Photo Credit: Donald Trump for President' Facebook page
GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump

We believe in the politics of principle. We value character, integrity, and politicians who ground principled philosophies in the Constitution. Yet we find ourselves staring across a divide at fellow conservatives with whom we’ve previously stood side by side and who – claiming principle – have declared themselves NeverTrumps. Not only do we find their arguments unavailing, we wonder what principle they think they’re upholding.

Politics is the art of the possible, and barring entirely unforeseen events either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will become the next President. Because we believe that a Clinton presidency would be far more harmful to America and to the world than a Trump presidency, we view our anti-Hillary-driven support for Trump as highly principled. More importantly, we believe that any principled approach must compare the candidates to each other rather than to some unavailable ideal.

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NeverTrumps cite numerous flaws in Trump’s character that, in theory or in other circumstances, we might consider problematic. In practice, however, Trump’s character concerns us less than does Clinton’s. She is demonstrably corrupt, unprincipled, and power hungry. She has destroyed women who complained about her husband’s predations and imperiled national security by mishandling classified materials and abandoning Benghazi. And even if Trump has inflated his business prowess, he is a far more successful developer than she was Secretary of State.

NeverTrumps also worry about the debilitating effect of a Republican President Trump on the conservative movement. Again, we are sympathetic, but we cannot imagine how Trump might inflict more damage on the cause of constitutionalism than a Supreme Court majority untethered to textual language and hostile to original meaning—a Clinton goal. And we are encouraged both by the Trump camp’s list of potential judicial nominees as well as by a number of his policy advisors who are solidly conservative.

We’ve raised these points before, but we have not addressed a NeverTrump argument that hits close to home to us personally: revulsion at distasteful elements among Trump’s supporters–specifically white supremacists whose trendy “Alt-right” moniker does little to distract from the hoary ugliness of their coarse, unimaginative anti-Semitism. Trump took too long to repudiate David Duke. His wife Melania Trump, while disapproving of anti-Semitic threats hurled at journalist Julia Ioffe over her less-than-flattering profile of Mrs. Trump, suggested that Ioffe had “provoked” the hatred. And those stories are but the tip of the iceberg; we have seen and heard numerous reports – and been direct recipients – of vile Jew hatred spewing forth from those defending Trump’s honor.

Political leaders should indeed disassociate themselves from hatemongers seeking to speak on their behalf. But those who think that Trump is creating or promoting

anti-Semitism are fooling themselves. America’s white supremacists have not grown more anti-Semitic over the past year. Social media, press attention, and a leader who rightly and refreshingly mocks political correctness has merely brought them out of the woodwork. Jew hatred from this right wing fringe has become open rather than closeted. In our view, this renders it less dangerous, not more; repressing its expression lulls the public into complacency and denial while aggravating inveterate anti-Semites’ unhinged sense of grievance. It is for the same reason that outlawing “hate speech” or Holocaust denial is so counterproductive: stifled, anti-Semitism only festers and spreads.

We are heartened that most of the right has responded with revulsion. We also have some perspective on the insignificance of these crazies. While it is disconcerting to hear such voices surfacing, their relative silence until now shows how successfully the right has sidelined them. This is in sharp contrast to the way the political left has mainstreamed its own hatemongers. Barack Obama joined Louis Farrakhan’s Million Man March, and spent twenty years seeking spiritual guidance from Jeremiah Wright. Like Obama, Clinton has actively embraced Al Sharpton and Black Lives Matter, refusing to explain that all lives matter. Max Blumenthal, the son of Clinton’s closest advisor, is America’s leading Jewish apologist for anti-Semitism and Israel’s destruction. As the first American politician to favor a state for the PLO and by her own account the initiator of the deal giving Iran nuclear weapons, Clinton insidiously mouths pro-Israel platitudes while embracing and empowering terrorists hell-bent on Jewish genocide. It is hard to see a Clinton presidency as anything but an existential threat to the State of Israel. These affirmative choices concern us far more than Trump’s disappointing reluctance to distance himself from fringe voters whose views he shows no signs of endorsing but whose votes may help him win.

Finally, we have always been skeptical of the argument that Clinton inevitably will beat Trump in a landslide bringing down the Republican Congressional majority. Underestimating Trump has become something of a pattern for the political class. He has a long way to go, but Republicans are falling in line and large numbers of independent and even Democratic voters seem eager and excited to vote for Trump. Clinton is a passionless candidate with passionless supporters. We see Trump as positioned to win, and to run as enough of an outsider to allow those candidates seeking distance from him to claim it. Recent polls seem to support this view.

At the end of the day, we do not believe that it is unprincipled to express a preference between choices that we consider far from ideal. We hope that the NeverTrump holdouts will join us soon—both on the anti-Hillary train and in the ongoing work necessary for conservatives to recapture influence within the GOP. We hope the NeverTrumps come to embrace the erosion of the tyranny of political correctness. Together we will pay attention to the anti-Semites; thanks to Trump it’s becoming easier.

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18 COMMENTS

  1. I am curious about the Bill Kristol promise of a different candidate. He demonstrates clearly why people are fed up with the establishment. I think Kristol has been bought by huge money to pave the way for martial law and Obama assuming the role of dictator. Jusr sayin'…..

  2. I'm no fan of Trump for President – but when you pit him against Hillary, it's a total no-brainer. It's just a shame that we are constantly having to choose the lesser of 2 evils. The cumulative effects of this pattern of choice can only lead to the destruction of America.

  3. The problem with Trump is that he has not internalized the nature of Islam and its followers. He may think that foreign policy is just another business deal.

    Search for the following. "Learn about Islam. That is the most important thing for people to do. Learn who it is that you are not." – Samuel Lurie

  4. I am an enthusiastic Trump supporter. I strongly opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants. I strongly support the easing of regulations on business. I strongly support trade agreements (we have no free trade agreements, only complex trade agreements) that are more beneficial to US workers. I strongly support Israel.

  5. Mr. Trump is a crook! He has no ethics or morals and even less understanding of what he is doing or saying! He has never read the US Constitution and even if he did he would not understand it! He has yet to say one truthful thing and his antics of calling names to his opponentes is like a 2 year old trying to get his way! He tells you he knows about international trade and how he always wins and that is not the truth! He has lost big time in international trade because he does not know how to trade. His comments about how he beats everyone every time is just nonsense. He has lost his biggest deals and then says he won which again is not true! He says the Media is against him because they write terrible untrue things about him. Fact he did not give the money he said he raised to give to veterans until the Media said he did not, then had the nerve to say the media lied about him! He has demonstrated over and over again he has no ethics and no morals. If as you say you do not like Hillary that is your right, but do not make up garbage about her being dishonest because she is not! You blame her for the problem in Benghazi when in fact she spent time demanding that the republicans restore the defense budget for protecting Benghazi and they never did! She had nothing to do with the problems that cause the bad guys to attack the compound, but had the republicans restored the money the cut, there would have been a full detail of US Marines on duty to repel the attack! You need to understand the truth when you report or you are not different then Trump and his lies! If you really believe that Trump has principles then it is you who do not have any!

  6. Phillip Lulow you are an ignorant idiot and I sincerley hope you do not bet everything you have on Wackp trump winning in a landslide. Wacko trump is in fact going to lose and if you bet everything on his you will wind up collecting welfare and food stamps like most of his current supporters do now!

  7. "If you have no interest in a free press, free speech"

    Since when have you believed in "free speech," Charlie (other than as the exclusive right of the forces of "progress" so they can perform their "historic mission?")? You want to outlaw "global warming denial" and you believe in "free speech?"

    But oh well…at least the Monster In The Sky won't be ordering people around. And isn't that really all that's important to you?

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