There’s nothing quite so uncomfortable as seeming to be on the same side as your enemy, but thanks to Trump & Company’s hostile takeover of the Republican Party, that’s where I find myself. True conservatives and true leftists both dislike Trump, but for very different reasons. Those few qualities that conservatives do appreciate about Trump, such as his refusal to be cowed by political correctness, are the very same qualities that the Left most despises him for; thus every day I am torn between condemning Trump and defending him. That’s just one of the unfortunate consequences of foisting a non-conservative “leader” onto what purports to be a conservative organization, but let’s not sell that consequence short. There are serious dynamics at stake in the outcome of this election beyond temporary control of the nation. If Trump loses to Hillary, what will his rejection be attributed to? Will it be seen as a failure of Republicans to nominate a candidate that conservatives could support or will it be seen as the American public’s rejection of Trump’s brand of so-called “intolerance” and defiance against political correctness? The latter is surely how the liberal media would portray it, because the Left understands, as the Right never has, that perception – when skillfully manipulated – far outweighs reality. If a Trump loss is sold as the Democrats triumph over “bigotry” and anti-globalism the issues that are seen as Trump’s signature issues – illegal immigration, refugee settlement, putting America first, etc., – will become an albatross around the neck of the next Republican. Therefore it behooves those of us who don’t support Trump, or who do so with great trepidation, to be clear and vocal about both our disagreements and our agreements with him.
My reasons for rejecting Trump in the primary and refusing to commit to voting for him in the general election have been out there for some time but I’ll list them again for the benefit of any new readers. Donald Trump is not a conservative, either by word or by the history of his deeds. A tough stance against illegal immigration, as welcomed as it is, does not a conservative make. The sound of someone being politically incorrect can be intoxicating, but if you sober up long enough to actually listen to Trump’s words and read between the lines you’ll see that he’s a proponent of big-government with no understanding of the basic, conservative principles upon which this nation is founded. That is the person who will, by default, be the “conservative” alternative versus Hillary Clinton in this race. His failures and infamous foibles, therefore, will taint conservatism long after he’s gone. That, in as small a nutshell as I can make, is why am considering sitting out the presidential ballot this time around.
But despite my dislike of Trump as the Republican nominee, I will not conspire with the Left, through silence or otherwise, to politically crucify those who dare to challenge the Left’s insistence on censoring the truth. I know there is great irony in the often truth-challenged Donald Trump being the champion of political incorrectness a.k.a. speaking the truth, but there it is. The mental disease of liberalism excepted, illegal immigration is this nation’s greatest unacknowledged threat. Trump, to his credit, has done what too many Republicans failed to do, and woken a country that was largely asleep with its collective head up its…..….well, you know. And he deserves credit for not cowing to political correctness when it comes to Muslim immigration and terrorism. Though I don’t necessarily agree with his specific proposals for addressing these problems, I will strongly defend his right and his rightness for raising them without apology.
This election, more than any I can remember, has become a referendum on free speech. But it’s also a referendum on conservatism. Somehow we must find a way to preserve both.