Want him to succeed? You bet

Let’s work through the logic, if any, of someone saying they’re on the right or center-right, yet getting up every morning and basically rooting against Trump, not for him. Very odd.

You’re an American conservative. You believe in liberty, limited government, free markets, personal responsibility, Judeo-Christian moral truth. You want our country to be one common culture, not a multicultural melange.  

To protect these things, you believe in national sovereignty, secure borders, and a defense second to none. You love our Constitution and our Declaration of Independence. You regard the Republican Party as our most valuable voluntary association, outside the church, because it is the Constitution’s most faithful defender.

Victor Davis Hanson drives this argument home in "Crossing the Trump Rubicon"

So that’s who you are. That’s what you believe.  And on that basis, would you want our Republican president, Donald Trump, to succeed or fail during the next three years of his elected term?

It’s an easy call for me.  I’d want him to succeed, of course. Not because I uncritically revere him or think he’s the ideal leader for these United States — but because the alternative, his failure and the ascendancy of Democrats for Congress in 2018 and for the White House in 2020, would have bad consequences for America and the world.

It remains a binary choice, despite what some of my friends too smart and highminded for their own good insisted during Trump’s 2016 contest against Hillary Clinton, and what they continue insisting even now, one year along from his wonderful upset victory.

Either the President keeps racking up points on the political and policy scoreboard, or the left-progressive side gets the upper hand and regains power. Those are the only options.  There’s no third way.

It’s on my mind because I recently happened to remark on Facebook in connection with National Review, a magazine I’ve long loved (and I could have said the same about the Weekly Standard and Commentary), “Enough with the Trump derangement.”

I was referring to the editors’ obsessively magnifying his every misstep and endlessly spinning scenarios of doom around the man.  To which an old friend with sterling neoconservative credentials dating from the Reagan White House took umbrage, volleying back at me:

Those of us conservatives who oppose Donald Trump do so not because we are deranged but because we love our country far more than our party. Trump is an amoral man, and how devout Christians can overlook his bigotry, his treatment of women, his inability to admit that he has ever done anything that requires him to ask God for forgiveness, his continuous lying is beyond my understanding. I approve of many of his policies and applaud the selections he’s made for judgeships, but what doth it profit a man if he gains the Supreme Court but loses his soul?

I in turn replied:

Policies, bingo, you said it. The people sensibly, eyes wide open, chose Trump over Hillary one year ago and he's the only president we have until 2020. Replace him then with someone better, not a wild lefty? Imaginable but unlikely. I can't find reference in the Constitution to the chief executive as a moral exemplar, or to whose soul gets lost. Unpalatable choices come with politics in a fallen world. How shall we make the best of it?

Where I get lost is my friend identifying herself with “conservatives who oppose Trump.”  What does that actually mean from day to day? Working against his agenda in Congress?  Hoping the Democrats, the media, and Robert Mueller keep him so constantly on the defensive that the GOP loses the mid-term election? Advocating his impeachment, or his removal under the 25th Amendment? Gearing up to primary him in 2020 so he throws in the towel LBJ-style? 

It appears she would not go that far, based on her own admission of “approving many of his policies.” But if so, what are we to make of that starkly adversarial verb, “oppose”?  In what practical way does the proclaimed opposition add up to “loving our country more than our party”?  I’m not enough of a mind-reader to guess or even come close.

As the anniversary of Donald Trump’s stunning 2016 win approaches, I feel even better about having voted for him than I did at the time — based on the totality of what he’s done in these twelve months, and what his enemies have done, and the dramatic contrast of where our country is under the Republicans versus where it would be if Hillary and the Democrats had won.

The only realistic path forward that I can see is to keep helping him be the best Republican president he possibly can, and to bulldoze our GOP Congress into being the best it can, and thereby to win in 2018 and win in 2020 and keep on keeping on to make America great again.

If that makes me a crummy Christian, okay. An enabler of amorality, okay. A lose-your-soul sellout, okay. To be clear, I plead not guilty to all of those. But names can never hurt me; I learned that from Mom a long time ago.

         Buyer's remorse? Heck no. Buyer's rejoice! My sweet ride as seen on Facebook, November 2016

         Buyer's remorse? Heck no. Buyer's rejoice! My sweet ride as seen on Facebook, November 2016