Alan Keyes
Trump's 'nationalism' serves elitist faction's agenda
Constitution means no more to Donald than to Obama
By Alan Keyes
January 25, 2016

Elitist faction media outlets are now reporting that elitist faction money powers identified with the GOP are moving to Donald Trump. Donald Trump, born into enormous wealth, has added to his fortune by working with various of those powers. In this sense, he has always worked with and for the community of his elite counterparts. Some analysts suggest that, far from making him a free agent, the roots and structure of Trump's wealth inextricably bind him to that community.

So these reports, breathlessly pretending that the elitist faction money powers' purported interest in Trump is something new or unexpected, may be a false pretense. This pretense encourages the false perception that, despite his consistent record of support for the very Democrats to whom the GOP's quisling leaders have repeatedly surrendered, he now stands firmly in opposition to their fellow travelers in the GOP.

Throughout the process required to develop his new political persona, the only question was the one Mr. Trump discussed with Bill Clinton before announcing his candidacy. Could he successfully gull the GOP's disaffected grassroots into seeing him as their champion? For a professional poseur like Donald Trump, who in fact has spent his whole career in the authentically inauthentic character appropriate to a reality TV star, this was the ultimate challenge.

The fact that the elitist faction media are now openly preparing the public to see and accept Trump's true relationship with the elitist faction's money powers suggests that, in their view, he has successfully met the challenge. Rush Limbaugh's announcement that "Nationalism and populism have overtaken conservatism in terms of appeal," provides the rhetorical backdrop for the transition from conservatism to nationalism as the defining characteristic of the "right wing" in American political life. Christie Todd Whitman's assertion that Trump's rhetorical tone harks back to Hitler rings true in the sense that he shamelessly exploits the fearful, angry, resentful passions of the disaffected while appealing to their hurt patriotic pride by promising to make the nation strong again, restoring its lost greatness.

Limbaugh contrasts Trump's nationalistic populism with "conservatism." But, though he talks about various issues (trade, immigration, health care, and Social Security) as if they have something to do with this contrast, he never once mentions the Constitution, or the premises of right and rights, including liberty, on which American conservatism properly depends. He quotes Phyllis Schlafly's tragically hollow assertion that Trump is "the last hope for America," but he never once mentions what it is, besides border lines on a map, that substantiates the national identity Trump is supposed to be saving.

Limbaugh, Schlafly, and others who are positioning themselves to support or accommodate Trump as the GOP's "presumptive nominee" seem utterly oblivious to the logic that led people in the 1950s to refer to "Americanism," not nationalism, to evoke the patriotic passion that expresses our affection for our country. Having just sacrificed greatly to vindicate the difference between America's national feeling and the prideful, angry, anti-egalitarian, and elitist nationalism that fueled Hitler's corruption of the German people, most American conservatives eschewed the nationalist label.

They were like Ronald Reagan, impressed with America's vocation for humanity itself, explicitly recognized in every generation since the Founding. The focal points of that vocation are God and the Constitution, both of which encompass our duty to respect the idea that the exercise of right is our duty to God, and the basis for the rights, inherent in all humanity, that so many of our men and women have devoted and sacrificed their lives to vindicate, for Americans and decent people everywhere.

Donald Trump's purblind, resentful nationalism spits on the graves of all those who fought in battles waged on behalf of that understanding of America's vocation. He invites Americans to surrender the exceptional calling people in every generation before now answered, when the crunch came, with a full measure of devotion. Slyly, persistently, he invites us to cast aside the sense that we are bound by God and the U.S. Constitution never to relinquish: the sense that America's true boundaries are inscribed in the very heart of humanity. They run along lines of conscience that distinguish people of goodwill, determined to respect God's good intention for our nature, from people of self-will, who respect no intentions but their own desires, passions, and ambitions.

So Mr. Trump panders to the passionate opposition roused by Obama's dictatorial edicts, especially with respect to the immigration invasion and gun confiscation. Yet he adamantly promises dictatorial edicts of his own (on the death penalty for cop-killers and an end to gun-free zones in schools, for example). Constitutional constraint apparently doesn't matter to him any more than it does to Obama. Yet throughout America's history, the key pillar of conservatism has been the oath the Constitution requires all high government officials in the U.S. and state governments to take, the oath in which they promise to uphold the provisions of the Constitution, conserving its integrity in all their official acts.

The key characteristic all elitist faction politicians seem to have in common is their pose of "pragmatism." On the left, Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski just illustrated this when she said she wants to avoid constitutional issues in hearings on the legality of Obama's moves to confiscate guns from some people. In her view, all that matters is doing what it takes to keep people safe. This is the same mentality Trump displays when he promises to issue edicts that run roughshod over powers the Constitution's 10th Amendment leaves to the states and the people, or unalienable rights retained by the people (like the right to exclude instruments of violence from certain places, including schools, to preserve respect for their religious purpose) that the Ninth Amendment forbids the U.S. government to deny or disparage.

Ben Carson, for his part, pretends to be pro-life, but worships at the altar of pragmatism to excuse his support for pro-abortion candidates like Oregon GOP U.S. Senate candidate Monica Wehby.

Such unprincipled "pragmatism" is at the heart of the elitist faction's rejection of both the Constitution and constitutionalism. It is at the heart of their uniform and repeated failure to evoke, as the heart of America's national identity, the God-acknowledging premises of right and justice for all humanity proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence. It is what led, and still leads, so many of our successful elites, in every walk of life, to disdain the Declaration premises of God-endowed equality and respect for human rights.

Instead, they fall prey to the promise of tyranny, whether in the guise of the left and right-wing socialists of the 20th century, or the elitist faction socialists (including Donald Trump) of the 21st century, who are now seeking to do what those communist, Nazi, and fascist dictators could not – defeat and destroy America's understanding of itself as a nation under God that exists to exemplify the promise of rightful liberty and justice for all people of goodwill.

How can any such elitists be America's hope, when they abandon the moral heart and spirit of the American dream? When the cloud of confusion fomented to serve the elitist faction's attack dissipates, America's material existence may, for a time, persist. But the nation intended to represent God's better destiny for humankind, having forgotten itself, will soon simply be forgotten, with no one left to mourn our passing but our Creator, God, whose mercy we are being treacherously seduced into rejecting.

To see more articles by Dr. Keyes, visit his blog at and his commentary at and

© Alan Keyes


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Alan Keyes

Dr. Keyes holds the distinction of being the only person ever to run against Barack Obama in a truly contested election – featuring authentic moral conservatism vs. progressive liberalism – when they challenged each other for the open U.S. Senate seat from Illinois in 2004... (more)


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