Simply unfit for office

Simply unfit for office May 19, 2016

The Party of Personal Responsibility, having absolutely nothing left in its empty head, is reduced to one strategy and one only as it tries to size up Trump and Hillary: “She’s just as bad as he is.”

The Pee Wee Herman “I know you are but what am I?” strategy that is now the sole tool left in the Right Wing Noise Machine toolbox is, however, doomed by a simple fact: It’s just not true. Trump embraces all of Hillary’s worst ideas and adds a bunch more of his own (or perhaps “subtracts” might be the better word since so much of what Trump says is a black hole of ignorance sucking all light out of human minds and hearts). Case in point, th simple hard fact is that Hillary understands the working of government and has a grasp of our Constitutional order that Trump is wholly ignorant of:

And he appears wholly uninterested in mitigating this lack of experience with learning. Trump has demonstrated staggering unfamiliarity with our system of separation of powers, the nuclear triad, the First Amendment, the role of the federal government, our education system, our responsibilities under the Geneva Convention or how the national debt works – basic Government 101 concepts. Beyond disregarding the fundamentals of the job he seeks, Trump even failed to acquaint himself with the mechanics of the primary process, leaving him blindsided by the Republican delegate apportionment.

This lack of understanding is showcased nowhere more clearly than in Trump’s vague, waffling policy platforms. Lacking a comprehensive grasp of the national abortion debate, Trump wrapped himself in knots trying to settle on a stance on consequences for women who choose abortion. Trump’s economic plan is so erratic and full of wild promises, my colleague Pat Garofalo explained, that it’s impossible to decipher which is the real position, “the plans he’s put out or the last sentence to come out of his mouth?” Put another way, “his policy proposals are ridiculous and inconsistent to the extent that it’s almost a category error to critique them,” wrote Vox’s Matt Yglesias.

But again, this doesn’t bother the front-runner. He doesn’t want to “waste time on policy,” a source close to him told Politico.

We’re inundated with so much Trump news meant to shock our consciences these days, it’s tempting to dismiss concerns over his qualifications as routine election year chattering. Then-Sen. Obama was young in 2008, and people deemed him inexperienced – now it’s just Trump’s turn. Obama was a sitting U.S. senator, of course, and previously a state senator. But Trump is also sometimes compared to Andrew Jackson, who was similarly deemed unfit for the presidency before he was elected. “In a conversation with Daniel Webster in 1824, Thomas Jefferson described Jackson as ‘one of the most unfit men I know of’ to become president of the United States,'” psychologist Dan McAdams wrote in The Atlantic this month. This initially made me feel slightly better, until Iremembered that Jackson, for all his faults, was a major general in the Army, a hero in the War of 1812, before taking the Oval Office.

In sharp contrast, Trump is an amateur by historic proportions. Every president in U.S. history, in fact, has had either government or military experience. And as a dilettante who’s shown remarkably little curiosity about the ways of governing, it’s unlikely Trump would seek to improve once in office.

There’s no shortage of literature on how partisan our politics have become and the dangers such siloing can hold. But surely even the cynics were surprised at how quickly the Republican establishment laid down its pitchforks and began to justify Trump as the GOP’s likely presidential nominee. There are still some conservative holdouts whorecognize Trump’s unfitness for office, but the party elites are increasingly calling for conservatives to rally around him, “to unite and focus on defeating [likely Democratic nominee] Hillary Clinton,” as RNC chair Reince Priebus tweeted. It’s winning the election over Democrats that matters at any cost, in other words, not the governing that comes after. Fitness for office be damned, I guess.

And that’s perhaps what should most frighten those of us who value intellect. That Trump is acutely unqualified would be true even if he were Mr. Congeniality, a champion of the people with the aspirations of Jimmy Stewart in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” His temperament, morality and judgment are irrelevant if he’s not even competent at a fundamental level.

Of course, none of this will matter to his base, who admire brutal stupid ignorance as a virtue and see knowledge and understanding as “elitist”.  But for the Sane-American population who might be tempted by Right Wing Noise Machine Lies about the Jacksonian Rough Hewn Plain Speaker, it should give pause.  Particularly since he is not a Plain Speaker but a serial liar whom only a wilfully ignorant sucker will deceive himself into trusting.

And that, as ever, brings me back to my main point as a Catholic: Those who vote to lessen evil need never say a word in defense of Hillary’s evil policies.  But those who back Trump will have to do nothing *but* defend every one of Trump’s evil, stupid, and indefensible ideas, remarks and actions.  You who support him Because Abortion will discover, sure as the sunrise, that you will never get a word in edgewise about abortion because you doom yourself to spending all your time and energy henceforth defending his stupid ignorance of the job he wants, his eager lust for torture, his calls for murder of innocent women and children, his racism, misogyny, nutty conspiracy theories, and serial lies.

And, of course, his support for abortion.

Prolife Trump support is the perfect Faustian Bargain: “To get the man’s soul and give him nothing in return—that is what really gladdens our Father’s heart.” – Uncle Screwtape

If you are finding this man seductive, save yourself.  Repent.  Listen to the Church, not political parties and embrace Christ as savior, not this transparently false antichrist wannabe who promises to “make Christianity powerful again”.  Jesus is as powerful as ever.  He does not need the help of this false prophet.

"as I'm fond of saying, the Church and the truths she teaches belong to Christ, ..."

Rod Bennett on his new book ..."
"Thank you, Mark. The attitude of some Catholics about the good old days makes me ..."

Rod Bennett on his new book ..."
"The Bible influenced the entire course of Western civ after the Christian era and remains ..."

Some Reflections on the Crucifixion for ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Catholic
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment