Most of the right has all but surrendered in the culture war under the specious claim that they are “fighting the left” when all they are really doing is ceding territory.
There are still pockets of resistance but the true Trump devotees are marching like Iraqi soldiers across the cultural desert with white flags and raised hands.
People of very low character in positions of authority is something I can’t abide. During the Clinton administration I was working in Washington and I was surrounded by by people who defended him, because many of them were exactly like him.
Backstabbers, philanderers, liars, you name it. I saw power abused and rules bent and broken. I saw straight up incompetence and outright criminal thievery. All of this was within the small arena of relatively minor government programs. It cemented my distrust for bureaucracy and centralized government because the people most guilty of malfeasance were also the ones most likely to get promoted.
There were investigations of some of my coworkers underway by law enforcement agencies, but September 11, 2001 happened and those cases were forever moved to the back burner if not abandoned outright. The Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal was the backdrop to much of this experience and it was instructive to see how the worst actors in my sphere were also the ones most likely to argue how his infidelity was no one’s business but his own and it didn’t affect his ability to lead and all the Democrat talking points that the Democrat media repeated ad nauseam back in those days.
In the age of Trump, those Democrat talking points have become Republican talking points because now the dishonest reprobate is a Republican. The high ground once defended by those who argued that character matters when it comes to choosing leaders has been forever abandoned. The right has embraced moral relativism with open arms and has done so with cheers of victory and celebration.
That previous career was like a crash course in Trumpian personalities and it forged one of my core beliefs about human nature: a person who will lie to and cheat on his/her spouse is a person who will lie to you and me without the slightest hesitation or remorse. People have tried to dissuade me from that belief, mostly people whose trustworthiness it called into question. I have yet to see any exceptions to the rule that didn’t come with radical life changes, extreme contrition, or genuine religious conversions.
So while some buy into the jailhouse lawyering and technicalities to morph their position from absolute denial that Trump engaged in immoral behavior to the Clintonesque acceptance of the behavior but denial of its significance and finally or the cynical endorsement of immorality as long as no laws were broken. Andrew Breitbart’s often repeated assertion that politics is downstream from culture is still true. Moral character is basically the culture of the individual, and the individual’s politics is downstream from it.
Grasping at details like when or where Trump demonstrated his low moral character is a feeble attempt at creating a smokescreen. Was it before he was elected? Before he was inaugurated? Before he got involved with politics? It doesn’t matter. It shows who he is as a man.
As huge disappointment Rush Limbaugh still asserts on his website and possibly once believed, “Character matters; leadership descends from character.”
I feel compelled to add some caveats here for the reading comprehension impaired or those prone to knee jerk reactions. Donald Trump is the legitimately elected POTUS. The Russian Collusion probe is politically motivated and not based on any serious evidence. Talk of impeachment is ridiculous because no high crimes or misdemeanors have to my knowledge been committed. Democrats and their media counterparts are not acting in good faith and haven’t been for decades. Hillary is a criminal shrew who only received the nomination because of her corrupt husband’s standing in the corrupt Democratic Party.
That said, Trump is still undeniably dishonest and has repeatedly demonstrated that very often his first instinct when cornered is to lie. He is also dangerously vain which makes him an easy target for Democrat chicanery. Knowing how Democrats try to exploit any possible weakness of a Republican President, Trump was the worst possible candidate for Republicans to pick in 2016. (Those who say he’s the only one who could have beaten Hillary and her lack luster campaign are woefully deluded.)
In response to this I am fairly certain the Twitter and Facebook peanut galleries will regurgitate their fallacious claims that anyone who criticizes Trump is just a leftist Hillary fan. I have no hope of penetrating skulls so thick that their owners are still parroting that simple-minded talking point. That sort of myopia is of the same variety that led to Republicans nominating a hedonistic, third-rate P.T. Barnum in the first place.
Every one of Trump’s domestic victories—most Trump critics don’t deny that there have been some, contrary to the blather of the Cult45 crowd—is likely to prove to be a Pyrrich one, or at least a fleetingly temporary one. Are tax cuts, Supreme Court nominations, and some minor ineffective tinkering with Obamacare worth total surrender on the cultural front? Some apparently believe it is and enthusiastically so.
I can accept that our president is a dishonest, self-centered jerk. I don’t like it but there’s nothing I can do about it. What really bothers me is how so many are actually happy that he is that way. People who prior to Trump’s nomination would have agreed with virtually every point I’ve made here will ridicule what I’ve written here. Those who condemned Trump as a con-man but now treat him as a conquering hero have sacrificed their own integrity and set the stage for increasingly bad leadership for America.