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Here are some thoughts of mine from a ferociously contentious Facebook thread today (see it for the full exchanges), which was (ostensibly) about an earlier article of mine devoted to Donald Trump. Many seemed to be under the mistaken impression that I am either contending that Trump is 1) perfect and saintly, 2) the best of the original 17 GOP nominees (I think he is 15th best), or 3) my personal favorite (see #2). My actual point is that we are likely faced with a choice between him and Hillary Clinton. For the conservative, pro-lifer, and yes, Catholic concerned about the direction of the country, I submit that that choice is a very easy one.
Moreover, I have a thing about defending people and ideas that I feel are unjustly maligned. There is plenty with which to criticize Trump (and I agree with a lot of it), but the problem is that he is so often being accused of things that he doesn’t hold, or that are vastly misunderstood, or that are just as true of other politicians, so that double standards are in play. His humor is often greatly misunderstood. He’s sort of like a Rush Limbaugh in that respect.
Rush, like Trump, tends to be either hated or loved. He talks using some vulgarities. It’s not my cup of tea and I think it is inappropriate, and don’t allow it on my online venues, but it is true that we live in an age where almost everyone talks this way. It’s all over TV, movies, and songs. Yet when a presidential candidate uses the same language, all of a sudden everyone becomes a Victorian. I’m just asking for some consistency. Every politician uses crude language, but most use it only privately. Trump has the guts (agree or disagree) to do it in public, which is no different from R movies that everyone flocks to see. So why the double standard?
Anyway, here are my thoughts, in no particular order, in the Pascal’s Pensées style.
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This [post being discussed] was originally from 1-6-16. Full disclosure: At that time I was a Cruz supporter (as mentioned in the post). I switched to Rubio after Cruz’s well-documented dirty tricks against Carson in Iowa. Then I tired of Rubio when he started his childish tirades and name-calling against Trump (looks like that strategy backfired for him). So now it’s Trump by default. But as argued, I have no problem with his stated policies, which are indeed conservative in nature.
I didn’t vote in the Michigan primary yesterday because Trump was so far ahead (and did win). If I had voted, it would have been for Kasich.
I have said all along that I will vote for the GOP nominee against Billary Clinton. If we don’t do that, then we can only blame ourselves for yet another stupid effort and self-demolition, and will bear the blame for what happens under a Billary administration.
The choice is up to us non-Democrats: conservatives, independents, and libertarians. Do we want more of the same, or some real reforming change?
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I support whoever runs against Hillary (just as Kasich, Rubio, and Cruz — and all the earlier candidates who are now out — all said they would do; even Reince Priebus said that : so apparently they’re nuts as well). I heard Rubio say it again tonight. Why? Because “anyone is better than Hillary.”
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I like Cruz’s policies. I like how he is a very sharp debater. If he wins it, I vote for him, of course. But I’ve lost a lot of respect for him. It may actually be a Trump-Cruz or Cruz-Trump unity ticket. So we will all have to do a group hug and go out and kick Hillary’s butt and get this country back on track again.
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I have a big problem with people who don’t vote or go third party, so that the Dems win again and keep ruining our country and our moral and cultural / religious traditions.
But I think we win this year despite all the best efforts of “GOP” (?) folks, who are determined to wreck our election chances. The movement and trend to completely shake things up in Washington is that big.
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It’s a leap of faith to believe any politician. But I see lots of reasons to believe that Trump will at least try to do what he says he wants to do. He’d look pretty ridiculous if he doesn’t. So, say, e.g., he doesn’t build the wall like he says. He’d look like a total fool and liar, and self-interest, if nothing else, would dictate that he does what he keeps saying he will do.
If he can’t get the economy going, then he’ll be shown to be incompetent that way. Etc. But there is no good reason to not do what he says he wants to do. It will likely be him vs. Billary and that choice is one of the easiest ones I can imagine.
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He has made it clear he will defund Planned Parenthood because of abortion. He merely says that they do some good things, too. That could very well be a wise way to get some moderate votes.
It’s not clear that waterboarding is technically torture in the first place. I went through all that a year ago, losing a few friends in the process. I oppose it as abusive, but am not convinced it’s torture. We do it on our own soldiers, after all, in training. That’s a hell of a lot different from, e.g., drilling a hole through someone’s cheek, or breaking their toes with a sledgehammer, gouging out their eyes . . . Big dif.
As for non-combatants, he has spoken about the wives of the 9-11 perpetrators as co-conspirators. That’s borderline, and it’s arguable that those with knowledge of terror plots are also terrorists (though with children, of course, it would be a more difficult case).
When Osama bin Laden was taken out, his wife was killed at the same time. So does that make that soldier an immoral wife-killer?
Harry Truman wiped out 100,000 Japanese in Hiroshima. Lots of people continue to defend that to this day. Not me. I argued loudly that this was utterly immoral and indefensible, and I lost a friend in that debate, too. He savaged and lied about me for several years afterwards.
We did many more immoral acts in WWII: carpet-bombing Dresden and Tokyo, etc. I say it is wrong.
Today we have smart bombs and far more capacity to stick to military targets, as much as is humanly possible.
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We have a civil obligation to vote, according to the Church. The Church allows us to vote for the lesser of two evils. Trump is clearly that [at the very least], against Billary, who loves childkilling and will do everything she can to perpetuate the abortion industry.
Reagan signed an abortion bill into law in California in 1967, that resulted in 200,000 abortions before Roe. A tremendous flip-flop . . .
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I think the GOP wins in November, no matter how many folks are stupid and sit on their hands on election day or vote for some irrelevant fool.
[two people took great offense at this sentence and I later clarified:
I made a general statement, that would apply to the 2012 election or any other, for that matter (Trump didn’t run in those), about apathy and lack of civic responsibility. Logically, that is not saying “one is stupid if they don’t vote for Trump” but rather: “one is stupid if they sit on their hands on election day or vote for some irrelevant [i.e., 3rd party] fool.”
Two different things . . . though it is a somewhat subtle distinction.
It’s the idea that “I won’t vote for the GOP candidate if he’s not my first choice or is not a canonized saint.” This is what has killed us in many elections and brought us destructive liberal dominance. And that is stupid.
It was a general statement against not voting or voting third party, that applies to all elections and goes far beyond Trump: i.e., I’m saying it is stupid to not vote for whomever the GOP nominee is. It would apply to anyone who got the GOP nomination. I will vote for whoever it is. You guys will not, if it’s Trump.
IT IS STUPID TO NOT VOTE FOR THE GOP CANDIDATE (WHOEVER IT IS) OVER AGAINST THE PRO-ABORT DEM CANDIDATE.
But I can say it is stupid to not vote for the GOP candidate, whoever he is (either not voting or going 3rd party), since we know the nature of the opponent.
We don’t know who will be the candidate yet, so how could I say it was stupid to not vote Trump, since we don’t yet know if he is the candidate?
If Trump is the one, and someone doesn’t vote or votes third party, it’s stupid.
If Cruz is the one, and someone doesn’t vote or votes third party, it’s stupid.
If Rubio is the one, and someone doesn’t vote or votes third party, it’s stupid.
If Kasich is the one, and someone doesn’t vote or votes third party, it’s stupid.
All four of these men say they will support whoever the nominee is, so why can’t we in the GOP out here say the same thing? What is so blasted complicated about it? We unite to beat the Democrats!
What if Trump picks Rubio or Cruz for VP? Will those who like one or both of them change their mind and now vote for Trump?]
If Trump wins and starts getting some good things done, maybe these people will vote for him in 2020, and he’ll have an even bigger landslide than it looks like he’ll have this year.
All indications are in our favor: history (the presidency almost always flips after eight years), turnout, the lousy economy and ISIS, no incumbent running, Billary’s indictment or at least (quite likely) recommendation of same by the FBI, which will lead to Dem chaos, “Reagan Democrats” and other crossover Dems favoring Trump over Billary, people being absolutely fed up with the political status quo in both parties, etc.
All we have to do is stop our childish, asinine infighting and get behind our likely candidate.
Head-to-head Dem vs. GOP polls are way too early to prove anything, because the fight has not yet begun. Also, they don’t take into account the likely recommendation for indictment and possible indictment of Billary. Thirdly, people are still getting to know Trump. Fouthly, it doesn’t take into account the VP pick, which could gain great support, if it is Cruz or Kasich or some other popular, conventionally conservative figure. All that can change very quickly.
What will give us the victory is all the factors I mentioned. Trump also brings into play states like Michigan and Pennsylvania and New Jersey (not to mention Ohio), by getting the Reagan Democrat / blue collar white vote.
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As I said, Trump is only my candidate by “default” and I would have voted for Kasich in the [Michigan] primary, if I had gone yesterday. [I didn’t because Trump was far ahead in the polls, and did win by 13 points or so] He was my 15th choice of the original 17.
I’m also a pragmatist and realist in political terms. The fact remains that Trump is the likely candidate, against Billary. Everyone who isn’t a Dem / liberal will have to decide whether to vote for him, or sit home or go third party. I believe in party unity, as Reagan taught, and so will vote for Trump or Cruz or the man in the moon, against Billary and more mad, mindless liberalism.
This is a vote for President, not sainthood. No one is under any illusions that Trump is perfect. But last time I checked, no other politician is, either, and there has been only one Catholic President (and he was a lousy Catholic).
What is relevant is whether he will do what he claims. If he accomplishes even two or three of these things, he will be a resounding success, because Obama hasn’t done a damned thing except drive the economy and our foreign policy into shambles and pursue a radical unisexist and childkilling agenda.
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Arguing that “Trump is a bad guy of low character” is ad hominem: which means “at the man.” There can be good and bad reasons for saying so, but it is still attacking the man, as opposed to his policy positions. My post was about the latter, and that’s what I specifically said I wanted to discuss.
My critique of Cruz is ad hominem, too, but I would say it is heavily substantiated ad hominem. I studied the “Dr. Carson leaving the race” thing very closely, and there is no doubt in my mind (nor in Dr. Carson’s) that it was deplorable dirty tricks.
As I have said, and have held ever since 1980 and Reagan, I vote for the GOP candidate, because they are always pro-life (i.e., anti-abortion) and the Dem opponent is not. It’s the #1 social issue for our time, just as slavery was 160 years ago. Thus, if Rubio or Cruz got the nomination, I would vote for them. If Trump does, I vote for him. I would have voted for 16 of the 17 original candidates (Pataki is pro-abort, or was last time I checked, anyway).
You guys don’t want to do that. You want to sit home on election day or go third party if Trump is the nominee. And that helps the Dem get elected. It’s a direct causation. Every election requires high turnout in order to achieve victory. Unless you’re in a blue state where the GOP has no chance ever, you are contributing to the Dem victory by not voting or voting for some irrelevant 3rd party clown (thus making the GOP guy lose your state because of low turnout, if there are a lot who think like you).
It’s not even arguable. You may not like it for me to say that, but it is what it is. It’s the reality. Abortion will be here forever if we don’t vote pro-life and change the Supreme Court. If Billary gets elected, abortion will become more entrenched, and less restrictions will be allowed, and this will be the case for at least 30 years if not longer.
As for ethical distinctions regarding Cruz, Rubio, and Trump, the latter has not hidden anything about himself. He is what he is. When his past positions are brought up, he doesn’t deny them. He doesn’t set himself up as some exemplary Christian, like Rubio and Cruz do.
Rubio acted with great class and distinction and then turned on a dime and started acting like an idiot, just because he was losing. He brought up the “size of the hands” nonsense, that now Trump is being blamed for, simply because he responded with a crude but essentially harmless joke. Sorry, that is mere opportunism. It looks like people saw it for what it was, judging by Rubio’s miserable numbers last night [Michigan, Mississippi, Idaho, and Hawaiian primaries].
And Cruz showed himself to be ruthlessly ambitious: lying about Carson and Trump. I’ve seen him say Trump supports Planned Parenthood (i.e., including abortion) and Obamacare, while Trump was expressly denying both on the same day. Thus, Trump started calling him “Lyin’ Ted”: because he had firsthand experience of it.
Cruz claims to be the good evangelical Christian; son of a pastor. To see him stoop to these levels is extremely disappointing. “To whom much is given, much is required.” Everyone’s on Trump’s case for being pro-abortion in the past. I keep pointing out that Reagan signed a huge abortion bill into law in 1967, and that Elder Bush was pro-abort right before he was VP. Romney also switched his position. No one seems to care. They can do that, but if Trump changes his mind, he is not to be trusted at all. It’s a double standard. Trump isn’t personally responsible for allowing 200,000 legal abortions to happen, as Reagan was. He hasn’t had Christians killed in the past, as St. Paul did, just months before he was acknowledged as an apostle. People can actually change.
Trump’s attacks are mostly mere teenage-type / New York machismo humor, though of a crude sort, and with highly objectionable exceptions (such as the remark about POW McCain and making fun of a disabled reporter, which were reprehensible).
So he says Rubio sweats a lot, and choked when Christie challenged him (which everyone said; Rubio himself conceded a failed debate performance). Rubio returns by calling him a “con artist” and making jokes about his reproductive anatomy. Which is worse? One thing reports a widely acknowledged fact and provides a harmless, silly barb; the other is vulgar and is accusing someone of being a flat-out fraud, manipulator, and liar, which is wrong, is actionable defamation of character and slander.
As one who has been called a liar and everything else imaginable, for 19 years online as an apologist, I know what it feels like to be flat-out lied about. It’s not pleasant. Trump has a right to defend himself like anyone else does. So do I.
People keep saying Trump is liberal and no different from Billary. That’s hogwash. I gave ten of his policy positions in my earlier paper. All we can go by is the policy positions. But if they say, “we can’t trust Trump, so what he says is irrelevant,” they have removed the discussion from a rational policy discussion to mere subjective contempt for a person. That’s why I said such arguments were ad hominem: because that is exactly what they are.
But I have said from the beginning that Trump is not a conservative; that he was a “centrist pragmatist.” That’s a position not unlike Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, and to some extent, Elder Bush (not to mention Romney). It’s not that radical at all. And he is now often being called a “populist” by the media, which is fairly accurate as well.
So I have already agreed that he is not strictly a conservative, yet his main policy planks are, as shown. I accept him as sincere, when talking about those. But many say he can’t be trusted and is a liar. That is the difference. I’m disappointed in the behavior of Cruz and Rubio, but I don’t deny that they are sincere, in terms of stated policies. That’s a second difference as to how I approach them, compared to the widespread severe cynicism about Trump. And I would vote for them.
It may be difficult to vote for Trump, but it’s not a difficult choice at all, when the opponent is Billary Clinton: the person who may have committed over 1,000 felonies with classified information, loves childkilling, and helped allow four Americans to die in Benghazi, and then lied and deceived the public about what happened.
People wanna talk about Trump as a “liar” when we have some of the consummate political liars of all-time with the Clintons: all the way up to cover-ups of Bill’s numerous unwanted sexual advances?
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All we can go by with any politician is his or her stated policies. And whether they were lying can only be finally determined by how they do if they are elected. I think Cruz and Rubio have lied about others, but not about their own policies.
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I don’t care who despises me for saying it. I will stand up for the defenseless babies being slaughtered every time. A vote for the Democrat presidential candidate is a vote for more deaths; more abortions. It enables the slaughter to continue. It’s common sense: voting for pro-aborts promotes abortion! DUH!!!! Voting for the GOP candidate is the only chance we have to lessen those deaths (even if it is a small chance); to make more of them illegal: all the more so now, with the untimely death of Justice Scalia.
If that makes people mad, so be it. I won’t stop telling the truth and won’t stop speaking out against the abortion holocaust. I’ve been doing it for 34 years and will never stop.
I care a great deal about this country going to hell in a handbasket. I’m old enough (57) to remember what it used to be like before the Democrats and sexual revolutionaries systematically ruined almost every great thing about this country (oftentimes with GOP “useful idiot” assistance).
Now we have a chance to try something really different and it’s open season against Trump, as if he were the worst human being who ever walked the face of the earth.
Like I said, this isn’t voting for a saint, it’s for President, and either the GOP or Dem candidate will win. We don’t have time to screw around anymore. Pretty soon terrorists will have nuclear weapons (the moron in North Korea already does), and our debt will be past able to be paid off.
All of you younger people will have to suffer as a result. I’ll be glad to depart this moral sewer that America has become [i.e., the way things are going, if we don’t start doing something about it], when the time comes.
My view is that mybaby boomer generation was the worst of all. We led the descent into immoral secularism. Young people today will suffer greatly if we (all of us, of all ages) don’t get the debt and the terrorists under control. I have children who are now 24, 22, 19, and 14. They will have to live in this country when I’m dead and gone. This election is about changing the direction we have been on before it’s too late.
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The real division comes from conservatives and those who would normally vote GOP, who are now refusing to do so [if Trump gets the nod], so as to possibly wreck this election for the GOP, as happened in 2012, and quite notably in 1992 (and Ross Perot was a flat-out pro-abort): handing it to Wild Bill Clinton, who got 42% of the popular vote.
I still think we win it in November, despite all the attempts within the party to sabotage it.
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This election is too important to sit home. I’ll vote for Trump (if he is the guy), warts and all, just like I voted for Romney, plugging my nose, and voted for Bush II, even though he favored abortion for rape and incest, which is intrinsically immoral.
I could say, by the same token, that Cruz employing dirty tricks against Dr. Ben Carson is reprehensible, as is Rubio calling Trump a “con artist.” But I would vote for either in a second, against Billary and the Purveyors of Death and Destruction.
This could very well be the most important and momentous election in our lifetime, and here we are again maintaining that our guy isn’t a saint, so forget the goals of getting the Dems out of power; we just ain’t gonna vote for Trump . . . .
Well, I can assure all that I was just as disgusted with Romney, though I would never have not voted for him, and did come to actually like him quite a bit more, as time went on. But now he is shown to be a crass opportunist: begging Trump for his endorsement in 2012 and fawning over him, while he now turns on a dime and attacks him with various lies. That’s exactly what I didn’t like about him in the first place: flip-flopping according to the opportunity of the moment.
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You cite Benjamin Franklin, of all people, in a point about virtue: a skirt-chasing barely a Christian, if at all? I couldn’t pass up that great irony.
I think the only justification for voting third party is being in a certainly blue state, as I alluded to before. You would not then be partly responsible for enabling the Democrat to win, if there is little chance of the GOP candidate winning.
But Trump is actually bringing states like Pennsylvania and Michigan and maybe even New York and Illinois into possible contention. That’s one of his strengths.
You, like virtually everyone I have talked to who is determined to be against Trump, no matter what, continue to ignore the fact that Reagan was once pro-choice, just 13 years before he was elected. So was elder Bush. So was Romney. People can and do change. They change in the other direction, too (Clinton, Gore, Jesse Jackson, even Teddy Kennedy).
For the last time, I point out that Trump was about my 15th favorite among the original 17. This is not about Trump being the greatest thing since sliced bread or my own favorite; “my guy”. It is about his being the likely GOP candidate; therefore the only hope to defeat Billary.
One rarely gets all they want in politics. Once non-Dems and some of the pro-lifers who vote third party or Democrat, or don’t vote, finally get this through their thick skulls, maybe we can win some elections and actually reverse the trend of decadence and despair.
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My position since the 1984 election (having become avidly pro-life in 1982 after attending a pro-life conference) is that I vote for the pro-lifer over against the pro-abort. So one could have predicted in 1984 that I would vote for Trump in 2016 (if he is the nominee). This ain’t rocket science.
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People can run down Trump all day and night (and that is what is extremely fashionable to do right now). The bottom line is the comparison of him to Billary. That is our likely choice in November (or Cruz vs. Billary). Even if someone thinks Trump is a scoundrel, if he is better than the alternative, the Church allows us to vote for him.
The choice is still easy, even if his statement about being pro-life is false. At least he is claiming it. We know that Billary is a rabid pro-abort, supporting abortion for all nine months, and partial-birth infanticide.
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Reagan allowed 200,000 legal abortions to take place in California, by the stroke of his pen in 1967. Was it “incredibly naive” for pro-lifers to vote for him in 1980 and 1984, too?
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I read the letter by George Weigel at al, and two signees are acquaintances of mine. The problem is that it lays out serious faults in Trump, yet doesn’t resolve the quandary of a Trump vs. Billary election. What does one do then? If millions of Republicans sit on their hands, Billary gets elected, and the pro-life cause is harmed more than it was with eight years of Clinton and eight of Nixobamessiah, because of vacancies coming up on the Supreme Court. The stakes are extremely high. If we can’t vote for Trump, according to this reasoning, then Billary gets elected by default.
Cruz may still possibly get the nomination: especially if Rubio and/or Kasich bow out. But it’s a long shot, and he is usually far behind Trump in polls in northern states. If Trump takes Ohio and Florida (as I predict), it’ll be over, for all intents and purposes. I’m a political junkie. I follow all this very closely. That’s what virtually every political commentator is saying (Krauthammer, Rove, Gingrich et al). It’ll be wrapped up in five days if that happens.
Or it could be a Trump-Cruz ticket. That would be one good way to heal the huge divisions in the party. It’ll be interesting to see if the constant clamor about Trump would stop then. It wouldn’t be the first time. Reagan and Bush were bitter opponents in the primaries of 1980 and wound up together and worked well as a team for eight years.
For you youngsters who can’t remember that far back (before some of you were born), Bush had called Reaganomics “voodoo economics”: the same policies that brought explosive growth to the economy by 1988, bringing many millions of black families into the middle class (whereas their economic situation has worsened under Obama). Then Bush blew it by agreeing with the Democrats and raising taxes; sealing his fate in 1992.