Six Realities of Supporting President Trump Part 2 of 2

                Continuing a theme that was explored a few days ago, in part one of this two part series on the realities of supporting president Trump, this article will explore the final three. First some context is in order. These articles are meant to explore a drain of enthusiasm that I have noticed among some Trump supporters. Of course, any decline in energy among in a segment of voters makes them more likely to abstain from voting for their previous choice in the next round. With the presidency on the line, any falling away in the president’s support will endanger his 2020 bid. Because of this, it is only prudent to examine the causes of this waning enthusiasm. This article expresses my personal frustrations with the president as well as those that are often expressed in conversation with other conservatives. As a disclaimer before the analysis begins, barring any unforeseen developments, I will vote for Trump in 2020 though the enthusiasm to do so has decreased.

4. Trump is the face of conservatism

                Whether we like it or not, the president has taken the reigns of the Republican Party and the conservative movement at large. He is the face of it and its undisputed leader. This can be shown in a few ways. For one thing, he takes the brunt of the acid from the media and the leftists. Being opposed to Donald Trump is shorthand in the media and even in everyday conversation for opposing conservatism. Rarely when discussing politics with an average person will they say something about the ideology of conservatism as opposed to focusing on its personification. Another mental exercise to show his dominance in the GOP, imagine for a moment that Trump resigns tomorrow and leaves politics for good. Who then will replace him? Obviously Mike Pence would become the president but who would become the authority figure of the party? That is not quite as clear cut. VP Pence is a great man but he lacks the force of personality and charisma of the president. Due to this, him becoming the flag bearer of conservatism is not guaranteed. Other figures would come out of the woodwork just as they did in 2016 to vie for the position of leader of the right. Donald Trump monopolizes the party like Reagan or Goldwater did in their days and without him, there is no clear leader of the movement or the party.

5. The GOP cannot split in the general election

                Some Republicans are interested in primarying Trump. Perhaps this can be chalked up to his coarseness, his assorted small scandals or his agenda items left unfulfilled. The reasons some right wingers seek to unseat the president are entirely immaterial. Whatever they are, doing so would be sinking any chance the conservatives have of holding the White House in 2020. Bill Weld who was last seen running as Gary Johnson’s VP in 2016, is currently seeking the Republican Party nomination. It is unlikely that the disconnected New England republican could pose a serious threat to Trump but the possibility remains of him becoming a spoiler. Since only a few years ago he ran as a libertarian, what rules out him running in the generals in 2020 when the GOP denies him the ticket? If he garnered enough disaffected but short-sighted conservatives there would be a rerun of the 1912 election where Theodore Roosevelt running as an independent ruined William Howard Taft’s re-election bid. The lesson of the day is that whether or not we love Taft (read as Trump in contemporary politics), he can’t be passed up in favor of the independent Roosevelt (read as Weld or any other libertarian/ conservative willing to run in 2020) or we will get Wilson instead (read as whatever socialist the democrats want).

6. Re-election will be just as hard as 2016

                The left has made it abundantly clear that they utterly despise the president. Few people expected Trump to win a few years ago and the campaign was so hard fought then. Those few years since then loom large in Washington and the President has not done much to warm the left’s opinion of him. If anything, the democrats’ collective opinion of him has chilled over time. With the birth of groups like the women’s march, the resistance, the spread of militant ANTIFA thuggery and the like the left’s opposition to him has crystalized. One can expect widespread leftist grass roots activity in this election cycle. No one can be certain until the primaries begin and vote tallies can be measured if the Trump coalition is still functioning at 2016 levels. For the reasons outlined in part one of this article detailing negative aspects of his administration and him as a candidate, it may not be. If considerable chunks of said coalition are gone in 2020, then the election is lost. But either way, the conservatives have their work cut out for them this time around.

                In part one of this series, the negative aspects of the president were analyzed, in this last part of the series, the realities of the political climate in regards to him were. What this all boils down to is that Trump is not perfect. He is not an intellectual and that irks no shortage of people. He has not accomplished all that he said he would and because he is under siege from the left to the extent that he is, getting a whole lot more done looks improbable. All those things are true but at the same time, the political reality that he is the face of conservatism, that splitting the right wing vote would make everyone but the leftists lose and that the re-election will already be an uphill battle, abandoning Trump is not in the cards. Everyone has qualms with the president but if Republicans would like to keep a socialist radical out of the White House those must be set aside. This is not abandoning principles, it is accepting reality. It is not reality as we wish it were, it is reality as it is.

Image credit: CNN “Donald Trump isn’t learning from his mistakes (opinion) – CNN”

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Does Democrat Joe Biden have too much baggage?

Yesterday, Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden apologized for his working with segregationists in the past. The Hill reported that he maintains he did the right thing by working with those with whom he fervently disagreed with but apologized if he came off as supporting their views. Without doubt, having to defend oneself on the campaign trail against allegations of opposition to civil rights is not a favorable position. What Biden did yesterday is part of a pattern of his to explain away the pile of baggage that has amounted from decades in politics.

                This comes on the heels of presidential hopeful Kamala Harris’s lambasting of Biden at the recent Democratic debate. Prefacing her comments by saying that she did not think him a racist, she went on to infer all but that of him. Harris hit him over the head with what she painted as his previous opposition to school bussing during the civil rights era. To follow that up, she shared an emotional story of her being in one of the first newly desegregated classes in the Berkeley school district. While she spoke he looked down at the ground like a child being disciplined. In response, the Democratic frontrunner came back with his experience as a public defender cast in the light of civil rights and a poorly executed elaboration of his views that allowed for much ambiguity. He was manifestly unable to defend himself against Harris’s attacks on his civil rights record. She received a standing ovation for her oration on the subject while Biden sadly looked on.

                Harris clearly was prepared for that debate and set a trap for Biden based on his long record in government. In classic Joe Biden fashion, he waltzed right over the trap and fell smack dab in it. These were just two recent incidents but they show that Biden’s record on civil rights will be a stick his opponents can use against him in the future. Experience contrary to popular wisdom is not always a good thing. He has more experience playing politics and statecraft than most could boast but this is a two edged sword. Years in Washington produces mountains of baggage that can come back to haunt a candidate just as much as any Lovecraftian horror could.

                It all begs the question how much will be too much for the voters? Over the period of the past few days, Biden’s Real Clear Politics average is 26.0% which does indeed make him the frontrunner by a respectable margin. It is also worth noting that Kamal Harris mas eclipsed the socialist Bernie Sanders as the next best in the same poll. Harris at this time is at 15.2% and Sanders is at 14%.

                For the conservative, watching and picking apart the Democratic infighting is a joy; perhaps schadenfreude but a joy nonetheless. The among the Democrats so far is not nearly as bad as it was with the Republicans in 2016 but as the election progresses it may degenerate. Any damage dealt by the Democrats to themselves in this way benefits principally the GOP and Donald Trump so the prospect of a hard fought primary season for the left is very appealing.

Photo credit: PEOPLE “Inside vice president Joe Biden’s family tragedies”

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Six Realities of Supporting President Trump Part 1 of 2

When Donald Trump was elected in 2016, he rode a wave of enthusiasm for overthrowing the current balance of power in politics. Over time though, among some of his supporters this enthusiasm has waned. The extent of this rot in his base and in the wider Trump coalition is unknown but nonetheless is there. I can say the sentence prior with great certainty because I would be counted among the Trump supporters whose enthusiasm has waned while they still support the president in general. In conversation with friends and colleagues, much of my sentiment is mirrored.

                This phenomenon has the potential for great electoral impact in the general election of 2020 and in down ballot races. If an American is not enthused or is disillusioned with his candidate from the prior election, there is a real possibility that he will stay home instead of going to the polls. Because of this, the phenomenon must be analyzed.

                Conservatives and Trump voters at large must acknowledge certain realities of the current political climate in regards to supporting the president. These can be summed up as follows:

  1. Trump cannot deliver to the extent that he promised

As a caveat for this, we must remember that almost no politicians are able to realize what they promised on the campaign trail. Donald Trump is no different. Let us examine some of his primary campaign pledges and see how well he has executed them. When one looks back on the 2016 campaign one of the first things that inevitably comes to mind is the border wall that the president pledged to construct. Over two years into Trump’s presidency indeed there is progress but only so much. According to Newsweek, since he took office funding has been secured for around 200 miles of the wall but only 46.7 miles have actually been built. Most of this new wall is not actually blocking off new ground but is just replacing “dilapidated designs.” Considering that the southern border is over 2,000 miles long and there was already over 600 miles of barriers of some kind, this is a very small achievement. An achievement indeed, but it is a day late and a dollar short.

                Inevitably, when discussing Trump’s promises, one must examine the healthcare fiasco. The House of Representatives passed a repeal and replace bill only to have it derailed by the late senator McCain in the other chamber. Republicans had years to get ready for the final battle over healthcare but when the moment came to change the game, they dropped the ball. Little attention has been paid to this issue since the Waterloo of the GOP plan in 2017. A tweet or two tossed around by the president unfortunately does little to fix the underlying problem that the healthcare system needs reforming but Trump and the GOP continue floundering.

  • Trump is under siege and little more can be expected

Point two goes hand in hand with the previous. It is not an exaggeration to say that the majority of leftists in power loath Donald Trump. Just for the purpose of illustration a few remarks from Democratic leaders make their hatred of the president clear. In June, Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez a socialist who is known for making comments offensive to common sense described camps used to house illegal aliens as “concentration camps.” In doing so she evokes the images of one of the worst atrocities in human history, the Holocaust and flagrantly conflates it with American facilities used to temporarily hold illegal aliens. One can also not forget when another Democratic congresswoman screamed, “we’re going to go in there and impeach the motherf*cker.” No elaboration is required on the second remark. Whether they are literally shrieking out their disdain for the president or merely fighting him on every issue like it’s Verdun, the Democrats are entirely against Trump and they are going to keep obstructing his agenda. Republicans have also done their fair share of obstructing the Trump agenda.

  • Trump is not an intellectual

Since he launched his campaign, Trump supporters have had to put up with quite a few gaffes. He is clumsy with his words and does not speak with the eloquence of poet. Trump’s base has been generous to him by not holding his verbal misjudgments against him. Speaking from experience as one of his supporters, the message is more important than the way it is conveyed. One would be better off accepting a policy that is coherent but explained poorly than one that is destructive but is explained artfully. Barrack Obama was a gifted orator and he had an ability to dress up all his proposals with appealing language and this is a skill that Trump largely lacks. His base has gone along with this for some time and they will continue to have to go along with it until he leaves politics.

                The address he gave on Independence Day shows that well enough. His most shocking gaffe is as follows: “Our Army manned the air, it rammed the ramparts, it took over the airports, it did everything it had to do, and at Fort McHenry, under the rocket’s red glare it had nothing but victory. And when dawn came, their star-spangled banner waved defiant.” Does one need to remind the president that the Army could not man the air because there were no airplanes and it could not [take] over the airports for the same reason? Ramming the ramparts is a strange phrase but he likely refers to colonial forces storming British defensive positions though the way he said it makes one wonder if that is what he meant. Most offensive to the history inclined is that the siege of Fort McHenry which gave us the Star Spangled Banner occurred in the War of 1812 not the Revolutionary War. His supporters can shake their heads at his verbal clumsiness but they must acknowledge that he is not an intellectual and he makes mistakes like this. He has other redeeming personal features like his business experience which is superb and his skill with playing the media like a fiddle but vast intellect is not one of those redeeming features.

This is part one of a two part series of articles detailing a few specific realities of supporting president Trump.

Image credit: CNN “Donald Trump isn’t learning from his mistakes (opinion) – CNN”

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Welcome to the Conservative Critique

My name is Cruz K. M. Marquis, founder of the Conservative Critique. This blog has been created to address a thorough lacking of philosophical backbone in the contemporary American political discourse. Much mud is slung by both sides and demagoguery has become all too common. What should be rational discussion has devolved into a shouting match and all too often little of what is said is coherent.

That is where the Conservative Critique comes in. What I seek to do with this website is to fill the void of intellectual debate that has formed in American politics. To this end, this blog will be updated frequently with new commentary on current events framed in the context of wider political and economic theory.

This is the first website I have run and I will note that in the early days of this site’s existence it is highly experimental and is subject to change. I would ask for patience with any technical strangeness that may arise.

As the title suggests, this is not a hard news site. I do not pretend to lack bias but I do assert that there will be good reason and purpose for all that is said. Partisan mudslinging and rudeness is not on the agenda. Rather, there will be a nuanced analysis of the state of politics and economics in every article. Indeed, there are ideological undertones especially in the way of contemporary American conservatism and Austrian economics as espoused by F. A. Hayek and Ludwig von Mises.

My personal philosophy that will be reflected throughout the articles forthcoming will demonstrate that I am a stalwart enemy of tyranny everywhere. I am committed to fighting the forces of tyranny with the pen be they communism, radical Islamism, fascism or otherwise. In turn, I hope to propagate the ideals of liberty and the American way. God willing, this small website will do something to aid these ends.

Thank you for reading this my friends, and I do hope you read the Conservative Critique’s future articles.

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