Rush Limbaugh has not endorsed Donald Trump, but he's certainly given him his "blessing" time and time again during this election season, writes Michael Gerson in the Washington Post. And if Trump ends up as the nominee, this decision on the part of the influential Limbaugh to give him an "ideological hall pass" will be a major reason. Even a cursory look at Trump's policies show that he's no conservative, writes Gerson. He "proposes higher taxes on the wealthy, opposes entitlement reform and advocates the systematic destruction of Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy." Trump, he writes, is more about impulse than ideology.
And yet Limbaugh seems to feel that the upside of Trump—his fight against liberalism and the GOP political order—outweighs the downside, writes Gerson. Limbaugh is willing to ignore the "casual misogyny, racial stereotyping and religious bigotry" that Trump regularly espouses, and in so doing is betraying true conservatism. "Populist anti-intellectualism, on the rise at least since Sarah Palin, has culminated in Trump," concludes Gerson. "It is the passing of conservatism, even if Limbaugh baptizes the dead." Click for the full column.