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ad hominem over substance

Reader comment on item: Why I Just Quit the Republican Party

Submitted by Keith (United States), Jul 21, 2016 at 20:18

Many of us who even tepidly support Trump do so because the conservative movement you describe, that we favor, namely "limited government, a moral order, and a foreign policy reflecting American interests and values" seems to have no presence in Washington at the moment. Many Republicans campaigned on these principles, but abandoned them for globalism and acquiescence (veiled in feigned resistance) to Obama once they got to Washington. We rightly regard them as the cowards they have lately been shown to be.

The conservatism you describe is a wonderful intellectual construct, robust and encompassing. On that point we have no disagreement. However, it holds no meaningful sway today inside the beltway that I can perceive. The Republicans have become the party of token opposition - the proof, to my mind, is that neither McConnell nor Ryan are articulators of conservative viewpoints of any strength or coherency, nor do any of those who articulate such principles hold any favor under their gavels.

Will Trump be the articulator of such? I hardly think so. He has never done so before. But I would hardly call him amoral. Immoral perhaps, but I would rather have an immoral president than an amoral one, and if either of the candidates is amoral, it is certainly Hillary.

As for this statement: Finally, Trump is "an ignorant, amoral, dishonest and manipulative, misogynistic, philandering, hyper-litigious, isolationist, protectionist blowhard", you surprise me in delivering this blatant ad hominem. You have always decried such tactics before. What happened?

In the final analysis, Trump is not my ideal candidate, but I place considerable stock in his ability to learn, to see through issues (such as the cowardice of current R leadership, the loss of American jobs through lopsided trade deals, and the degradation of wages through mass, unnecessary, illegal immigration) and the fact that his family members deeply love and respect him, and are productive people of business. The fact that he is not part of a deeply entrenched political class is also a strong attractor.

Do I have any illusions I will get all, or even most, of what I want out of a president from Trump? None whatsoever. Fortunately, I have long since ceased donating any blood pressure to political solutions. The problems of man are fundamentally not political. If I got everything I wanted politically for the next thirty years - every court decision, every law, every leader, every guiding principle - there would still be problems. They would arise from the fact that mankind is not wholeheartedly good. We are inherently self seeking and willful. There would still be greed, lust, indulgence, unfaithfulness, laziness, betrayal, etc. Any mildly self-reflective person can identify seeds of these qualities within himself. God calls it sin. Recognizing this, we can easily see that the main reason we never get all we want politically, and never will, is because these same tendencies are at work in politicians. Self interest and willfulness are at work in all of us, and are the principal root cause that politics is not, and never will be, an ultimate solution to the world's ills.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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