The Moral Challenge

 

The election of 2016 provides a moral challenge. I think the responses reveal moral confusion.

I have been reading about how “morally compromised” I am alleged to be. This comes from the NeverTrump crowd.  I see it here at Ricochet, and I see it at National Review, and I see it from elected Republicans. I have been called “immoral” so many times that I am feeling cranky about it. I am writing this post to push back against the charge that I am immoral because I prefer Donald J. Trump over Hillary R. Clinton.

I think some of my accusers display moral confusion, while others are simply making a choice that is different from my choice. Both candidates present choices that have problems with moral aspects. There are no choices that can be characterized as “morally good.” It seems to me to be poor form to say that someone who comes to a different choice than you must be morally defective. 

National Review and the “Morally Compromised”

I saw my position called “immoral” on Monday in the comments at Majestyk’s post. But a more agitating essay from that point of view came to me via an e-mail from National Review on Tuesday morning, titled “Social Conservatives should begin a Long March through the Institutions” and it is by Avi Woolf. I am unfamiliar with Woolf, so I searched on the internet and find him listed as an editor at “a politically conservative Israeli website,” and that he is identified as “Modern Orthodox” and “leans libertarian.” (I suppose the usual NeverTrump pundits at National Review have said this so much that they decided to run with a fresh voice.)

Here is the fourth paragraph of his piece:

The truth needs to be said: Far too many social conservatives have morally compromised themselves this election. I myself was shocked and saddened to see many people I used to look up to as paragons of principle and virtue sell their soul for the Trump Train, and I’ve seen many others express similar sentiments. It broke my heart to see people who used to teach of morality and God not only go for Trump simply because “Hillary is worse” but even whitewash and defend the very antithesis of what they ostensibly believe in.

First, I want to make a distinction between the AlwaysTrump fans and the Rabble Alliance, which is my own sentiment. In the Rabble Alliance, there are very few of us who support Trump who can be described as trying to “whitewash” or defend his character.

AlwaysTrump

Trump does have his fans. There were lots of Christians who were attracted to Trump last year. It is commonly said that this is an anti-establishment vote, and I agree with that assessment. These voters like his attitude; they like the fact that he is willing to say things that need to be said, especially when they are “politically incorrect,” which is to say that they offend the perpetually aggrieved Left.

These voters do not approve of Trump’s morals. They weighed the options presented to them, and gravitated to the most anti-establishment choice that was available. They do not trust our political class. Nobody who had ever held elected office, especially in Washington, was going to win their enthusiastic support. Some of them gave a nod to Carly Fiorina or Ben Carson, but neither of them were willing to crash around and break things “like a bull in a china shop” the way Trump did.

Also, neither Fiorina, nor Carson — nor any of the other candidates — had the name recognition or celebrity Trump brought. Yes, we have low-information voters on our side, too.

These voters did not perceive their choice as a moral one.  They are looking at it as strictly political.  That does not mean that they are immoral for seeing the choice that way.

You do not have to endorse Trump as a role model nor embrace his low morals in order to assess that Trump will do more for America (and more for the social conservative cause) than the other candidates. He may be awful, but he may be what America needs at this terrible juncture.

I did not agree with that AlwaysTrump thinking, but I understand it, and I reject it as somehow morally defective to make that political calculation.

The Rabble Alliance

As a Christian member of the Rabble Alliance, I am making a political choice that may have moral consequences, but I am looking at the forest and not getting hung up on the particular trees. I agree that Hillary Clinton may be a “better person,” but that does not sway me. I opposed Trump in the primaries, but I have rallied to Trump for this general campaign. I candidly call Trump a man of low character and morals; nevertheless I strongly prefer him to Clinton, whose personal life sometimes seems less encumbered by moral offenses. I do not think he will do more for America; I think he is likely to do less damage to America than Clinton.

I think Clinton poses a greater danger to America, and that is a political calculation that includes morals but does not hinge on them. I think she will increase the debt faster, will do more to crush individual liberties, will be more likely to betray allies abroad, will do more to advance the paganism of mother-earth worship, will more effectively gut the Constitution, and do more to advance Leftist causes of all sorts. Under her, our progress in protecting the lives of infants in the womb will be halted, and possibly reversed back to the no-limits abortion/infanticide policies of the worst of the blue states. These are all aspects of government policy with moral dimensions.

Trump has a well-known history of sexual immorality. Clinton, however,  is noted for displaying a greater concern for political optics than for the lives of Americans stationed abroad.

Neither candidate presents to me a good moral choice, but they both present an unpleasant choice with different likely outcomes. I am seeing a difference in personal morals that favors Clinton. I also see likely outcomes with moral consequences that favor Trump. I choose according to my judgment that another Clinton Administration will do more to gut the Bill of Rights than I would anticipate from a Trump Administration. I think this outweighs the difference in their personal morals.

I reject the idea that I have compromised on morals in order to choose Trump over Clinton.

The Republican Alliance Falls Apart

AlwaysTrump supporters in the primaries see things differently than those of us who make up the Rabble Alliance. However, both groups include a lot of Social Conservatives. Avi Woolf seems to sort of understand part of the AlwaysTrump motivation:

“I doubt I would be exaggerating if I said that social conservatives feel shafted by fusionism.”

By “fusionism” he is referring to the traditional alliance of conservatives, including defense hawks, fiscal conservatives, social conservatives, the libertarians. None of us are happy.

The defense hawks are alarmed at our current weaknesses; fiscal conservatives look at the growing debt with alarm; and the libertarians look at the growing body of regulations from Washington with alarm. As for social conservatives, we have been on the defensive for fifty years. We generally support the other elements of our alliance on their issues, though not with their enthusiasm for their topics. We understand that there are defense hawks and fiscal conservatives who do not support us on our social issues. We never expected support from libertarians, but we were happy to make common cause with all of them in opposition to the Leftism of the Democratic Party.

As the Democrats proceeded to purge their ranks of conservatives, we all ended up as one big happy family in the GOP. Our Republican “big tent” was never a comfortable fit. Now, we are quarrelling with each other while the Leftist mass media breathlessly reports on every criticism a Republican has for any other Republican.

Back to Woolf:

Even before the disgraceful decision of Evangelical leaders to excuse or wave away Donald Trump’s comments on sexual assault, there were those in the Republican camp who argued that it’s time to end the old “fusionism,” which William F. Buckley Jr. helped form, between free-market advocates, robust internationalists, and those who supported family, religion, and moral virtue in American life. Wall Street Republican Ed Conard may have been particularly blunt in calling for cutting ties, but I highly doubt he is alone in thinking that social conservatives are now a political millstone to be tossed aside for other, more profitable Faustian bargains.

I read this as calling for a divorce that would jettison Social Conservatives from the Republican coalition. Conard, it seems advocates kicking the “religious right” out of the Republican Party.

This view says that Republicans can stiff Social Conservatives and win a majority in America. That would only be a viable strategy if Social Conservatives continued to vote for Republicans anyhow, which many would do because the Democrats are worse. The “GOP Establishment” has been taking Social Conservatives for granted for decades; this is not new.

What is new is loud, public infighting, in which the NeverTrump crowd is saying that those who support the Republican nominee are immoral for doing so. If you wanted open warfare with disaffected Social Conservatives, you found a good way to get it.

“A Political Millstone to be Tossed Aside”

Is National Review moving to a position like Ed Conard’s? Until this year, I would have said “absolutely not, but I sometimes get the feeling that the Squish Lords of Ricochet lean that way.

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  1. MJBubba Inactive
    MJBubba
    @MJBubba

    Here is the essay by Avi Woolf:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/440932/social-conservatives-republican-party-fusionism-culture-war?utm_source=jolt&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Jolt10112016&utm_term=Jolt

     

    • #1
  2. Kay of MT Inactive
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    Good going MJBubba.

    • #2
  3. Larry Koler Inactive
    Larry Koler
    @LarryKoler

    Well, now we social conservatives have a group that we want out of the party. Get the lists of proud NeverTrumpers and identify them as the problem we have been having all along. Most of them are secular or atheist or confused.

    • #3
  4. Underground Conservative Coolidge
    Underground Conservative
    @UndergroundConservative

    Frankly, I have no idea how morality ever got mixed up in this race.

    • #4
  5. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Right on, Mr. Bubba.

    • #5
  6. DocJay Inactive
    DocJay
    @DocJay

    You are someone who will die with a very moral slate MJ while I’ll be on my knees begging for God’s mercy still though by this election’s standards I’m pretty choir boy like.    Nice post.

    • #6
  7. Judithann Campbell Member
    Judithann Campbell
    @

    Thank you for this post. I detest liberal politicians, but give credit where it is due: they never, ever, ever openly attack or betray the people who vote for them. Ever. Which is a big reason why people keep voting for them.

    These Republicans who think they would be better off without the social conservatives who have been supporting them for 40 years are in for a very rude awakening, and they thoroughly deserve it. The fact that would betray their most loyal supporters and then accuse those supporters of being immoral is just laughable.

    • #7
  8. Judithann Campbell Member
    Judithann Campbell
    @

    Again, thank you for sharing this post: now I know for certain that I made the right decision when I decided to stop reading National Review.

    • #8
  9. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    We do indeed face a tough choice for President this year. But having read through this document many times over the past week, I don’t feel any moral compromise whatsoever in voting for the Republican nominee.

    Christians must recognize that what is at stake (in this election) is the essence of the moral law, which concerns the integral good of the human person.

    The Church recognizes that while democracy is the best expression of the direct participation of citizens in political choices, it succeeds only to the extent that it is based on a correct understanding of the human person. Catholic involvement in political life cannot compromise on this principle, for otherwise the witness of the Christian faith in the world, as well as the unity and interior coherence of the faithful, would be non-existent.

    The Democrat party has lost all understanding of the human person and works tirelessly to promote laws to eliminate life (both at the beginning and end) and to redefine sex (what they call gender) and marriage.

    I would be morally compromised if I voted for a Democrat.

    Good post MJBubba. Thanks.

    • #9
  10. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    I figure it’s the same old stuff I keep talking about whenever I feel obligated (or doomed) enough that I have to talk about it, e.g. in “Respectable Positions on Trump.”

    Namely:

    • Is a vote, whatever else it may be, always an opportunity to act to do good or to prevent harm?  (I sure think so!)
    • Is Trump less bad than Hillary?  (Indeed he is.)
    • Are there any Trumpisms that are so bad that supporting them is impermissible even if not supporting them allows a greater evil to triumph?  (Yeah, probably.)
    • Is a vote a sufficiently weak form of support that it is still permissible to vote for said evils–as long as doing so helps to prevent worse ones?  (Yeah, probably.)
    • Can rational and decent people happen to err by answering one or two of the above questions wrongly?  (Good grief, yes!)
    • #10
  11. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    I entirely agree.  I consider myself a social conservative, and a fiscal conservative, and a small-government conservative, and a defense hawk (the only major federal budget item I enthusiastically support).  I have libertarian sympathies, but would never call myself a Libertarian.

    When pundits now say social conservatism needs to be purged from the republican party, I point at Trump.  They succeeded in demoralizing socons so thoroughly that we’ll accept a vulgarian like Trump.  What kind of person did they think they’d get if traditional morality is jettisoned from the party?

    • #11
  12. MJBubba Inactive
    MJBubba
    @MJBubba

    Saint Augustine:I figure it’s the same old stuff I keep talking about whenever I feel obligated (or doomed) enough that I have to talk about it, e.g. in “Respectable Positions on Trump.”

    Namely:

    • Is a vote, whatever else it may be, always an opportunity to act to do good or to prevent harm? (I sure think so!)
    • Is Trump less bad than Hillary? (Indeed he is.)

    Or, maybe not.  But a Hillary Administration would do more to damage the Church and American justice than a Trump Administration.

    • Are there any Trumpisms that are so bad that supporting them is impermissible even if not supporting them allows a greater evil to triumph? (Yeah, probably.)
    • Is a vote a sufficiently weak form of support that it is still permissible to vote for said evils–as long as doing so helps to prevent worse ones? (Yeah, probably.)

    Unsure.  Perhaps a sin, maybe even a serious sin.  That is just another reason why we need a Savior.

    • Can rational and decent people happen to err by answering one or two of the above questions wrongly? (Good grief, yes!)

    Yes.  In most cases, calling this wrongly does not indicate moral collapse.  In fact, the immoralities that may be predicted under a Hillary Administration would affect more people than those immoralities predicted for a Trump Administration.

    There is no morally good choice here.  We are weighing bad options, and choosing Trump as likely to be less bad.  I think by a large margin.

    • #12
  13. MJBubba Inactive
    MJBubba
    @MJBubba

    DocJay:You are someone who will die with a very moral slate MJ while I’ll be on my knees begging for God’s mercy still though by this election’s standards I’m pretty choir boy like. Nice post.

    DocJay,  I have no claim on G-d; I am a miserable sinner.  There is plenty of sin among the choir boys, but they are “white collar sins” such as false witness and coveting, as opposed to “blue collar sins” such as adultery, murder or theft.

    However, I am trying to live according to His Word, and I repent of my sins.  I will be with you on my knees begging for G-d’s mercy, but I am confident that mercy will be granted, on account of what Jesus did for me.  He is there for you, also.

    Trust Jesus.

    • #13
  14. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    MJBubba:

    Saint Augustine:

    • Is a vote, whatever else it may be, always an opportunity to act to do good or to prevent harm? (I sure think so!)
    • Is Trump less bad than Hillary? (Indeed he is.)

    Or, maybe not. But a Hillary Administration would do more to damage the Church and American justice than a Trump Administration.

    Indeed.  (I meant policies more than character, actually.)

    • Are there any Trumpisms that are so bad that supporting them is impermissible even if not supporting them allows a greater evil to triumph? (Yeah, probably.)
    • Is a vote a sufficiently weak form of support that it is still permissible to vote for said evils–as long as doing so helps to prevent worse ones? (Yeah, probably.)

    Unsure. Perhaps a sin, maybe even a serious sin. That is just another reason why we need a Savior.

    Perhaps.  Pious and edifying.  (I myself am skeptical of the theory that we are ever faced with a choice between sin and sin, even though we are sometimes faced with a choice between bad outcome and bad outcome.)

    • Can rational and decent people happen to err by answering one or two of the above questions wrongly? (Good grief, yes!)

    Yes. . . .

    There is no morally good choice here. We are weighing bad options, and choosing Trump as likely to be less bad. I think by a large margin.

    Right on.

    • #14
  15. MJBubba Inactive
    MJBubba
    @MJBubba

    Phil Turmel:I entirely agree. I consider myself a social conservative, and a fiscal conservative, and a small-government conservative, and a defense hawk (the only major federal budget item I enthusiastically support). I have libertarian sympathies, but would never call myself a Libertarian.

    When pundits now say social conservatism needs to be purged from the republican party, I point at Trump. They succeeded in demoralizing socons so thoroughly that we’ll accept a vulgarian like Trump. What kind of person did they think they’d get if traditional morality is jettisoned from the party?

    Most of the GOP leadership are really uncomfortable when we talk about topics like abortion.  I think this is because they circulate mostly on the East Coast and live in a bubble that includes sincere but left-leaning colleagues and neighbors.  They don’t like having to defend Republican SoCons.

    But they have not purged the platform of a really solid statement on abortion.  The words they retained are very good.

    I am hopeful that they will rein in our social-liberal opponents for the sake of party unity.

    Let’s not start working for a purge in the opposite direction.  Let’s keep all our energies aimed at the opposition (the Party of Death, the Treason Party).

    It is hard to fight the opposition when you have to watch out for friendly fire from beside you.

    • #15
  16. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    http://ricochet.com/380235/moral-challenge/

    Andrew Klavan with great sadness makes the case the Trump. If you don’t have time to listen to the whole thing start at 21:30.

    • #16
  17. Majestyk Contributor
    Majestyk
    @Majestyk

    MJBubba: I saw my position called “immoral” on Monday in the comments at Majestyk’s post.

    I don’t think I did this, did I?

    Plenty of people are resigned to Trump out of a lack of other options.  I’m not willing to condemn people for voting for him and get it.

    However.  The people who put us in this position?  They are in my opinion suspect.  As well as the evangelical leaders who continue to bang the drum for Trump relentlessly in contravention of their stated values.

    Those people who spent the late 90’s telling us that “character matters” above all?  Fakes.  All of them.  Sadly, I have to include Rush in this cohort.  His betrayal stings the most because in a macrocosm, here you have the chief of the Character Police telling us that we have to vote for Bill Clinton’s shadowy reflection – shadowy because unlike Bill, Trump is incompetent and can’t win.

    They have abandoned any pretense to claiming the moral high ground.

    • #17
  18. Curt North Inactive
    Curt North
    @CurtNorth

    Underground Conservative: Frankly, I have no idea how morality ever got mixed up in this race.

    Amen, been saying for some time there is no moral choice to make here, both can be described as pretty terrible people, with Trump you get (at least promised) more secure borders, better SCOTUS nominees, tax relief, and a re-invigorated military.  The choice is easy for me and I continue to look on bemused as the Nevers twist in agony and desperation, while we see the likes of  Glenn Beck voice his tacit support for Hillary, a person who stands opposed to everything he says he believes in.  I find it simply incredible how the human mind can rationalize irrational thought.

    What have we come to?  A civil war in the Republican party they say?  Long overdue I say.  Trump may have been the match here, but the tinderbox has been waiting to be lit for a long time coming, the battle will rage over the next few years, regardless of the occupant in the White House.

    • #18
  19. Judithann Campbell Member
    Judithann Campbell
    @

    Majestyk:Those people who spent the late 90’s telling us that “character matters” above all? Fakes. All of them. Sadly, I have to include Rush in this cohort. His betrayal stings the most because in a macrocosm, here you have the chief of the Character Police telling us that we have to vote for Bill Clinton’s shadowy reflection – shadowy because unlike Bill, Trump is incompetent and can’t win.

    They have abandoned any pretense to claiming the moral high ground.

    Sooner or later, anyone who has moral values will turn out to be a hypocrite of one sort or another. If calling Rush Limbaugh a hypocrite makes you feel better about supporting abortion, great. If you believe that the Republican party will be better off without pro-lifers, you are making a fatal political miscalculation, but that is fine with me :)

    • #19
  20. Curt North Inactive
    Curt North
    @CurtNorth

    Majestyk: unlike Bill, Trump is incompetent and can’t win

    I don’t understand the “incompetent” swipe.  Trump is vulgar, loud mouthed, all that, yes.  But the man has made himself into a billionaire after all.  Yes he started with a hefty pile of seed money from Dad and then used the bankruptcy laws to his advantage, acknowledged.  Still, he is worth billions and employs thousands, is this incompetence?

    As for him being unable to win, he’s already beaten 16 others to win the nomination, many of them “professional” politicians, including several that I supported.  But he hung in and beat them all, now he’s running against the Hillary machine, the media, the GOPe, and some would argue the entire world.  Obviously you feel a moral obligation to vote for someone else, but can you give him any credit for winning the nomination, for hanging tough against overwhelming odds?

    • #20
  21. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    Today, NeverTrump Jim Geraghty at NR, confesses his stress and guilt over his position ….

    … we’re stressed because we FEEL obligated to act in contradiction to our values …

    • #21
  22. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    “Clinton poses a greater danger to America, and that is a political calculation that includes morals but does not hinge on them. I think she will increase the debt faster, will do more to crush individual liberties, will be more likely to betray allies abroad, will do more to advance the paganism of mother-earth worship, will more effectively gut the Constitution, and do more to advance Leftist causes of all sorts. Under her, our progress in protecting the lives of infants in the womb will be halted, and possibly reversed back to the no-limits abortion/infanticide policies of the worst of the blue states.”

     

    All true

    And all compelling reasons for voting Trump.

    Hiliary will have a democrat Congress and naught will stop her.  Her administration will make Obama look like a neophyte (which he was).

    Trump will have a skeptical republican Congress.  Congressional dems will remember their Constitutional roles and there will be a blessed gridlock.

    The moral and practical choice is clear.  Indeed, there is no choice.  Anyone who favors capitalism and liberty is obliged to vote for Mr Trump.
    Not doing so may indeed be immoral, but even if not, it is foolish.

    • #22
  23. Curt North Inactive
    Curt North
    @CurtNorth

    Note:

    From the CoC: "Defamatory, gossipy, or rude comments. Imagine you’re a guest at a dinner party with a group of seemingly nice people you don’t know… how would you handle yourself?"

    Judithann Campbell: Sooner or later, anyone who has moral values will turn out to be a hypocrite of one sort or another. If calling Rush Limbaugh a hypocrite makes you feel better about supporting abortion, great.

    Agree, we’re all imperfect so enough of the moral high ground B.S.  One of these two will be POTUS, I honestly don’t understand how anyone can vote in a way that helps Hillary get elected.  Lives are literally at stake, to hell with your moral arguments!

    • #23
  24. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    Doctor Robert:“Clinton poses a greater danger to America, and that is a political calculation that includes morals but does not hinge on them. I think she will increase the debt faster, will do more to crush individual liberties, will be more likely to betray allies abroad, will do more to advance the paganism of mother-earth worship, will more effectively gut the Constitution, and do more to advance Leftist causes of all sorts. Under her, our progress in protecting the lives of infants in the womb will be halted, and possibly reversed back to the no-limits abortion/infanticide policies of the worst of the blue states.”

    All true

    And all compelling reasons for voting Trump.

    Hiliary will have a democrat Congress and naught will stop her. Her administration will make Obama look like a neophyte (which he was).

    Trump will have a skeptical republican Congress. Congressional dems will remember their Constitutional roles and there will be a blessed gridlock.

    The moral and practical choice is clear. Indeed, there is no choice. Anyone who favors capitalism and liberty is obliged to vote for Mr Trump.

    You can say THAT again!

    “The moral and practical choice is clear. Indeed, there is no choice. Anyone who favors capitalism and liberty is obliged to vote for Mr Trump.”

    • #24
  25. Majestyk Contributor
    Majestyk
    @Majestyk

    Judithann Campbell:

    Majestyk:Those people who spent the late 90’s telling us that “character matters” above all? Fakes. All of them. Sadly, I have to include Rush in this cohort. His betrayal stings the most because in a macrocosm, here you have the chief of the Character Police telling us that we have to vote for Bill Clinton’s shadowy reflection – shadowy because unlike Bill, Trump is incompetent and can’t win.

    They have abandoned any pretense to claiming the moral high ground.

    Sooner or later, anyone who has moral values will turn out to be a hypocrite of one sort or another. If calling Rush Limbaugh a hypocrite makes you feel better about supporting abortion, great.

    I don’t “support abortion” so, we’ll just move on from there.  I also don’t “support drug use” yet I’m opposed to the drug war.

    There are probably a variety of topics on which you could accuse Rush of “hypocrisy” given his serial marriages and various other incidents.  That isn’t what has been revealed as hypocritical.  The positions and ideas exist independent of the quality of the messenger – just as it is in the rest of life.  What has been revealed is that suddenly not only does character not matter, message doesn’t either.  Several prominent conservative media figures have modulated their message to accommodate the “new conditions” which is disturbing.

    They’ve moved away from me, not the other way around.  Sean “karate chop Jesus” Hannity leaps immediately to mind.

    If you believe that the Republican party will be better off without pro-lifers, you are making a fatal political miscalculation, but that is fine with me

    Let me uncram these words from my mouth that I never said.  I’ve said repeatedly that I encourage anti-abortion people to continue to engage in the sort of moral suasion that they’ve engaged in which has had immensely positive effects.  I depart from them on the topic of absolute abortion prohibitionism, which is both impractical legally and suicidal politically.

    • #25
  26. Amy Schley Moderator
    Amy Schley
    @AmySchley

    Judithann Campbell: Sooner or later, anyone who has moral values will turn out to be a hypocrite of one sort or another. If calling Rush Limbaugh a hypocrite makes you feel better about supporting abortion, great. If you believe that the Republican party will be better off without pro-lifers, you are making a fatal political miscalculation, but that is fine with me

    Failing to live up to one’s standards isn’t hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is telling others that X is wrong while believing that it’s perfectly okay to do it yourself.

    Hypocrisy is the mainstream media insisting that every woman’s claims of victimization be believed unless she’s talking about Bill Clinton.

    And yes, anyone who said Bill Clinton shouldn’t be president because he has a long history of taking advantage of women but says Trump should be president even though he has a long history of taking advantage of women is a hypocrite. If they want to argue that preserving the country is more important than avoiding double standards, fine; but they need to recognize that they have completely surrendered their moral authority on the issue of “character matters.” And that this decision will have consequences past Nov 8.

    • #26
  27. Majestyk Contributor
    Majestyk
    @Majestyk

    Curt North:

    Majestyk: unlike Bill, Trump is incompetent and can’t win

    I don’t understand the “incompetent” swipe. Trump is vulgar, loud mouthed, all that, yes. But the man has made himself into a billionaire after all. Yes he started with a hefty pile of seed money from Dad and then used the bankruptcy laws to his advantage, acknowledged. Still, he is worth billions and employs thousands, is this incompetence?

    As for him being unable to win, he’s already beaten 16 others to win the nomination, many of them “professional” politicians, including several that I supported. But he hung in and beat them all, now he’s running against the Hillary machine, the media, the GOPe, and some would argue the entire world. Obviously you feel a moral obligation to vote for someone else, but can you give him any credit for winning the nomination, for hanging tough against overwhelming odds?

    Nope.  Are we going to have this argument again?  Trump defeated a broadly split field with a plurality, gaining a large number of votes from no-hope states for Republicans such as New York and California on the basis of name recognition, mostly.  His victory there is the triumph of Kardashianized politics.

    Hopefully, the GOP will institute sensible controls on primaries in the future to prevent this sort of thing from happening again – perhaps even a superdelegate system.

    As far as his “competence” at national electioneering goes:

    trumptastrophe

    Remove Rasmussen and suddenly Trump has been trailing in every national poll save 2.

    • #27
  28. Judithann Campbell Member
    Judithann Campbell
    @

    Majestyk: 50% of Americans consider themselves pro-life. When you succeed in getting 50% of Americans to support dismantling the welfare state, then maybe I will look to you for political advice. The pro-life is position is and always has been more popular than fiscal conservatism, yet some fiscal conservatives seem really to believe that pro-lifers are holding them back. This is just more proof of how out of touch and unfit to lead they are. They have no understanding of the country they want to run.

    • #28
  29. (((Cat III))) Member
    (((Cat III)))
    @CatIII

    Larry Koler:Well, now we social conservatives have a group that we want out of the party. Get the lists of proud NeverTrumpers and identify them as the problem we have been having all along. Most of them are secular or atheist or confused.

    By most you mean a small minority, right? Christians opposed to Trump: Condoleeza Rice, Carly Fiorina, George H.W. Bush, William Bennett, Mia Love, Mollie Hemingway, Rachel Lu, David French, Erick Erickson, Kevin D. Williamson, Ross Douthat, Rod Dreher, Kevin D. Williamson, Evan McMullin, Tom Nichols, Glenn Beck. Jews opposed: Ben Shapiro, Daniel Pipes, Ben Stein, John Podhoretz, Jonah Goldberg, Avi Woolf.

    Secularists, agnostics and atheists opposed: Charles Murray, Charles Krauthammer, David Harsanyi, Charles C.W. Cooke, George Will, Heather MacDonald. The first two think atheism is the least plausible position. None are anti-theist.

    Also note that these atheist conservatives support Trump.

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  30. Majestyk Contributor
    Majestyk
    @Majestyk

    Judithann Campbell:Majestyk: 50% of Americans consider themselves pro-life. When you succeed in getting 50% of Americans to support dismantling the welfare state, then maybe I will look to you for political advice. The pro-life is position is and always has been more popular than fiscal conservatism, yet some fiscal conservatives seem really to believe that pro-lifers are holding them back. This is just more proof of how out of touch and unfit to lead they are. They have no understanding of the country they want to run.

    When you drill down in those numbers you typically find that their position is not as absolute as you insist.  They’re not monolithically opposed to birth control, abortifacients or even exceptions for rape and incest.

    Please don’t overstate your case.  Beyond that, Trump is nothing if not an avatar of people who’ve spent their lives and fortunes working against you.

    I get it.  You’re an abortion prohibitionist and any position which allows for it at all is unacceptable to you.  It is but one in a basket of issues for me and touches on other bug-bears of mine such as “limiting state power,” which is a much bigger issue in the aggregate.

    • #30
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