(from the diaries by streiff)
Much has been made of the anger of the Trump voter this primary season. That anger is not without cause — many of us have been feeling it for quite some time, as layers of insult and injury have been heaped upon freedom-loving Constitutionalists with an indecent zeal for years now. So I get it. Where Trump voters lose me entirely, however, is not only the “solution” that they in their anger have embraced, but also the flagrant way in which they wield this anger, as though its mere possession is enough to excuse them for any actions they may take while under its influence.
Well, sorry, Trumpkins, but I’m angry too. I’m angry that people I’ve respected and groups to which I’ve freely given both my time and talents, have unceremoniously tossed aside every principle for which they once claimed to stand, in favor of kissing the ring of a completely amoral wannabe tyrant. So, in an effort to abate my own anger, here is my (non-exhaustive) list of seven things that Trump supporters are no longer allowed to complain about.
- Obama Cultists
We all watched in disbelief when, starting in 2007, a growing portion of the American electorate were willing to suspend all rational disbelief in favor of a man who deliberately campaigned as a sort of blank slate onto which people could project their own wishes and wants: “He’s going to pay my bills!” “He’s going to unite the country!” “He’s going to restore our country’s good name!” We sounded the alarm every time the façade slipped a bit to give us a peek at the true man underneath, only to be decried as racists. This pattern continued after his election. Why? Because Obama.
Many of us on the Right are now experiencing a sort of horrified deja vu: “He’s going to get my job back!” “He’s going to grow the party!” “He’s going to make America great again!” And every time Trump’s own painfully transparent façade slips, anyone with the temerity to point it out is shouted down, often in vile terms. Why? Because Trump.
As the saying goes: fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. But isn’t it even more shameful, after having watched your adversary fall for a fraud, to then allow yourself to be duped by an even more obvious fraud of the same sort? Say what you will about Obama (and I have), but at least his guys can claim with credulity that they were taken in by his charisma; Trump supporters don’t even have that much.
Despite the claims of the frequent propaganda being shoveled our way by those in power, Obamacare has been a disaster for the vast majority of people who have been affected by it thus far — and it’s still not even fully implemented. The fight against Obamacare was a defining moment for the conservative movement in this country: the Democrats may have won in the end, but they had to do so by abusing their power, the law, and the English language, and ended up losing majorities in the House and Senate for their trouble. A victory, perhaps, but a pyrrhic victory at best.
Now, however, Trump supporters are poised to hand the presidential primary to a man who lauded single payer health care from the Republican debate stage, and has publicly praised the Obamacare mandate. Good job, guys.
In the aftermath of the Hawaii caucus, the Hawaii Republican Assembly (HIRA) sent out an email celebrating the fact that Donald Trump and Ted Cruz had placed first and second, respectively, saying, “You, the 75%, sent a powerful message to the RINO establishment which has controlled our party and been cozy with Democrats and their harmful agenda for far too long.” (RINO, for anyone who may have been living under a rock for the last decade or so, stands for “Republican In Name Only.”)
Has there been a better example in this primary of a RINO who is “cozy with the Democrats and their harmful agenda” than Donald Trump? The man who has praised and funded the worst among the Democrats for years? The man who financed the Gang of Eight, the man who shoveled money to Mitch McConnell in an effort to stem the Tea Party tide? The man whose stated positions on even his key policies are “negotiable,” who can’t even keep his own policy positions straight? If Donald Trump did these things with a (D) next to his name — as, frankly, would be far more befitting— you would be excoriating him, and rightly so. But with that (R) he’s pasted up there, he’s apparently beyond reproach.
- Corruption in Politics
Even when people we send to Washington, D.C. start out as principled conservatives, too often they end up turning their backs on the people who sent them there in favor of the party establishment. Why? Because that’s where the money is.
For years, conservatives have met with derision the denouncement of lobbyists and special interests by the very same politicians who are neck-deep in such “donations.” Now, it seems some on our side want to up the insanity and reject the shills of the donor class by cutting out the middle man and electing a member of the donor class itself. You don’t get to complain about corruption in D.C. and then support the man who has bragged about bribing a politician to attend his wedding.
- The Popular Portrayal of American Conservatives
I became a full-fledged conservative in the summer of 2008. It had been coming on for a while, but the process was difficult, in large part because I had been steeped for so long in the popular portrayal of conservatives as intolerant, uncaring, greedy, bigoted fascists. Some conservatives dismiss this portrayal out of hand, but it is a significant stumbling block for people of good will who don’t know any better. Indeed, it was actually meeting conservatives and seeing that they weren’t any of those things, and knowing that I wasn’t either, that helped me get past that.
Now, after years of fighting against baseless accusations of racism, a large portion of the conservative base is flocking to the man who is being praised by both David Duke and Louis Farrakhan. After spending years blasting Barack Obama for executive overreach, you are now cheering on a man who has so little regard for the separation of powers that he openly threatens the Speaker of the House. And what better way to combat the appellations of “greedy” and “uncaring” than to fall in line behind a man who’s being sued for defrauding people to such an extent as to merit a comparison to Bernie Madoff?
Of course, let’s not forget the ever popular War on Women meme. The Left turned a phrase from Mitt Romney’s innocuous story about wanting more women in his inner circle into such a heinous byword that it was, for a time, effectively impossible to gauge the functionality of a binder by checking its reviews on Amazon. Imagine the field day they’ll have with Donald “blood coming out of her whatever” Trump, whose campaign is currently denying clear-cut evidence that his thug campaign manager assaulted a female reporter, and who routinely treats women as sex objects to the point of even ogling his own daughter.
- Mistreatment of Our Troops and Veterans
Since Obama came into office, our troops have become more vulnerable both at home and abroad. Morale is low, as it’s fairly common knowledge in our armed services that they’re serving under a Commander-in-Chief who thinks that their greatest value is as props for his speeches. Veterans, too, are having a rough go of it, as the VA scandal has surfaced and passed with little more than lip service to answer it. Vets are committing suicide at unprecedented rates, and those who seek help are sent to voice mail.
“But Donald Trump loves veterans! Remember that fundraiser he did?” This would be a great argument if that money had actually made it to the veterans’ groups he was ostensibly helping; unfortunately, much of it has not, making that whole event look suspiciously like a cynical man using our veterans as props in his own spectacle of self-aggrandizement. (Sound familiar?) As to our active duty troops, he has loudly asserted that not only would he order them to commit war crimes, but “they’ll do as I tell them” — “or else” being the obvious completion of that thought. In other words, Donald Trump neither knows nor cares what sorts of men and women comprise the American military, why they joined in the first place, nor to what (rather than whom) they have sworn their oath.
Betrayal, like anger, is another term frequently bandied about by Trump supporters — again, not without reason. Betrayal is a powerful motivator, as it is a visceral and deeply personal experience: in order to be betrayed, one must first have made an investment of some sort. The larger the investment, the more it hurts.
You Trump supporters have vociferously condemned the GOP elite for abandoning their base — and in many ways you are right — but I ask you to consider how the rest of us feel right now. We all have our lists: Hannity, Coulter, Ingraham, Limbaugh, Palin, Drudge, Breitbart News, and now Ben Carson. My personal list also includes the aforementioned HIRA and the Honolulu Tea Party. We’ve vouched for you. We’ve invested our time, our talents, and our resources in you. We’ve trusted you, because we believed that we had common values. We believed we shared the same principles of Constitutional governance, of wanting to bring our nation closer to the desires of our Founders, who envisioned a land of equal opportunity and self-determination. You have sold out each and every one of your conservative colleagues who has stood beside and behind you for a man who would turn George Washington’s stomach, for a man who will set the conservative movement back fifty years — for a man who, in some ways, makes Barack Obama look reasonable. After years of denouncing those on both sides of the political aisle who demand that all dissenters shut up and get in line, conscience be damned, you turn on those of us who are ringing the alarm bells and call us traitors for not turning off our brains and worshipping your oddly-coiffed golden calf. In short, in these few short months you have become everything we have fought against. You’re not about principles; you’re about power.
You have betrayed us, and the sad part is that it will all be for nothing. Donald Trump doesn’t see you as his base; he sees you as his mark. He is a proven liar who is interested in exactly one thing: himself. He will use you for as long as he needs you, and then he will cast you aside like the dross he believes you to be.
Sooner or later, that day will come. When it does, don’t come complaining to me.