Trump's rise in the polls is no joking matter for George Will. Many Americans are concerned that Trump would be bad for America. Will has an even greater concern. He believes that a Trump presidency would lead to the end of conservatism in the US. He takes his readers on an historical journey in which a progressive Teddy Roosevelt failed to get the GOP nomination. He then ran as third party candidate. That split the Republican vote for Taft, who was a real conservative, and he lost the election to Woodrow Wilson who he depicts as a radical who did not believe in the form of democracy established by our founding fathers. Conservatism declined until Barry Goldwater won the GOP nomination and lost the presidential election by a wide margin to a progressive Lyndon Johnson. It took Ronald Reagan to restore conservatism to its proper place in America.
In order to destroy Donald Trump he argues that he is not a conservative. He lists many of aspects of his personality that are undesirable to many Americans before he unleashes his big guns. The cold war is not over for many Republicans so Will attacks Trump for making admiring comments about Vladamir Putin. Trump may be a closet communist and become an authoritarian president. If he does not get the nomination he may run as a third party candidate like the progressive Teddy Roosevelt who enabled Wilson to defeat a true conservative candidate and place another progressive Democrat in the White House. That might lead to the end of the Conservative Party in America.
George Will's opinion articles in the Washington Post are syndicated to numerous small town newspapers in the US. He has pulled out all of the stops to taint Trump's image with his conservative readers. I italicized progressive because that has become a curse word for conservatives. The opposite of progressive is regressive and apparently that is OK with Will's conservative readers. Associating Trump with Putin and communism is also a good move. A vote for Trump, who cannot win the general election according to Will, would install another authoritarian and progressive Democrat in the White House. That could lead to the worse possible disaster that Will can imagine. The end of the Conservative Party.
Like most Americans, I don't want Trump to become our next president. But my interpretation of Trump's rise is very different from George Will's. Trump has been successful because he is delivering a conservative message with greater enthusiasm than the other contenders for the party that favors regressive populism over progressive populism.