A Proxy Editorial? No, Not Maybe

In New York magazine, Jonathan Chait proposes that “Trump: Maybe,” my essay on the impending election, was in fact “National Review’s endorsement editorial,” “a proxy editorial,” “a final statement of the magazine’s assessment of the president,” and a “sub-rosa Trump endorsement.” It was not. This claim deserves a correction.

As of today, it remains the case that Jonathan Chait has endorsed Donald Trump one more time than I have.

I understand that the idea of a person’s writing exactly what he thinks — rather than writing whatever his party needs him to write, minus only those positions that might threaten his job as a writer or his vested interest in charter schools — is an alien concept to Jonathan Chait. But that’s his problem, not mine. As National Review has made abundantly and unavoidably clear, the essays on the 2020 election that were featured in the last issue of the magazine represented the views of their authors alone. They were not editorials — and, indeed, they could not have been, given that they all had different conclusions. The magazine’s editorial on the question, which was published in the same issue and clearly marked, is here. Given that the following message was prepended to all of the pieces he cites, it seems likely that Chait understands this:

Editor’s Note: The following is one of three essays, each from a different perspective, in the latest edition of National Review on the question of whether to vote for President Trump. The views below reflect those of the individual author, not of the NR editorial board as a whole. The other two essays can be found here and here.

The substance of Chait’s essay, is, as usual, nothing more than an extended smear coupled with his usual penchant for misrepresentation and conspiracy theory. Which is another way of saying that . . . it’s an essay by Jonathan Chait.

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