Photo Credit: Dennis Prager
Dennis Prager

During the presidential primaries I devoted many hours of radio and many columns to criticizing Donald Trump. His nomination caused me grief as an American, a Republican, and a conservative. That his character defects, gaps in knowledge on some important issues, and lack of identifiably conservative principles meant little to so many Republican voters is quite troubling.

(Though, I might add, it is even more troubling that virtually all Democrats ignored the even worse character of Hillary Clinton, as well as the idiotic socialist ideas of Sen. Bernie Sanders.)

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Anti-Trump conservatives such as Jonah Goldberg, Bill Kristol, Ben Shapiro, Bret Stephens, and George Will are not merely people I admire – they are friends and colleagues. Goldberg, Stephens, and Will have made multiple videos for my Prager University website that have received millions of views. Shapiro and I have spent Shabbat together. I have had the privilege of writing for Kristol’s Weekly Standard magazine and hosting him on my radio show many times. And I have enthusiastically promoted their books.

These individuals are special to me not only as thinkers, but as people. However, in the final analysis, I do not find their arguments compelling.

The choice this November is tragic. As often happens in life, the choice is between bad and worse, not bad and good.

But America has made that choice before. When forced to choose between bad and worse, we supported Stalin against Hitler, and we supported right-wing authoritarians against Communist totalitarians.

It seems to me that anti-Trump conservatives want to remain morally pure. I understand that temptation. I am tempted, too. But if you wish to vanquish the bad, it is not possible – at least not on this side of the afterlife – to remain pure.

The most moving interview of my 33 years in radio was with Irene Opdyke, a Polish Catholic woman. Opdyke became the mistress of a married Nazi officer in order to save the lives of 12 Jews. She hid them in the cellar of the officer’s house in Warsaw. There were some Christians who called my show to say Opdyke’s actions were wrong, that she had in fact sinned because she knowingly committed a mortal sin. In their view, she compromised Catholic/Christian doctrine.

In my view – and, I believe, the view of most Catholics and other Christians – she brought glory to her God and her faith. Why? Because circumstances almost always determine what is moral, even for religious people like myself who believe in moral absolutes. That’s why the act of dropping atom bombs on Japan was moral. The circumstances (ending a war that would otherwise continue taking millions of lives) made moral what under other circumstances would be immoral.

In the 2016 presidential race, I am not interested in moral purity. I am interested in defeating the left and its political arm, the Democratic Party. The notion (expressed by virtually every anti-Trump conservative) that we can live with another four years of a Democratic president is, forgive me, mind-boggling.

To that end, with at least one, and probably multiple, additional leftists on the Supreme Court, a Republican presidential victory in 2020 would mean little. All the left needs is the judicial branch, especially the Supreme Court. Left-wing judges pass so many left-wing laws that they render those who control Congress, and even the White House, almost irrelevant.

Here, then, are nine reasons (there are more) why a conservative should prefer a Trump presidency to a Democratic presidency:

* Prevent a left-wing Supreme Court.

* Increase the defense budget.

* Repeal, or at least modify, the Dodd-Frank act.

* Prevent Washington, D.C., from becoming a state and giving the Democrats another two permanent senators.

* Repeal Obamacare.

* Curtail illegal immigration, a goal that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with xenophobia or nativism (just look at Western Europe).

* Reduce job-killing regulations on large and small businesses.

* Lower the corporate income tax and bring back hundreds of billions of offshore dollars to the United States.

* Continue fracking, which the left, in its science-rejecting hysteria, opposes.

For these reasons, I, unlike my friends, could not live with my conscience if I voted to help the left win the presidency.

I just don’t understand how anyone who understands the threat the left and the Democrats pose to America would refuse to vote for the only person who at this point can stop them.

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104 COMMENTS

  1. The United States, as a capitalist Democracy will not survive a Hillary Clinton presidency. She will continue to befriend our enemies, the Clinton Foundation will thrive, turmoil and violence will break out across America as she vilifies the NRA, gun owners and conservatives throughout our nation. Racial tension will be escalated by people like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan and Clinton herself. Our reluctance, under the Hillary Clinton administration, to befriend Israel and defeat ISIS, will lead to chaos and war in the Middle East. Our continued military weakness will only encourage Russia, China, North Korea and Iran to escalate their support of global terrorism and Jihad against the west. I forsee a terrible, violent consequence of a Democratic victory in November. God help us if they win.

  2. After listening to Trump's Convention speech where he thanks the Evangelical Christians for their support and implies how they should be able to preach from their pulpits politics without losing their tax-exempt status I think that woud be enough to cause people to vote for Clinton. If one does not comprehend the power of the Christian right and their personal agenda for the United Satates than you need to open your eyes more.

    Freedom of Religion is what is most important to me and if one thinks the Christian Right is into Freedom of Religion you are drinkng far too much of your bath water, to say it politely.

    Also, the above list of concerns is not primarily in the hands of the Office of President but through the House and Senate. The United States political system has built into it's system check and balances to help avoid any one power becoming too powerful. It is not like the Office of the President is a dicatorship and has all the power when it comes to how our government is run and what laws and policies are passed.

    When casting your vote, if you truly follow the scriptures of the Christian Bible and/or Jewish Tanakh then consider the words from Proverbs 6:12-14 which states: A scoundrel, an evil man lives by crooked speech, winking his eyes, shuffling his feet, pointing his finger. Duplicity is in his heart, he plots evil all the time, HE INCITES QUARRELS.

    Who really unites and who divides. Who winks with his eyes? Most politicians seem to live by crooked speech. Who incites quarrels and promotes division and exclusion? Things to think about when voting this election year.

  3. Prager appeals to a subset of people who'd like Sean Hannity if he wore a mezuza around his neck.

    His hard-core, everything-Obama-did-was-criminal partisanship makes it impossible to take him seriously

    A Trump win will leave the Supreme Court with 9 Scalias, all hell-bent on restoring America to its 1850s status as a "christian nation"

  4. Personally, I would only agree with Mr Praeger when you are in a swing state, with a close cut victory. If you're in NY, if you are a conservative, and want to express your opinions, you are better off voting for a third party (AKA Johnson). This way, you don't corrupt yourself, and if enough ppl do it, the two main parties will understand they won't be forgiven next time…

  5. You bunch of yahoo's! Prager is right on the money! Like Obama, Clinton will do nothing for the economy just continuing his 'recovery' where he has spent trillions if dollars more than any other president but only succeeded to kick the can (of economic disaster) to our children PLUS making a laughing stock of America to the world by not accomplishing one single positive thing in international politics, watching our sailors on their knees before terrorists and the murder of our men in Benghazi PLUS criminally mishandling sensitive diplomatic emails and lying about it. Prager got it EXACTLY RIGHT!

  6. Let Trump win to get rid of "Crooked Hillary". We all know that the alternative choice of Donald Duck is really bad. Let's hope that if he keeps this up this rhetoric once in the White House, impeachment will be almost automatic and then we will have his running mate to contend with who cannot possibly be worse than DD. We hope?

  7. Dear Dennis Prager,
    Donald Trump may not be your 1st choice for President. But he defeated soundly Ted Cruz. You and all Cruz supporters,Conservatives,Republicans, disatified Democrats and Independents should be jumping on his bandwagon. It is imperative that we have a STRONG united front to stop Hillary's agenda.

  8. I agree with all of your reasons. However, even assuming that a Clinton win is worse for the United States and even for Western Civilization as a whole, my fear is that a President Trump, with control of the nuclear launch codes and authority to use them, is worse for the survival of mammalian life on earth. In the oceans below the surface, mammalian whales, dolphins, and porpoises would probably be happier without us hunting them or letting them suffocate in fishing nets.

    Our tradition is that the epoch of Man on Earth is 6,000 years, with just over 224 to go. That is if the number is meant to be precise and our counting is accurate. There is no need to accelerate the coming of our end of days. I do like Armegeddon. At least under ground, Mt. Megiddo is cool and has water even in the summer. I prefer it as a Biblical tourism site rather than anything else.

  9. Voting for the lessor of two evils is still voting for evil. That being said, 4 years of the Clintonsi n the White House would be a final death knell to the experiment known as America. Where Obama is a sociaist/communits ideologue, Hillary is just corrupt. She would sell her own children for a dollar. And the idea of Bill being turned loose in the White House without a real job this time is ludicrous.
    Still undecided.

  10. The True head of the evangelicals are all backing Trump since he is a devout Christian and all for supportive of Jews as well as Christians so we can get back our nation in good form. He is gaining ground in his Christian experience as a True believer! Hillary would be a disaster as she has lied twistiing things being deceitful as well as Obama in deceitful crimes ignoring our nations safety from terrorism. Trump is the only one that can lead us out of this mess!

  11. I have a lot of respect for Mr. Prager which makes this so mind boggling. I never expected him to preach party over country or to support someone who shows no regard for anyone or anything and consistantly shows his lack of knowledge of the issues over someone who has decades of experience in public service and politics, who is levelheaded, understands the issues, has fought for healthcare, education, a livable minimum wage, has been outspoken against BDS, and has been vocal with blaming Hamas with the violence and civilian casualties in Gaza.

  12. If enough people who felt this way would actually vote for Johnson and Weld, we would be an awful lot better off. TOo many people are thinking in binary way, as if it's either/or, as if we have only 2 choices and they're both bad. There IS a really good viable third choice. ANd people keep saying they will never get enough votes. Well, if all the people who are holding their nose to vote for Trumpo, or holding their nose to vote for Hillary, would rush out and get the fresh air of Johnson and Weld, we would GET enough votes!!!! Please stop telling people that we only have 2 bad choices!!!! We have 2 bad choices and one good one!

  13. Any Jewish leader endorsing Trump, who does not even address the "voicing, giving voice to, and refusing to condemn Nazis and Whtie Supremecists" aspect of his campaign should be not only disregarded, but ridiculed profusely. Mr. Prager makes a very good argument that Trump will be better on policy than Clinton. Making the trains run on time may have been good enough for 1930 Jews in Gemany, but not now and not ever again.

  14. Hey, Mr. Prager, remember when Trump re-posted actual Nazi propaganda and then, after knowing that is exactly what it was, said "repost it?" I read somewhere that Jews should not forget things like that. You don't even address his giving voice to Nazis and white supremacists in your piece. Thankfully, most Jews have not forgotten to never forget.

  15. You're his target audience. Shut up and do whatever it takes to stop Hillary. Might try not being so gullible for left-wing propaganda too. Consider Trump sued a racist community in Florida to include blacks and Jews (praised by the JDL) and has a Jewish daughter, son in law, and grand children. Not to mention his strong support of Israel.

  16. Two problems with his thesis. The more stark is this, "I am not interested in moral purity. I am interested in defeating the left and its political arm, the Democratic Party." This man has built a career on championing "morality" and now, just like that, he's willing to throw it out the window.

    Secondly, and more of a technical problem, he's relying on what Trump says for his litany of reasons to vote for him. The problem is that Trump has no record we can look to. No votes in government, very few political actions. And the few political leanings he's exhibited tended more to the left.

    So, based on his reasoning, we're left with an admittedly immoral choice of whom we have no idea if he'll even do anything of things he'd be compromising his morals for.

  17. Hillary has shown time and again…disrespect for military, disrespect for Jews with unrelenting support of Arabs in Gaza, and her disregard for truth and impeachable offenses as and since being sec of state, disqualified her as president long ago

  18. Melodrama… he cares for life and country…even if only due to big ego…easy to say he would be careless…he will turn out to be exceedingly influential world wide and do for 2016 what Churchill did in the 40's. Tame those out of control simply out of carrying that Big Stick

  19. One of my seminary professors was in Berlin before WW2 studying at a university. A Jewish man needed a place to hide from the Nazis. They hid him. When a Nazi came to their door looking, they asked about him. They lied to protect him. The situation dictated a lie to save a life. This election also calls for a choice I would not normally make.

  20. With all due respect too much of anything is a bad thing. When one takes purity or anything and places it as a supreme unchallenged value, bad things can happen. One must be wise in this world and understand every value has its place and time.

  21. Edward Lobel Worse than a "goy" not giving Israel a penny, are crooks live the Clinton's, who "con" Israel into a worthless Oslo Accords, in which more than 1800 Jew's have since died from Arab terrorism. The Socialist Democrat Party of today, is NOT the Democrat Party of even twenty years ago.

  22. Donald Trump is a psychopath. Dangerous beyond belief. He is a con man and you are his mark. He has no conscience. He is a fraud. A pathological liar. And a know-nothing. As for where America is after 8 years of Obama, again, you are ignoring the evidence. Not worth recounting because you probably don't believe in science and have been subsumed by the other millions taken by the modern equivalent of the body-snatchers. Hillary has her flaws,but she is a sane, competent leader who actually cares about people. Trump cares about no one but Trump (and maybe other Trumps). God help America and Israel if this demogogue is elected. We will then have our own version of Adolph Hitler. And YOU will be partly responsible. Shame on you for the fool you are.

  23. Michael, once upon a time to be liberal was to be captive of the Left. This is no longer so. One can be Right or conservative and still be a liberal human being. Therefore your argument about Trump is not necessarily valid.

    I quote you: "The problem is that Trump has no record we can look to, no votes in government, very few political actions, and the few political leanings he's exhibited tended more to the left." So what record in reality did Obama have? What did he really know? What real experience did he have? What was his voting record in Congress like? You have a short memory.

  24. David Hersch I'm not a "liberal" and I didn't vote for Obama either time, so your comment is irrelevent.

    Regarding Trump, that may be true, but his supporters, including, Mr. Prager are pumping him based on his allgedged conservative credentials, of which he almost none.

  25. I don't understand how anyone who has seen Trump opporate can honestly belive that he is going to do any of the things on this list. He is liar and a con artist who is pretending to be conservative (probably for personal gain). So isn't an enemy I know of better than one I don't?

  26. At the very least it would tell the parties not to come up with such absolutely disasterous choices if they want to keep power. Voting for Trump tells the party they can dump as much garbage on the table as they feel the need to do, and the suckers will vote for the garbage.

  27. Every one of these arguments is a deflection based on political tribalism– your argument boils down to "not letting the other guys win." You'd rather see this country destroyed than governed by the other party: if that's not the definition of moral relativism and selling our, I don't know what is.

  28. Charm school doesn't help much to a viscious psycho like the Donald.But he figured so many Americans fall for Nigerian con men ,he can be the "American "con man.."so far he was "authentic" bragging "I can shoot someone in broad daylight in central park and they would vote for me and love me…"

  29. At the very least, DT has *identified* that the issues exist, which dems can't do. Whether or not he'll do what needs to be done is uncertain, but leaving this to the left is a guarantee it won't. After all, when everything's hunky dory, why not just "carry on the legacy"?

  30. Yaakov Zelig Wow you checked whats in his pants or did you hack into the rabbinate into Ed lobel's Kenyan birth certificate and it said "Goy" ? meanwhile you created a Jewish no no, by Insulting another person you never met in public and on paper ! Start atoning ! ask forgiveness! yom kippur is coming soon! You might have been born a Jew but your mind is in the gutter and you practice boundless hate…

  31. What a rabidly ideological piece, based on many false premises, in particular that Clinton represents only and is supported only by the Left. She isn't, of course: she is the moderate and measured candidate and you see this because both the extreme left and extreme right are displeased with her, and she has a moderate voting record that while it may not please Dennis Prager, is hardly a Progressive dream either. For those in the middle, it is quite reasonable, however, but it appears Mr. Prager rejects the notion of moderation. Secondly, the supposedly intellectual and respectable Prager asserts that Clinton is of "even worse character" than Trump. This is vicious libel because he points to her controversies and accusations against her but wholly ignores the totality of a 40 year career in which public service and helping children and minorities and women were front and center. Trump has no record of helping anyone ever but Trump and at a minimum is of the lowest and most selfish character possible. Yet Prager rationalizes his support with the provably false canard that she is even worse. And so Prager exposes himself as a rabid ideologue whose hatred of a candidate and her vision for governing outweighs the reality of the vicious nature and incompetent and threatening nature of the Trump candidacy. And so unlike many other Republicans, he can't see the forest through the trees: namely, it is possible to disagree with a candidate on several issues and still prefer them as a competent leader to the clear and present danger of a wound-be authoritarian. That he views Clinton as "support for the Left" and yet does not view supporting Trump as "support for authoritarianism" is deeply disturbing. As a Jewish scholar, this especially troubles me about Prager and removes any possibility of respecting him or his opinion. This is a shameful defense for supporting Trump.

  32. Mary Jo Delgado Evans Wow. Name-calling, insults, innuendo, racial slurs, implications that those who don't share your POV are "anti America far Left" etc. I obviously don't share your values, mainly because I believe anyone who would support Trump with this kind of screed and hateful rant is the unAmerican one. I am quite Jewish, and know my Torah, and don't detect anything remotely Godly or holy in your rant. It reminded me of the Jihadists actually: attack folks for having a different point of view and then pretend it is because you are doing it in the name of G-d. Judge not lest he be judged.

  33. Mary Jo Delgado Evans Trump may not believe in God; he certainly has never belonged to any church in his adult life and he publicly said that he had never had to ask God for forgiveness.

    By our standards that would appear to be a problematic statement. In his businesses he has a long pattern of cheating customers, suppliers, contractors, and creditors. He bribed two state Attorneys-General to shut down investigations into his illegal fradulent university. He cheated on two wives and utters the most horrible insults towards women and minorities. And he incites racists and anti-Semites like no major party candidate ever.

    And regarding the Constitution and the Rule of Law — he has publicly stated that he will not consider US treaty commitments to its allies binding. Treaties are the Law in the US according to the Constittuion. Ghazala Khan was right; Trump appears never to have read the Constitution.

    And I haven't even begun to discuss the problems with his tax and trade poliices, policies that would be catastrophic.

  34. For me this is not a choice between bad and worse. It is finally a chance to vote
    FOR someone AWESOME…..and that is DONALD TRUMP!!! When you say he's bad, what exactly do you mean, Dennis?????????????????????????????????? PS I really love your radio show! But I don't understand your hesitation about Trump.

  35. Judaism is based on morality. Your reference to Jewish princes and princesses is disgusting. Nothing says DT is a good Christian either. He's a secular sexual pig with the financial morals of a thief The three older children were raised by the mother and nannies. Donald Trump avoided them until they were adults. Tiffany was raised by the second wife and never had contact with her father. The last, the little spoiled prince, has an entire floor to himself at Trump Tower. Donald Jr. credits his grandfather for everything decent he learned about life. Jared Kushner, Ivanka's husband, is the son of a major financial thief. Jared is no winner. Eric's wife is Jewish, but that's about where it ends. They weren't even married by a rabbi, just under a chupah as decoration. The family money got started when DT's grandfather ran brothels in the Yukon. Why don't you do some reading about the Trumps. Sure the kids are attractive. DT chose wives for their looks. As a family, despite the work of the bought image makers, they are a disgusting lot.

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