are doing really poorly. Ben Carson was doing pretty well, even though he came out of nowhere. So this should be a real message to the RNC that you guys have messed things up very badly.
“It should be a real message to the Republican Congress, you’ve been in charge for the last couple of years, what have you done?”
In his characteristic take-no-prisoners style, Trump has fired back at National Review on Twitter, calling it “a failing publication that has lost its way. Its circulation is way down [with] its influence being at an all-time low. Sad!”
D’Souza, who produced the 2014 documentary America is author of the new book, Stealing America: What My Experience with Criminal Gangs Taught Me about Obama, Hillary, and the Democratic Party, published by Broadside.
Read more at the Newsmax.
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