Never A Trumper

The following are excerpts from a column written by Bret Stephens — described as “the quintessential ‘conservative’ columnist” at the New York Times. In the first part of the column, he makes his “conservative” position clear as he lists some of the actions under the current administration and indicates his approval, Even so, it’s apparent he has some misgivings about the administration leader.

The entire column is worth a full reading … I just picked out the points that resonated with me. The column is titled, “Why I’m Still a Never Trumper.”

Conservatives used to believe in their truth. Want to “solve” poverty? All the welfare dollars in the world won’t help if two-parent families aren’t intact. Want to foster democracy abroad? It’s going to be rough going if too many voters reject the foundational concept of minority rights.

And want to preserve your own republican institutions? Then pay attention to the character of your leaders, the culture of governance and the political health of the public. It matters a lot more than lowering the top marginal income tax rate by a couple of percentage points.

This is the fatal mistake of conservatives who’ve decided the best way to deal with Trump’s personality — the lying, narcissism, bullying, bigotry, crassness, name-calling, ignorance, paranoia, incompetence and pettiness — is to pretend it doesn’t matter. “Character Doesn’t Count” has become a de facto GOP motto. “Virtue Doesn’t Matter” might be another.

But character does matter, and Trump’s shortcomings prove it daily.

[…]

Trump is empowering a conservative political culture that celebrates everything that patriotic Americans should fear: the cult of strength, open disdain for truthfulness, violent contempt for the Fourth Estate, hostility toward high culture and other types of “elitism,” a penchant for conspiracy theories and most dangerously, white-identity politics.

For those of us who are discouraged, angry, fed-up, even fearful of the current political climate, it’s somewhat encouraging that even those within the Republican culture are beginning to see things as they really are.

Of course the core question is … are they going to do anything about it?

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30 thoughts on “Never A Trumper

    • It’s extremely disconcerting when certain members of Congress are so intent upon damaging the credibility and legitimacy of the government departments sworn to uphold the truth where ever it takes them.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Did you see where Senator Grassley forward prosecution request to the DOJ of the person who researched and created the famous “russia dossier” ? He won’t release the testimony of the company that hired Steele. Grassley and his fellow republicans have gone after the company’s financials and even messed with their clients, all in an attempt to discredit the Mueller investigation. Now this muddies the waters further. They basically are working hard to attack anyone and everyone except the tRumpsky people who did the crimes. Hugs

        Liked by 3 people

  1. There’s good and there’s bad.

    The good thing, is that principled conservatives see the problems with Trump.

    The bad thing, is that most conservatives have long since abandoned any principles that they used to have.

    Conservative Christians used to preach “What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world but lose his own soul.” Unfortunately, they never listened to what they were preaching.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Totally agree with your “bad thing.” As many have said … it’s all about the greenback. Who cares that we have an incompetent (and I’m being generous here) president that is destroying this country? All that really matters is that I stay in office and collect my salary and all my benefits and all my side money from the lobbyists.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. —it’s somewhat encouraging that even those within the Republican culture are beginning to see things as they really are.—

    Critiques and protests outside the Republican Area mean much but by far not enough. It is precisely from within those circles themselves that a “revolution” can be successfull.
    Is it silly to see a paralell here with religion? Seldom or never will believers deconvert because of arguments put forward by unbelievers. As a matter of fact, the latter will not even try to dissuade the former.
    A believer will only change his mind when he discovers other ways of thinking, on his own.

    —–Of course the core question is … are they going to do anything about it?—–
    My Crystal Ball (aka Wishful Fortune Thinker) tells me that they are! Not today, Saturday. But something is going to change!…

    Good to listen to such coumnists…
    .-

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great article, Nan. I agree. I have no confidence in politics (either party) so I’m not holding my breath on real change. But this is where believing in miracles may come in handy. 🙂

    Like

  4. Yes, it’s encouraging that some self-identified “conservatives” don’t like Trump. But watch their words carefully. Many of them will say “never Trump” out of one side of their mouth while cheering current Republican (Trumpian) policy out the other side of their mouth. They don’t like Trump’s *personality* or his *lies* or his multiple affairs/divorces/alleged sexual assaults, but they DO like giving tax breaks to the obscenely wealthy, they DO like limiting women’s rights and healthcare, they DO like giving free reign to corporations to pollute the environment, etc.

    This guy even slips in his regressive mantra in the first paragraph you quoted: “…if two-parent families aren’t intact…” — as if “traditional marriage” is somehow the solution to poverty. (We know it’s not because the majority of poor people throughout history have been in “traditional” two-parent households.) Like all conservatives, they will use words that make themselves sound like the managers of morality and common sense, but their actual policies put the lie to it all.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Excellent points! I probably should have “qualified” my support of this columnist, but I really did like some of what he said. And even if he was just “doing his job,” he most definitely pinpointed the ugly personality traits of you-know-who.

      Liked by 2 people

      • There IS that, to be sure. But even then, it’s still the ancient and unproven idea that TWO is the exact right number. I was raised by one person and she did very well. A friend of mine was raised by four people and did even better. << This is what I was referring to. 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

        • I mean traditionally…and by that I mean going back to our hunter-gatherer days…raising children was communal. There were many people who were role models and care about the successful raising of children, because they had to grow to be productive members of the tribe. Focusing on the number of the parents is sort of the wrong focus, because it also matters how many other positive adults role models they have in their life. A single mother is fine with two good grandparents to help, or an excellent neighbor who helps watch a child or whatever. I think there is a lot of evidence to support that more adult attention is beneficial. We are all limited by time and resources and a single mother who has little support and has to work long hours to make ends meet will certainly not be able to be as much of an influence on a child, at least by herself. And of course the quality of that care also matters. Two shitty parents will still raise a shitty kid in general and so focusing on the number over the quality of the care is also not beneficial.

          Liked by 2 people

          • “…so focusing on the number over the quality of the care…”

            Exactly my point. The writer was using an ultra-conservative, mostly religious viewpoint that the number is more important. Again, my larger point is not to grow too fond of conservatives just because they denounce Trump. Jeff Flake denounced Trump publicly, but then voted in lockstep with Trump’s wishes repeatedly.

            I don’t ONLY want conservatives to denounce Trump. I want them to repent of conservatism.

            Liked by 1 person

            • When push comes to shove, a conservative is a conservative is a conservative. 🙂

              But this writer did hit at tRumpsky and that’s the part I wanted to emphasize. But you’re absolutely correct. Others have denounced him and/or his actions and then turned around and supported him.

              “Fake Politicians!”

              Liked by 2 people

  5. It is indeed ironic that Trump has tweeted a defense of mental competence that casts doubt on his mental competence,

    It reminds me a bit of Hitler (I don’t mean in the Nazi way) but the fact Trump is so often his own worst enemy. Hitler got lucky for a while (the US military runs the German invasion of France in 1940 through computers and always the French win) but eventually the sheer recklessness of his actions led to his downfall. So it will be with Trump. Steve Bannon has suggested the single biggest error made by Trump was to sack James Comey, this led to the appointment of special Prosecutor Mueller.

    But it may actually be his health that causes him to leave office. Apparently he is in really bad shape.

    Before Trump was elected Sam Harris suggested Trump was unfit for office because he had a temperment of a 12 year old. The recent book by Michael Wolff seems to confirm this observation.

    Liked by 2 people

    • HA! Love your first sentence. Spot-on!

      Curious … when you wrote, “Apparently he is in really bad shape” — is this based on news stories or do you have some inside information?

      Like

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