What do you do after realizing that what you really want in a politician makes them unelectable?
In this space I have written scathing words against Donald Trump, and I rescind not a syllable. I am sure I have lost social media friends and more than a handful of radio listeners over it. More than one who’s kind enough to pay attention to me has lectured me on the error of my ways. But I fought in a way I believed was true to my heart for the best candidate to represent the party of conservatism and Constitutional integrity in America.
That battle is over, and I lost. A bunch of us lost.
Every politician comes with a ledger. Liabilities on one side, assets on the other. Most people I meet typically focus on one side — and largely dismiss the other. Both sides of Donald Trump’s ledger are lengthy. The man is an intriguing study and depending on which set of glasses I put on in the morning, he’s either a vulgar authoritarian despot-in-waiting, or a gritty dose of exactly what America needs at this moment. The dress is either blue or gold, and I can’t quite decide which.
I have spent weeks — months even — examining Trump’s liabilities, finding only a faint hope that he will not fulfill the worst of my fears about him. Those concerns, though understandable, now have no place – none whatsoever – in my calculation, because the concerns aren’t in any way useful or valuable anymore. Reluctance is now a worthless commodity. We are no longer picking the best conservative, or the most decent Republican. We’re picking from only two viable choices the best person to preside over the United States of America. Both sides of both political ledgers considered, there is for me only one choice.
For me, that means I shift my focus to Donald Trump’s assets, and there are many. Donald Trump is an alpha-male, which tends to make a better president in terms of leadership. And despite his stylistic flaws, Trump seems to have a genuine love for America, along with a consistent message of American exceptionalism when it comes to trade, the economy, and immigration. Despite a handful of children from three different mothers, all his kids appear to be decent, talented, hard-working, and respectable. Perhaps most importantly for the biggest political contest for public office that we ever have in America, he obviously knows how to fight and win. Furthermore, Donald Trump’s unapologetic dismantling of the structure of political correctness in America has been breathtakingly impressive.
Sure, there are undesirable flipsides, or “but”s to all of these assets. Yet spending energy examining and lamenting them has no upside when it’s clear to so many that Hillary Clinton simply cannot be trusted to handle sensitive information protecting our national security, or to simply tell the truth to the American people, or to ensure us she won’t use political power to enrich herself through a “charitable” foundation, or to choose Supreme Court Justices that will honor the Constitution. The only apparatus large enough and powerful enough to stop her, is the Republican Party. It’s what we have. And with only 3 and a half months before decision time, it’s the only thing we have.
Unlike others, I won’t shame, embarrass, and belittle those not jumping on the Trump train. I understand, fully. But I would ask anyone who considers themselves #NeverTrump to weigh all the ramifications. Perhaps you feel there are choices beyond Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. I would very respectfully disagree. Any other vote is merely an expression or a wish, as opposed to an actual choice — because choices, by definition, require an element of possibility. I cannot choose to buy milk at a mechanic shop or tires at a dairy. I can only endlessly wish to.
If you, like me, believe America may not survive another Alinsky-ite presidency, you can wish for your first preference, or you can actually choose the only thing that has a chance of stopping her.
Associated Press award-winning columnist Neal Larson of Idaho Falls is also the author of “Living in Spin.” He is a conservative talk show host on KID Newsradio 590am, 106.3 and 92.1fm, and also at www.kidnewsradio.com. “The Neal Larson Show” can be heard weekday mornings from 8:00 to 10:00. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.