In a very blunt column for the Atlantic, a former speechwriter for Ronald Reagan and both Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush, laid waste to Donald Trump Jr. over his recent comments about biblical principles and called him out for being a callow opportunist taking advantage of the Trump name.
Last week, the former president's namesake told young conservatives at a Turning Point USA get-together, "We've turned the other cheek and I understand sort of the biblical reference, I understand the mentality but it's gotten us nothing. OK? It's gotten us nothing while we've ceded ground in every major institution."
That, in turn, set off Peter Wehner who has used his Christian faith to advocate for conservative policies while also turning on Donald Trump for being antithetical to his beliefs.
Using the younger Trump's comments as a jumping-off point, Wehner didn't hold back, beginning his Atlantic column by writing, "Donald Trump Jr. is both intensely unappealing and uninteresting. He combines in his person corruption, ineptitude, and banality. He is perpetually aggrieved; obsessed with trolling the left; a crude, one-dimensional figure who has done a remarkably good job of keeping from public view any redeeming qualities he might have."
Continuing in that vein he admitted the younger Trump deserves to be ignored, but noted that he is his father's "chief emissary to MAGA world" and thus needs to be called out.
"Throughout his speech Don Jr. painted a scenario in which Trump supporters—Americans living in red America—are under relentless attack from a wicked and brutal enemy. He portrayed it as an existential battle between good and evil. One side must prevail; the other must be crushed. This in turn justifies any necessary means to win. And the former president’s son has a message for the tens of millions of evangelicals who form the energized base of the GOP: the scriptures are essentially a manual for suckers," he charged.
As Wehner notes, Trump Jr's words are illustrative of the "Trumpian ethic."
"He believes, as his father does, that politics should be practiced ruthlessly, mercilessly, and vengefully. The ends justify the means. Norms and guardrails need to be smashed. Morality and lawfulness must always be subordinated to the pursuit of power and self-interest," the conservative wrote.
"There are GOP governors and others in the Republican Party who embody a very different ethic, and for the sake of their party and their country I hope they gain influence. But it would be naive and irresponsible to pretend that what we have seen since Donald Trump left office is the revivification of ethical standards and demands for moral excellence within the Republican Party," Wehner warned before adding, "I understand that many Americans, including some number of Republicans I know, would rather we move on from the Trump family. But the Trump family and MAGA world won’t let us. And they’re playing for keeps."
You can read his whole piece here -- subscription required.