Dennis Prager, a well-respected conservative, has an article in Townhall regarding voting for Trump and takes aim at the #NeverTrump movement. The article can be read in its entirety here: A Response to My Conservative #NeverTrump Friends. Just as Prager does not find the arguments of those who oppose Trump convincing, this writer finds his arguments equally unconvincing.
Prager basically takes the lesser of two evils argument in deciding to vote for Trump. He then gets into moral equivalencies which are not really that equivalent when you think about it. He says, for example:
But America has made that choice before. When forced to choose between bad and worse, we supported Joseph Stalin against Adolf Hitler, and we supported right-wing authoritarians against Communist totalitarians.
Comparing the choice of choosing between two equally bad presidential choices is somehow morally equivalent to stopping a genocidal, anti-Semitic maniac hell-bent on world domination? Yes, we sided with Stalin and Russia over Hitler and Germany, but at what cost? If we take this moral equivalency dilemma to its logical conclusion using this analogy and apply it to the presidential choice, then to support Trump would be akin to supporting Soviet Russia’s equally egregious genocide. What choice is that?
He takes it further:
Because circumstances almost always determine what is moral, even for religious people like myself who believe in moral absolutes. That’s why the act of dropping atom bombs on Japan was moral. The circumstances (ending a war that would otherwise continue taking millions of lives) made moral what under other circumstances would be immoral.
Again, comparing a presidential race to World War II is silly. Circumstances do not necessarily determine what is moral. To believe this is to accept the relativity of morality despite Prager stating he believes in “moral absolutes.” When you start to weigh the lesser of two evils, all morality is thrown out the window and there are no “absolutes.” He as much as states this a few paragraphs down: “In the 2016 presidential race, I am not interested in moral purity. I am interested in defeating the left and its party, the Democratic Party.” Thus the person who believes in moral absolutes is not interested in moral purity?
And those of us who vehemently oppose the candidacy of Donald Trump do not need a lecture on what is at stake in 2016. In fact, those doing the lecturing seem to be under the mistaken impression that by supporting Trump and getting him into the White House, conservatives will hold some kind of sway over him, or have some Svengali-like influence. Donald Trump’s entire candidacy has been one big middle finger at the true conservative movement in the United States because (let me reiterate) Donald Trump is not a conservative.
In fact, those now falling in line and jumping on the Trump train are playing right into the trap and will be complicit in the destruction of conservatism in the United States. Trump’s ruination or remaking of the Republican Party will leave true conservatives without a home, not that what the Republican Party has become is such a welcoming home at times. But, it was some place to hang one’s hat.
Suppose everyone who opposes Donald Trump suddenly voted for him and he becomes President. Do people like Prager honestly believe Trump will enact any truly conservative piece of legislation or advance any true conservative principle? Prager lists the future of the Supreme Court as reason #1 to vote for Trump. But Trump is all about the “art of the deal.” That list of prospective Supreme Court nominees is a wishlist that will never come to pass, and he knows it. The first sign of a Democratic filibuster (assuming the GOP keeps the Senate) and Trump will jump into deal-making mode and appoint someone to the liking of the Democratic Party.
Instead of viewing this as a choice between “bad and worse,” or “the lesser of two evils,” the more accurate view (and one people like Prager do not quite get) is “damned if you and damned if you don’t.” And avoidance of being “damned” either way is one moral absolute by which this writer is willing to live. I will not be complicit in throwing dirt on the grave on conservatism in this country by voting for Trump.