I’m going to make a greater effort to stay away from politics in general and Donald Trump in particular (although I’ve made that resolution before without much success). I’ve been baffled by the responses I’ve gotten from Trump supporters accusing me of dishonesty and spreading a message of hate.
It’s hard to imagine how individuals who claim sensitivity to lying and hate-mongering are able to overlook such an abundance of both in their own candidate’s rhetoric. But I’ve already addressed the proliferation of such double-standards and willful ignorance elsewhere.
So here is my parting shot (for now), excerpted from an article by the always-insightful Jonathan Rosenblum:
IF DONALD TRUMP SPEAKS to voters tired of being ignored and condescended to, he is nevertheless a disastrous representative of them. Nothing in his life until now has shown an iota of concern with those who now salute him, and he has not offered one serious policy prescription that would address their economic insecurities. All he offers is his boastful self-promotion and a call for the power to make America great again. However different in style he is to the polished and fluent Barack Obama, he offers the same promise of being some sort of miracle worker. (Remember when Obama pronounced his nomination as the day the oceans cease to rise.)
Trump is not the antidote to thought-stifling political correctness, as his supporters seem to think. Vulgarity and the lack of basic human decency are not the opposite of political correctness.
[Trump] has betrayed no understanding of the American system of checks and balances or three co-equal branches of government. Recently, he boasted that he would gut First Amendment protections of the press to make it easier for him to sue, in the manner of Turkey’s Erdogan, reporters and papers that get under his tissue-thin skin.
ONE OF THE WISEST OF THE FOUNDERS, Benjamin Franklin predicted, “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” And, as David French argues, “Trump is running not for president of a constitutional republic but to be the strongman of a failing state.”
One by one, many at first inclined to hold their noses and vote for Trump (and there is an argument for doing so) have determined that they cannot, for he will further lower the standards of an already debased culture. For some it was his casual dismissal of the courage of John McCain during six years of torture in North Vietnamese captivity, which left McCain permanently disabled.
For Andrew McCarthy, the lead government prosecutor in the first World Trade Center bombing, it is Trump’s boast that he will order American troops to become war criminals and target the wives and children of ISIS fighters. For Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard, it is the impossibility of explaining to his young children why someone would mock the physical disability of a crippled reporter. For the religious conservative David French, it is his pledge to keep funding Planned Parenthood to the tune of millions of dollars, so that it can continue killing hundreds of thousands of babies a year.
These thoughtful conservatives are shocked that Trump’s supporters rather than being appalled by his cruelty and malice are attracted by it. They see him as the artifact of a society from which the civic vitality catalogued by de Tocqueville has been lost and replaced by vitriol and demagoguery.
“Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people,” wrote John Adams. “It is wholly inadequate for the governance of any other.” (Hat tip again to David French.) If so, America is grave danger on the evidence of this election season.
Hat tip: Sylvia Poe