Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Dennis Prager Talks To #NeverTrump

 

DennisPrager180Yesterday, Dennis Prager wrote a well-reasoned column to those who have declared they can not — or will not — vote for Donald Trump. He addresses the conscience issue, then gives nine reasons why a conservative should prefer a Trump presidency to a Democrat presidency:

  • Prevent a left-wing Supreme Court.
  • Increase the defense budget.
  • Repeal, or at least modify, the Dodd-Frank act.
  • Prevent Washington, D.C. from becoming a state and giving the Democrats another two permanent senators.
  • Repeal Obamacare.
  • Curtail illegal immigration, a goal that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with xenophobia or nativism (just look at Western Europe).
  • Reduce job-killing regulations on large and small businesses.
  • Lower the corporate income tax and bring back hundreds of billions of offshore dollars to the United States.
  • Continue fracking, which the left, in its science-rejecting hysteria, opposes.

He closes:

For these reasons, I, unlike my friends, could not live with my conscience if I voted to help the America-destroying left win the presidency in any way.

Your thoughts?

There are 61 comments.

  1. Emerson Member

    Without having read the article (I will with more time later this evening), let me be the first to say that these would be much stronger points if we could be reasonably assured that Trump would, in fact, do these things. He’s so wildly all over the place that even if he says that he would do all those things, his credibility is so low that it’s tough for me to believe what he says.

    I want to be convinced, though I’m frankly not sure what he could do to convince me that he’s not playing us all for suckers – or that he wouldn’t do something supremely stupid and get us into a war or a depression.

    -E

    • #1
    • May 24, 2016, at 4:51 PM PST
    • 1 like
  2. Nick Stuart Inactive
    Nick Stuart Post author

    CandE: I want to be convinced, though

    You know that’s right. I’d like to be convinced too.

    Thing is, I am convinced that Clinton is not going to do any of those things, will in fact do the reverse.

    • #2
    • May 24, 2016, at 5:03 PM PST
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  3. Wiley Inactive

    Excellent article, and should be a definitive argument, if people will only use their cold logic instead of hot feelings.

    • #3
    • May 24, 2016, at 5:06 PM PST
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  4. Casey Way Member

    Read the article and found it underwhelming. Arguably, all of those points are in the purview of Congress and the states given federalism and the Constitution. Therefore, voting for conservative representatives and office holders would serve towards all the listed ends so long as they ardently enforce checks and balances. The list is heavy on domestic issues when foreign affairs are crumbling. The fact that our side is looking for their own strong man shows the imperial legacy President Obama has left.

    I am actually thankful for all those voting for Trump, because if his appeal is far-reaching, it means I don’t have to vote for him for his victory. President is one of the few clear votes one has on foreign policy, and all choices are woeful.

    At this point, I’m writing in Dave Carter…

    • #4
    • May 24, 2016, at 5:20 PM PST
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  5. DocJay Inactive

    Oh goodness , not another of these. JK Nick , take care. :-). I’ll check it later but have huge trust issues in the man as most do.

    BTW, I’d vote for Dave Carter for anything. Pope even now that he’s on that team.

    • #5
    • May 24, 2016, at 5:48 PM PST
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  6. Brian McMenomy Inactive

    I have enormous respect for Dennis Prager, but he’s not persuasive here. The poorly thought out hypothetical about my vote deciding the election (like the Kevin Costner movie) wouldn’t stand reality. I live in Washington state, where Dino Rossi was denied the governorship because Seattle Democrats “found” enough votes to flip the Election Night result. You think they couldn’t find just 2 to do the same thing?

    The policy arguments don’t hold up; Trump has been decidedly non-policy oriented. His character and past give me zero confidence that he would follow through on anything he says. He has no governing philosophy, no notion of the separation of powers, no principles other than “I win”. His temperament with access to the nuclear launch codes?

    I reject the wartime analogies completely; we aren’t in a wartime scenario. I’m not Truman or a prisoner of war trying to save some lives; my vote is one out of 120-150 million in a domestic election.

    I’m not in some vain pursuit of purity; I’m just trying to do the right thing. I don’t need lectures about the necessity, on occasion, to make a choice between bad & worse. But I have to want who I vote for to win. Neither of these candidates fit the bill. I wish those that hold their noses & vote for Trump nothing but the best. Just don’t expect me to follow.

    • #6
    • May 24, 2016, at 5:51 PM PST
    • 1 like
  7. Brian McMenomy Inactive

    Casey Way: At this point, I’m writing in Dave Carter…

    Could do a lot worse, a vet and a trucker with uncommon sense? Worth pondering… (no, I’m not trying to take over the world, Pinky)

    • #7
    • May 24, 2016, at 5:55 PM PST
    • Like
  8. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor

    Brian McMenomy: I have enormous respect for Dennis Prager, but he’s not persuasive here. The poorly thought out hypothetical about my vote deciding the election (like the Kevin Costner movie) wouldn’t stand reality.

    Exactly. The answer to the question,

    Shouldn’t all Americans vote as if their vote were the deciding vote?

    is “No.” It makes little sense to pretend you and your vote live in a reality different from the reality we actually inhabit.

    • #8
    • May 24, 2016, at 6:04 PM PST
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  9. Publius Inactive

    Some of us have minimum standards for who we think is qualified to be the chief executive of one of the most powerful civilizations in human history and we simply don’t think Trump or Hillary meet those minimum standards.

    This has nothing to do with moral purity. This is about how two candidates managed to fail to clear a pretty low bar that a lot of us have been conditioned to have by the two political parties.

    And I’m a guy who voted for both Bushes, Romney, and McCain. The GOP finally found a candidate that I can’t vote for this time around. That took some serious effort, but they got it done.

    • #9
    • May 24, 2016, at 6:21 PM PST
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  10. iDad Inactive

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:

    Brian McMenomy: I have enormous respect for Dennis Prager, but he’s not persuasive here. The poorly thought out hypothetical about my vote deciding the election (like the Kevin Costner movie) wouldn’t stand reality.

    Exactly. The answer to the question,

    Shouldn’t all Americans vote as if their vote were the deciding vote?

    is “No.” It makes little sense to pretend you and your vote live in a reality different from the reality we actually inhabit.

    Yeah, I remember all the NeverTrump people telling me not to bother voting for McCain in 2008 or for Romney in 2012 because one vote doesn’t matter.

    • #10
    • May 24, 2016, at 6:43 PM PST
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  11. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor

    It’s not that one’s vote risks serving exactly zero decisive value. It’s merely a question of the odds, and the odds are long (probability near but not at zero) – and even longer in many states – of one’s vote being decisive. Therefore aspects of voting other than decisiveness may quite logically end up taking priority.

    A person might, for example, use his vote expressively as a protest vote. I have done so in previous elections, guilt-free, because I knew the odds – and as the expected margins of victory were as huge as I expected them to be, I could be easy even in retrospect that nothing had been lost by my correctly observing that my vote was unlikely to be decisive.

    • #11
    • May 24, 2016, at 6:52 PM PST
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  12. Xennady Inactive

    No one asked me- as usual- but I think the nevertrumpers are a silly bunch.

    The worse threat to these conservative principles I read about has been the gobsmacking ineptitude of the gop, which manages to lose even on issues that poll extremely well, such as voter ID. This has had real world consequences, such as the vote fraud that cost Norm Coleman his senate seat, thus giving us Obamacare.

    Trump says he is a conservative, unlike Hillary Satan, and I think this matters. His base of support will be in the GOP, and assuming he wants to be a successful president, he has thin motivation to betray us in such a way to lose our support.

    But worse, Hilary is a terrible politician. She famously lost to a part-term senator from Illinois with no accomplishments, and is now having a rough time against the guy who never held a job until he was forty.

    These are bad omens for the country. A terrible incompetent politician is a bad choice for preezy, because such folks can’t recognize when they’re making grim terrible political mistakes.

    Hillary can’t, because she makes them again and again. It a better governed country she’d have no chance, but the democrat party has already been eviscerated by Obama.

    As president, this idiot woman would be the second coming of James Buchanan, issuing decrees and commands that would drive the public to open defiance, with incalculable results.

    But not good, I bet.

    • #12
    • May 24, 2016, at 7:00 PM PST
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  13. Solar Eclipse Inactive

    I wasn’t impressed by this article. I don’t buy that electoral politics are an A/B test. If my minimum criteria is that I’ll vote for the candidate who I think will steer the country in an overall positive direction, and Donald Trump doesn’t fit that bill, I feel justified in not voting for him. In any case, it seems likely that he would run the Republican party into the ground and drag conservatism with it. And if voting is an expression of my political opinion, I would rather contribute to his low voter turnout than his election.

    • #13
    • May 24, 2016, at 7:02 PM PST
    • 1 like
  14. Publius Inactive

    Solar Eclipse:I wasn’t impressed by this article. I don’t buy that electoral politics are an A/B test. If my minimum criteria is that I’ll vote for the candidate who I think will steer the country in an overall positive direction, and Donald Trump doesn’t fit that bill, I feel justified in not voting for him. In any case, it seems likely that he would run the Republican party into the ground and drag conservatism with it. And if voting is an expression of my political opinion, I would rather contribute to his low voter turnout than his election.

    I’ve never been so excited about leaving a ballot line blank on a ballot, but here I am positively giddy about not voting for Trump or Hillary.

    • #14
    • May 24, 2016, at 7:07 PM PST
    • Like
  15. Brian McMenomy Inactive

    iDad: Yeah, I remember all the NeverTrump people telling me not to bother voting for McCain in 2008 or for Romney in 2012 because one vote doesn’t matter.

    Trump=McCain=Romney? Really? Policy problems aside, a war hero and a incredibly successful businessman (and an unquestionably decent & honorable man) compared to a blowhard charlatan who decided he was a Republican about 5 minutes before the 1st debate? Who refuses to release his financial information before the election? Who will have to testify in a fraud trial around the same time he’s being nominated?

    Neither McCain nor Romney were anywhere close to being my ideal candidate, but I could imagine either one behind the Resolute desk. I could vote for both & want them to win. Not Trump.

    • #15
    • May 24, 2016, at 8:08 PM PST
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  16. Valiuth Member

    The flaw I find in Mr. Prager’s article is that I can imagine Trump doing several things which I don’t imagine Hillary doing. I can imagine Trump initiating trade disputes that will bring us under censure from the WTO. I can imagine him blithely giving into Putin in Europe because he Putin will flatter him. I can picture Trump trying to engage in direct talks with North Korea over confident in his own “negotiating power” only to undermine our relations with South Korea while doing nothing to deter or constrain the North Koreans. These factor put on top of the fact that I do not trust him to live up to any promise he makes, because he has shown no ability or inclination to do some make me think that the worst Trump can do might actually be worse than what Hillary will come up with.

    One to two judges in my mind can not make up for the potential destruction of our network of alliances, and international order which we have created over the years.

    Frankly my level of trust in Trump and confidence in the Republican leadership that has caved so easily to him is so low I don’t imagine them doing any of the things that Dennis lists. They will have to oppose Hillary out of habit, but I think they will blindly enable all of Trumps worst instincts, and I think those instincts are to further aggrandize the presidency.

    • #16
    • May 24, 2016, at 9:31 PM PST
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  17. Josh F. Inactive

    Nick Stuart:Dennis Prager came out today with a well-reasoned column to persons who have declared they will not/can not vote for Donald Trump.

    He addresses the conscience issue, then gives nine reasons why a conservative should prefer a Trump presidency to a Democrat presidency:

    –Prevent a left-wing Supreme Court.

    –Increase the defense budget.

    –Repeal, or at least modify, the Dodd-Frank act.

    –Prevent Washington, D.C. from becoming a state and giving the Democrats another two permanent senators.

    –Repeal Obamacare.

    –Curtail illegal immigration, a goal that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with xenophobia or nativism (just look at Western Europe).

    –Reduce job-killing regulations on large and small businesses.

    –Lower the corporate income tax and bring back hundreds of billions of offshore dollars to the United States.

    –Continue fracking, which the left, in its science-rejecting hysteria, opposes.

    He closes:

    For these reasons, I, unlike my friends, could not live with my conscience if I voted to help the America-destroying left win the presidency in any way.

    Read the whole thing.

    Of this list, Trump has lied about everything but taxes or left himself room to renege on promises. Why should we trust him? Talk to the folks at Trump University to find out how that worked. It is morally wrong and politically problematic to announce to the world that 1) you call yourself a conservative and 2) you are voting for Donald Trump.

    • #17
    • May 24, 2016, at 10:01 PM PST
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  18. Josh F. Inactive

    Valiuth: The flaw I find in Mr. Prager’s article is that I can imagine Trump doing several things which I don’t imagine Hillary doing

    The problem with arguments like DP’s argument is it requires willful blindness or downplaying on very important issues which you correctly point to in your comment. But hey, remember how bad Hillary is? How could Trump be worse? Just listen to him for more than two minutes, read through is incoherent or catastrophically ignorant positions, and your imagination does not have to work very hard to figure out how Trump would be worse than Hillary.

    • #18
    • May 24, 2016, at 10:04 PM PST
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  19. Franco Member

    If the nevertrumpers understood a couple of things, I would take them more seriously.

    I don’t believe they understand the basic political dynamic that makes up our country and the environment that Trump will be thrust into.

    I don’t think they understand Trump’s psychology. They have misdiagnosed him – that is if he is even on the scale of insanity at all.

    One indication of the irrationality is their certainty that basically everything Trump says will be reneged on, yet all of his questionable statements are directly from his heart and set in stone for the Trump Administration to carry out to the letter. It would be foolish for Trump to alienate his supporters. It’s just not smart politics and would result in quite a loss of power for him.

    Trump has real enemies on the left. Why? Are they being duped too?

    Much of what governing consists of is the established networks in place that a President can use and rely upon. A President does not exist in a vacuum. There is a party apparatus the President must rely on. Well embedded are Democrat operatives throughout our system well outnumbering and outranking sympathetic Republicans. Under Hillary they will be activated and effective.

    If Trump actually tries some of these policies which he has mentioned (and never mentioned again or walked back) he can be impeached.

    No one will call Republicans racist for doing that, thus it’s quite possible.

    • #19
    • May 25, 2016, at 3:29 AM PST
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  20. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    Prager’s list is pretty good — I’d say Clinton’s likely gun-grabbing is more dangerous than her attitude on fracking, which even Obama has allowed to happen — but it doesn’t really address the other side of the ledger. That is, it doesn’t balance these pro-Trump arguments against anti-Trump arguments, such as the concern that his petulancy will cause an otherwise preventable war.

    • #20
    • May 25, 2016, at 4:48 AM PST
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  21. WI Con Member

    Wiley:Excellent article, and should be a definitive argument, if people will only use their cold logic instead of hot feelings.

    Sure hope the editors have extended the Ricochet Podcast invitation to Dennis Prager – he’s one of our best. I’d listen to him on almost any topic.

    • #21
    • May 25, 2016, at 4:53 AM PST
    • Like
  22. I Walton Member

    Prager is projecting on Trump what many Trump supporters projected. The most we can say about these points is that he is more likely to do some of these things than Hillary. If he’d pre announce appointment of adults to his cabinet and name a specific short list for the court, I’d have more confidence. After all Trump wasn’t his own architect, engineer or builder, he listened to people who knew what they were doing. He just wanted his name on the towers.

    • #22
    • May 25, 2016, at 5:03 AM PST
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  23. Columbo Member

    I am #NeverHillary for much of Prager’s reasoning here, and beyond.

    My #NeverTrump friends and others here aren’t persuaded by this.

    A novel idea … it’s over five months until Election Day. Let’s put a moratorium on trying to persuade each other to come to the other side. I suspect that the candidates themselves will be plenty persuasive as this general election campaign gets underway.

    In the meantime, I’ll hang out on the Rabble Alliance archipelago. It’s way more fun.

    • #23
    • May 25, 2016, at 5:09 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  24. Casey Inactive

    He makes the same false assumptions that so many are making. That Hillary embodies liberalism and that this is the final election.

    If one is conservative and one looks beyond the present moment then one is presented with an entirely different set of concerns. Namely, without significant influence in a major party, how will conservatives influence national politics 4… 8… 12… 16 years into the future?

    Momentary directional influence that sacrifices the essence of conservatism is more concerning to me.

    • #24
    • May 25, 2016, at 5:11 AM PST
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  25. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher

    I liked the article and it speaks to my mind a good bit. Reasoned, factual, and sober.

    Not at all like being called “WITCH!”

    • #25
    • May 25, 2016, at 5:17 AM PST
    • 1 like
  26. Spin Coolidge

    Nick Stuart: Your thoughts?

    My thoughts are the same as they’ve always been. I’m not convinced Donald Trump will be any different than Hillary Clinton.

    • #26
    • May 25, 2016, at 5:36 AM PST
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  27. Gil Reich Inactive

    Yes, Prager convinced me. Not with this column, but with the ways he’d already influenced me to see things his way. The Left is more dangerous than Trump. Am I sure he’ll be different than Hillary? No. But he’s my best chance right now to get something better than Hillary.

    • #27
    • May 25, 2016, at 5:41 AM PST
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  28. Profile Photo Member

    I’ve been thinking about this for a long time.

    Personally I’m leaning towards Trump because I want general society to experience the swift kick in the nutsack that he will inevitably amount to for both sides, but if I was suspicious of his reliability, honesty and ability to lead then I would vote Hillary.

    This is pure conjecture but

    The public’s approval of her has tanked and many will be watching her closely. I think the public can be turned against her quite easily, we just need new messengers.

    The public’s general distrust of her is something that can be used to destroy the liberal base in general, starting with her and going to Obama and reaching as far back as we want

    That’s one benefit of having her as President.

    The other is based on her being without principle and doing whatever profits her regardless of her prior stance

    We may be able to use that to our advantage and reclaim lost territory by force while the general public is still in their daze.

    Hillary can be used to further conservative values even if she doesn’t want to (I doubt she cares). If Trump decides to go all bloodlust mode as many NeverTrumpers fear, there is no way to restrain or control him but Hillary is merely a cowardly thief.

    This is the mental gymnastics I must perform in order to decide who I want to be the leader of the free world.

    Bad times

    • #28
    • May 25, 2016, at 6:16 AM PST
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  29. Doctor Robert Member

    Brian McMenomy: I’m not in some vain pursuit of purity; I’m just trying to do the right thing.

    No you’re not.

    If you wanted to do the right thing, you would do everything you could to prevent 4-8 more years of a predictable leftist presidency. America is almost unrecognizable as it is.

    • #29
    • May 25, 2016, at 6:34 AM PST
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  30. Larry3435 Member

    When it comes to the debate between #nevertrump and “but, but, but, but, Hillary!” I consider both sides to be legitimate and honorable positions. I would not call either side snide names, and I do not like to read comments from the people who are hurling epithets around – mostly coming from the reluctant Trump side. I wish they would stop.

    Everyone on the #nevertrump side understands “but, but, but, but, Hillary!” We really do. It’s a pretty simple argument. We get it. There is not one thing on Dennis’s list that we have not thought about and worried about. But it doesn’t persuade us.

    We understand their argument. But the converse is not true. The “but, but, but, but, Hillary!” camp does not seem to understand the full extent of the #nevertrump argument. It is not just a matter of “moral purity.” Sure I’m not crazy about plunging my hands into the filth of Trump, but that’s not the whole story. If Dennis wants to change my mind, he would have to give me some reassurance that Trump would not start a trade war and trigger another Great Depression. That Trump would not alienate all of America’s allies and leave us (in the words of Mark Steyn) “America Alone.” That Trump would not encourage nuclear proliferation and, potentially, start a nuclear war. Hillary is very bad, I know. But Trump is potentially much, much worse.

    • #30
    • May 25, 2016, at 6:58 AM PST
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