Conservatism, Not Populism

Dear Reader (and heroic muffin defenders everywhere),

I’m about to defend Trump-loving, MAGA hat-wearing right-wingers—albeit from a very specific charge. But first, I need to enter some things into the record.

First, I think Donald Trump—who is not and never was fit to be president—should have been impeached, removed, and barred from ever holding office ever again within 48 hours of the siege on the Capitol. As I have written at great length, he tried to steal an election. It was a failed self-coup—what they call in Latin America an attempted autogolpe. Months, if not years before the 2020 election, Trump started laying the groundwork for the claim that any defeat was illegitimate. He declared victory on Election Night not because he won, but because he clearly lost.

Second, I think the prominent Republican politicians and right-wing pundits who know this is true (and there are many of them) but strike a blasé or deferential attitude about it—“Trump’s gonna Trump”—are making a series of profound moral and intellectual errors.

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