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OPINION

Clarifying My View of Donald Trump

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Alex Brandon

An element exists among Republican Party faithful which seems almost emotionally attached to Donald Trump.  I understand that.  There has probably never been a politician in American history who has been more abused, lied about, savaged, and bitterly hated than Donald J. Trump.   Such treatment angered (and still angers) me exceedingly.  But I do believe that perhaps some of our pro-Trump friends take it to an extreme, i.e., that ANY criticism or opposition to Mr. Trump means one is a RINO, or Never-Trumper, or McConnell supporter, or some such, and they believe that Trump is the ONLY person who can save America.  I can’t go that far.

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I recently wrote a column stating that I do not believe Mr. Trump can win next year’s elections.  Some gracious Townhall readers endorsed my opinion; other gracious respondents objected, called me “squishy” or a “Never Trumper,” and I don’t begrudge them.  But I don’t think they are being totally fair.  However, in case I have been, at some point, unclear, let me use this article to clarify, as best I can, what I believe about Donald Trump.  This is my view only, and my explanation of it.  I simply ask for careful reading and fairness.

1.  I believe Mr. Trump was an amazing, outstanding president, by far the best America has had since Ronald Reagan.  I have said this before in articles, several times, but I know not everyone reads all my writings.  But I affirm it here again.  He was an exceptional president.  Full stop. 

2.  I supported him in 2016—he was my choice even during the primary season before he was nominated.  He was certainly my selection in 2020, and I believe whole-heartedly that, if he were president today, our country would be in far better condition than currently exists.   And, if he is the Republican nominee in 2024, I will again support him 100 percent.  He continues to state the policies that I believe America desperately needs.  Any opposition I might have to Trump has absolutely nothing to do with his announced policy goals.  I don’t agree with him (or probably any other human being) 100 percent of the time.   But I certainly endorse the vast majority of his second term intentions.  He will unequivocally get my backing if he wins the nomination.

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(Am I not being clear enough?)

3.   Further, I do not believe in the McCain-Romney-Bush-RINO “compassionate conservatism,” which was nothing more than “give the Democrats everything they want because we want to be seen as nice people, and we will roll over and show our bellies to the world.”  Thankfully—and because of Donald Trump—we don’t hear about “compassionate conservatism” anymore.  And I hope we never do.  I certainly believe in compassion, but that isn’t what “compassionate conservatism” was.   Kudos and thanks to Mr. Trump for eliminating that misanthropic malapropism from the American vocabulary.  

4.  So, I insist Mr. Trump was a marvelous president and probably would be again.  But I don’t believe he can win next year.  It’s not that I don’t want him to; it is solely because I believe Mr. Trump has alienated too many people in America—Democrats, Independents, AND Republicans—to win a national election again.  If you believe Trump CAN win, we would love to know why you think so.

My view is Mr. Trump is too polarizing, a decisively defective liability.  He no longer attracts, he repels. His tongue is overly abusive—especially of fellow Republicans—and has turned off far too many people, even once die-hard supporters.   A minority party must build a coalition to overcome the majority.  And Trump shows almost no ability to do that.  McConnell, Romney, Tillis, Graham, and millions of other RINOs, whether we like them or not (and I can’t stand them), are members of the Republican Party, and the Republican nominee for president will not win that office without their unwavering assistance.  That is just the facts of the matter.  Tragically, America has insufficient conservatives like you and me to put a person into the White House.  America is a democratic republic, and building a winning majority means sometimes swallowing some bile and shaking hands with people you don’t especially like.   (Crucial:  I do NOT mean giving in to Democratic Party tyranny.  I know nothing that party believes that I would ever support making a deal with.)  But you have to work within your own party while trying to TEACH others the right way so that they will join you.  Trump must convince all Americans to vote FOR him, not just AGAINST everybody else.

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And, sadly, Mr. Trump demonstrates limited political proficiency in doing that.  His greatest rhetorical skill is the insult.  He is a master at it.  And no one can insult their way into the White House.  If he continues doing it—and he shows no sign of ceasing—it is going to alienate more and more people:  people he MUST have behind him to win.  Even his “never say die” supporters admit Trump is a bull in a China shop.  But they think the American people will overlook that and re-elect him anyway.  No, they won’t.  Trump must build, not tear down, especially in his own party. 

I certainly understand if Mr. Trump is bitter over what happened in 2020.  But he must rise above that if he wants to live on Pennsylvania Avenue again.   Frankly, he probably can’t do it.   He’d surely be a great president again.   He enunciates so many good policies.   But then he drops a cow patty (“DeSanctimonious”) into the punch bowl and ruins the whole thing.  And it is that reason, and ONLY that reason, which causes me to hope Republicans will select another candidate for president next year.  Because we MUST win in 2024.  America may not survive another four years of Democratic destruction.

Trump might (or might not, let the primaries decide) be the best, but he isn’t the only good, Republican.  Let’s nominate one who can win.  America above The Man.

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My western novels are still on sale, Whitewater and River Bend, and are available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Eliva.com.   A third western, Allie’s Dilemma, is available for Kindle only.   Also search YouTube “mark kevin lewis” for some of my Bible commentary videos.  And my blog at thailandlewis.blogspot.com for other articles.

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