Sour grapes. Jealously. Purity test. Too many posts about Trump.
On Facebook, I’ve been accused of all of the above – of which, only the last one I’ll cop to.
This Trump phenomenon has really made me question what it means to be a conservative in a GOP world. It has opened my eyes to how truly small the classic liberal/conservative segment of the GOP really is. I won’t go so far to call all of Trump’s supporters “progressive” but there are certainly a strong mix of authoritarians, statists, and big government leaning folks who really, really want to win and don’t care how that happens.
I don’t even know what Trumpism is. It isn’t conservatism or progressivism. It really doesn’t fit the mold of populism. I think it is probably better classed as “wishism”, “assumism” or “dreamism” because so little is truly known about what the candidate will do. Most people seem to be willing to support someone based on what they wish, assume or dream that person will do because the candidate speaks in focus group sounding sound bites. His attacks are mostly teenage level tweets, parenthetically delivered (I’m just worried about Cruz’s citizenship because the Democrats will sue – its not about me) and he “gets things done” because he makes “deals”.
It is strange to see how this is working. It truly is the Democrat model realized on the right, the ability for the left to build a majority through a coalition of single issue voters who can ignore any position the candidate held or holds. It appears that if you want a border wall, you are willing to dismiss a lifetime of support for pro-choice causes. If you want a “businessman” to run things, you are willing to ignore the history of influence buying and cronyism. You hate political deal making but will vote for a self-professed deal maker who wants to be president. You have worried about the state’s power over religion, yet you are willing to overlook the candidate’s lack of familiarity with the Bible – in fact, you actually speak out against other candidates for expressing their faith or referencing it in a speech.
What made me realize what a minority I really am in is when I look at the conservative voices that have been attacked over the past weeks because they pointed out flaws in Trump’s past. No doubt I have said some pretty strong things about Trump but to try to delegitimize someone like Mark Levin because he was “sucking off government” when he served in the Department of Education is a pretty interesting way to prop Trump up given Levin’s body of work and his time at the Landmark Legal Foundation. Levin’s constitutional knowledge is dismissed simply because he criticized someone I’m not even sure has read the Constitution and did not even utter the word in his 6,300 word announcement speech.
Cruz is vilified as a toady for Goldman Sachs for taking out loans backed by personal collateral and somehow that makes him part of the “establishment” – even though the “establishment” would rather see Trump as the nominee. People who decry “bought and paid for politicians” fall in line behind a candidate who admits to buying and paying for them? Trump admits to buying influence through donations politicians of both parties (a majority to Democrats), immersing himself in the most establishment-centered game of cronyism possible and he is considered the outsider?
I part company with most of my Trump supporting friends because I do believe how we win matters. Supporting the same processes and falling for the same cult of personality as the the Democrats did for Obama is not right just because this time it is our guy. Trampling on the Constitution is wrong no matter which side does it – and I’ve seen nothing to indicate that a President Trump would have any more respect for our Constitution than has President Obama.
I think most of what I am feeling is frustration. I’m not frustrated because I support Cruz or any of the other candidates – I’m concerned that we are entering a period of even more polarization where every successive administration tries to outdo the last one using the same extra-constitutional methods. I’m frustrated that the leading candidate for a political party that used to believe in God, the Constitution and the separation of powers now just seems to want payback for the Obama years.
Someone (and I forgot who to give credit to) likened Trump to the James Taggart character from Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” and it occurs to me that was a brilliant analogy because it reinforces that this isn’t about this political party or that political party – it is about the government vs. the individual. A yuge, classy, tremendous, well-oiled Leviathan is still a Leviathan.
I really will try to stop posting about Trump. Those who have made up their minds have made up their minds regardless of what I say or write. I fear the Trump Train on the Taggart Transcontinental Railway will only be derailed if it derails itself.
Wesley Mouch, call your office.
May God have mercy on our souls.