Character doesn’t matter… to Trumpists

Donald Trump Character

This article is not meant to unify. That will have to come after the election. It is meant to excoriate the segment of the population who blindly rallied around Donald Trump for the past 15 months, like remora feeding off a shark. The calamity that is about to befall America is entirely your fault. Own it!

A good friend and avid Trump supporter recently sent me a list entitled, “Questions No Debate Moderator Would Ask Hillary Clinton.” The title suggests that Clinton has been spared the difficult questions about her character and truthfulness during her time in public life. That is obviously a correct assessment – the press being essentially the propaganda arm of the Democratic National Committee.

The list contained about ten questions, each was valid and to the point. At the end of the list was a very brief statement, “… and thousands more!”, indicating, of course, that such questions about Hillary Clinton are just too easy to devise and spring from a wealth of knowledge about her many years in public dis-“service.”

And why is this important? You all know the answer. Because those issues go straight to the very heart of her character (because that actually still does matter when electing a president) and speaks to her suitability to hold the highest office in the land, where our lives, fortunes, constitutionally protected rights and futures literally ride in the balance.

What was curious to me, though, was why this Trump supporter (actually, any Trump supporter) has never sent me a list of comparable questions for her opponent. There can be only two reasons: 1) There just aren’t questions to be asked of the wholly honorable, incorruptible and principled Donald Trump 2) His supporters simply cannot provide adequate answers.

If character matters, shouldn’t we likewise be holding Donald Trump to those same standards? And shouldn’t his supporters, of all people, be the most interested in what answers might be revealed? After all, if they are so certain about the righteousness of their candidate, shouldn’t they be able to bat at least a few back? Apparently not.

I set about creating a list of approximately 35 questions (which took me about 15 minutes) that should be asked of Donald Trump – I mean, if we’re going to be fair – and sent them back to my friend in response. As you might imagine, his reaction was predictable. It went something like this: “These [questions] are basically crap!” Humorous, no? Um, not really.

Sadly, this has been exactly the intellectual depth of average Trumplodytes throughout the entire campaign. No matter the issue, the candidate’s past statements, or current statements, or outrageous behavior, his fans have given him the never-ending pass. It matters not how egregious his behavior or comments are, they are simply “not as bad as Clinton’s.” The end.

They attempt to inhibit arguments against Trump by stating that what Hillary has done in office cannot conceivably compare to what Trump has done as a private individual. But aren’t we thinking about electing him to public office? Is that where we want to reveal his soulless moral turpitude? Wouldn’t it have been better to find out… oh I don’t know, before we nominated him?

Apparently what we #NeverTrumpers just don’t understand is that Trump, from the beginning, was the only person who can fix our country. Which, actually, begs another question: If he is, in fact, the only person who can fix our country, why would he have to surround himself, as he keeps promising he will do (what exactly is the delay?), with the best and brightest people? I mean, isn’t that just redundant?

A quick aside – Ann Coulter was probably the first to suggest that Trump was the “Alpha male” among all the Republican presidential candidates. They were running scared, you see, because he was simply so superior to any of them. More recently, Eric Trump defended his father’s “locker room talk” as just par for the course for “Alpha males.” (Oops, there goes my gag reflex again.)

In reality the exact opposite is actually true. Trump, as it turns out, is a mirror image of Obama – a bully suffering with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The Mayo Clinic does a nice job of defining just what NPD is. If you’ll notice, every single component applies to The Donald. The point of this is simply to suggest that what many Trump fanatics are mistaking for superiority is nothing more than a mental disorder. Chew on that. Yes, Hillary suffers from it too, but there are no acceptable degrees of narcissism.

So, getting back to the subject.

I asked my friend if he believed that, prior to entering public life, Bill Clinton had been pure as the driven snow. “Of course not. What’s your point?” was the terse reply. Then I asked, “Can you point to any warning signs that might have indicated he would be a less than an ideal president?” “Yes. The Whitewater scandal. Vince Foster. Hillary’s cattle futures. Again, what’s your point?” he wrote. “Before I get to the point,” I continued, “let me ask one more question. What warning signs exist that indicate to you that Hillary will be a horrible president.” “I hope you’re joking,” he replied. I wasn’t joking. “My point,” I retorted, “is that there were warning signs that Bill Clinton would be a pretty bad president, that he would display horrible character traits that, as it turns out, have forever tainted the office of President. And with a myriad of warning signs we can both agree that Hillary will be devastatingly awful. Why then are you not willing to acknowledge Donald Trump’s obvious and manifold warning signs? Simply because Hillary will be worse? Sorry, but that’s a cop out.”

What followed was justification after justification, glossing over Trump’s failings along with projecting an imaginary of Trump onto the man as he actually is. The blinders (perhaps more appropriately the blindfold) was securely fastened.

When I pointed out that we only find ourselves at an impasse because Trump is the worst candidate that we could’ve possibly picked out of the large initial field of Republicans, the projection went into full effect. “Trump is the most conservative candidate.” I think Ann Coulter actually started this one too, and, well, you know, if Ann said it then it must be true.

Here are the most common arguments made for Trump:

“Trump will surround himself with smart people who will help guide him.” I guess the campaign is not a good place to demonstrate this idea?

“No one is perfect.” Ah, one of my favorites. At what point do you reproach a friend for crossing the line? The new normal, apparently, is never. Just keep making excuses for him because we’ve all done stuff we’re not proud of.

“You can’t realistically compare Trump’s private failings with those of Clinton’s in public service.” Why not, because he hasn’t been in public office yet? Is that really what we’re waiting for?! Well then, why not just nominate Charles Manson for president? I’m certain he’ll act presidential when the time comes.

“Look at the scumbags she has associated with.” Do I even have to reply to this?

“Her failings are worse than lying. She is corrupt to the bone.” I see, and Trump has been nothing but virtuous in his business dealings. Wait, isn’t Trump a practitioner of what he calls “truthful hyperbole”? Of course there is no such thing. Most people call it lying. Sun Tzu, who was a Chinese general, military strategist, and philosopher wrote a book entitled The Art of War, which is still studied in military academies across the world. Tzu said, “All warfare is based on deception.” Ah, deception – also known as truthful hyperbole. But no big deal. And as far as corruption, look no farther than the shady organization known as the Trump Foundation. It’s basically a lite version of the Clinton Global Initiative. And let’s not forget how he has used campaign contributions to fund his own businesses.

And last but not least, “Trump will unify Americans.” Sure, because he’s done one helluva job so far!

Many people, including people who don’t support Trump, have given voice to the idea that Trump is a middle finger aimed at the “Establishment” (whatever that means at any given moment). What is seemingly unrecognized, however, is that under direction of Trump’s campaign manager, Steve Bannon (the self-described Leninist, and apparently the only person Trump actually listens to), the motivation of his entire campaign (as willingly validated by the alt-Right) is to tear apart the very foundations of the country. They care not for the Constitution or small-r republicanism, or for a history of national success and achievement, but wish only to destroy in order to create something new – and completely undefined.

The results, if the alt-Right were to be successful in their endeavor, would be disastrous for Americans, certainly setting us well below much of the rest of the Democratic world in freedom and economic prosperity. Oh Trump is a middle finger alright. What nobody seems to realize, though, is that he is aiming it directly at the American public.

Finally, we always end up with the bottom of the barrel argument, namely, “He’s the only opposing candidate who can win” – the old “binary choice.” Instead of providing validation of their candidate’s positions, Trumpists respond with half-baked evasions. Instead of adroitly fielding questions about Trump’s flaws, Trumpists delegitimize the questioner along with the questions. Instead of acknowledging Trump’s horrible character flaws, Trumpists insist only that Hillary is worse. And when all else fails, they beat you over the head with the guilt-laced cudgel of “binary choice.” In other words, they’ve got nothing and they know it.

That is why Trump is already manufacturing his defensive position about how the election was stolen from him. That’s an unusual way of building confidence within the ranks. But, like good little minions, we’re already hearing the echoes from the Trump chorus. Trump can’t win, you see, because of nefarious forces aligned against him. And I find that the most laughable excuse of all.

Trump, “the only man” who could possibly fix Washington and make American great again, can’t even beat the very system he promised to single-handedly crush. What an anti-climactic letdown.

John Konya

John Konya graduated from college with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication and then ran away from that line of work as fast as he could, recognizing a liberal bias in the media before there was actually a term for it. He joined the Air Force instead and flew fighter jets, which, as it turns out, is a considerably more satisfying endeavor. John grew up in a household of (legal) immigrants who escaped communism to find a home in the Party of Eisenhower. He is a veteran, airline pilot, former business owner and lifelong conservative. He is also now officially a middle-aged curmudgeon who draws the ire of both Democrats and Republicans alike. And that’s just the way he likes it.