Before he began his con artist bid for the White House, Donald Trump had little use for conservative views or the people who espouse them. For example: As part of his political con he has railed against illegals as if they are solely responsible for the damage occasioned by the effective collapse of serious enforcement of our borders, and immigration laws. He neglects the fault of those in Congress who have consistently refused to hold lax enforcers in the White House responsible for their dereliction.
As some of them point out, Trump supported members of the so-called ‘Gang of 8’, even after their bipartisan effort to codify that treacherous betrayal of the nation’s sovereignty Trump now makes a show of denouncing. Indeed, he went so far as to characterize people who insisted on rigorous enforcement (not to mention people like me, who pushed for the serious surveillance measures, barriers and forces needed to achieve it) as “mean-spirited.”
In similar fashion he pretends these days to be “pro-life” and a supporter of “traditional marriage.” This, after a whole lifetime of living consistently on the other side of those issues, with his behavior, contributions and advocacy. What is there in the fruits of Mr. Trump’s past or present career that would lead a rational person to conclude that he’s changed anything but his mouth?
Yet, with nothing but lip-service to go on, people who call themselves conservatives; who claim that they are pro-life, or supporters of the God-endowed natural family; and who profess to be sincere Christians, striving to apply the mind of Christ to their citizen vocation, are endorsing Trump. They are taking him at his word, and taking umbrage at the fact that people like me, who have worked and sacrificed for decades to promote the positions they profess to hold dear, refuse to do likewise.
Donald Trump is quick to denounce others for lying. But he is not just telling lies. He’s running a con. This involves putting on an act; playing a part. And he’s throwing himself into that performance. He’s like an actor who has practiced to perfect the art of drawing people into his fiction. He does so not just with his words, but with his whole personality, his whole being.
The character presently running for President under the Trump brand is the figment of a pandering imagination- much like the casinos in Atlantic City or Las Vegas. With historically pretentious names like “Caesar’s Palace,” “Mandalay Bay” or “Monte Carlo” they are these days backed by capital enough to ornament those names with glitter that’s actually gold. But only the one named “Mirage” truly corresponds to the real character they all share, which is also the character of Trump’s Presidential bid.
The Trump Mirage, comes complete with exaggerated rhetoric that defames and caricatures authentically conservative views. It is calculated to lure sincerely passionate conservatives into a political desert. It seems to them an oasis, but only because they are so thirsty for the true representation the GOP quislings aggressively refuse to provide. The irony is that Trump’s ploy reproduces the rhetorical treachery that has roused their anger against these quislings, who run saying they are conservatives, then vote to collaborate with Obama’s socialist agenda.
Like an abused spouse, even as they feel the pain of the battery they have suffered, they pathetically fall for someone who obviously intendeds to repeat it. In this respect they fall prey to a kind of rhetorical jiu-jitsu, by which Trump has positioned himself to exploit the momentum generated by the betrayal of their views in order to cast those views aside altogether. Though Trump often telegraphs his true intent, they do nothing to counter or even recognize it.
For example, he recently told an audience in California that “Winning is everything”; getting the results you want is everything. But the whole logic of Constitutional government rejects this view; so does the Christian understanding of right. Christ makes it clear that successful works are not decisive unless they reflect a wholehearted will to please God, for love’s sake.
Similarly, constitutional government doesn’t authorize the achievement of results by any means. It constrains the means available within constitutional boundaries that reflect the requirements of the common good, including first of all the preservation of right and justice, and the security of the rights that correspond to them, as endowed by the Creator, God.
When he says “Winning is everything”, Trump proclaims himself a character who rejects the Christian understanding; who rejects the logic of Constitutional government. I’m sure his supporters will say that this is not what he means. But that’s what his words convey. These same conservative supporters take him at his word when he professes Christian faith or conservative views, even though the record of his life’s career contradicts his words. Yet they object when I and others take him at his word when what he says contradicts the precepts of the faith he professes, and the logic of the conservatism he now claims to espouse. What sense does this make?
It makes far more sense to look for consistency of word and deed. When he speaks without respect for Christian and constitutional ethics, his words match his lifelong practices. When he speaks of being a Christian, pro-life conservative, his words stand alone, often contradicted by his citizen record and personal history. With the country facing, in fact and principle, the deepest existential crisis in its history, it is folly to suggest that we should trust words alone, unmatched with proven character.
Reason and experience were the great guides of the Founders who set America on the path to the real achievements by which the United States surpassed so many nations and empires of the past. Should we abandon those guides now? Reason resolves the conflict between Trump’s claims and his deeds, by giving weight to the coincidence of word and deed that reveal his claims to be false, since the actual deeds of his unrepentant life contradict them.
His supporters say his wealth and the buildings named after him prove that he gets things done. I say the record of life and words that match confirms that the ethics he practiced to amass those other achievements prove his disregard for the parameters of just liberty and true salvation faithful conservatives profess to espouse. Yet these are the parameters reflected in the Constitution of self-government he will swear to uphold as President. Why is it reasonable to believe that he will uphold what he has habitually brushed aside, especially when his statements as a Presidential candidate confirm that, following Obama’s lead, he will continue to brush them aside?
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.