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Trump is no conservative

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

Submitted by Robert M Werdine (United States), Jul 21, 2016 at 20:38

After eight years of Obama's aloof, professorial preening, his lackluster leadership, and the insufferable, almost Orwellian, political correctness that envelops the administration's governance, I certainly understand and sympathize with the frustrations of some Trump supporters, and I even understand the allure of the Trump candidacy to them. But, for conservatives, is Trump the antidote for what ails after eight years of Obama?

Surely, he is not. The closer one looks at the Trump campaign, the more it seems void of any discernible form or theme; it seems a moving storm, full of sound and fury, and little else. So who and what is this man? He is most passionate firstly about himself, wealth, power, and "winning," and secondly in spewing contempt, ridicule, and threats at rivals, critics, and those who disagree with or even mildly offend him. That, at any rate, has been the dynamic and principal thrust of his campaign thus far.

Beyond that, he is merely a crude, vulgar, ignorant, spoiled, corrupt, narcissistic sociopath whose lack of scruples and staggering illiteracy in matters of basic policy would make his presidency a clear and present danger not only to the nation but to the cause of freedom throughout the world, a world that depends on the vigilance of this nation as the leader of the free world. Surely Trump supporters are well aware that eight years of Obama have done quite enough damage to that sacred charge, upheld vigorously by every post-war American president from Truman to George W. Bush.

I am a conservative. I believe in conservatism as a governing philosophy, and the Republican Party as a bastion of conservatism. Like Edmund Burke and our nation's Founders, I believe that wisdom lies in honoring certain principles of governance that are timeless, and in discerning such principles from what is merely transient and ephemeral. Also like Burke and the Founders, I have an anxious aversion to the kind of pure, direct democracy advocated by Trump and his supporters.

I believe in limited government and a muscular foreign policy abroad based on the Reagan-Thatcher model—one that was even supported by old-fashioned liberal hawks like Scoop Jackson and Daniel Patrick Moynihan—that prioritizes the protection of freedom and human rights, and acts as a bulwark against the spread and influence of totalitarianism, whether it be Fascism, Soviet-style Communism, or the ubiquitous, now-global phenomenon of Islamist terror.

Donald Trump is not a conservative. To the extent that he can be categorized at all in political terms, Trump is an ideological opportunist and populist, a xenophobic nativist reminiscent of the Know-Nothings of the 1850's, an economic protectionist, and a foreign policy isolationist. For those conservatives disenchanted with President Obama on any of these scores, a Trump presidency promises more of the same and much worse

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