I will admit I was surprised when not only the usual opportunistic blowhards, but even a number of very respectable and impeccably anti-Trump people among those who call themselves “conservatives,” were disgusted with Ross Douthat’s suggestion that our constitutional order is built on the assumption that political leaders (“elites”) have something unique to contribute that hoi polloi desperately need, and don’t have of themselves. It’s not simply that these so-called conservatives disagreed with the wisdom of recognizing a role for elites in our constitutional order. They were appalled. And they identified Douthat’s heresy as a betrayal of “conservatism,” rather than an expression of conservatism (which is what it was, insofar as that word still has a meaning).
So now conservatism is identified with populism not only among the blowhards, but among respectable Never Trumpers.
But don’t worry. “This Is Not a Crisis.”