Politics & Policy

The Scariest Reason Trump Won

(Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

There are many reasons Donald Trump is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. The four most often cited reasons are the frustrations of white working-class Americans, a widespread revulsion against political correctness, disenchantment with the Republican “establishment,” and the unprecedented and unrivaled amount of time the media afforded Trump.

They are all valid.

But the biggest reason is this: The majority of Republicans are not conservative.

Conservatives who opposed Trump kept arguing — indeed provided unassailable proof – that Donald Trump is not a conservative and has never been one. But the argument meant little or nothing to two types of Republicans: the majority of Trump voters who don’t care whether he is a conservative, and the smaller number of Trump voters who are conservative but care about illegal immigration more than all other issues, including Trump’s many and obvious failings.

So, then, what happened to the majority of Republicans? Why aren’t they conservative?

The answer lies in America’s biggest – and scariest – problem: Most Americans no longer know what America stands for. For them, America has become just another country, a place located between Canada and Mexico.

But America was founded to be an idea, not another country. As Margaret Thatcher put it: “Europe was created by history. America was created by philosophy.”

Why haven’t Americans over the past three generations known what America stands for?

Probably the biggest reason is the influence of left-wing ideas.

Since its inception, the Left has opposed the American idea, and for good reason. Everything the American idea represents undermines leftist ideas. And the Left, unlike most Americans, has always understood that either the Left is right or America is right.

America stands for small government, a free economy (and therefore capitalism), liberty (and it therefore allows for liberty’s inevitable consequence, inequality), the “melting pot” ideal, and a God-centered population rooted in Judeo-Christian values (so that a moral society is created by citizens exercising self-control rather than relying on the state to impose controls).

Only America was founded on the idea of small government. But the Left is based on big government.

America was founded on the principle that human rights come from the Creator. For the Left, rights come from the state.

America was founded on the belief that in order to maintain a small government, a God-fearing people is necessary. The Left opposes God-based religions, particularly Judeo-Christian religions. Secularism is at the core of Leftism every bit as much as egalitarianism is.

It took generations, but the Left has succeeded in substituting its values for America’s.

The American Revolution, unlike the French Revolution, placed liberty above equality. For the Left, equality is more important than all else. That’s why so many American and European leftists have celebrated left-wing regimes, no matter how much they squelched individual liberty, from Stalin to Mao to Che and Castro to Hugo Chávez. They all preached equality.

It took generations, but the Left has succeeded (primarily through the schools, but also through the media) in substituting its values for America’s.

While the Left has been the primary cause, there have been others.

The most significant is success.

American values were so successful that Americans came to take America’s success for granted. They forgot what made America uniquely free and affluent. And now, it’s not even accurate to say “forgot,” because, in the case of the current generation, they never knew. While the schools, starting with the universities, were being transformed into institutions for left-wing indoctrination, American parents, too, ceased teaching their children American values (beginning with not reading to their children the most popular book in American history, the Bible).

Schools even stopped teaching American history. When American history is taught today, it is taught as a history of oppression, imperialism, and racism. Likewise, there is essentially no civics education, once a staple of the public-school system. Young Americans are not taught either the Constitution or how American government works. I doubt many college students even know what “separation of powers” means, let alone why it is so significant.

So, then, thanks to leftism and America’s taken-for-granted success, most Americans no longer understand what it means to be an American. Those who do are called “conservatives” because they wish to conserve the unique American idea. But conservatives now constitute not only a minority of Americans, but a minority of Republicans. That is the primary reason Donald Trump — a nationalist but not a conservative — is the presumptive Republican nominee.

As I noted from the outset, I will vote for him if he wins the nomination — because there is no choice. But the biggest reason he won is also the scariest.

Dennis Prager — Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His second volume of Bible commentary, The Rational Bible — Genesis: God, Creation, Destruction, is published by Regnery.  He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.

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