Over the past week, I’ve met multiple Donald Trump supporters who tell me I’m “not a Republican” because I don’t currently wish to support their Dear Leader in the general election. One even told me that figures like Thomas Sowell and Ben Sasse are “RINOS” for not supporting a man who became a Republican 5 minutes ago, and in many regards still isn’t a conservative in any meaningful way.
While these supporters were annoying and self-righteous with me, I’ve got to admit they aren’t entirely wrong. It’s technically true that I’m not a Republican. I’m actually a registered independent, and I consider myself an American first, a conservative second, and a “Republican” in any sense a distant third.
But let’s be clear about something – however much of a Republican I am will go away for good if/when Donald J. Trump is given the nomination in Cleveland this July. To quote Michael Reagan, “If the Republican Party nominates Trump. I WILL HEAR FROM MY FATHER’S GRAVE “I DIDN’T LEAVE THE PARTY THE PARTY LEFT ME””
Many conservatives think that being a leftist, at least in part, is Trump’s worst quality. I disagree. There are bigger reasons that Trump shouldn’t be given the same status as men like Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Eisenhower and Reagan:
- Narcissism is a poor quality for a President to have. It hurts the nation’s health when the country sees no humility from its leader (see our current President).
- Having a conspiracy theorist for a President undermines science, logic, reason, and makes the nation dumber. Donald Trump has given credence to the faulty, stupid, and downright dangerous conspiracy theory that vaccines cause autism. Additionally, Trump didn’t just believe in, but actively LED the birther movement in 2011. As I’ve said before, the notion that Obama was born in Africa is both racist and stupid. If our first Jewish President was accused of being born in Israel, is there any question that the pro-Israel right would call that an anti-Jewish conspiracy theory? I would. Same holds true for our first black President being born in Africa. It actually is racism, plain and simple.
- Trump really is a con-artist. This isn’t just an attack from Senator Rubio, it’s entirely accurate. Trump has scammed people out of money for faulty products and services, left people unpaid, broke the law to use cheap labor, bought off politicians to get unfair advantages, and uses lawsuits at every turn to threaten his opponents. I’m so old that I remember when Republicans stood up to frivolous lawsuits as a drag on economic growth. It’s why trial lawyers give to the Democrats. Do we want Donald J. Trump to be the face of U.S. business and American capitalism? He is everything we despise in terms of crony capitalism rolled into one man.
- His treatment of the military is disgusting. Not just for off the cuff comments, such as the one suggesting he doesn’t like American prisoners of war, but also by pushing for war crimes. There’s a reason why conservatives took such offense at the claims that George W. Bush and the American military were war criminals. It’s because America hasn’t sunk to the lows of others in warfare. We are better than that, and when such things happen, like the Abu-Ghraib controversy, it’s a national embarrassment. With Donald Trump as President, we will be giving control of the military to someone pushing the murder of innocent children because they are related to our enemies. America does not kill innocents on purpose like Trump wants to. This is beyond horrifying.
True conservatives can only continue to warn others. Nominating Trump will be the undoing of the Party of Lincoln. It could destroy whatever positive political capital Republicans have with many educated voters and most young people.
It’s been 28 years since the country had a truly conservative President. Currently, there are 2 Reagan disciples in the race – Senators Rubio and Cruz. If voters wish to stop the ensuing madness of a Trump nomination, they must pick someone who will save America, not embarrass her. I won’t hold my breath though.
For Trump to win my support in the general, it would mean that Trump convinced me to disregard a great many of my worries, or that Hillary Clinton proves to be JUST THAT BAD that Trump somehow becomes the lesser evil. We shall see.