I’m not the first person to use that headline, but I’m the first I know of who isn’t suggesting that TDS applies to Trump’s detractors.
The conservative love affair with Donald Trump befuddles me. It’s like watching a shy friend who’s long shared her dreams of finding her perfect Prince Charming but then up and marries the first guy who pays her any attention, even though he is nothing like the Prince that she’s talked about her whole life.
Conservatives have spent the last, oh I dunno, 20 years or so pining for a “true conservative,” or so I thought from the endless blog posts and comments saying as much. But now they seem willing to forget much of what they’ve talked and written about because something new and interesting has appeared on the scene in the form of Donald Trump. Trump is like a shiny object being dangled in front of a crying baby. His unrestrained speeches are intoxicating to a citizenry that is starved for authenticity. That much I do get. But at some point even a crying baby realizes that the shiny object cannot satisfy what is really ailing him, and I’ve been waiting for a similar realization to awaken conservative supporters of Trump, yet so far it hasn’t happened. Therefore it’s time to pose this question to my conservative friends:
Does principled conservatism matter?
If your answer is yes, then you have some soul-searching to do if Trump is your candidate of choice.
Principled conservativism means that the positions one takes on issues such as Second Amendment rights, property rights, the proper role of the federal government and the right to liberty, among others, are derived from certain core beliefs. Those core beliefs should include a belief in the rule of law as necessary to a successful society, and mutual agreement on certain basic rights as the basis for the rule of law. Those basic beliefs are what inspired our Founding Fathers to write and ratify our Constitution and Bill of Rights. When we entrust someone with the power of the presidency, we should do our best to ensure that they share the same core beliefs. Anyone who looks to other means of guidance when deciding questions about the government’s exercise of power is likely to get it wrong much of the time. It is akin to the difference between a good doctor who draws on his understanding of the human body and knowledge of disease to treat a patient versus the lousy doctor who treats only the symptoms, temporarily relieving the pain while the cancer continues to grow until it is life-endangering. Liberal influence on our government has turned it into a cancer that threatens our nation’s existence unless we get the leadership of a principled conservative who lets the Constitution guide his decisions and whose mission is to protect our rights. That’s why principled conservatism matters.
Now back to Trump. What principled conservative would give hundreds of thousands of dollars to help elect liberal Democrats and sell out his fellow citizens for his own personal gain? What principled conservative would expect the election of leftist Barack Obama to be “Good for the economy?” What principled conservative advocates socialized healthcare? What principled conservative thinks Eminent Domain for private enterprise is a good thing? Like everyone else I have cheered Trump for getting in the face of liberals and I do admire, to a certain extent, his uninhibited honesty, but to draw on my earlier analogy - just because he’s a good kisser doesn’t mean I’m ready to marry him.
The other problem with Trump is that he’s often an egotistical, chauvinistic ass who has no filter between his brain and his mouth. That might be tolerable in a true conservative who embodies everything else we want but with Trump it merely deepens the mystery of his appeal, at least to me. There’s a not-so-fine line between refusing to bow to the PC police and just being plain obnoxious, and Trump crosses that line on an almost daily basis with the slightest of provocation and the fact of the matter is, we would be hard pressed to find a true conservative who behaves this way. Even worse is Trump’s habit of denying what we clearly heard him say, a character flaw that reminds me of the current occupant of the White House and doesn’t bode well.
I was initially willing to give Trump the benefit of the doubt, but then I listened very carefully to the things that he was saying, and the things he wasn’t saying. I never hear Trump talk about rights or the size of the federal government. I never hear him talk about the Constitution. And I paid attention to the things he said and did in the past, because just as Barack Obama’s past was a window into what kind of president he would be, so it is true for Trump as well, and I don’t like what I see in that window. Yes, I know I’m a party pooper. I’ve probably crossed the line from being tolerably annoying to being outright dislikable, but so be it. I have to keep it real.
~The Ever Annoying, CW