Former president Donald Trump has proven himself to be enduringly charismatic to many Americans of a conservative political bent and a thorn in the side of many independents and liberal-leaning citizens. The drama he creates can evoke the best and worst in us, but it’s time to move on.
I consider myself an independent-moderate-conservative who loves that the former president helped unchain America from the evil of unrestricted abortion. I like that he played hardball with some of our international business competitors to create a more level playing field.
But a Trump candidacy is a chain around conservative ideals. His accomplishments were overshadowed by his often unkind, poisonous tongue, irrational behavior, and obsessive lies. When I watched the evening news and heard the latest absurdities flowing from his mouth like a noxious, toxic tirade into our great melting pot, I found little to feel good about.
GOP Kowtowing to Former President is Repulsive
The toxin overflowed when it met several thousand of his followers on January 6, 2021. Lives, respect, and reputations were lost that day, perhaps never to be reclaimed by the Republican Party. The constant kowtowing of Republican leadership to the former president is repulsive.
The man and his cronies now face multiple criminal charges for defrauding America and stealing secrets. No doubt the timing of these charges is politically motivated, but the sting and shame from an American president’s behavior hurt nonetheless.
It’s hard to imagine a scenario where Trump avoids any convictions or his legions of followers avoid complications from that reality, whether they agree with it or not. Of course, it’s also difficult to imagine millions of clear-thinking, good-hearted Americans who would vote for a lying bully who clothes himself in conversational conservatism to get what he wants when he wants it.
Conservatism Demands More Than Blind Loyalty
Conservatism used to mean more than blind loyalty to a boorish man. It meant, and still means, pursuing and promoting political thought that encouraged our country to be self-reliant — not reliant on one man for leadership. It means truth. It means justice. It means remembering where you came from, knowing where you are going, and how you will get there.
It means some of the best in all of us. It is not ensnared by the worst behavior exhibited by one individual.
In November 2011, Air Force Gen. Mark Welsh told those at the Air Force Academy: “Leadership is a gift. It’s given by those who follow. You have to be worthy of it.”
If America gives that gift to f Trump again next year, we will likely be giving our greatest gift as Americans to someone who: (1) has a nature least able to honor that gift through gratitude and (2) is least able to honor that gift through the conservative ideals he pretends to share.
We can and will do better in 2024. I wholeheartedly hope that before filling that dot or pulling that lever to elect Donald Trump next November, we give his competition an honest chance to make their case for the job. And that we listen to understand how they truly want America to look in the years ahead.
The possibilities are almost endless and don’t stop at the limitations of a single man or the weakness of a sycophantic Republican leadership.
Leadership is among the highest gifts an American neighbor can bestow on a fellow citizen. Let’s listen carefully to everyone who wants the job. No American is indispensable to the position, but we must be honest with ourselves to carry on and keep hope alive.
About the Writer
Matthew Liptak is a writer and editor from Maryland. He wrote this for InsideSources.com.