The National Review editor who put a spotlight on the "Never Trump" movement before the 2016 Republican primary – publishing an "Against Trump" issue arguing in opposition to then-candidate Donald Trump – says Trump now is better than the alternatives.
"We ran that issue during the primary, or before anybody had voted, when there were 16 other Republican alternatives to Donald Trump," conservative author and editor Rich Lowry told Newsmax TV's "Newsmax Now" on Tuesday.
"There are no Republican alternatives to Trump at the moment. The only other alternative is perhaps Elizabeth Warren heading down the track with a $50 trillion healthcare plan."
Lowry, a staunch conservative, released his latest book, "The Case for Nationalism: How It Made Us Powerful, United, and Free" on Tuesday, relenting Trump is a game changer, changing his mind not only on his candidacy but on some of his political views, too.
"I, at least, have taken the opportunity of the Trump era to kind of kick the tires of some old assumptions and presuppositions and a lot of them are true, still hold true, but I've changed my mind on a few things," Lowry told host John Bachman. "One of them is trade with China.
"And nationalism is one I really hadn't thought a lot about. And I accepted some of the lazy definitions and clichés."
Nationalism is not a dirty word it is made to be, in part because it has been vital to American history, Lowry said.
"I will say on Trump, specifically – and this has been quite surprising – this is something I would not have predicted or expected: He's been like a rock on really key issues – abortion, pro-life, one of the most important," Lowry said.
"This New York billionaire, who lived sort of a wild lifestyle when he was here in New York City, being a warrior for pro-life causes is something near miraculous. No one ever would have expected that.
"I still have a lot of policy differences with him, and I still have differences, obviously, with the way he conducts himself in office, but on those key things he has been unassailable, and I give him credit for it."
Nationalism, as Lowry references his book, is something Trump was wise to capitalize on in 2016.
"He really picked up the baton that had been left on the floor by both parties," Lowry said. "Democrats, for years now, completely turned their backs on nationalism and embraced a cosmopolitanism, so they don't have the nationalistic themes and tendencies that you saw in FDR and JFK. Republicans also have lost touch, or had lost touch with nationalism.
"So, this very powerful political force was kind of left there, and Trump recognized – whether instinctively or consciously or what, I don't know which – that this was something important to hit on, and he did, and the rest is history."
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