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Here’s What National Review Founder William F. Buckley Wrote About Trump in 2000

In his response to being trashed by a symposium of conservative writers in National Review, Donald Trump invoked the magazine’s own founder William F. Buckley:

And at the Fox Business debate earlier this month, when Ted Cruz said that not a lot of conservatives come out of New York, Trump brought up Buckley. So clearly, Trump thinks somewhat highly of Buckley.

However, National Review today reprinted a 2000 essay Buckley wrote for Cigar Aficionado in which he shares a few thoughts on The Donald.

And it appears Buckley was way ahead of his time in laying out the case against Trump, for he wrote a lot in this essay about “rampant demagoguery” before laying out his problems with 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.

He contrasted Trump––who apparently had talked about self-financing his presidential campaign in that election too––with Steve Forbes, whom Buckley described as “selfless.”

And that wasn’t even the end of it:

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.

[image via screengrab]

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Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac

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