There has been a lot of discussion in the last several months over whether not several conservative icons would be supporting Donald Trump for President. William F. Buckley, the founder of National Review and host of Firing Line said during the 1964 GOP primary that his rule was to support the “most rightward viable candidate.” That has often been turned into “the most conservative, electable candidate.”
Andrew Breitbart in 2011 said of Donald Trump, “Of course Donald Trump is not a conservative. He was for Nancy Pelosi before he was against her.” Breitbart was famous shortly before his death in 2012 for his “Two Paths” speech at the CPAC convention. His speech reiterated his support for the GOP nominee, whoever it was, at a time when many conservatives were questioning supporting Mitt Romney.
We can all venture a guess but since both men are dead, we’ll never really know if they’d support Trump. Like Andrew Breitbart, Willam F. Buckley wrote something about Donald Trump when he was talking about running for President — in 2000. Buckley, in an essay he wrote for Cigar Aficionado and said the following about Trump:
Look for the narcissist. The most obvious target in today’s lineup is, of course, Donald Trump. When he looks at a glass, he is mesmerized by its reflection. If Donald Trump were shaped a little differently, he would compete for Miss America. But whatever the depths of self-enchantment, the demagogue has to say something. So what does Trump say? That he is a successful businessman and that that is what America needs in the Oval Office. There is some plausibility in this, though not much. The greatest deeds of American Presidents — midwifing the new republic; freeing the slaves; harnessing the energies and vision needed to win the Cold War — had little to do with a bottom line.
Wow. He wrote this sixteen years ago. And think about it. Some of our most pressing concerns right now have to do with foreign policy and and national security. Trump’s business acumen, however questionable, is worthless in such cases.
And he wasn’t finished:
In the final analysis, just as the king might look down with terminal disdain upon a courtier whose hypocrisy repelled him, so we have no substitute for relying on the voter to exercise a quiet veto when it becomes more necessary to discourage cynical demagogy, than to advance free health for the kids. That can come later, in another venue; the resistance to a corrupting demagogy should take first priority.
Finally, he illuminated Trump’s narcissism by comparing him with Steve Forbes:
So what else can Trump offer us? Well to begin with, a self-financed campaign. Does it follow that all who finance their own campaigns are narcissists? At this writing Steve Forbes has spent $63 million in pursuit of the Republican nomination. Forbes is an evangelist, not an exhibitionist. In his long and sober private career, Steve Forbes never bought a casino, and if he had done so, he would not have called it Forbes’s Funhouse. His motivations are discernibly selfless. . .
Buckley, a New Yorker, had more of an insight into Trump than others. At the time Trump wasn’t known to the rest of the country beyond people knew he was some rich businessman. Buckley however, was privy to the nonsense Trump engaged within NYC and Buckley was just well aware of it.
Whatever it was, he had Trump pegged.