I say that, whether he wins or loses Donald Trump’s candidacy is about destroying the rational credibility of the conservative cause, and of all the reputed conservative “leaders” who support him. I call this the “Tar Baby” effect, because it involves tarring those he supports with discreditable attitudes or illogical positions that contradict the moral basis of their conservative views, or the rational arguments that support them. In an article last week, I cited his self-serving, attack on the Judge presiding in the lawsuit against Trump University (in violation of the public good, crucially served by formally respecting the political independence of the Judiciary, not what amounts to mobocratic intimidation) as a case in point.
Just this weekend, he was at it again, this time doubling down on his earlier praise of the Planned Parenthood organization for helping millions and millions of women. As the article at Lifenews.com puts it:
…here is Trump again defending Planned Parenthood on the night he should have been celebrating primary victories in a handful of states. This time, however, Trump goes further. Not only does he defend Planned Parenthood, he attacks pro-life voters who disagree with him:
Trump dismissed the notion he is not a true conservative because he supports Planned Parenthood, insisting he is “just doing what’s right.”
“Look, Planned Parenthood has done very good work for many, many — for millions of women,” Trump said in a news conference Tuesday night. “And I’ll say it, and I know a lot of the so-called conservatives, they say that’s really … cause I’m a conservative, but I’m a common-sense conservative.”
Some months ago, Mr. Trump embarrassed his reputably pro-life supporters by praising the Planned Parenthood organization for all the great work it has done. Naturally, an outcry went up from the pro-life community. Thereafter Trump went from place to place reiterating that he is strongly pro-life. He promised to support pro-life Supreme Court Justices. He promised to support legislation that cuts out Federal Funding for Planned Parenthood, and all organizations engaged in doing abortions.
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Treating his words like God’s Word of Creation (i.e., because he says it, it must be so), his pro-life claque pretended they could be taken as proof of his commitment to the pro-life cause. Thus, this past week they widely promoted the contrast between the Judges and Justices Hillary Clinton will appoint to the bench, and those Trump (as he would put it) “is appointing”. I got an email just recently from Foster Friess, a major source of financial backing for pro-life candidates and organizations, claiming that, all by itself, the issue of Judicial appointments compels pro-life voters to support Trump.
Of course, my rational mind refuses to lose sight of the fact that Trump has never retracted the statement that he thinks his pro-abortion sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, would make a “brilliant” Supreme Court nominee. Also on his list of possible Supreme Court nominees, he featured (reportedly at the behest of the Heritage Foundation) Federal Judge William Pryor. In 2003 then Attorney General Pryor prosecuted Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore for specious violations of the Canon of Judicial Ethics because Moore refused to heed a Federal Court order that plainly violated the Constitution’s 9th and 10th Amendments, with respect to the reserved powers of the States and the retained rights of the people.
But the Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade decision rests on the same disregard for the Constitution as the judicial assault on the religious liberty of the people of Alabama, which Judge Pryor aided and abetted by prosecuting Chief Justice Moore. It is the same anti-Constitutional abuse of Judicial power involved in the SCOTUS’s Obergefell decision, purporting to force the States, respectively and the people to recognize specious “marriages” involving homosexual couples. It is the same abuse involved in the outrageous effort to abolish the society’s appropriate respect for the distinction (plainly endowed by the Creator), between male and female, when it comes to restroom facilities.
Apparently, despite his lately developed enthusiasm for what he mistakenly calls “States’ Rights” (in accordance with the Constitution they are properly called “reserved powers”), Mr. Trump includes in his list of prospective Supreme Court appointees someone who has already proven his willingness to disregard both 9th Amendment rights and 10th Amendment powers. But so called “abortion rights” are supposedly legalized by virtue of that same disregard. So it appears that, despite his boisterous statements, Mr. Trump cannot be trusted to appoint Judges and Justices who will reliably oppose and overturn its abusive, anti-Constitutional jurisprudence.
For all his emphatic blather, Donald Trump is not a pro-lifer in any rational sense of the term. Like a good actor, he says whatever he thinks will win applause from pro-life voters. But once he thinks he’s cornered their votes, he makes clear his real agenda, which is to use the pro-life cred they’ve handed him to make himself the arbiter of terms in the movement to conserve our nation’s respect for the principles of justice on which our form of government is founded. Thus, the “pro-life” cause no longer requires respect for the God-endowed unalienable right to life. Rather, it requires whatever Donald Trump says that it requires.
In Planned Parenthood’s case, he claims that this is “common sense conservatism”, even as he sneers at people who reject evidence of Planned Parenthood’s good works as fruit from a fatally poisoned tree. Because they share America’s common sense, clear in our moral rejection of atrocious medical experiments like those of the infamous Nazi, Dr. Mengele, Trump calls them “so-called conservatives.”
He calculates, so far with shrewd cunning, that the self-reputed “conservatives” and “pro-lifers” will be cornered by their endorsement of his candidacy. For example, Phyllis Schlafly is battling for control of a decades old organization she started, because of the divide her support for Trump has caused. For her to admit now that he is unreliable would be too tangibly embarrassing a step. Though less prominently so, other heretofore revered “pro-life” and “conservative” leaders are similarly burdened. Though they are now open to charges of bad judgment, self-contradiction and betrayal of principle, they are stuck to “Tar Baby” Trump, in a position that leaves the pro-life cause open to the withering fire of its enemies.
Some among them may try to defend themselves by accepting Mr. Trump’s attempt to separate this or that activity of Planned Parenthood from its primordial character as a pro-abortion advocate. But have they thought about the “smart deals” he is likely to accept on this basis (if elected to Presidency), for legislation that includes language cutting off funding for Planned Parenthood’s abortion activities, while funding for its “good works” is continued or increased?
Yet the wholesome rejection of things permeated by evil reflects Christ’s emphasis on the fact that outward “good works” are worthless if done from a heart devoted to sin and evil. It’s why principle (i.e., respect for the primordial source of authority, which in America’s case is the will of the Creator, God) matters so much to real conservatives. It’s also why my trust in Christ’s logic gives me reason to reject Donald Trump as the arbiter of my common sense.
For above all, being a conservative means conserving God’s endowment of justice and right, from which arise all the rights our government is supposed to secure, using the just powers derived from our common, mutually declared determination to exercise them.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.