Politics & Policy

Trump, Conservatives, and the ‘Principles’ Question

(Reuters photo: Carlo Allegi)
Never Trumpers need to admit that the Left and Hillary Clinton pose a threat to America's survival as the country it was founded to be.

All Never Trump conservatives maintain that their decision to never vote for Donald Trump is guided by their principles. I have no doubt that this is true.

But some of them — though by no means all — seem to imply, or at least may think, that conservatives who vote for Trump have abandoned their principles. Indeed, the charge of compromising on principle is explicitly leveled at Republican politicians and members of the Republican “establishment” who support Trump.

I cannot speak for all conservatives who are voting for Trump, but I can speak for many in making this assertion:

We have the same principles as the Never Trumpers — especially those of us who strongly opposed nominating Trump; that’s why we opposed him, after all. So almost everything that prevents Never Trumpers from voting for Trump also troubled us about the candidate. (I should note that some are less troubled today.)

So where do we differ?

We differ on this: We hold that defeating Hillary Clinton, the Democrats, and the Left is also a principle. And that it is the greater principle.

Obviously, the Never Trumpers do not believe that. On the contrary, some of the most thoughtful Never Trumpers repeatedly tell us that the nation can survive four years of Hillary Clinton–Democrat rule. And then, they say, conservatism will have cleansed itself and be able to take back the nation after four calamitous years of a Hillary Clinton presidency — whereas if Trump wins, he will be the de facto face of conservatism, and then conservatism will have been dealt a potentially fatal setback.

This argument assumes that America can survive another four years of Democratic rule.

So, it really depends on what “survive” means. If it means that there will be a country called the United States of America after another four years of a Democratic presidency and a left-wing Supreme Court for quite possibly another four decades (as well as dozens of lifetime appointments to the equally important lower federal courts), the country will surely survive.

But I do not believe that the country will surely survive as the country it was founded to be. In that regard we are at the most perilous tipping point of American history.

It is true that the country’s survival was threatened in the 1860s, and only a terrible civil war kept it whole. But, with the colossal and awful exception of slavery, neither side challenged the founding principles of America.

That is not the case today. One side seeks to undo just about every founding principle that made America exceptional. Important examples include small and limited government; preservation of the power of the states to serve as political and social laboratories; a belief in individual responsibility; a society rooted in Judeo-Christian morality — meaning a society composed of people most of whom affirm God and Bible-based moral teachings; and a deep sense of a unifying national American identity and destiny.

The Left is successfully undoing every one of those founding principles.

In fact, the Left and the Democratic party (which are now indistinguishable) boast of their aim to do so. As then-senator Barack Obama prophesied, accurately, in 2008:

“We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”

And for the first time in American history, a man calling himself a socialist won the great majority of young people’s votes in the Democratic presidential primaries. Senator Bernie Sanders’s new political movement is accurately named “Our Revolution.” But for conservatives, “our revolution” occurred in 1776. So the Left is in fact leading a counter-revolution.

Therefore, with another four years of Democrat-Left rule — meaning a nearly permanent left-wing Supreme Court and left-wing judges controlling lower courts; the further erosion of federalism; an exponential growth in the power of the federal government; further leftist control of education; and the de-Americanizing of America in part by effectively eliminating its borders, in part by substituting multiculturalism for American identity, and in part by giving millions of illegal immigrants citizenship — America will not be America.

We conservatives who will vote for Trump understand that he is the only vehicle we have to prevent this. We recognize that though there are some fine individuals who hold left-wing views, Leftism is a terminal cancer in the American bloodstream and soul. So our first and greatest principle is to destroy this cancer before it destroys us. We therefore see voting for Donald Trump as political chemotherapy needed to prevent our demise. And at this time, that is, by far, the greatest principle.

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.

Most Popular

Culture

What We’ve Learned about Jussie Smollett

It’s been a few weeks since March 26, when all charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and the actor declared that his version of events had been proven correct. How’s that going? Smollett’s celebrity defenders have gone quiet. His publicists and lawyers are dodging reporters. The @StandwithJussie ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Lessons of the Mueller Probe

Editor’s Note: The following is the written testimony submitted by Mr. McCarthy in connection with a hearing earlier today before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on the Mueller Report (specifically, the first volume of the report, which addresses Russia’s interference in the 2016 ... Read More
Elections

Kamala Harris Runs for Queen

I’m going to let you in on a secret about the 2020 presidential contest: Unless unforeseen circumstances lead to a true wave election, the legislative stakes will be extremely low. The odds are heavily stacked against Democrats’ retaking the Senate, and that means that even if a Democrat wins the White House, ... Read More
World

Why Are the Western Middle Classes So Angry?

What is going on with the unending Brexit drama, the aftershocks of Donald Trump’s election, and the “yellow vests” protests in France? What drives the growing estrangement of southern and eastern Europe from the European Union establishment? What fuels the anti-EU themes of recent European elections and ... Read More
Energy & Environment

The Climate Trap for Democrats

The more the climate debate changes, the more it stays the same. Polls show that the public is worried about climate change, but that doesn’t mean that it is any more ready to bear any burden or pay any price to combat it. If President Donald Trump claws his way to victory again in Pennsylvania and the ... Read More
White House

Sarah Sanders to Resign at End of June

Sarah Huckabee Sanders will resign from her position as White House press secretary at the end of the month, President Trump announced on Twitter Thursday afternoon. https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1139263782142787585 Sanders, the daughter of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, succeeded Sean ... Read More
Politics & Policy

But Why Is Guatemala Hungry?

I really, really don’t want to be on the “Nicolas Kristof Wrote Something Dumb” beat, but, Jiminy Cricket! Kristof has taken a trip to Guatemala, with a young woman from Arizona State University in tow. “My annual win-a-trip journey,” he writes. Reporting from Guatemala, he discovers that many ... Read More