THE PODIUM: Why I'm still on the Trump train


One year after Donald Trump’s stunning victory, I feel even better about having voted for him than I did at the time — based on the totality of what he’s done in these 12 months, and what his enemies have done, and the dramatic contrast of where our country is under the Republicans versus where it would be if Hillary and the Democrats had won.

What baffles me is the illogic of someone saying they’re on the right or center-right, yet getting up every morning and basically rooting against Trump, not for him.

Think about it: You’re an American conservative. You believe in liberty, limited government, free markets, personal responsibility, Judeo-Christian moral truth. You want our country to be one common culture, not a multicultural melange.

To protect these things, you believe in national sovereignty, secure borders and a defense second to none. You love our Constitution and our Declaration of Independence. You regard the Republican Party as our most valuable voluntary association, outside the church, because it is the Constitution’s most faithful defender.

So that’s who you are. That’s what you believe.  And on that basis, would you want our Republican president, Donald Trump, to succeed or fail during the next three years of his elected term?

Easy, I want him to succeed. Not because I think he’s the ideal leader — but because the alternative, the ascendancy of Democrats for Congress in 2018 and for the White House in 2020, would have bad consequences for America and the world.

It remains a binary choice, despite what some of my friends too smart and highminded for their own good keep insisting.  Either the president keeps racking up points on the political and policy scoreboard, or the left-progressive side gets the upper hand and regains power. There’s no third way.

It’s on my mind because I recently happened to remark on social media, “Enough with the Trump derangement.” To which an old friend with sterling neoconservative credentials dating from the Reagan White House acidly replied:

“Those of us conservatives who oppose Donald Trump do so not because we are deranged but because we love our country far more than our party. Trump is an amoral man, and how devout Christians can overlook his bigotry, his treatment of women, his inability to admit that he has ever done anything that requires him to ask God for forgiveness, his continuous lying is beyond my understanding.

“I approve of many of his policies and applaud the selections he’s made for judgeships, but what doth it profit a man if he gains the Supreme Court but loses his soul?”

I volleyed back: “Policies, bingo, you said it. The people sensibly, eyes wide open, chose Trump over Hillary one year ago and he’s the only president we have until 2020. Replace him then with someone better, not a wild lefty? Imaginable but unlikely.

“I can’t find reference in the Constitution to the chief executive as a moral exemplar, or to whose soul gets lost. Unpalatable choices come with politics in a fallen world. How shall we make the best of it?”

I can’t make sense of my friend identifying with “conservatives who oppose Trump.”  What does that actually mean? Working against his agenda in Congress?  Hoping the Democrats, the media, and Robert Mueller keep him so constantly on the defensive that the GOP loses the mid-term election? Advocating his impeachment, or his removal under the 25th Amendment? Gearing up to primary him in 2020 so he throws in the towel LBJ-style? Where does that get us, pray tell?

The only realistic path forward that I can see is to keep helping him be the best Republican president he possibly can, and to bulldoze our GOP Congress into being the best it can, and thereby to win in 2018 and win in 2020 and keep on keeping on to make America great again.

If that makes me a crummy Christian, okay. An enabler of amorality, okay. A lose-your-soul sellout, okay. To be clear, I plead not guilty to all of those. But names can never hurt me; I learned that from Mom a long time ago.

Read The Podium weekly; it’s where prominent players in Colorado politics address the big issues of the day.

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