Since Trump became a real candidate for president, I’ve argued vehemently against him. I’ve taken issue with the theological and exegetical acrobatics of the Religious Right leaders who tried to recast him as a modern-day Christ-figure.
Well, that’s a complex thought. I guess I see it because I’m Muslim, and therefore it’s hard to typecast me as a christian fundamentalist. :-)
You’ve argued vehmently against him, you say. Fair enough, but you seem to have only argued down one branch of his support tree: that of the christian fundamentalists. And while I quite agree that casting Trump as anything other than a nightmare of a human being regarding matters of character, it seems to me that the source of his social conservative support didn’t stem from hyperbolic characterizations from religious leaders, but from the promise of conservative nominees to the SCOTUS.
For me, Trump has made me realize that I don’t vote for candidates personally, and never have; I vote for the ideas espoused by the candidates. And I’d probably vote for a cocker spaniel who espoused free markets over a saint who espoused something else. :-)
(That sounds flippant, but it’s rather important, seeing today’s tendency to impute ALL the negative characteristics of a politician to their voters.)
(Especially puzzling is the argument that Trump gave up a life of wealth and ease for public service, a kind of incarnation narrative, as though pure lust for power and attention is not his primary, if not his only driver.)
After two years of Trump watching, I am still unable to agree with this conclusion. There is *something * there in his motivations that is more than the man. Yes, he’s self-centered, an attention hog, and thin skinned. But those features, I think, are obscuring that *something* that doesn’t easily shine through.
Now, is he as selfless a POTUS as Jimmy Carter was? Not even close; I highly doubt he’ll be building houses for Habitat in his post-presidential years. But I am not ready to brand him devoid of any true interest in public service.
All of these arguments have fallen on deaf ears.
Sure. Three reasons:
- SCOTUS (which is tied into abortion rights, freedom of speech and religion at a time when religious people are concerned that they are a target for losing those rights, etc).
- Free market capitalism (At times that there is a vigorous socialist movement, expect capitalists to galvanize)
- There was no decent alternative to vote for in 2016.
But when Trump became a real contender, your high moral principles became glorified utilitarianism.
Hmmmm. I don’t agree. I think that the RR watched the Left ignore Clinton’s foibles, which should (morally) have had him removed from office, and now they are not about to let the Left use the same rhetorical weapons that they silenced under Clinton against Trump.
Put another way, if it’s true in the 90’s that the morals of the president don’t matter, then it’s true in the 2010’s. And any attempt to MAKE it matter is hypocrisy being deployed for political gain.
The RR wasn’t on Trump’s side in the beginning, you recall. They bounced from candidate to candidate until Trump was the last alternative to Clinton. When given a choice between two devils, you pick the one that says he’s on your side.
Though I’m probably in the minority in saying this, I think that pre-Trump, passing that test was possible. Now, we are looking down the barrel of the dissolution of not only the Religious Right, but arguably principled conservatism in general, because people my age and younger are coming to the same conclusions.
They may be concluding that indeed, but if so, I believe it’s the wrong conclusion. First, the RR never was a core part of conservatism; conservatism can be either libertarian regarding social issues, or have those positions guided by faith. In that respect, and as John McCain and other nonreligious conservatives used to point out (often inarticulately), that social conservatives were actually a “wing” of conservationism, one which I’VE pointed out in the past is really not all that conservative at all, politically or economically speaking. Social conservativism use a slightly different definition of the word “conservative” than economic or political conservatives do.
You see, “conservatism” is NOT a philosophy that resists change for the sake of resisting it. This is a common misconception.
Here they are, and let me be crystal clear: You have backed the wrong horse. No amount of doubling-down, what-abouting, faux martyrdom, or posturing changes that. History will show that. Most of the known world knows it already.
Then give the conservatives another horse to ride. They were never going to mount up on Clinton. You want the Democrats to win 40 states in 2020? Run a person like Joe Manchin. He’s a slam dunk.
But, the Dems won’t. What they’ll do is nominate another intolerable, snarky, condescending left leaning moonbat like Kamala Harris or Cory Booker who never left an urban area in their lives and thinks they can win the Presidency by pissing off half the nation with their straw man rhetoric instead of appealing to the half not inclined to vote for Democrats.
And then, it seems, you’ll blame the Religious Right for another term of Trump? BS. The second Trump term will be the Dems fault for not advancing a serious candidate.
And what saddens me is that you have lashed yourself to a sinking ship, blithely sure that you will sail it into safe waters when in fact the real crooks have long left in the lifeboats.
Nothing is sinking except political discourse. This is unsupportable hyperbole.
Get out while what remains of the Religious Right, and even American Evangelicalism, is coherent and defensible in the courts of history.
Again, they’ll need a way to get out. The Progressives are no path forward.