“Donald Trump and the End of a Movement” was the topic of an opinion piece co-authored last week by David Frisk, a Resident Fellow at the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI).  Appearing on the prominent Washington Examiner website on Friday, December 18, it ran through the weekend as the lead item in the Op-Ed section. In addition, it received excellent placement on another major political site, Lucianne.com.

Dr. Frisk and Jonathan Riehl, a former political speechwriter who is completing a book on the conservative legal world, warn that a thoughtless enthusiasm about the Trump candidacy suggests a potentially fatal decline in the conservative movement’s historic solidity and seriousness: “One cannot imagine William F. Buckley or Russell Kirk or Richard Weaver or Milton Friedman tolerating Donald Trump’s disgraceful conduct and rhetoric,” they write. “ …

[C]onservatism in our time, whether gentle or harsh, has always claimed an intellectual coherence, a moral seriousness … a consistency of aim that is irreconcilable with Trump’s vapid, scattershot, ‘trust me—I’ll be great’ messaging.”

The piece further argues: “Trump’s lack of caution or discipline in attacking the Democrats doesn’t even begin to demonstrate that he will reliably represent their ideological opposites.” Many of his backers, Frisk and Riehl add, have leapt illogically from their frustrated hostility toward conventional Republican politicians to a virtually blind faith in Trump “despite his obvious vulnerability to multiple questions about his own political trustworthiness.”

Frisk co-authored another piece on the presidential campaign at RealClearPolitics last June and has been a talk-radio guest several times this year—most recently with the Steve Curtis “Wake Up!” program on Denver’s KLZ-560 on December 17.

A Resident Fellow at the AHI since 2013, he teaches its popular adult education classes and leads student reading groups at Hamilton College. His course this fall was titled: “The Constitution in the 20th Century and Today.” He holds a Ph.D. in political science from Claremont Graduate University and is the author of a major biography:  If Not Us, Who? William Rusher, National Review, and the Conservative Movement.

Writings by AHI staff represent their own opinions, not necessarily the organization’s. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit , the AHI does not engage in election-related activity or attempt to influence the outcome of elections.