Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Ethics Contributor fails Moral Challenge

 

I did not see this at Ricochet. The column, by one of our Contributors, appeared on the editorial page of the gosh-awful Leftist newspaper that soils my driveway each morning. This Leftist newspaper has printed more columns by “Republicans” in the past four months than in the previous year, or any previous year, since their founding in 1841. These editorials by “Republicans” have all been disdainful and disparaging of the GOP nominee. This particular example is more of the same. I am writing to take issue with one paragraph:

Conservatives, particularly religious conservatives, who have rallied to Trump have squandered their own integrity and tainted the reputation of conservatism. They signed on for all of this when they saluted smartly and, in effect, acknowledged that all that character talk about Bill Clinton was so much gas.

This paragraph indicates a misunderstanding of a large segment of Trump supporters, and misunderstands how the moral issues apply to the choice of theologically-conservative people to support Trump. This is unsettling because this Contributor is identified with the Ethics and Public Policy Institute, and so should have a better understanding of reasoning that involves moral issues.

Integrity

From another part of this column, the Contributor wrote “Conservatives have standards,” in contrast to Progressives, whose standards are shifting and always subject to renegotiation. The Contributor thinks that, in order to support the morally-challenged Trump, supporters must toss aside our standards. This is a poor understanding of the way many conservatives think, and reveals that we have a Contributor pundit who does not understand many of the customers for opinion-writing on the “center-right.”

I have not abandoned my moral standards when I decide that a Hillary Administration would do greater damage to American values compared to a Trump Administration. Trump may be a boorish braggart of low morals, but Trump’s agenda is building the Trump Brand. Hillary, however, has figured out how to enrich herself by advancing the Leftist agenda of the most extreme Progressives. My support for Trump does not feature any endorsement of awful Trump; I support Trump only because he is not Hillary.

My standards are unchanged. I have not “squandered integrity” by making this assessment.

Prager

Dennis Prager has a column out where he takes issue with similar stuff from Jeff Jacoby and World. I was a little bit surprised by this scriptural exegesis:

The editors of World and Jeff Jacoby must think God was pretty flawed in “voting” for King David. King David did much worse than privately boast about women allowing him to grope them. He had a man killed so that his adultery with the man’s wife would not be exposed. And while God was angry at, and punished, the king, God still maintained David as king and gave him a central role in Jewish history. If God shouldn’t be ashamed for supporting King David, Christians shouldn’t be ashamed for supporting Donald Trump, given the far more corrupt and destructive alternative.

Ethics and Morals

I am distressed by the NeverTrump pundits and Contributors who keep saying I have embraced Trump’s low morals by supporting him over Hillary R. Clinton. I think by keeping up these slanderous charges, they betray that they are thinking emotionally and not logically about the choice that is presented to us in this election.

I support Trump precisely because it is the moral thing to do. A Hillary Administration will attack the churches, continue to distort language, promote Leftist politics as the only acceptable religion that is deserving of First Amendment protections, gut the Bill of Rights, betray America’s allies abroad, and spread lies all day long under the cover and protection that will be extended to them by their partizans in mass media. A Trump Administration will fumble around and make grave errors, but they will not be marching in lockstep to advance Progressive ideologies in a race to Leftist Utopia.

That is an assessment made logically and it fully embraces my theologically-conservative, Biblically-based moral standards.

There are 124 comments.

  1. MJBubba Inactive
    MJBubba Post author

    Dennis Prager’s column ran in National Review:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/441163/pro-trump-christians-unfairly-criticized?utm_source=jolt&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Jolt10182016&utm_term=Jolt

    • #1
    • October 18, 2016, at 1:42 PM PST
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  2. Columbo Member

    Well done MJB! Righteous indignation that is very well placed.

    • #2
    • October 18, 2016, at 1:56 PM PST
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  3. Annefy Member

    There were a lot of good responses when she wrote something similar on Ricochet.

    No surprise, she didn’t read them. Or if she did read them, she didn’t consider them.

    I am surprised and disappointed daily by the morally shallow thinking and writing I hear from people on my own side.

    • #3
    • October 18, 2016, at 1:59 PM PST
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  4. Valiuth Member

    I think perhaps that David might get a pass from God for services rendered. This is what always strikes me about the moral defenses of Trump. I think I would find them more convincing if Trump had ever proven himself prior to being defended as being able to deliver tangible benefits. The Democrats defended Bill Clinton because he had won them the presidency (twice) and passed their bills and nominated their judges. He had delivered and now they felt obliged to pay him back. A fair quid pro quo. Certainly a logical one if not a moral one. Yet, what has Trump done? You have to first sell your soul to find out what is in the box (it could even be a boat!). What kind of bargain is that?

    • #4
    • October 18, 2016, at 2:59 PM PST
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  5. A-Squared Coolidge

    MJBubba:I have not abandoned my moral standards when I decide that a Hillary Administration would do greater damage to American values compared to a Trump Administration. Trump may be a boorish braggart of low morals, but Trump’s agenda is building the Trump Brand. Hillary, however, has figured out how to enrich herself by advancing the Leftist agenda of the most extreme Progressives. My support for Trump does not feature any endorsement of awful Trump; I support Trump only because he is not Hillary.

    My standards are unchanged. I have not “squandered integrity” by making this assessment.

    That’s fine, but put me in the camp that believes you can’t say similar behavior in a future Democratic Presidential candidate is disqualifying. You’ve confirmed it isn’t disqualifying to you by voting for Trump.

    I didn’t think it disqualifying for either Clinton or Trump, so I don’t care. Maybe it is a good thing that parties now admit it isn’t disqualifying to anyone by supporting their candidate when it happens.

    We can stop the feigned outrage and get on to policy matters.

    • #5
    • October 18, 2016, at 3:09 PM PST
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  6. MJBubba Inactive
    MJBubba Post author

    OK, it turns out I missed it. The column that I took issue with had been posted at Ricochet.

    https://ricochet.com/380123/war-women-back/

    • #6
    • October 18, 2016, at 3:19 PM PST
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  7. MJBubba Inactive
    MJBubba Post author

    A-Squared:

    MJBubba:I have not abandoned my moral standards when I decide that a Hillary Administration would do greater damage to American values compared to a Trump Administration. Trump may be a boorish braggart of low morals, but Trump’s agenda is building the Trump Brand. Hillary, however, has figured out how to enrich herself by advancing the Leftist agenda of the most extreme Progressives. My support for Trump does not feature any endorsement of awful Trump; I support Trump only because he is not Hillary.

    My standards are unchanged. I have not “squandered integrity” by making this assessment.

    That’s fine, but put me in the camp that believes you can’t say similar behavior in a future Democratic Presidential candidate is disqualifying. You’ve confirmed it isn’t disqualifying to you by voting for Trump.

    Hopefully boorish misogynistic amoral behavior will get screened out in future GOP primaries. As much as I hate it, I am voting for a man who bragged of his adulterous affairs with “top women.” That should have been disqualifying, but the voters who showed up for GOP primaries thought not; they were more interested the way he mouthed off and said things that needed saying, and transgressed against all sorts of political incorrectnesses.

    I blame the GOP for stirring up so much discontent in the ranks on our side through inaction. They brought us to this unhappy situation by not doing more to stand athwart.

    • #7
    • October 18, 2016, at 3:24 PM PST
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  8. A-Squared Coolidge

    MJBubba: Hopefully boorish misogynistic amoral behavior will get screened out in future GOP primaries.

    Why would it?

    • #8
    • October 18, 2016, at 3:26 PM PST
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  9. MJBubba Inactive
    MJBubba Post author

    A-Squared:

    MJBubba: Hopefully boorish misogynistic amoral behavior will get screened out in future GOP primaries.

    Why would it?

    After the election, I will work up a post to recommend a set of screening criteria to be implemented for the next cycle. Call it the “Trump rule.”

    • #9
    • October 18, 2016, at 3:28 PM PST
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  10. Trinity Waters Inactive

    Wonderful post, with an extremely relevant Biblical reference. The part of Prager’s article that stuck with me, and that I’ve shared elsewhere is:

    “This is the only argument of anti-Trump conservatives that drives me crazy — this vociferous denial that they are not for Clinton. Of course they aren’t for Clinton intellectually, emotionally or morally. But the voting booth does not assess intellect, emotions or morals; it only assesses votes. So no matter how much a Republican loathes Clinton, in depriving Trump of Republican votes, anti-Trump Republicans are helping Clinton win the presidency.”

    • #10
    • October 18, 2016, at 3:30 PM PST
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  11. A-Squared Coolidge

    MJBubba:

    A-Squared:

    MJBubba: Hopefully boorish misogynistic amoral behavior will get screened out in future GOP primaries.

    Why would it?

    After the election, I will work up a post to recommend a set of screening criteria to be implemented for the next cycle. Call it the “Trump rule.”

    But why should primary voters follow your set of recommendations? You’ve already demonstrated that you will for the R candidate regardless.

    I wanted a small government guy, but the party nominated an authoritarian central planner this cycle. I have accepted that the GOP wanted something different than I wanted. It is their party, they can do what they want with it.

    • #11
    • October 18, 2016, at 3:33 PM PST
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  12. Annefy Member

    A-Squared:

    MJBubba:

    A-Squared:

    MJBubba: Hopefully boorish misogynistic amoral behavior will get screened out in future GOP primaries.

    Why would it?

    After the election, I will work up a post to recommend a set of screening criteria to be implemented for the next cycle. Call it the “Trump rule.”

    But why should primary voters follow your set of recommendations? You’ve already demonstrated that you will for the R candidate regardless.

    I wanted a small government guy, but the party nominated an authoritarian central planner this cycle. I have accepted that the GOP wanted something different than I wanted. It is their party, they can do what they want with it.

    I am pretty sure Trump got his share of D votes. Didn’t he do pretty well in open primary states? So don’t think it’s all on R primary voters.

    That having been said, the GOP has a lot to answer for in how it managed all the candidates. And a lot of those candidates have a lot to answer for on who they chose to attack

    • #12
    • October 18, 2016, at 3:38 PM PST
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  13. James Lileks Contributor

    I support Trump precisely because it is the moral thing to do.

    Is this the case if you live in a state he can’t possibly win?

    • #13
    • October 18, 2016, at 3:38 PM PST
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  14. Annefy Member

    James Lileks:

    I support Trump precisely because it is the moral thing to do.

    Is this the case if you live in a state he can’t possibly win?

    Yes

    • #14
    • October 18, 2016, at 3:39 PM PST
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  15. Eugene Kriegsmann Member

    Trinity Waters:

    “This is the only argument of anti-Trump conservatives that drives me crazy — this vociferous denial that they are not for Clinton. Of course they aren’t for Clinton intellectually, emotionally or morally. But the voting booth does not assess intellect, emotions or morals; it only assesses votes. So no matter how much a Republican loathes Clinton, in depriving Trump of Republican votes, anti-Trump Republicans are helping Clinton win the presidency.”

    In the same manner, the vote does not tell the candidate you are voting not for him, but against his opponent. In most instances that wouldn’t matter, but in Trump’s it is very important. His campaign, in my opinion, is not about winning the presidency. It is about Trump’s overwhelming ego and narcissism. Every individual vote is an unearned gift to his misguided sense of self-worth. I find him detestable, so my only way to make that point is to deny him my vote. I am sure there are people on the other side of the aisle who are doing the same with Clinton. Neither they nor I are helping either candidate. We are doing what our consciences dictate.

    • #15
    • October 18, 2016, at 3:40 PM PST
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  16. Annefy Member

    Eugene Kriegsmann:

    Trinity Waters:

    “This is the only argument of anti-Trump conservatives that drives me crazy — this vociferous denial that they are not for Clinton. Of course they aren’t for Clinton intellectually, emotionally or morally. But the voting booth does not assess intellect, emotions or morals; it only assesses votes. So no matter how much a Republican loathes Clinton, in depriving Trump of Republican votes, anti-Trump Republicans are helping Clinton win the presidency.”

    In the same manner, the vote does not tell the candidate you are voting not for him, but against his opponent. In most instances that wouldn’t matter, but in Trump’s it is very important. His campaign, in my opinion, is not about winning the presidency. It is about Trump’s overwhelming ego and narcissism. Every individual vote is an unearned gift to his misguided sense of self-worth. I find him detestable, so my only way to make that point is to deny him my vote. I am sure there are people on the other side of the aisle who are doing the same with Clinton. Neither they nor I are helping either candidate. We are doing what our consciences dictate.

    My conscience dictates I do whatever I can to prevent HRC from becoming president, and thereby stopping – or at least slowing – the left.

    Oskar Schindler was a morally detestable man. A liar, a thief, an adulterer. I like to think had I had the opportunity I would have supported him.

    • #16
    • October 18, 2016, at 3:45 PM PST
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  17. Western Chauvinist Member

    MJBubba: I support Trump precisely because it is the moral thing to do.

    A-men! On the five non-negotiables alone (abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, and same-sex marriage), Trump is the only moral choice. Not because he’s so stellar on these issues, but because it is a moral duty to mitigate the evil Clinton and the Democrats will do. End of issue.

    This doesn’t even get to Hillary and the Democrats’ complete corruption of the Department of “Justice”, the FBI, the IRS, … Where are we supposed to turn for justice when the Democrats solidify their power in government?? What about Clinton’s open borders policies attempting to cement the Democrat majority, her hostility to conservatives and Christians, and on and on…?

    Anyone who thinks Dennis Prager (VDH, Larry Arnn, Eric Metaxas…) is morally confused might benefit from a little introspection. Seriously.

    • #17
    • October 18, 2016, at 4:13 PM PST
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  18. Karen Humiston Member

    I don’t blame or criticize those who decide they must vote for Trump because they feel Hillary would be worse. But it will be a long time before I get over my bitterness at those who put us in this situation by supporting him in the primaries. Donald Trump is an unprincipled, unstable, willfully ignorant vulgarian, who is completely ready to destroy the entire GOP if he doesn’t get his way. “Burn it all down,” they say — though all of us are in the house being set alight.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — Next time you want a disrupter, get a chimpanzee with a sledgehammer. He’d do far less damage.

    For myself, I’ll be voting for Evan McMullin. Again, I do understand those who feel they must choose the lesser of two evils, but I truly am not sure who would be more evil. They are both so horrible and so unfit, in their own different ways. To quote Jonah Goldberg, “When given a choice between two crap sandwiches on different kinds of bread, my response is ‘I’ll skip lunch.’”

    • #18
    • October 18, 2016, at 4:20 PM PST
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  19. Annefy Member

    Karen Humiston:I don’t blame or criticize those who decide they must vote for Trump because they feel Hillary would be worse. But it will be a long time before I get over my bitterness at those who put us in this situation by supporting him in the primaries. Donald Trump is an unprincipled, unstable, willfully ignorant vulgarian, who is completely ready to destroy the entire GOP if he doesn’t get his way. Burn it all down, they say — though all of us are in the house being set alight.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — Next time you want a disrupter, get a chimpanzee with a sledgehammer. He’d do far less damage.

    For myself, I’ll be voting for Evan McMullin. Again, I do understand those who feel they must choose the lesser of two evils, but I truly am not sure who would be more evil. They are both so horrible and so unfit, in their own different ways. To quote Jonah Goldberg, “When given a choice between two crap sandwiches on different kinds of bread, my response is ‘I’ll skip lunch.’”

    But lunch won’t skip you.

    • #19
    • October 18, 2016, at 4:27 PM PST
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  20. Hoyacon Member

    Karen Humiston:

    For myself, I’ll be voting for Evan McMullin.

    I liked your post a lot, but we part company here. IMO, anyone who cluelessly plays the race card on Republicans to the extent McMullin recently did is undeserving of a vote. You can look it up, as Yogi would say.

    • #20
    • October 18, 2016, at 4:36 PM PST
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  21. Karen Humiston Member

    Annefy:

    Karen Humiston:I don’t blame or criticize those who decide they must vote for Trump because they feel Hillary would be worse. But it will be a long time before I get over my bitterness at those who put us in this situation by supporting him in the primaries. Donald Trump is an unprincipled, unstable, willfully ignorant vulgarian, who is completely ready to destroy the entire GOP if he doesn’t get his way. Burn it all down, they say — though all of us are in the house being set alight.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — Next time you want a disrupter, get a chimpanzee with a sledgehammer. He’d do far less damage.

    For myself, I’ll be voting for Evan McMullin. Again, I do understand those who feel they must choose the lesser of two evils, but I truly am not sure who would be more evil. They are both so horrible and so unfit, in their own different ways. To quote Jonah Goldberg, “When given a choice between two crap sandwiches on different kinds of bread, my response is ‘I’ll skip lunch.’”

    But lunch won’t skip you.

    Don’t I know it. We’re like the Ghostbusters, having to choose the form of the destructor.

    • #21
    • October 18, 2016, at 4:38 PM PST
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  22. Karen Humiston Member

    Hoyacon:

    Karen Humiston:

    For myself, I’ll be voting for Evan McMullin.

    I liked your post a lot, but we part company here. IMO, anyone who cluelessly plays the race card on Republicans to the extent McMullin recently did is undeserving of a vote. You can look it up, as Yogi would say.

    I will look into that.

    • #22
    • October 18, 2016, at 4:39 PM PST
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  23. Hoyacon Member

    Karen Humiston:

    Hoyacon:

    Karen Humiston:

    For myself, I’ll be voting for Evan McMullin.

    I liked your post a lot, but we part company here. IMO, anyone who cluelessly plays the race card on Republicans to the extent McMullin recently did is undeserving of a vote. You can look it up, as Yogi would say.

    I will look into that.

    If I may provide at least a start.

    • #23
    • October 18, 2016, at 5:04 PM PST
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  24. Damocles Inactive

    James Lileks:

    I support Trump precisely because it is the moral thing to do.

    Is this the case if you live in a state he can’t possibly win?

    Yes.

    • #24
    • October 18, 2016, at 5:14 PM PST
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  25. James Lileks Contributor

    Annefy:

    James Lileks:

    I support Trump precisely because it is the moral thing to do.

    Is this the case if you live in a state he can’t possibly win?

    Yes

    Well, no. If the argument for voting for Trump is the moral thing to do because “She’s worse 100X Flight 93,” then one is relieved of the obligation if Clinton has a lock on your state’s electoral votes. You are no longer voting to negate her, but to affirm him. Give him a bit attaboy. I’ll pass.

    • #25
    • October 18, 2016, at 5:42 PM PST
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  26. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher

    Hoyacon:

    Karen Humiston:

    Hoyacon:

    Karen Humiston:

    For myself, I’ll be voting for Evan McMullin.

    I liked your post a lot, but we part company here. IMO, anyone who cluelessly plays the race card on Republicans to the extent McMullin recently did is undeserving of a vote. You can look it up, as Yogi would say.

    I will look into that.

    If I may provide at least a start.

    OMG! Is this for real?

    • #26
    • October 18, 2016, at 5:52 PM PST
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  27. Saint Augustine Member

    MJBubba:

    I support Trump precisely because it is the moral thing to do. A Hillary Administration will attack the churches, continue to distort language, promote Leftist politics as the only acceptable religion that is deserving of First Amendment protections, gut the Bill of Rights, betray America’s allies abroad, and spread lies all day long under the cover and protection that will be extended to them by their partizans in mass media. A Trump Administration will fumble around and make grave errors, but they will not be marching in lockstep to advance Progressive ideologies in a race to Leftist Utopia.

    Very good.

    • #27
    • October 18, 2016, at 5:53 PM PST
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  28. Saint Augustine Member

    Annefy:

    James Lileks:

    I support Trump precisely because it is the moral thing to do.

    Is this the case if you live in a state he can’t possibly win?

    Yes

    Not that it matters for me, but I’m in inclined to agree.

    However, in Texas I think it’s probably best (overall) to vote for McMullin.

    • #28
    • October 18, 2016, at 5:54 PM PST
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  29. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher

    Bryan G. Stephens:

    Hoyacon:

    Karen Humiston:

    Hoyacon:

    Karen Humiston:

    For myself, I’ll be voting for Evan McMullin.

    I liked your post a lot, but we part company here. IMO, anyone who cluelessly plays the race card on Republicans to the extent McMullin recently did is undeserving of a vote. You can look it up, as Yogi would say.

    I will look into that.

    If I may provide at least a start.

    OMG! Is this for real?

    Let me say, if McMullin really thinks the GOP is full of racists, a la Avik Roy, I think there is something wrong with voting for him.

    • #29
    • October 18, 2016, at 5:59 PM PST
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  30. Saint Augustine Member

    Western Chauvinist:

    A-men! On the five non-negotiables alone (abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, and same-sex marriage), Trump is the only moral choice. Not because he’s so stellar on these issues, but because it is a moral duty to mitigate the evil Clinton and the Democrats will do. End of issue.

    There are at least six, right? There’s also religious liberty. The Left wants to replace free exercise of religion with a private freedom of worship–for your house, your church/synagogue, and Sunday/Saturday only.

    You can’t do business, charity, or education in accordance with your theology anymore–if the Left gets its way.

    • #30
    • October 18, 2016, at 6:03 PM PST
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