There are different types of Trump supporters. First, there are the angry people who just want Trump to get back at those who they perceive have created all the problems in the country. Trump will build a wall, they say, and make America great again. We believe him.
They are so confident that he is the new political savior that their faith is unshakeable, no matter what he does. As Trump himself famously stated, he could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue in New York and shoot someone and not lose their support.
I don’t write to convince those people of anything. Their minds are closed.
Then there’s the establishment types who originally loathed Trump and still wish someone else had gotten the nomination. Yet they will support him because they are Republicans first and principled people only tangentially.
Finally, there are the true conservatives, many of them evangelicals, who would not ordinarily come near anyone like Trump but who are so afraid of a Hillary Clinton presidency that they have reluctantly pledged to vote for him. They know in their hearts he is probably reprehensible but they conclude they have no other choice; at least he might choose a good Supreme Court justice or two.
I write primarily for that last group. There remains some hope they can be persuaded that they have hitched their wagon to a leader who is going to destroy the republic in a way that Hillary cannot—by destroying the GOP itself and, in the process, undermining every moral value that Christians profess to believe.
When Ted Cruz spoke at the Republican convention last week, the Trump people and the media declared it a disaster for Cruz. Yet what did Cruz do, precisely?
First, Trump gave the invitation to speak. From all accounts, he knew up front that Cruz would not publicly endorse him. Second, Cruz gave his speech to the Trump campaign two days before he stood at the lectern to deliver it. Trump approved the wording.
Then, when Cruz told the delegates (and all watching throughout the nation) that they should not stay home on election day but go out to vote, and that they should vote their conscience and for those who uphold the Constitution, pandemonium occurred.
We now pretty well know that the boos that cascaded upon Cruz at that moment were orchestrated ahead of time. Trump’s people were prepared to initiate the booing when Cruz spoke that specific line.
What was so wrong with that? Are we not supposed to vote our conscience and uphold the Constitution?
The uproar, to some extent, was the implication that voting for Trump is a vote against conscience. Well, for anyone who holds the Constitution, the rule of law, and Biblical principles paramount, I would have to agree.
Yet the wording was approved by Trump ahead of time.
Pundits have now declared Cruz persona non grata in Republican circles—never mind that he has since gone to rallies for Republican candidates and been well received. They rant that he broke his pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee.
I like what one person said about that particular complaint:
Christians need a serious primer in ethics. So many are attacking Ted Cruz because in their eyes he committed the unpardonable sin. He didn’t keep the pledge.
What they fail to understand is the nature of ethical dilemmas.
Sure it is right and proper to keep one’s pledges. It is also right and proper to defend the honor and dignity of your family.
So I ask all the Christian men criticizing Cruz, would you have any problem endorsing a man who insults your wife in front of the nation, makes your little children wonder if daddy is unfaithful to Mommy, and says your father was involved with the assassination of JFK?
Would you? If you could disrespect your family enough to endorse the lying scoundrel who made those attacks on them, then what kind of man are you?
After Cruz’s speech, Trump resurrected the conspiracy theory about Cruz’s father being in league with Lee Harvey Oswald. He actually brought it up again, despite the complete idiocy of the charge. He even praised the National Enquirer and said he couldn’t understand why it hasn’t received a Pulitzer Prize.
Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard then wrote an article provocatively titled “Donald Trump Is Crazy, and So Is the GOP for Embracing Him.” Hayes notes, with regard to the innuendo concerning Cruz’s father,
The Kennedy assassination is one of the most heavily investigated events in the past century. Cruz’s father was not implicated. There is no evidence to support claims that he was ever in the presence of Lee Harvey Oswald or had a role in the Kennedy assassination. And scholars who have studied those events have said without qualification that Cruz wasn’t involved. But Trump peddles his nonsense anyway.
Yet where is the outrage over Trump’s nonsense? Hayes continues,
Either Trump believes Rafael Cruz was involved or he’s making the implied accusation in a continued attempt to discredit Cruz’s son. In either case, this isn’t the behavior of a rational, stable individual. It should embarrass those who have endorsed him and disgrace those who have attempted to normalize him.
The degree of this normalization is stunning. The Republican nominee for president made comments Friday that one might expect from a patient in a mental institution, the kind of stuff you might read on blog with really small print and pictures of UFOs. And yet his remarks barely register as news. There are no condemnations from fellow Republicans. His supporters shrug them off as Trump being Trump.
Hayes further recounts other Trump craziness: peddling the theory that Antonin Scalia was murdered; that thousands of Muslims rejoiced in the streets of New Jersey on 9/11; the whole birther episode with Obama (sorry, folks, but I never believed that one).
When Trump went on Alex Jones’s radio program, he praised that 9/11 Truther who claims a 98% chance that the Twin Towers were brought down by controlled bombings perpetrated by the US government—that Bush was behind it all. What did Trump comment about Jones? “Your reputation is amazing. I will not let you down.”
Really? Is this the man who deserves the vote of evangelicals who say they put Christ first in all things?
And what about the Republican party as a whole? It used to be the party of Biblical morality, pro-life, in favor of traditional families, etc. Yes, I know that the official platform states all those things, but the convention itself promoted the opposite in many ways. A “proud gay” man speaks and receives a standing ovation. Trump promises to be, in effect, a better president for the LGBT “community” than Hillary.
Trump’s acceptance speech didn’t even offer a cursory comment about the GOP’s pro-life position. Donald Trump Jr. has even stated that he doesn’t see what the big deal is about abortion; the Trump family is working to excise all those “social issues” out of the GOP.
On top of that, Trump sounded like the proponent of big government solutions. Or that he himself was the solution for all our problems. He is a total narcissist. In a Trump administration, the era of small constitutional government would be over.
This was a Republican convention?
Hillary Clinton does not deserve the presidency. She ought to be in prison. Donald Trump does not deserve the presidency. He ought to be kept far away from any levers of political power.
Some of my readers have complained that I am aiming too much at Trump. Why not make Hillary the target? Do a search on my blog site. You should be satisfied that I’ve clearly laid out over the years the case against her.
Why focus on Trump? Because I’m appalled at the collapse of principle in those who should know better. I’m still hoping against hope that I can say something to help right this ship. We need to look beyond the 2016 election and try to salvage what has been best in the Republican party. That is my goal. And if that party is now beyond saving, I pray a new party will arise to take its place.
We should never sacrifice principle and long-term goals for the sake of short-term, unprincipled actions. Nominating Donald Trump is a short-term, short-sighted, unprincipled action that will be just as disastrous as another Clinton presidency.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.