Part 2: Why This Republican Can’t Support Donald Trump

Donald_Trump_ApprenticeI thought I covered it pretty thoroughly (not exhaustively by any measure, but surely thoroughly) in Part 1, yet I continue to hear from fellow Republicans who just can’t seem to grasp why I can’t support our party’s nominee (or at least, the nominee that Democrats helped us choose). Implicit in my assumption that Part 1 adequately explained my reasons was that most people–especially those who call themselves conservatives–understood the fundamental show-stopping problem with a conservative supporting a liberal Democrat with an “R” after his name.

Well, apparently, recent experience has taught me that a lot of people who call themselves conservatives…aren’t really conservatives, or at least their understanding of and commitment to conservatism is superficial.

So it seems I have to spell out the next phase of implications surrounding the proposition of a conservative supporting a liberal Democrat who has an “R” after his name.

It should be obvious to any semi-cognizant adult that leaders within a political movement are de facto banner carriers for that movement, and that a president or presidential candidate is a super-banner carrier.  In other words, the masses tend to look to the person first, and then associate with that person every political characteristic which surrounds that person.

In the case of Donald Trump, he is running as a Republican. Therefore, Republicanism (i.e. the principles and values of the Republican Party) become associated with him. When people think “Trump,” they think “Republican.”

Conservatism is associated with the Republican Party. Now, as anyone alive over the past 10 years or more knows, “Republicans” have done a lot to prove that at least the leadership of the party is anything but conservative. But the GOP is traditionally identified with conservatism, and even though most of the party’s leaders have betrayed conservatism brutally and repeatedly, the fact that remains, in the final analysis, the Republican Party is still more conservative than is the ultra-Leftist Democrat Party.  This is especially evident when you read the Republican Party platform, which is a statement of core beliefs held by the party. That means when people think “Republican,” they think “conservative.”

Woodrow Wilcox


First, I have a big problem with Donald Trump being associated with the Republican Party. Even though that is the political banner under which he has chosen to run for president, his words and deeds, both past and present, make it clear that he is only superficially (at best) a Republican in his philosophy.  You can’t be for watering down the pro-life plank of a party and be more than a superficial adherent to that party. You can’t be for the homosexual agenda (something the GOP has long opposed) and be more than a superficial adherent to that party.

Second, I have an even bigger problem with Donald Trump being associated with conservatism. Conservatism is the philosophy, the ideology which gives the Republican Party meaning and distinction in the first place.

Associating a fraudulent “Republican” and a fake “conservative” like Donald Trump with the Republican party and conservative philosophy demeans and devalues both brands. It undermines confidence in both the integrity and the efficacy of them. And since I want conservatism to thrive (it’s the modern expression of the same values the founders of America embraced to create the greatest nation in history), and because the Republican Party has traditionally been the political vehicle of conservatism, I want the Republican Party to thrive, too.

Donald Trump is not a nutrient to the GOP or to conservatism. He is poison to both. He wears the label of both, but is a corrupt betrayer of both.  A person who holds views that are the antithesis of your brand is (duh) the antithesis of anything you would want representing your brand.  Put simply, you don’t want a liberal who is a warped caricature of your brand to be the salesman of your brand.

Trump’s cult following has best been described (at least politely) as a manifestation of populism.  Populism is defined as “claiming to represent the common people” or  a belief in the “rights, wisdom, or virtues of the common people.”  Well, a constitutional republic, which is what the United States is, also does these things.  Since we have representatives elected by the common people to protect their rights, in a sense, republicanism (not the principles of the Republican Party, per se, but the principles of a republic) is a form of populism.  So what makes populism distinct from the republicanism of our American republic? I believe it would be accurate to say that it is the strong emphasis placed on the common people, most especially that belief in the wisdom of the common people.  Taken to the conclusions we are seeing manifest in today’s populist sentiment, it is the belief that the wisdom of the culture is superior to the institutions and principles which establish the foundation of our republic; what else can you say when it is made clear that loyalty to the man is more important than loyalty to the principles?

But are the common people really that wise?  They can be, and certainly in many cases when compared to the self-centered idiots who run our country today; today’s leaders are nothing like the statesmen of our founding era or even those seen throughout most of our history.  Still, can it be said that the common population is really that wise today?

Consider the intellectual depth of our culture (which is just another name for the common people).  When you think of the music that sells millions and has the broadest embrace and impact in society, is it the music that is the most edifying and intellectually stimulating…or rot?  When you look at many of the movies and television shows that garner the most popularity (same root as the word populism), is it the ones that lead us to aspire to greatness and selflessness…or the ones that appeal to our darkest natures? Consider the “reality TV” genre that has become so popular in the last 15 years: hour after hour where the common people revel in the humiliation of others.  Or the news, where Leftist media continues to thrive even though the common people should supposedly be wise enough to see through the propaganda and reject it.

So really, when you think about it, is there reason to have much faith at all in the wisdom of the common people? Some people, sure.  But as a collective body?  I shudder when I think if the “wisdom” of pop culture today.

Let me be blunt: populism it isn’t conservatism. While the general public in America is somewhat conservative (especially compared with Leftist activists in America, and with the general public of most of the world), populism as a movement only crosses paths with conservatism here and there, not on a consistent basis. Conservatism is based on and dedicated to a very specific set of principles and values; populism is based on a short-sighted “what’s in it for me right now” mentality.  Sometimes populism is able to see that conservatism is what’s good for it, but at other times, the popular mindset simply embraces that which fosters good feelings for the moment (often to the long-term detriment).

The anger that many otherwise good people have at watching their country sold down the river by liberals and cowards has, instead of being put to good use in rejecting sellouts and electing statesmen, been channeled into mindless rage. Many conservatives and common people are fed up with the political establishment, which should lead good people to think carefully and replace bad leaders with good ones. Instead, a “burn it down” mentality has developed and what otherwise might have been a healthy anti-establishment mindset has been allowed to trump (pardon the pun) any conservative leanings populists might have.

pq_20160804The experience of the last few years, especially the last eight months, have made it clearer than ever that many people who call themselves conservatives, and may even hold to a considerable number of conservative tenets, are ultimately more interested in “fighting the man” (however they perceive “the man,” whether it be the elites, those who currently hold power, the political establishment, the globalists, those identified or who can be connected however tenuously with groups they distrust, etc.) than they are in advancing conservative governance. They are more interested in wrestling power away from those they dislike or distrust than they are in seeing a genuine conservative in power.  They’ll generally take a conservative who displaces those they dislike, but if it comes down to a choice of a shabby candidate who is not a member of “the man” or a conservative who seems a little too polished for their rough-cut expectations, they’ll go with with the shabby candidate every day and twice on Saturdays.  After all, to some, the “shabby man” who doesn’t express himself with polite and measured tones (and often instead expresses himself with guttural or belligerent sentiments) seems closer to the “common man.”

Pop culture lemmings get impressed easily by media figures, and when you couple Trump’s reality TV stardom with the fact that he’s been in the news regularly since the 1980s, you have the formula for a following. Donald Trump’s brash and crass persona fits right in with the debased cultural mindset I mentioned earlier–the one where the moral and intellectually shallow cheer seeing certain people crushed under the heel of people viewed as strong and assertive.  Pop culture tunes in week after week, keeping ratings high, to watch others on television make idiots of themselves, to watch one person castigate and demean another person, to watch this person or this group humiliate or cast out that person or that group.  Where the Roman mob once gloried in watching human beings ripped apart by wild animals in the colosseum, today’s mob glories in watching the dignity of human beings ripped to shreds by their fellow human beings (oh, how civilized we have become!).

This same shallow culture unconsciously sees the Trump presidential campaign as a spin-off of his reality TV show, where the people they don’t like are humiliated and will get “fired.” It isn’t so much a matter of ridding the political landscape of politicians who are doing harm to our constitution and our liberty; what really gets the STrumpets fired up is watching him call elites and others he doesn’t like “stupid,” “crooks,” and a host of other derogatory terms.  Make fun of a reporter with a physical disability?  Sure!  Trump’s cult followers aren’t so much motivated by the spirit of constitutionalism as they are motivated by the spirit of the colosseum.

Do the liberals (in both parties) deserve to be defeated? Oh yes!  Do the RINOs infesting the GOP deserve to be slapped around and castigated for betraying their own party’s values?  You bet!  But they don’t deserve it so bad that we’re willing to vote for a crass, childish, narcissistic Democrat who has an “R” after his name!

America doesn’t need some bull in a china shop who will merely insult and strike out at the self-interested politicians who have been ruining our country; America needs a statesman who understands the principles upon which our great nation was founded. America doesn’t need a messiah who appeals to and channels our mob spirit; America needs a leader who understand the source of all that was ever good about America–those things bestowed to us by our Creator, inalienable gifts from Him and not from government or a group.

Put as simply as I can, America doesn’t need an unqualified primadonna apprentice to save us from the looming abyss; we need a well-grounded leader who understands what has always made America tick, and is singularly focused on restoring adherence to those principles.

As populism only occasionally crosses paths with conservatism, Donald Trump only superficially crosses paths with conservatism. When he rails against political correctness (that liberals like him have fostered), he sounds like a conservative. When he rails against illegal immigration (that he has contributed to by hiring illegal aliens), he sounds like a conservative.  When he talks tough (while we are used to liberals being all mealy-mouthed surrender artists…at least on things that are good and positive), he sounds like a conservative.  But as Donald Trump’s record demonstrates, he is NOT a conservative, any more than populism is inherently conservative.

I can’t support a fake conservative or a paper savior who appeals the base nature of the mob, and so I can’t support Donald Trump–no matter what letter he has after his name.

I couldn’t vote for a Democrat who stated they thought the government health care programs of other countries were great, and wanted to implement something like that here…so I can’t vote for Donald Trump, no matter what letter he has after his name.

I couldn’t vote for a Democrat who said homosexual behavior should be protected as a civil right…so I can’t vote for Donald Trump, no matter what letter he has after his name.

I couldn’t vote for a Democrat who said they thought Republicans were too extreme in their pro-life views and thought Republicans should water down the pro-life plank in their platform…so I can’t vote for Donald Trump, no matter what letter he has after his name.

I couldn’t vote for a Democrat who openly mocked a person’s disability…so I can’t vote for Donald Trump, no matter what letter he has after his name.

I couldn’t vote for a Democrat who had stated they believe in the anthropogenic global warming agenda, and had called on the federal government to do things to restrict so-called greenhouse gas emissions…so I can’t vote for Donald Trump, no matter what letter he has after his name.

I couldn’t vote for a Democrat who encouraged his supporters to hit people who disagreed with them, and even offered to pay the legal bills of supporters who committed violence against opponents…so I can’t vote for Donald Trump, no matter what letter he has after his name.

I couldn’t vote for a Democrat who has said several times how they admire the strong-arm tactics of communist dictators…so I can’t vote for Donald Trump, no matter what letter he has after his name.

I couldn’t vote for a Democrat who had hired illegal aliens, and was all over the map about what they said they’d do regarding illegal immigration…so I can’t vote for Donald Trump, no matter what letter he has after his name.

In case it isn’t clear by now, I can’t support a craven Democrat just because he has an “R” after his name.

Most Democrats will vote for a Democrat candidate, no matter how much the Democrats betray them and their values (look at the monolithic black Democrat vote, even though Democrats are still peddling the same politics of division that they’ve been peddling–claiming no improvement–for the past 40 years).  Most Democrats will vote for the person with the “D” after their name, no matter how immoral, corrupt and criminal that candidate is (with Hillary Clinton as the latest and worst living proof).

Are we on the Right really now expected to become as unprincipled and enslaved to a letter as Democrat voters are???

Finally, while it hasn’t been pleasant to see so many people I once considered strong allies in the fight against liberalism jump in bed with a liberal, at least not going along with this nonsense has relieved me of the obligation my Trump-supporting friends have to defend not just his liberal policies, but every stupid, asinine, childish and downright crass thing Trump says and does on a regular basis, such as:

  • Refusing to reciprocate endorsements with Republican Speaker Paul Ryan, who is more conservative than Donald Trump is
  • Getting in a mudslinging contest with the parents of a fallen U.S. soldier, and embarrassing himself while demeaning every military veteran in the country with talk of his own “sacrifice”
  • Making light of the cost of a Purple Heart medal
  • Drawing attention to a supporter at one of his rallies, then telling her to leave with her crying baby (did he mean for her to take Trump out of the auditorium and burp him or something?)

Watch some of the Trump surrogates on the television news shows, and the Trump acolytes on social media (not the desperate “lesser of two evils” conservatives, but the true believers) . Even the ones who have demonstrated in the past that they know better, that they know right from wrong, that they know liberalism and bad conduct are wrong…because they have surrendered their hearts and souls to Cheeto Jesus, they contort themselves into defending all manner of terrible policies and behavior–policies and behavior they have rightly castigated RINOs and Democrats for in the past!

I am SO glad I don’t have to defend this guy to my friends and other people I encounter.  Even if Trump was reliably conservative, not having to explain his debased performance is worth much gold.

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Bob Ellis has been the owner of media company Dakota Voice, LLC since 2005. He is a 10-year U.S. Air Force veteran, a political reporter and commentator for the past decade, and has been involved in numerous election and public policy campaigns for over 20 years. He was a founding member and board member of the Tea Party groups Citizens for Liberty and the South Dakota Tea Party Alliance. He lives in Rapid City, South Dakota with his wife and two children.
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  • Kevin

    Well Said and well reasoned Bob.

    Bob, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be the next President of these United States. I don’t “Support” ether one of them.

    However I will be voting against the worst of them; Hillary Clinton.

    There have been credible reports that Trump “got Saved”. I pray this is true and perhaps God will interfere with a Trump administration in a positive way. After all, in Jeremiah God calls Nebuchadnezzar (had to look that one up-LOL) “My Servant” because even though he was not a believer, he was going to be used to accomplish God’s work. But regardless if the reports are true, I feel certain that Hillary Clinton will DESTROY what little is left of our Liberty.

    God Help Us!

  • Thisoldspouse

    There is an online discussion that Trump may be the Manchurian candidate, and I’m coming more and more to consider this possibility. Or at least an effective plant to kill the Republican reputation in elections for good.

    • I’m not normally one for left-field conspiracy theories…but too many things fit an otherwise oddball situation here for me to completely discount it.

      • Thisoldspouse

        Indeed, some of the most outlandish conspiracy theories posited can’t hold a candle to much of the reality we’ve seen recently.