On Being Too Nice in Politics

 

Mitt Romney’s declaration of independence from Donald Trump as he takes his seat in the U.S. Senate has been illuminating – more for the responses than the op-ed itself. Professional speculators are asking whether it’s the opening gambit of a 2020 primary challenge (his denials notwithstanding) or mere virtue signaling?

The unappeasable left has drummed its fingers on the table, demanding to know whether Romney will oppose absolutely everything Trump does. If you are truly appalled at Trump, they insist, you must obstruct every judge, deregulation, and foreign policy move. Anything less taints you as insincere or useless. If Romney doesn’t vote like a liberal Democrat, he could pace up and down Pennsylvania Avenue with an “Impeach Trump” sandwich board and still be dismissed as a wuss.

The right, by contrast, has adopted a world-weary tone. “Oh, he’s unethical. Tell us something we didn’t know.” They dismiss moral objections as overly fastidious. Thus, David Limbaugh: “This type of self-congratulating moral preening from Romney will have the precise opposite effect Romney intends as it will further entrench Trump supporters, who are just really sick of being demonized. Yes, these types of unsolicited attacks on Trump are shots at his supporters.” Is there such a thing as a solicited attack? Anyway, you see how this works. Those who stick to standards are “preening,” and worse, they are insulting voters. But that’s a fallacy. There are plenty of Trump supporters who don’t excuse everything Trump does. They are fully capable of saying “Yeah, can’t deny that Trump is a jerk and a liar, but I do like some of his policies.” They are not guilty of Trump’s sins, and Trump shouldn’t try to evade responsibility by hiding behind their skirts.

Ben Shapiro assumes that Romney must be considering a primary challenge. It would fail, he contends, because “Republican voters have . . . learned the lesson that character doesn’t matter — ironically enough, from 2012 Mitt Romney, whose sterling character plus five bucks bought him a cup of coffee in that election cycle.” It’s not clear whether Shapiro is endorsing this interpretation or just reporting it, but it is common on the right, and by the way, also on the left. People have a weakness for believing that their own side is being hammered by the unscrupulous tactics of their opponents. Republicans believe that Democrats demonize them as racists, commit voter fraud, and change the rules to suit their own purposes. Some of this is true (see my second book, Do-Gooders for many examples of the first offense), and see Harry Reid’s filibuster rule change for an example of the third. Democrats believe that Republicans suppress minority votes, bend the rules for their own purposes, and rely on scare tactics. Some of that is true is as well. Ask Merrick Garland.

It’s always possible to rationalize your own departure from ethics by claiming self-defense. You’ll never lack for examples of the other side’s perfidy – but that doesn’t justify it. If it did, we’d never be able to have decency at all.

Nor is it settled that Mitt Romney was defeated because he was too much of a gentleman. I’d wager that many of those who voted for Barack Obama in 2012 were thinking “A candidate who says that 47 percent of the nation are indolent ‘takers’ is not my kind of guy.” Besides, he was running against an incumbent president whose approval ratings were above 50 percent in the final weeks of the race. And despite all of that, he still managed to get a bigger share of the popular vote (47.2) than Donald Trump achieved in 2016 (46.1). And don’t forget, Trump’s opponent was under FBI investigation – an inquiry that was reopened a week before the vote.

The fable that John McCain was felled by excessive delicacy in 2008 is also absurd. A two-term Republican president had just presided over a (perceived) failed war and the worst economic crisis in decades. It would have been a steep uphill struggle for any Republican even without the collective swoon for the charismatic first black major party candidate.

Whatever Romney’s motive may have been in penning the critical op-ed – it’s clear that what he wrote is the truth, which is worth a lot these days.

One of the chief grievances Republicans nurse is that they are portrayed as “bad people” for holding the views they do. Someone who believes in color-blind admissions is not a racist. A skeptic of government regulation is not a polluter. A believer in American world leadership is not a warmonger. But if you slip into defending Trump’s character, as opposed to some of his actions, you risk living down to the caricature.

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There are 68 comments.

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  1. Henry Racette Contributor

    I’m not sure where exactly Mona is going with this post, but I thought the following was refreshingly candid, coming from Mona:

    Mona Charen: There are plenty of Trump supporters who don’t excuse everything Trump does. They are fully capable of saying “Yeah, can’t deny that Trump is a jerk and a liar, but I do like some of his policies.”

    I will continue to distinguish between truthful and useful, and so argue that, however truthful Senator Romney’s piece was, it wasn’t useful — quite the contrary — and so consider it an unfortunate lapse on his part. I don’t expect Mona to say as much, but I did find her explicit acknowledgement that “plenty” of Trump supporters aren’t blind to his defects to be a nice turn. Thank you, Ms. Charen.

    • #1
    • January 3, 2019, at 12:35 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  2. RufusRJones Member

    Mona Charen: it’s clear that what he wrote is the truth,

    Dennis Prager savaged Romney’s article today. The whole thing was full of vague or wrong stuff. You can criticize Trump without being vague, but a lot of prominent people don’t.

    Mona Charen: A believer in American world leadership is not a warmonger.

    We are bad at foreign-policy and wars. People are sick of it.

    • #2
    • January 3, 2019, at 12:39 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  3. DonG Coolidge

    Romney’s op-ed was a lazy piece of trolling. He liked Trump’s character and endorsement when he was running, but has to signal that he is really on the side of the Macron and some other out-of-touch European leaders. It is less than 20 days to Davos, so it is a good time for Romney has to distance himself from the working class.

    • #3
    • January 3, 2019, at 12:42 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  4. James Gawron Thatcher

    Hi Mona,

    I wonder what you think of John Nolte’s piece at Breitbart?

    Nolte: Mitt Romney Is an Idiot

    Honestly, what kind of spineless, squealing little gerbil kisses up to the monsters who launched one audacious lie after another to aggressively destroy his presidential ambitions?

    What kind of mewling, bitter, sore loser crybully allows himself to be used as a prop in the un-American campaign to overturn the 2016 presidential election through impeachment?

    I’ll tell you what kind…

    An idiot, a moron, a stupe, a sleazy stooge.

    Well, it is a little over the top but I liked it.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #4
    • January 3, 2019, at 12:43 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  5. RufusRJones Member

    DonG (View Comment):

    Romney’s op-ed was a lazy piece of trolling. He liked Trump’s character and endorsement when he was running, but has to signal that he is really on the side of the Macron and some other out-of-touch European leaders. It is less than 20 days to Davos, so it is a good time for Romney has to distance himself from the working class.

    Well done.

    Trump made Romney fly to Las Vegas where Trump was working to get that endorsement. Howie Carr was all over this yesterday. Romney’s speech etc.

    The idea of Romney actually being a part of any kind of Davos thing makes me want to throw up. I mean seriously. The EU is a disaster, follow Harald Malmgren on Twitter if you think otherwise.

    • #5
    • January 3, 2019, at 12:46 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  6. Gary Robbins Reagan

    Amen.

    • #6
    • January 3, 2019, at 12:49 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  7. Jager Member

    Mona Charen: Is there such a thing as a solicited attack?

    Sure there is a way to ask for or invite an attack. One example is Mitt Romney’s “47% speech” during a Presidential campaign or Hillary’s “deplorables” comment during a Presidential campaign. Whether there is any truth to it or not, saying some things is just asking to have people verbally attack you for your stupidity in saying these things while trying to be elected. 

    Elizabeth Warren’s releasing DNA testing to prove she is a minority, that shows she has less Indian Blood then most people, was inviting people to attack/mock her. 

    Mitt Romney putting out this Op-ed was inviting the left to attack him and large portions of the right to attack him. The attacks from the right are on both substance (more of the same anti-trump stuff that voters largely knew before they elected the guy) or form (there was no point to doing this right now). 

    There does not seem to be a constituency for this piece at this time. It was a dumb political move. Romney was elected to represent Utah. Attacking Trump on general character (again there was no new bad story about Trump) is just pick a fight with Trump. It will not advance the interest of the citizens of Utah.

    • #7
    • January 3, 2019, at 12:52 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  8. rgbact Member

    Romney’s the most prominent Republican in America not named Trump. Dismiss him all you want. The November elections were dismal, the Dow is tanking and prominent Republicans are growing weary. Ignore this all at your peril. The bubble is cozy.

    • #8
    • January 3, 2019, at 1:54 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  9. George Townsend Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    I’m not sure where exactly Mona is going with this post, but I thought the following was refreshingly candid, coming from Mona:

    Mona Charen: There are plenty of Trump supporters who don’t excuse everything Trump does. They are fully capable of saying “Yeah, can’t deny that Trump is a jerk and a liar, but I do like some of his policies.”

    I will continue to distinguish between truthful and useful, and so argue that, however truthful Senator Romney’s piece was, it wasn’t useful — quite the contrary — and so consider it an unfortunate lapse on his part. I don’t expect Mona to say as much, but I did find her explicit acknowledgement that “plenty” of Trump supporters aren’t blind to his defects to be a nice turn. Thank you, Ms. Charen.

    Good comment, Hank. I know that you know that I am prejudiced where Mona is concerned. But I have criticized her when I thought it was warranted. And I think you’ll find that she is eminently fair, as I think I am. We just have such a distaste for Donald Trump that, while we do try very hard to separate his policies from the man, we will never get over our distaste for him.

    • #9
    • January 3, 2019, at 1:59 PM PDT
    • Like
  10. Jager Member

    rgbact (View Comment):

    Romney’s the most prominent Republican in America not named Trump. Dismiss him all you want. The November elections were dismal, the Dow is tanking and prominent Republicans are growing weary. Ignore this all at your peril. The bubble is cozy.

    I guess we all have our bubbles. 

    Romney is prominent in that he lost the nomination in 2008, lost the election in 2012, sat out 2016 and won a seat any sane Republican would win in 2018. Being the most popular Republican in Blue States is not a way for Republicans to win elections. In an awful lot of red states Romney is farther down the line of most respected Republican. 

    This is independent of Trump. Given a viable option: Trump, Cruz, Rubio, Walker, Hailey ect. Romney would not win a primary. 

    • #10
    • January 3, 2019, at 2:08 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  11. Stad Thatcher

    Mona Charen: But if you slip into defending Trump’s character, as opposed to some of his actions, you risk living down to the caricature.

    None of us Trump supporters defend his character. We defend his actions in office, which have been way above and beyond what most timid Republicans normally do.

    • #11
    • January 3, 2019, at 2:36 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  12. George Townsend Member

    Stad (View Comment):

    Mona Charen: But if you slip into defending Trump’s character, as opposed to some of his actions, you risk living down to the caricature.

    None of us Trump supporters defend his character. We defend his actions in office, which have been way above and beyond what most timid Republicans normally do.

    Stad, you and Mona are saying the same thing, in different ways.

    But I disagree with you. You say that no Trump supporter defends his character. It may be a minority, but a few here on Ricochet have defended his character.

    • #12
    • January 3, 2019, at 2:46 PM PDT
    • Like
  13. Richard Easton Member

    rgbact (View Comment):

    Romney’s the most prominent Republican in America not named Trump. Dismiss him all you want. The November elections were dismal, the Dow is tanking and prominent Republicans are growing weary. Ignore this all at your peril. The bubble is cozy.

    I haven’t worried since 2012 what Romney thought about anything. My bubble is pretty big. I spoke in 2014 at the Explorers Club in NYC and had a 2016 talk at AF Space Command introduced by a four star general.

    • #13
    • January 3, 2019, at 2:52 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  14. Walker Member

    A nice commentary justifying Ms. Charon’s own utter contempt of Trump. 

    • #14
    • January 3, 2019, at 2:54 PM PDT
    • Like
  15. Franco Member

    Poor Mitt is stuck having the left cynically exploit his personal moral principles, demanding he vote like a Democrat, and he must defend himself by telling us all once again how loathesome Trump is so he can vote his conservative conscience freely.

    But he doesn’t really have to do that. A man of character would ignore them. Mitt may be a good family man, but does he really have much real character? 

    • #15
    • January 3, 2019, at 3:06 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  16. Hoyacon Member

    rgbact (View Comment):

    Romney’s the most prominent Republican in America not named Trump. Dismiss him all you want. The November elections were dismal, the Dow is tanking and prominent Republicans are growing weary. Ignore this all at your peril. The bubble is cozy.

    What bubble? I’m looking for some cozy.

     

    • #16
    • January 3, 2019, at 3:22 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  17. Hoyacon Member

    And don’t forget, Trump’s opponent was under FBI investigation – an inquiry that was reopened a week before the vote.

    This must be the same opponent who should have been previously referred for prosecution but wasn’t because the fix was in.

    I have yet to meet a single person who voted for Trump because of the late announcement that there were classified emails on Huma’s computer, but virtually every Clinton voter I know laments the timing of the investigation’s reopening. It’s like a Democratic talking point. And here it is again.

    • #17
    • January 3, 2019, at 3:29 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  18. E. Kent Golding Member

    Does anyone not have a clear idea of Trump’s character or lack there of? Is anyone unaware of who Trump is and what he has done? Not heard or read his statements?Anyone have an uniformed opinion?

    • #18
    • January 3, 2019, at 4:45 PM PDT
    • Like
  19. ParisParamus Member

    Still unclear about the documented horrid nature of our President. Infidelity and divorces? What else? Seems like his character is better than that of JFK, LBJ, Clinton, and a guy who lied us into a health insurance monster, an radioactive Iran deal, lies about a video to cover up death, and leaving Iraq. “Character” seems to mean what you want it to mean.

    • #19
    • January 3, 2019, at 7:19 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  20. Gary Robbins Reagan

    E. Kent Golding (View Comment):

    Does anyone not have a clear idea of Trump’s character or lack there of? Is anyone unaware of who Trump is and what he has done? Not heard or read his statements?Anyone have an uniformed opinion?

    Trump lies when he bullies, beginning with his Birtherism, then the handicapped reporter, then Ted Cruz’s father helping kill JFK. My issue is not with Trump’s “tone,” it is that he is an overt liar who cannot be believed.

    • #20
    • January 3, 2019, at 8:51 PM PDT
    • Like
  21. Franco Member

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    E. Kent Golding (View Comment):

    Does anyone not have a clear idea of Trump’s character or lack there of? Is anyone unaware of who Trump is and what he has done? Not heard or read his statements?Anyone have an uniformed opinion?

    Trump lies when he bullies, beginning with his Birtherism, then the handicapped reporter, then Ted Cruz’s father helping kill JFK. My issue is not with Trump’s “tone,” it is that he is an overt liar who cannot be believed.

    The handicapped reporter thing, which as depicted, is probably the most damaging thing they have on Trumps character, is a fabrication.

    Its documented that he used the same gestures to represent people who were not at all handicapped. The commonality was people backtracking by obfuscation, which is what the reporter in question was doing.

    This reporters’ actual affliction was the inability to move one arm. Trumps arm-flailing gestures are therefore not an imitation or mockery of the man. Trump has said on record that he wasn’t trying to mock this man’s handicap and that he would never do such a thing. Google it and scroll down for video of Trump doing this. It’s been debunked.

    When I ask people what’s the best example of Trump being despicable, this incident is what is most often cited. Rightly so. I also think it would be the worst thing – if it were true. 

    I believe I’ve told you this before. I could be wrong. In any case I’d appreciate it if you would do the 3 minutes of research before you pass on this gross misrepresentation again.

    • #21
    • January 4, 2019, at 1:35 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  22. George Townsend Member

    Franco (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    E. Kent Golding (View Comment):

    Does anyone not have a clear idea of Trump’s character or lack there of? Is anyone unaware of who Trump is and what he has done? Not heard or read his statements?Anyone have an uniformed opinion?

    Trump lies when he bullies, beginning with his Birtherism, then the handicapped reporter, then Ted Cruz’s father helping kill JFK. My issue is not with Trump’s “tone,” it is that he is an overt liar who cannot be believed.

    The handicapped reporter thing, which as depicted, is probably the most damaging thing they have on Trumps character, is a fabrication.

    Its documented that he used the same gestures to represent people who were not at all handicapped. The commonality was people backtracking by obfuscation, which is what the reporter in question was doing.

    This reporters’ actual affliction was the inability to move one arm. Trumps arm-flailing gestures are therefore not an imitation or mockery of the man. Trump has said on record that he wasn’t trying to mock this man’s handicap and that he would never do such a thing. Google it and scroll down for video of Trump doing this. It’s been debunked.

     

    You are not wrong. To be fair – which I try to be – Trump was not mocking this particular reporter, as he does do this stupid gesture all the time. My issue is that it looks like he is mocking the guy. For people unfamiliar with this fellow’s real handicap, it is understandable that people think he is mocking. So my question is: Why do it? There are people with the handicap that Trump illustrates, and they can’t help it. Their motor functions are severely impaired.

    To me, this is the issue: Trump is an extremely thoughtless individual. A listing of the problems I have with this man-child with be legion: The lying, the mocking, the willingness to go nuclear whenever anyone says something unflattering of him, etc. It doesn’t befit an adult, much less the President of The United States. It makes us look weak, like a Banana Republic, that we have a man, as leader of the Free World, who cannot stand criticism. I have not even mentioned his adultery. This is not a good man.

    Let me just end by speaking of policy: I consider his triumphs to be exemplary – for the most part. Two things: Policy isn’t everything, as I’ve written innumerable times. I believe Morals and Manners (character, if you will) count more. And think about how much more he could accomplish, while showing the world that we are fit to lead it, if he would only not let his fragile ego get in the way!

    • #22
    • January 4, 2019, at 3:04 AM PDT
    • Like
  23. Franco Member

    George Townsend (View Comment):

    You are not wrong. To be fair – which I try to be – Trump was not mocking this particular reporter, as he does do this stupid gesture all the time. My issue is that it looks like he is mocking the guy. For people unfamiliar with this fellow’s real handicap, it is understandable that people think he is mocking. 

    OK, good. The issue of appearances makes it simply a gaffe, and since the MSM is under no compunction to defend Trump – even if it means being fair and reporting the truth (and also not actively trying to cover up the truth) is a game we shouldn’t play. It’s a complete loser, because they will always find something, or simply make things up out of nowhere.

    Remembering Biden’s gaffe about asking a handicapped man to “stand up”? I never attacked him for that and lost respect for those on the right who endlessly mocked him for it. In both cases the politicians weren’t thinking of the people they were referencing as handicapped. Trump wasn’t thinking of the guy’s handicap (which we on the right believe is a good thing, while the left want us all to have these things ever on our minds). It was a gaffe. And they knew it, but chose to misrepresent Trump in a most despicable way, as someone who makes fun of handicapped people. The Biden gaffe was simply because he was unprepared, few no one really thought he’d knowingly ask a man in a wheelchair to stand up

     

     

    • #23
    • January 4, 2019, at 3:45 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  24. Franco Member

    …. The lying, the mocking, the willingness to go nuclear whenever anyone says something unflattering of him, etc. It doesn’t befit an adult, much less the President of The United States. It makes us look weak, like a Banana Republic, that we have a man, as leader of the Free World, who cannot stand criticism. I have not even mentioned his adultery. This is not a good man.

    Let’s work backwards. Adultery. Hate to tell you, but there are a heckuva lot of no-good men in the world, and a lot are in politics. Outside of Obama and the two Bushes (and I wouldn’t be surprised if they all had dalliances we know nothing about) every President going back through history qualifies, so good of you not to ‘mention’ because it should be off the table. Further, Trumps adultery was non-exploitive and before he was elected, unlike Clinton’s and JFK’S.

    I don’t know what you mean by “nuclear” but responding to attacks is vital, especially if you don’t have others defending you – meaning, a balanced press. George Bush took the “high road” and it resulted in the left owning the low road. The President has the ‘bully pulpit’ and a Republican President can’t depend on an article in the Weekly Standard to be seen by more than 50,000 of people who already know and understand him, of Fox News, which was successfully demonized as overly partisan, um, fake news, if you will.

    You also misunderstand Trump if you think he can’t withstand criticism. I think if that were actually the case, he’d have resigned or gone crazy by now. Instructive might be a Pre-Presidential run TV show where professional insult comedians roasted Trump mercilessly, hurling the most vile insults at him while he sat before them. Sometimes he laughed, sometimes he winced, but he took it all in good faith. That video is probably buried deep in googles search engine but it’s instructive (and funny!).

     

    • #24
    • January 4, 2019, at 3:56 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  25. Franco Member

    George Townsend (View Comment):

    To me, this is the issue: Trump is an extremely thoughtless individual. A listing of the problems I have with this man-child with be legion: The lying, the mocking, the willingness to go nuclear whenever anyone says something unflattering of him, etc. It doesn’t befit an adult, much less the President of The United States. It makes us look weak, like a Banana Republic, that we have a man, as leader of the Free World, who cannot stand criticism. I have not even mentioned his adultery. This is not a good man.

    He can stand criticism alright, he just responds to it. I disagree that it makes us look weak. I believe I have a much higher tolerance for people holding negative views about America, our President, our foreign policy, than you do. We all have our sensitivities.

    • #25
    • January 4, 2019, at 4:00 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  26. Franco Member

    George Townsend (View Comment):
    Let me just end by speaking of policy: I consider his triumphs to be exemplary – for the most part. Two things: Policy isn’t everything, as I’ve written innumerable times. I believe Morals and Manners (character, if you will) count more. And think about how much more he could accomplish, while showing the world that we are fit to lead it, if he would only not let his fragile ego get in the way!

    I also believe you misunderstand “ego”. Scott Adams put it well (paraphrasing): ego is a tool, and some people use it as a tool when others think their ego is “who they are”. If your ego is “who you are” then you are at the mercy of it.

    It’d be nice if Trump were also some moral pillar, I agree. But we aren’t going to change him. 

    Policy isn’t everything, but it’s something. In our case, it’s the difference between freedom and tyranny, and if Saint Romney is unelectable because he’s incapable of getting into the mud politically, we got nothing. And if we have nothing we lose our Republic and our freedom. Then all manner of hell breaks loose. Immorality for everyone. I don’t think that’s what you want.

    I’m not asking you to sign onto Trump’s immorality or your perception of it, I am saying that I think t’s important to make the distinction between voting for a man being an endorsement of his personal values and voting politician who will keep socialism away.

    Well, I’ve spent enough time on this…thanks for reading.

    • #26
    • January 4, 2019, at 4:10 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  27. George Townsend Member

    Franco (View Comment):

    …. The lying, the mocking, the willingness to go nuclear whenever anyone says something unflattering of him, etc. It doesn’t befit an adult, much less the President of The United States. It makes us look weak, like a Banana Republic, that we have a man, as leader of the Free World, who cannot stand criticism. I have not even mentioned his adultery. This is not a good man.

    Let’s work backwards. Adultery. Hate to tell you, but there are a heckuva lot of no-good men in the world, and a lot are in politics. Outside of Obama and the two Bushes (and I wouldn’t be surprised if they all had dalliances we know nothing about) every President going back through history qualifies, so good of you not to ‘mention’ because it should be off the table. Further, Trumps adultery was non-exploitive and before he was elected, unlike Clinton’s and JFK’S.

     

    I disagree vociferously. 

    Adultery: I think your view is sort of condescending. My view is that he knows better and that he is deliberately choosing to hurt people. By insisting on holding him to a higher standard, I am saying that, as a grown man, he knows better. By dismissing this, I believe you are saying that he is not capable of ignoring his baser needs. Paradoxically, I believe mine is the view that thinks more highly of his capabilities than yours is.

    Going Nuclear: By which I mean that, even the mildest criticism will bring out the most titanic abuse, and that this makes him look petty and immature. Again, I think my view think speaks better of him than yours do.

    Not capable of hearing criticism: I do not know to what video you allude. Frankly, I don’t care. Anybody can, at one time or another, ignore his basic nature. I believe Trump’s basic nature is what I wrote above: To go over the top at the mildest criticisms. His tweets prove this.

    We are conservatives because we believe that Men (including women, which seems to be verboten these days) are capable of behaving better. That they don’t is regrettable, and we should not ignore these slippages.

    Your previous comment: I do not use the word “gaffe”. It is dismissive. Trump is thoughtless and impervious to other’s feelings.

    You are certainly entitled to your views; and you state them without rancor, which I am grateful for. But I simply cannot understand why people like you can’t just accept that his policies are good. That you just have to try convince others that this is a good man – or at least that others are worse; so he is acceptable.

    • #27
    • January 4, 2019, at 4:56 AM PDT
    • Like
  28. George Townsend Member

    Franco (View Comment):

    George Townsend (View Comment):
    Let me just end by speaking of policy: I consider his triumphs to be exemplary – for the most part. Two things: Policy isn’t everything, as I’ve written innumerable times. I believe Morals and Manners (character, if you will) count more. And think about how much more he could accomplish, while showing the world that we are fit to lead it, if he would only not let his fragile ego get in the way!

    I also believe you misunderstand “ego”. Scott Adams put it well (paraphrasing): ego is a tool, and some people use it as a tool when others think their ego is “who they are”. If your ego is “who you are” then you are at the mercy of it.

    It’d be nice if Trump were also some moral pillar, I agree. But we aren’t going to change him.

    Policy isn’t everything, but it’s something. In our case, it’s the difference between freedom and tyranny, and if Saint Romney is unelectable because he’s incapable of getting into the mud politically, we got nothing. And if we have nothing we lose our Republic and our freedom. Then all manner of hell breaks loose. Immorality for everyone. I don’t think that’s what you want.

    I’m not asking you to sign onto Trump’s immorality or your perception of it, I am saying that I think t’s important to make the distinction between voting for a man being an endorsement of his personal values and voting politician who will keep socialism away.

    Well, I’ve spent enough time on this…thanks for reading.

    I don’t like what you say Scott Adams said. Because he said that does not make me wrong. Basically, I object to saying me are at the mercy of our ego. I believe God wants us to rise above our baser thoughts.

    Thanks for being high-minded about this, for the most part. I think that the Saint Romney crack was unnecessary and beneath you.

    Enjoy the day.

    • #28
    • January 4, 2019, at 5:03 AM PDT
    • Like
  29. Franco Member

    Nothing is beneath me, George. Good exchange. We live in separate universes. Over and out.

    • #29
    • January 4, 2019, at 5:17 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  30. RufusRJones Member

    Franco (View Comment):
    Policy isn’t everything, but it’s something. In our case, it’s the difference between freedom and tyranny, and if Saint Romney is unelectable because he’s incapable of getting into the mud politically, we got nothing. And if we have nothing we lose our Republic and our freedom. Then all manner of hell breaks loose. Immorality for everyone. I don’t think that’s what you want.

    I agree with every single word of this. It took me a while to accept that reality, but that is reality.

    • #30
    • January 4, 2019, at 6:02 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
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