I am, to my core, a true believer. My belief in American democracy is absolute and in the end I believe the people will always choose the best course for the nation. It was this faith that led me to the biggest personal crisis of political conscience of my life during the 2016 presidential election. The choice was supporting the nominee of the Republican Party, elected by the primary voters, Donald Trump, whom I regarded as a limousine liberal from midtown Manhattan who had taken over the party in a populist coup of epic proportions. In my opinion, he was and remains so ignorant of public policy, so incapable of executing the responsibilities of Commander in Chief and morally unfit to hold any elected office. The alternative was to walk away from the Republican Party and support one of many fringe parties, some of which at first look have platforms I could be comfortable with, all of whom upon deeper examination fail the test of seriousness. During the course of that year, speaking with friends and political acquaintances I questioned if my assessment was too harsh, too elitist in my views; after all Donald Trump won a hotly contested primary nomination fair and square. Maybe things would work out and the will of the people would be vindicated.
I am in the end a realist and understand my vote; my single voice in the wilderness would not alter the future of the republic. My conclusion that Donald Trump is an unusually good con-man was firm, as is my moral conclusion that he was a misogynist I could never support. Faced with the nature of the election itself which was entirely toxic and without redemption I simply withdrew from the discussion. By the fall of 2016 I had all but stopped watching political television, an addiction since my preteen years, and retreated to reading select policy focused publications and history. On Election Day I could not vote for Trump. As policy does matter, voting for any nominee of the democrat party, especially the compromised nominee in 2016 was not an option. I flirted with supporting the Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson but in the end concluded that party squandered one of the greatest opportunities in American political history by standing firm with a fringe pro drug platform that turned away many disaffected republicans. In the end on Election Day I supported the GOP down ballot and exercised my right to write in the person of my choice for president (a conservative republican of great character).
In short, I demonstrated complete political cowardice by going quiet when I recognized the dangers presented by the Trump candidacy. This blog and my small Twitter feed are my itty bitty soap box in the digital waste land. Written purely for myself, to the extent some have read my words, agree or disagree, I have been grateful. Never has this been an effort at mass market appeal or commercial return. I believe in the power of words and have enjoyed the work of self expression. Yet by not standing up and shouting at the top of my digital lungs STOP THE INSANITY, even if no one was listening, I failed my expectations of myself.
When Donald Trump won, an event which did not surprise me and in which I found no pleasure (I would not had the other candidate won) he became my president and I wished him nothing but success. Indeed I hoped beyond hope that I was wrong and he could have become the president his supporters thought he was. Unfortunately that was false hope. Donald J. Trump, the President of the United States of America, is utterly without the abilities and competencies needed to execute the office which he holds. Furthermore, he has continued to demonstrate he is so morally compromised as to be unfit to hold the office. To be clear, I agree with more than 90 percent of the policy positions of his administrations and (fortunately) have faith in many of his appointees. Neil Gorsuch will be an outstanding associate justice of the Supreme Court and with James Mattis as Secretary of Defense, potentially the best person to ever hold that office, we can sleep safe at night. However, there comes a point where you have to honor your moral convictions and put the country and its interests before political expedience. Political parties perform a critical function beyond simply bringing together people who share views enabling them to achieve change, parties serve as a filter for policies and of people. The bottom line is parties need to sort through potential candidates and ensure that those who are not capable and those that are unfit are filtered out through a rigorous and transparent process. In 2016 both the Republican and Democrat parties utterly failed in this respect.
Let there be no doubt, Donald Trump has been the target of incessant attacks from the leftist leaning media with a voracity we have rarely seen before. The left has refused to accept their chosen one could possibly loose to anyone and has worked to undermine President Trump’s legitimate election. The action of both groups only serves to solidify my view they are ill willed fools. Yet their ignorance and improper activities should not in any way force the conservative movement to abrogate our moral compass and continue to support a totally repugnant individual with no redeeming virtue other than a signing pen.
There are many, particularly on social media, who will say that being a conservative or a republican is to necessitate blindly supporting President Trump. These people are prepared to irrevocably link the future of the party and the conservative movement to one individual who before 2015 had a history which was not republican and on many issues was outwardly liberal. This folly is beyond dangerous and presents the very real risk that political control of our country will be turned over to leftists. Finally conservatives have always stood for values and personal responsibility, making the personal transgressions Mr. Trump has admitted to (although he now is presenting alternative facts on some) simply disqualify him from any position of moral leadership. It is incumbent on each and every citizen to draw their own conclusions but let us be clear, if you support any individual for office, you accept responsibility for their actions.
Some say abandon the Republican Party, form a new party and more forward. But one need only look at the example of the Canadian conservative movement in the 1990’s when multi-party divided right handed power to a Liberal party which was hardly a political force. We would almost certainly gift power to the Democrat party for more than a decade at all levels of government. Rather the force of sane, rational and conservative thought needs to take back the GOP. The republican majorities must show they can actually govern and conservative voters must ensure the 2020 GOP presidential nomination is won by a real conservative worthy of our trust and support. I am just one voice in the wilderness, but to remain silent is to acquiesce to the darkness.
So it is time to join the fight, one word at a time. I have always believed that the only truly successful strategy is to advocate positive ideas rather than simply oppose the wrong. In opposing President Trump personally we much work tirelessly to advance those parts of his platform, vital to the nation, which are constructed of conservative principles. We must influence and advance a positive libertarian inspired conservative platform for the Republican Party while advocating eminently qualified alternatives to a failed unfit president. As Ronald Reagan once said: “If not us, who? If not now when?”