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A Message for Trump Skeptics

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

The ascension of a septuagenarian fossil from the Jurassic Park of socialism has raised the anxiety level among many Democratic leaders from stomach ulcer stage to Xanax and beyond, likely embracing shots of Southern Comfort, as well. Speaking of which, James Carville (a Southerner, if not a drinker) recently projected a panic attack by screeching “it’s like we’re losing our d*mn minds!” If that’s the case, he has a lot of company. A recent Gallup poll indicated that “only” 45% of respondents in their survey stated they would support a socialist candidate, while fully 75% of Democrats had no problem with the socialist label. This catastrophic figure brings to mind Marshall Petain’s famous comment presaging the fall of France to Germany in 1940: “This is the work of thirty years of Marxism.” Add another generation and his comment may apply to the United States, also.


Americans better hope it does not, especially sensitive evangelicals who, after three years of Trump, still find themselves offended by his style, regardless of the president’s policy successes. Thus, Mark Galli, former editor of Christianity Today, insisted that “Trump Should Be Removed from Office,” citing character issues and “moral deficiencies” that will inevitably take the country crashing down with him when the end finally comes. More recently, David French, a man I admire and respect, reminds us that the Biblical injunction to love one’s enemies has no qualifiers, no exceptions. Further, he fears too many American evangelicals have failed to spurn “a man who completely rejects—and even scorns—many of their core moral values.” But rejected he must be, even though Mr. French admits that “refusing to hire a hater and refusing to hire a liar carries costs.”  

He’s certainly got that part right, especially considering the costs in the equation. Winston Churchill famously quipped that democracy was the worst form of government—except for all the others. It’s all the others that leap to our thoughts presently, given how Democrats indeed have lost their minds over the years, with as little self-awareness as an insane character in one of Edgar Allan Poe’s masterfully grotesque tales.   


Poe aside, one grasps for analogies. Certainly, Trump supporters of whatever religious convictions do not face a choice equivalent to supporting the USSR in the struggle against Nazi Germany—a temporary alliance with evil in order to destroy another evil. While Trump is bombastic, crude, rude, and often cringe-inducing, he merely insults you; the political left yearns to enslave you. Can anyone imagine any one of Trump’s Republican competitors accomplishing what he has? With the exception of Cruz (in my view), they were all accommodationist weenies, re-arrangers of deck chairs on the Titanic.

And the Titanic that represents America these days is hosting a battle between those who want to keep it afloat against those who are aiming for the iceberg, the political equivalent to which is Bernie Sanders and his entourage. Consider the latter, for instance, which includes staffers who want to kill the rich and put Republicans in Soviet-style re-education camps, described by one as “a beautiful thing,” according to a Veritas report. What does fearless leader have to say about these comments? We don’t know, but Sanders’s Iowa State Director dismissed these reprehensible sentiments with a rhetorical wave of the hand: Iowans “don’t care about political gossip,” she huffed. Presumably, neither did Soviet citizens nor inhabitants of the Third Reich.


What about Americans? One of the most instructive examples of coping with those hesitant to grapple with painful moral choices involves Benjamin Franklin and his complicated relationship with Quaker pacifists during the greatest conflict of his age. Franklin had no patience for those who clung to their “precious consciences,” refusing to contribute to the common defense while the political order was collapsing around them. He minced no words. He considered them “traitors [who, because of] their contrariety of opinion… joined with the artful promises and threats of the enemy.” On another occasion, he warned, “if good be done, what imports it by whom it is done?” [emphasis added]

If Benjamin Franklin seems too distant, consider a more recent figure to whom President Trump has often been compared: George S. Patton, Jr. After the German surrender, General McNarney told old Blood ‘n Guts that the Russians were complaining about the slow disarming pace in his sector. “Hell,” Patton exploded, “why do you care what those G*dd*mn Russians think?” McNarney: “Shut up, Georgie, you fool!” But Patton didn’t shut up. He knew who America’s friends and enemies were.

So does President Trump, and he won’t shut up either. And while this bothers some people, honestly, it doesn’t bother me at all. I don’t care how Trump can be “offensive.” I’d rather be offended in freedom than silenced in a Gulag.  


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