My latest newspaper column:
The Dallas Morning News. The Arizona Republic. The Cincinnati Enquirer, The New Hampshire Union-Leader, The Richmond Times-Dispatch. The San Diego Union-Tribune. Et mucho cetera. Conservative newspapers, which have always endorsed the Republican candidate for president, some of them for well over a century. Not now. In rejecting Donald Trump, most endorsed Hillary Clinton. A couple nodded to Gary “Aleppo?” Johnson. USA Today, having never opined on a presidential race, implored readers not to vote for Trump.
“Dangerous, unstable, liar, thin-skinned, vindictive, uninformed, ” they said, costing them readers and evoking death threats. (Death threats: America’s answer to Voltaire.) Turns out defending true conservatism is heroic.
I agree liberals don’t have exclusive answers to our many problems. (We’re totally right about trickle-down economics, though.) I get why people dislike Hillary Clinton, even if their reasons are largely based on Foxilimbeckojonesean lies and exaggerations. I know people want “change.” But it’s long past time for true conservatives to admit, as The Atlantic put it, an “ostentatiously unqualified” person has won the nomination of their party, one who neither represents their politics nor the kind of change they want; who ought never become the personification of The United States to the world. Simple observation is all it takes.
Donald Trump spent last week tweeting awfulness about a former Miss Universe because Hillary Clinton berated his treatment of her. He couldn’t stop himself. Day after day it continued, childishly, compulsively. Well, Trumpites, fustigation comes with the political territory. Only the most Foxilimbeckojonesian can say President Obama hasn’t handled the disrespect he’s received from Republicans with dignity and restraint. What would Donald do to those who offend his brittle ego? What has he done throughout his career, and threatened to do as president? If the prospect doesn’t frighten you, I’d love to know the medications you’re on.
An embarrassing onslaught of adolescent insults and incoherent rambling followed his debate loss. To a woman! During the VP debate Donald tweeted that Hillary’s ties to Putin, for whom he professes admiration, with whose country he does business, need to be investigated! And he mocked Tim Kaine’s looks. What sort of mind... ?
I’ve heard from readers who declaim their hatred of “everything” about liberals, using it to excuse supporting a candidate so obviously lacking integrity. “It’s not a personality contest,” one reasoned, evidently ignorant of the difference between personality and character. It’s impossible to open their eyes to the malignant mentality of Donald Trump. If he hates the same things they hate, it’s immaterial that he’s a psychologically unfit, narcissistic, vengeful, congenital prevaricator who, throughout his life, has shown no sense of personal or shared responsibility. “Finally,” they say. “Someone who thinks like I do.”
Backing a man so bereft of decency, a “businessman” who’s cheated, broken laws, gone bankrupt (losing a billion dollars in an up market and using trickle-down tax law to pay no taxes shows “business savvy,” they say, faces straight as a rifle barrel); needed daddy’s bailouts, repeatedly, to keep him afloat; run scams and phony, illegal charities; been sued thousands of times; regularly stiffed and bullied people who worked for him; a recidivist vulgarian who smears his opponent for her husband’s infidelities while claiming he’s proud of his marital behavior (but pled The Fifth about it in court) – this confirms they’d vote for anyone, no matter how unsuited, even a classic demagogue, as long as he’d enrich them or punish people unlike themselves. This is immorality greater than Trump’s: he can’t control himself. They could.
My pen pals won’t change, nor will the white supremacists flocking to Trump. I disbelieve they represent all supporters, though. Surely there are some to whom the continuing revelations of his incompetent and unscrupulous behavior will reach the point of awakening. Those Republican newspapers got there, after all. And they have company.
It’s always been too late for my epistolers, but not for you, honorable conservatives. If Hillary Clinton is as bad as you think, and if your party finds a credible candidate, it should be easy to defeat her in four years. This singular election isn’t about political philosophy. It’s about keeping a vulgar, sociopathic grifter out of the Oval Office. Have the self-respect to acknowledge and act on it. It can be our little secret.[Image source]