This article was edited and published at The Federalist on June 6, 2016.
I am fortunate to have a somewhat unique ability: I can "turn off" my sense of smell at will, by controlling my soft palate, just as easily as I can close my eyes to avoid seeing. (This came in really handy when changing my kids’ diapers!)
Unfortunately, my "superpower" doesn’t work when it comes to politicians. And so, here I am, breathing in the full stench of the 2016 presidential election.
I try not to get too worked up about the presidential election. I don’t believe that any single person can make America great again. In fact, I think that we are in for very rough times ahead, both economically and culturally, regardless of who is elected as our next president.
But the past couple of weeks have been especially gut-wrenching. What do you do when it appears that your options are going to be this bad?!
After much thought, I have decided that I cannot, in good conscience, support Donald Trump, or a party that submits to him.
As a result, I feel the need to declare the causes which impel me to separate from the Republican Party...
Let Trump facts be submitted to a candid world
He is a big-government progressive, not a constitutional conservative.
Many of his supporters don’t even claim to be constitutional conservatives, but "nationalists", "populists", or "alt-right". In fact, Trump and his supporters have actually blamed conservatives for the woeful state of the GOP, when the real problem is the lack of principled conservative leadership.
Here are a few examples of his proclivity to big-government liberalism/progressivism:
He is the prototypical crony-capitalist, not an "outsider".
At the same time the Tea Party was beginning to fight the establishment, Trump was funding the establishment in both the Democrat and Republican parties.
"Oh, but he was just a businessman."
I. Don’t. Care. Trump was putting his own self-interest ahead of the country’s best interest, and he has been just as much a part of the "establishment" as career politicians. Crony-capitalists and politicians are simply two sides of the same corrupt coin.
He has no fixed principles.
Observers from across the political spectrum have recognized that Trump is more committed to himself than to the Constitution or any principles. Trump's flip-flops are legion.
- Conservative Thomas Sowell: "(Trump’s) history has demonstrated no principles at all, other than an ability to make self-serving deals..."
- Liberal Robert Reich: "Trump has no firm principles except making money, getting attention, and keeping power."
- Former president Jimmy Carter: "Trump has proven already he’s completely malleable. I don’t think he has any fixed (positions) he’d go to the White House and fight for."
- And, of course, here is Trump in his own words: "I will be changing very rapidly. I'm very capable of changing to anything I want to change to." Practically a chameleon, that Donald Trump is.
He is a pathological liar.
Trump supporters often make the mistake of thinking that Trump is the most honest politician ever, just because he makes statements that are not politically correct. He may be willing to say things that most politicians aren't, but that, in itself, doesn't make him any more honest or trustworthy than Al Bundy.
He doesn't just lie about consequential issues. He casually lies about things that few of his supporters would even care about, such as:
Here's a Daily Wire article cataloging 101 Of Trump's Greatest Lies. Of course, it was published more than a month ago, so it is well out of date. I wonder if somebody is working on a TrumpLies.com website yet. That could be a full-time job for somebody.
He is a schoolyard bully writ large.
Trump uses personal attacks and ridicule very effectively. Here's a sample, just from this campaign alone. He has:
Stay classy, Donald.
He is the embodiment of the "pride of life." (1 John 2:16)
It is true that no man is without sin, but I cannot endorse someone who wallows in his sin – who has bragged about his adultery and sees no need to repent, saying "Why do I have to repent or ask for forgiveness if I am not making mistakes?" Oh, OK... well, I guess as long as you’re perfect, then maybe there’s no need to ask God (or anybody else) for forgiveness.
There's just one problem... that is explicitly a non-Christian profession (1 John 1:8-10). So, if you don’t even understand what it means to be a Christian, then please don't bother waving your family Bible around.
Trump reached peak narcissism when he said, "I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose voters." If that isn't evidence of a cult-of-personality following, I don't know what is. It is difficult to imagine anyone who would be a greater antithesis to the humble example set by George Washington.
Dr. Sam Vaknin, an expert in abnormal psychology, who suggested in 2008 that Obama may be a narcissist, regards Trump as "much more of a menace than Obama ever was to the future of the USA." Trump fits each of the nine criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder, as described by Vaknin. The thought of putting this guy in command of a nuclear arsenal is troubling, to say the least.
Unfit to be the ruler of a free people
For these reasons, I believe Trump is unfit to be president.
In at least one regard, Trump would be even worse than Hillary: as a Republican president, he would ostensibly represent conservatives like me while, at the same time, making a mockery out of everything I stand for.
Trump thinks capitalism and conservatism are about being greedy and "conserving wealth". I would be hard-pressed to think of a more grotesque representative for the ideals of free-market capitalism and constitutional conservatism than Donald Trump.
As Alexander Hamilton said, "If we must have an enemy at the head of Government, let it be one whom we can oppose, and for whom we are not responsible, who will not involve our party in the disgrace of his foolish and bad measures."
"But, the Supreme Court!"
Trump made it clear that he couldn’t care less about conservative principles when he said: "This is called the Republican Party, not the Conservative Party."
So, regardless of anything that Trump might promise now, what on Earth makes you think that Donald Trump would nominate an originalist to the Supreme Court?
At best, he would likely nominate more milquetoasts like John Roberts, who upheld Obamacare and who pose little threat to major items on the liberal agenda.
My question is: who would do the most long-term damage to America's founding principles — Clinton, by nominating more liberal Supreme Court justices, or Trump, by placing a stigma upon the Republican Party and conservatism?
Another question for Christians... Who would do the most long-term damage to the already dwindling church in America? I say the answer to that is Trump — hands down. In fact, I would say great damage has already been done. Millions of Christians came out in the primaries to vote for a vile con man who "drinks his little wine and has his little cracker" and then goes about flagrantly parading his hubris, greed, and wrath.
What effect do you think that has in the eyes of those who already think Christians are just a bunch of hypocrites? (Hint: it's not good.)
I absolve myself from all allegiance to the Republican Party
If you are a Trump voter and your goal was to burn down the GOP... mission accomplished.
He has not only split the GOP, he has split the Tea Party as well, and rendered it impotent. The same voters who are voting for Trump (many of whom are Democrats) are voting for RINO incumbents in Congress, instead of limited-government conservatives.
If you can walk into a voting booth and vote for Trump or Clinton with your head held high, then knock yourself out.
I cannot. As a human being, and especially as a Christian, I would be ashamed to admit that I voted for Trump.
There is a limit to the amount of jackassery that I can endorse. So, I will gladly take Mike Huckabee’s advice to leave the GOP. I will not fall in line behind such a disaster of a candidate, just because he has an "R" after his name.
So, where do I go from here? At this point, my best hope is to be able to vote for pro-life candidate Austin Petersen, if he wins the Libertarian Party nomination.
Sure, that is a very long shot. But, we will likely have two candidates from the Democrat and Republican parties who are more despised, by more people, than any two major candidates in the history of the United States. And a third-party win is impossible in this environment? If so, then We the People deserve exactly what we will get.
I no longer harbor the Tea Party illusion that the Republican Party can be overtaken by representatives who will stand up for the Constitution and America's founding principles. I will not remain in a party that chooses to unite behind Trump.
Any Democrats who "crossed over" to help Trump take over the GOP can keep it. I’m no longer interested.