Why Do Some Conservatives Criticize Donald More Than Hillary?

Donald Trump 1

**The following has been adapted from the author’s Facebook post intended to explain why, as a conservative, he has spent more time criticizing Donald Trump than Hillary Clinton**


Ever since it became clear that Donald Trump’s presidential run was not going to be considered by Republican voters to be the joke it ought to be, I have spent a majority of my political Facebook-post capital drawing attention to his numerous, presidency-disqualifying flaws. Because of this, I have even been called, to my great amusement, a Hillary Clinton supporter, despite my unequivocal statements that I would never vote for her. 

Ironically, the reason for the continual criticism stems partly from the fact that so few people have been moved by the unending evidence of Trump being so rankly horrible. Perhaps I’m fighting a losing battle, but so be it.

As a (conservative) Republican, I am 100 percent against Hillary Clinton. It can be taken for granted. My opposition to a Republican cannot be, and I feel the need to explain. Trump – conveniently, or not, depending on how you look at it – keeps giving me opportunities to do so.

Aside from this reason, it comes down to simple math. Among my politically engaged Facebook friends, a few, like me, are supporting Gary Johnson for president – some, also like me, reluctantly, as we hope someone better comes along. Of the rest, about 90 percent are reluctant Trump voters, despairingly undecided or, most horrifying to me, avid Trump supporters.

It is to the 90 percent that 90 percent of my political posts are directed. Ninety percent of you don’t need to be persuaded that Hillary is terrible, because, again like me, you already know and have known it for a long time. There is little reason to remind you of what you know or to reinforce your strongly held opinions.

Ninety percent of you need to realize that Trump is no better.

I fully recognize that many conservative politicians and pundits are backing Trump, some enthusiastically, some reluctantly.

(There are also conservatives many that are not: pundits like Jonah Goldberg, George Will, Erik Erickson and politicians like Ben Sasse, Mitt Romney and the Bushes. I could go on…)

Listening to the wisdom of others with experience is a very prudent decision, though there are wise and conservative people on both sides of the Trump question. However, pundits and politicians from our current political climate, many of whom – on both sides – have an interest in being popular or reelected, need not be the only sources of such wisdom.

I have and continue to study politics, I’ve worked in the field and also study the conservative philosophy with great interest. If you suggest that I should defer to the collected wisdom of Newt Gingrich and Sean Hannity, I assume that you are similarly well-versed in the thought of Edmund Burke, Alexis de Tocqueville and Abraham Lincoln – or, if you prefer those who are closer to our time, William F. Buckley, Irving Kristol and Thomas Sowell. I do not reach conclusions that I adhere to as unswervingly as this one without much calm deliberation and anyone who knows me well, knows better than to think so.

It has been pointed out that the results of this election is important to our country’s future. That is absolutely true. But it is true in more than one sense. It is true in the short-term sense that it matters what public policies are adopted, what foreign policy choice are made, what people are nominated to court positions.

It also matters in terms of the directions our country can travel in terms of policy and politics. A Republican party that embraces Trumpism leaves any sort of meaningful conservatism behind. He is the antithesis of the conservative ideal of statesmen, lacking everything from experience to prudence to diplomacy. He is clearly not a man of character, he knows next to nothing about the international community or the issues and is obviously too ignorant and arrogant to realize what he doesn’t know. That’s not just a character flaw – in a president, it is a danger to millions.

Furthermore, few of his ideas are staked in the tried and true wisdom of the Constitution, limited government, free markets, traditional values, separation of powers or fiscal responsibility. On the rare occasion he says something correct, he reneges on it later and/or is changing his position from the incorrect one he held in the past.

His faithlessness is not a virtue. It is not prudent support someone because we have no idea what he will do. That sort of uncertainty pushes other countries into the arms of our enemies and markets into a frenzy.

The trade policies Trump has proposed, should he stick to them, would also likely cause a recession. They are Great Depression-level idiotic. Hillary Clinton is actually better on international trade – and that should be embarrassing to any Republican of the Reaganite or Coolidgean persuasion.

He’s a hothead who should never be commander-in-chief. Someone who not only has no idea what the “nuclear triad” is, but doesn’t even realize he is ignorant, shouldn’t be allowed near the nuclear button. Hillary Clinton probably knows what the nuclear triad is, though Iran, ISIS and Benghazi are sufficient reasons not to task her with the office either.

In summary, anyone opposed to Hillary Clinton, whether because they are conservative or just anti-bad ideas, should be equally opposed to Donald Trump. There is no lesser of two evils among the major parties’ presidential nominees.

So we are left not only with a choice about the next four years, of which the two likely options are equally appalling, but we are left with what kinds of ideas we want to be mainstream. Liberal, progressive, politically-correct, big government ideas are already mainstream in the Democratic party. If ignorant, divisive, backwards – and, might I add, big government – ideas are to be adopted as mainstream Republican thought, common sense conservatism will once again be in the wilderness. We can go along with it or we can revolt. And revolution, as we all know, is the distinctly American choice.

1 Comment on "Why Do Some Conservatives Criticize Donald More Than Hillary?"

  1. Hank Scorpio | July 25, 2016 at 5:22 pm | Reply

    The reason I spend much more time criticizing Trump than Hillary is a bit different. I’m not going to lob stones at Dems when I’m living in a glass house.

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