Life is not served à la carte.
Conservative elites as well as some in the Republican establishment love finding fault with virtually everything Donald Trump says or does. There is almost a daily litany of what they know he should have done differently or not at all. They can always find something wrong with whatever he does.
Here’s the problem — like everything else in life, Donald Trump is a package deal. It simply is not possible to design your own idealized Donald Trump (or anyone else). Furthermore, he’s the president. They’re not. He actually ran for president, got nominated, and got elected. Pointing out what he could have said or done better is nothing more than pointless and tiresome kibitzing.
For example, Jonah Goldberg, a devout never-Trumper, had a recent column entitled “The Right Can’t Defend Trump’s Behavior.” The sub-heading stated, “President Trump’s defenders struggle to explain his unorthodox behavior.” Goldberg doesn’t seem to grasp that if it were not for Donald Trump’s “unorthodox behavior” Hillary Clinton would now be president. Unorthodoxy was what it took to overcome the standard brutal tactics of the establishment.
Life comes in packages, not discrete components. You can’t put in an à la carte order for life. You can’t mix and match, pick and choose your preferred combination of reality parts.
Conservatives who are offended by Trump’s style, personality, and tweets are akin to the campus snowflakes who need “safe zones” and “trigger warnings.” They are a bit too delicate and precious for the discomforts of reality. It’s time, however, for them to put their big-boy pants on and grow up.
Another inescapable reality is that life is comprised of choices. If you are a conservative who doesn’t like Trump, what are your alternative, real-world choices?
In debates, Milton Friedman would sometimes ask his opponent, “What perfect solution on what perfect planet are you comparing this to?” That is an excellent rhetorical question. It’s a good way to bring someone back to reality.
The political realities of 2016 meant voters had a choice between one of two candidates — Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. If the Republican nominee had been anyone other than Trump, conservatives would now be living with the hell-on-earth presidency of Hillary Clinton.
None of the other Republican primary candidates would have had a prayer against Clinton and her henchmen in the media. They would have been demonized, villainized, and defeated, just as John McCain and Mitt Romney were eight and four years ago. Trump was the only candidate capable of surviving the whatever-it-takes tactics of the Democrats and the media. He won, because he refused to play by the establishment’s ground rules and threw their obnoxious politically correct censorship right back in their faces.
Trump is a bare-knuckled brawler who never gives an inch. His counterpunches are fast, hard, and relentless. Like it or not, that’s what it takes to survive and win in today’s political environment.
Whenever you find yourself bothered by something President Trump says or does, repeat these three words to yourself: “President Hillary Clinton.” You’re bound to feel better instantly.
Spend a little time visualizing what a Hillary presidency would be like. It’s not hard. Her advisers would include Huma Weiner, John Podesta, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Elizabeth Warren, and Madeleine Albright, just to name a few. It would be a four- or eight-year prolonging of the Obama presidency. You would have been forced to refer to Bill Clinton as the “first gentleman.” If all of that turns your stomach, you should be thanking President Trump every day for keeping it from becoming a reality.
Too many of the conservative elites use Trump’s imperfections as opportunities to feel sanctimonious and holier than thou. They seem to think we’re in the faculty lounge, rather than fighting against people who are serious about destroying everything we hold dear.
Dennis Prager recently wrote that America is now engaged in Civil War II. He’s right. Conservatives who find President Trump too coarse for their delicate sensitivities don’t seem to recognize the gravity of what’s at stake. This is not the time to go wobbly.
It’s been said that a liberal is someone who will not take his own side in a fight. It’s starting to look like that could be said of some conservatives. Politicians like John McCain and Lindsey Graham criticize fellow Republicans far more often and energetically than they do Democrats. With friends like these, who needs enemies? In many ways, McCain’s and Graham’s behavior is more repugnant than someone like Sen. Chuck Schumer. At least Schumer is open about being a Democrat.
Undermining your leader, particularly for unserious reasons, is equivalent to working for the enemy. Conservatives have few friends in high places, certainly not the establishment, the media, academia, or the bureaucracy. We cannot afford to have enemies within.