As I contemplated yet another reason not to vote for Donald Trump for president — revelations that his campaign manager Paul Manafort was a fixer for a deeply corrupt pro-Russian Urkanian strong man — I realized I’d finally completed all five stages of the grieving process. I’m ready to vote for the real estate mogul. As someone who votes his guns, I knew I had to do it anyway. But perhaps you can relate to this process…
When I first heard that Donald J. Trump was running for president I dismissed his candidacy as a form of public theater; part of The Donald’s endless attempts at self-promotion. In fact, I still think the real estate mogul wasn’t serious at the start of his campaign.
As Mr. Trump progressed through the primary process, gaining traction by promising to build a Mexican-financed wall on our southern border and ban Muslim immigration, I thought it only a matter of time before he’d implode. Surely voters could see he was an ignoramus. When it was Trump vs. Cruz, I believed Trump would be rejected by Republicans. After that, I put my [hail Mary] faith in a contested convention.
Regular readers know I let Mr. Trump have it with both barrels, citing his previous support for gun control (the assault weapons ban and a waiting period for firearms purchases) and the dealmaker’s lack of conservative principles (if he even knows what they are). And his lack of coherent convictions about, well, anything. I intimated that Mr. Trump was a proto-dictator.
I was well and truly pissed off that Mr. Trump was the Republican party’s chosen candidate to square-off against Ms. Clinton’s obvious threat to our firearms freedom. To all our Constitutionally protected liberties. Trump’s cascade of ridiculous unconstitutional statements (e.g., he’d tell the generals to bomb ISIS family members) and subsequent “clarifications” did nothing to assuage my anger, and much to stoke it.
As the Trump campaign progressed (if that’s the right word), I gradually let go of my anger and latched onto the idea that at least he’d select pro-gun rights Supreme Court Justices. He even released a list of possible future nominees; bonified conservatives! And then I learned he hadn’t contacted any of them. And then withdrew the list.
What could a man of good conscience do? Third party? Not with the Libertarian candidate picking an anti-gun Massachusetts governor as his Vice Presidential running mate. Abstain? And set an example for equally disillusioned gun voters? Nope. If gun rights were at stake — as they always are — I had to vote for the lesser of two evils. A man I’d come to detest.
You can and should criticize the mainstream media for failing to give Hillary Clinton the same rectal exam given Mr. Trump. There’s no doubt that they are in the bag for the Big Government Democrat. And how. But the press isn’t wrong to reveal Mr. Trump’s lies, prevarications and lack of character.
Even if half of what they publish is accurate, and by my estimation, Donald Trump is a liar, a cheat, a phony and a fraud. A bully and a braggart. A flimflam man. A candidate with about as much command of history, government or foreign policy as your average high school student. Sad to say. On all levels.
But he’s what we’ve got. I’m now fully prepared to recommend Donald Trump’s election, knowing full well what I’m recommending. I cling to two main reasons: Hillary Clinton and the strength of our three-part government to at least blunt Mr. Trump’s inevitable desecration of conservative principles.
Does any of this ring a bell for you?