Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Comprehensive Case Against Donald Trump

AP Photo/Evan Vucci
The strongest case to make for conservatives supporting Donald Trump is a modest one. It goes like this: He is a deeply flawed man who is running against someone who is even more deeply flawed. Hillary Clinton is a person with liberal instincts who has been pulled further to the left in this campaign. She is also an ethical wreck whose career is laced with ineptitude, from HillaryCare to her handling of the Libyan fiasco, the Russian “re-set,” the Syrian civil war and spreading disorder in the world. So while Trump may be imperfect, the odds of him doing some good, on some issues, are better than in the case of Clinton. He is problematic; she is worse. And so, given the choice between two massively imperfect candidates for president, we are obligated to support the one who will do the least amount of damage and perhaps, if we’re lucky, a bit of good here and there.
This is a point of view held by some intelligent and well-intentioned people. It deserves a serious response from those of us who will not vote for Trump for president. Here’s mine.
Perhaps the place to begin is to recall what one of the chief selling points of Donald Trump was, which was that he’s not a typical politician. He “tells it like it is” and says what he means. He has the guts to do what weak, incompetent and unprincipled politicians won’t. Yet it turns out that he’s far worse on this score than the typical politician. He is much more cynical than most, and the half-life of his promises are shorter than those of any politician in memory.
Trump has flipped his view on mass deportation, visas for high-skilled workers, the Iraq War, the Libya intervention, deposing Hosni Mubarak, Syrian refugees, fighting ISIS, NATO, nuclear proliferation, banning all Muslims, abortion, the minimum wage, Obamacare mandates, gun control, taxing the wealthy, releasing his tax returns, his party affiliation, his views on Ronald Reagan (from a “con man” to the president he admires most), Bill Clinton (from his sexual predatory habits being “totally unimportant” to him being “the worst abuser of women in history of politics”), Hillary Clinton (from “probably above and beyond everybody else” as secretary of state to “the worst secretary of state in the history of the United States”), and Barack Obama (from “doing great” as president to being “probably the worst president in the history of our country”). And this is only a partial list.
In just the last few weeks, Trump jettisoned what had been a core campaign commitment: The forced deportation of all illegal immigrants in the United States. He won the Republican primary in large part because he separated himself from other candidates on illegal immigration, and he was the one who repeatedly spoke about how he, and he alone, had the guts to deport 11 million illegal immigrants. He spoke proudly of his “deportation force” idea. It was central to his appeal. Yet he tossed it aside like it meant nothing to him, before (partially) reversing himself again. His latest position is that what he does with illegal immigrants is to be determined. Keep in mind, too, that in 2012 Trump lacerated Mitt Romney for being too tough on illegal immigration (“He had a crazy policy of self-deportation, which was maniacal” is how Trump put it on November 26, 2012. “It sounded as bad as it was, and he lost all of the Latino vote.”) So he’s been all over the map on this issue, like he has on so many others.
Limited Government, Obamacare and ISIS ... 
Read the rest of this op-ed HERE.

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