The Immorality of Trump

Is there a difference between political morals and personal morals?

When the ramping up and campaigning began in 2015, I was dismayed to see Donald Trump in the top half of the candidates who announced.   I perceived him as a bombastic arrogant New Yorker of low morals.   Is that an unfair characterization?

Well, bombastic and arrogant seem undebated; even his fans acknowledge that, and New Yorker seems not to be considered a drawback; he won lots of Southern votes.   What I want to address in this post is related to the way his fans call him an “honorable man” and a “principled man.”   Well, perhaps, but with qualifications.

Sexual Morality

Remember the “Access Hollywood” tape?   Journalists thought it would be an “October Surprise,” but in fear that they would be scooped (they had been holding it back for many months) they rolled it out in mid-September of 2016.   It made no difference to the polling numbers.   This puzzled journalists who knew that Evangelicals’ support was key to Trump’s base.   They had expected the Trump campaign to wilt.   The NeverTrump pundits were even more distressed than Leftist journalists.   They faulted the journalists who broke the story for not waiting until mid-October to drop their October Surprise.

We remarked at the time that it was old news.   Evangelical voters had already absorbed the understanding of Trump’s sexual immorality, and had decided to support his candidacy anyhow.   When the Nevers railed at “rationalizing” and said it was “immoral” to support such an immoral man, we brushed them off.   Our response was “but Hillary.”   The choice was clear.

And there was no question about the immorality of Donald Trump.   He had famously bragged about adulterous affairs with “top women” who were wives of “A-list” men whose names you would recognize.   He clearly had been planning to take up a wife number three at the very time he was planning the wedding with wife number two.   There were rumors of other affairs besides the ones he bragged about.   He said rude things.   He implied in the “Access Hollywood” tape that he was willing to take advantage of his star status to treat women badly.   He was uncouth.   He made reckless accusations in obvious bad faith.

Nevertheless, we chose to support Donald Trump.   He won the Republican nomination on the strength of support among Evangelical voters.   By the time the fall campaign season neared the debates, the revelation of the Access Hollywood tape was only one additional piece of evidence for an aspect of Mr. Trump that was already well known.   And the emotional distress of the Nevers over that issue was revealing of their true position.   Their failure to see that other issues were more important and more relevant was indicative that their moral values did not match our moral values.   Though they are mostly not Christian, they clamored about Trump’s sexual immorality.   They invoked Biblical teachings.

Though we are Christians and promote conservative teachings about sexual morality, we brushed aside their histrionics and continued to support Donald Trump, the unapologetic serial adulterer who famously opined that he felt no need to seek forgiveness.

Does this mean, as the Nevers say, that we have “jettisoned morality”?

No.  It only means that we made a different political calculation than they did.

Political calculus

I don’t care how many times the Nevers stamp their feet and shout that the choice in November of 2016 “was not binary,” that election was a choice between only two outcomes.   But it does beg the question:  why were Evangelicals determined to keep Hillary out of the White House?   Even if that left only one choice, to vote for an immoral man?

With the choice set before us, we chose to support immoral Trump over “moral” Hillary.

So now to explain.   Many of us would question that Hillary Clinton is “more moral” than D.J. Trump.   We are considering the entire range of personal morality, and not just sexual morality.   There are many aspects to the human moral condition.   Perhaps it is appropriate to weigh different vices and virtues differently when making political decisions.

Morals

One of the reasons that western civilization always prized Socrates, Plato and Aristotle was because they were exploring what makes something a virtue and what makes something a vice.   They were looking for a way to make distinctions between good and bad human behaviors, and this became the foundation of western philosophy.

It would have been far better to have grounded western philosophy in Solomon, for the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord.   This may not be commonly recognized as it once was in America, but this is common to us Evangelical voters.   We use the Bible as our source for moral learning.   (As the universities embraced modern post-Enlightenment thinking, there was a deliberate shift of philosophy away from the Bible and to a line of thinking that is more directly descended from the Pagan philosophers.   Ethics for business and journalists is a field that draws on the language of philosophy and not on religious language.   When journalists hear terms they think are religious, they think “dog whistle.”)

We Evangelical voters recognize all sorts of aspects to human morality.   Chastity, Temperance, Charity, Diligence, Patience, Kindness, and Humility were the classical “Seven Virtues” of Christian antiquity.   To those can be added Courage, Justice, Prudence, Faith, and Hope.   They come down to us through the generations.

While we may commonly recognize President Trump as lacking in chastity, prudence, temperance, humility and faith, we also thought he had shown a solid core when it comes to courage, diligence, and justice.   We see this in opposition to his 2016 opponent, Ms. Hillary Clinton.   We think of her as lacking in courage (triangulation and focus-group testing and scapegoating provide the evidence there).   We think of her as lacking a sense of justice (her attacks on Bill’s bimbos is recalled).   She showed a lack of both faith and courage, plus a lack of trustworthiness (which is an aspect of justice), when she disallowed a military response to Benghazi.   Her e-mail scandal, plus the baggage of many scandals from the Obama Administration, counted against her as moral failings.

This sort of evaluation did not necessarily leave us with a sense of balance, but it did leave us with a sense that there were other factors in the political decision that could outweigh Mr. Trump’s moral failings.

Fear

I posted this past weekend about the fears of Evangelical voters.   These have been very badly mischaracterized by Leftists in journalism, religion and politics.   The fear that a Hillary Administration would crush individual liberties was paramount in the consideration of many Evangelical voters.

We did not look to Donald Trump as some sort of spiritual savior.   We did see in Candidate Trump a clear alternative to the Party of Death and Mrs. Clinton.   We were far more concerned with fears that a renewed Democrat Administration could kick the final props out from under western civilization.   That would not endanger our salvation, but it would deprive our grandchildren of liberty.

We made the right choice.

President Trump has exceeded our expectations.   And, every day when I get up in the morning, Hillary is not my president.

Progress

I had been thinking about this when I stumbled across a post at R>.   (I was browsing there in the wake of their banning of our friend Ms. Hypatia.)   The interesting post was by one of their popular Catholic ladies.

She posted to describe how she has turned 180 degrees around in her thinking, just in the past year.   She was an ardent NeverTrumper all through the campaign, and for the first half of 2017.   In the past year she has experienced a complete change of thinking.   She posted to describe her thoughts, and to say that, though reluctantly, she now supports President Trump, and, in fact, strongly supports President Trump.

Her reasoning is that the ascendency of the Left is endangering western civilization to a far greater extent than she had previously realized.   The revelations of how deeply entrenched the Deep State is in the Department of Justice, the FBI and other agencies shocked her into looking more carefully at the threat within, and the hysterical groupthink swarming of Leftist mass media, with their transparent lies, confirmed for her that the pro-Trump conservatives were actually on the right track.

Here are delightful excerpts:

I’ve had to revise practically all my opinions. Maybe the outward civility and personal rectitude of people like George W., Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and Marco Rubio actually were a liability. Maybe “principled politicians” like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz really are insufferable and out of touch. Maybe we needed a crude, narcissistic president to make headway in a crude, narcissistic culture. And maybe Trump’s not as bad a person as I’d thought. Maybe he does have some core principles and values down there somewhere, under all the bluster and mess. In any case, he’s getting stuff done, and his media-baiting has served the good purpose of exposing their extreme bias, thank God.

His enemies have proven to be far worse than I’d imagined. I knew Obama was a covert narcissist and a leftist ideologue, a Marxist even. I knew he was governed by an evil worldview that saw America as needing to be taken down some pegs, while peoples marginalized by colonialism were given a leg up. I knew he’d set out to be the great un-Reagan and un-Churchill. He had a Saul Alinskite political MO: ends justify whatever means; isolate a target (like marriage) and destroy it. Pose as high-minded, even-keeled, and above the fray, while really being deeply nasty and harboring contempt for American institutions and the rule of law. And oppose all things Judeo-Christian and conservative, except insofar as they provide a handy cover for a leftist social justice agenda. I knew his appointees were bad guys — either ideologues like him, corrupt opportunists, or both.

But even I couldn’t have believed it was  this bad — that the Justice Department and the FBI would shamelessly deploy the awesome tools of their trade to destroy Trump and elect Clinton, that the mainstream media would openly abandon even the pretense of objectivity to become flagrant propagandists while demanding the deference due to true reporters, that it would become almost impossible to have a conversation with an anti-Trumper (since to defend him is to be instantly shunned as a racist and a fascist), that so many of our institutions would be so decimated so fast.

It’s weird and ironic, but true: our best hope for national salvation lies in rallying round Trump.

I’m back with Rush and Drudge and Ricochet. I’m practically stalking Mark Steyn and Victor Davis Hansen. Now it’s David French and Jonah Goldberg I can hardly stand to read. Forget about  Commentary and  The Weekly Standard. How can they not see what’s really going on here?  Who  cares how sleazy and corrupt Trump and his inner circle have been over the years? It’s nothing, just nothing, in comparison with the depth and extent of the corrosion at the heart of things in Washington DC. If we care about our country, we’ll make electing Republicans this November our top priority.

And then the capper came in the comments:

Why is Donald Trump the only person capable of saving the Republic?

Because he happens to be the President right now, and if he’s impeached, the corrupt DoJ and FBI plus their media sycophants will be vindicated and strengthened. Pence will be horribly weakened. The already divided Republicans will be more demoralized and divided, plus alienated from the voters. If he’s strengthened, on the other hand, he will be in a great position to clean house, plus do lots of other good stuff. Weak-kneed Republicans will be more likely to come on board, etc.  I’ll have hope that America can actually be turned back around.

With good moral devout Catholic married white female Nevers like her coming around to a full-throated energetic support for President Trump, I am taking heart and renewing hope that we can forestall the collapse of western civilization for a few more years.

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37 thoughts on “The Immorality of Trump”

  1. Yes, we discussed this in the comments at Bryan G. Stephens’s post from a few days ago:  https://www.ratburger.org/index.php/2018/08/08/to-the-left-everyone-on-the-right-supports-trump/

     

    We made the right choice.

    Ms. Carol S. posted a link to an article about the way Team Obama was conspiring to end western civilization.   Her post is here:

    https://www.ratburger.org/index.php/2018/08/21/did-trump-really-save-america-from-socialism/

      

    The Post I read at R> is here:

    https://ricochet.com/546962/inside-the-mind-of-a-once-nevertrumper/

     

    I saw where RightAngles and Blood Thirsty Neocon got abused in the comments.   Maybe some of y’all could recruit Blood Thirsty N. to join us Ratburghers?

     I also saw a really good post by EJHill.   I didn’t bother to look for the previous post where he was “excoriated,” nor did I stick around for the comments.   Being banned from R> has been good for my disposition and my blood pressure.   Membership here would probably result in similar improvements for Blood Thirsty Neocon.

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  2. MJBubba:
    The fear that a Hillary Administration would crush individual liberties was paramount in the consideration of many Evangelical voters.

    Those ignorant, sheltered ‘progressives’ never got this about Evangelicals or seculars either and fortunately still don’t. I have hopes for the midterms.

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  3. Katievs has always been thoughtful and worth a read. I would love if she came over here. I’d even give her a free membership!

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  4. (Oh never mind, I see I can still read posts–and mine is still up.  I thought they had threatened to prevent me from even accessing the site..)

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  5. When Ms. katievs talks about “national salvation” she is not talking about a spiritual salvation but about a temporal salvation.   Nevers are likely to deliberately misunderstand her in order to attack her with Scripture.  

    I spoke about the difference between temporal concerns and spiritual concerns in my post about the Fears of Evangelicals:

    https://www.ratburger.org/index.php/2018/08/24/fraidy-cat-evangelicals/

     

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  6. There is overt immorality and covert immortality. The latter is more dangerous. Trump in my opinion is the former.

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  7. 10 Cents:
    There is overt immorality and covert immortality. The latter is more dangerous. Trump in my opinion is the former.

    Agree. It is Trump vs. Clinton.

    There’s another difference between the two as well. True story:

    While Trump was engaged to Melania he slipped up with a previous girlfriend. Melania found out about this tryst while she was staying at Mar-a-Lago and immediately left both the house and the engagement ring behind. She refused his calls for over a month but his persistence finally won her back. This says a lot about them both.

    In the meantime, Bill Clinton continued his adulterous behavior regardless of location (I admit I’ll never get over the Oval Office) and his wife enabled him every step of the way. I still haven’t determined who I find more reprehensible!

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  8. Misquote

    Anyone watching the catholic church right now should be familiar with the difference.

    Anyone who has read the gospels should be well versed in how this applies to White-washed sepulchers – beautiful in piety on the outside, but nothing but rotten death on the inside.

    DJT was an unusually easy choice for me. I wish I could explain why, but it was so intuitive, I can’t do it.

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  9. Lol… my quote is completely off… its supposed to be from 10-cents’ comment. Must have missed copy and grabbed something from the clipboard.

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  10. Stina:
    DJT was an unusually easy choice for me.

    For me as well and I supported him immediately from the start of the GOP primary campaign. That was a big deal because the Republicans had a decent bench with two popular Floridians running.

    Trump had a powerful and very specific message unlike all the other candidates. Plus we both need to admit this- he’s highly entertaining to watch.

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  11. What comes to mind is the Gary Larson line: blah, blah, blah Ginger.  Pearl clutching and post-mortem analysis add nothing to the plain fact that Trump loves the USA and Hillary does not.  I am most emphatically not interested in his personal foibles.  Guess he’s human…

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  12. Stina:
    Lol… my quote is completely off… its supposed to be from 10-cents’ comment. Must have missed copy and grabbed something from the clipboard.

    I finally get my chance for fame and fortune and it is snatched from me by a clipboard holdover. “Life is so unfair.” 🙂

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  13. 10 Cents:

    Stina:
    Lol… my quote is completely off… its supposed to be from 10-cents’ comment. Must have missed copy and grabbed something from the clipboard.

    I finally get my chance for fame and fortune and it is snatched from me by a clipboard holdover. “Life is so unfair.” 🙂

    So go fix her misquote.

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  14. You have principles?  Good.  They are your strength.

    But they are also your liability, if you permit your scruples to be manipulated by those who have none.

    The insanely effective method of the progressive-fascists is that they use your principles against YOU.

    They don’t share your principles, they don’t honor them, and they don’t care about them.  But they know YOU care about them.  “How can you support an adulterer, a narcissist like Trump?”  This has NOTHING to do with adultery and narcissism.  They’d follow an adulterer and narcissist who advanced their agenda to hell in a heartbeat.  They don’t care and they don’t share.

    They’re using your principles against YOU.  And they’re doing it because it WORKS.

    And the Never Trumpers help them.  Clueless gits.

    They’ll do it until it stops working.

    Let it stop working now.

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  15. All I can say is “Wow”.  So many well put statements!

    (My 2 cents worth.)

    A while back, I took an oath. It was never rescinded. As much as I personally disliked the actions of some previously in the oval office, I complied with the oath. In most cases It was just to remain silent. But now I find it easy to comply with that oath. There is someone in that office I can believe in. Someone that all Americans should believe in. Someone that may have failed humanly in some ways in the past, but is now totally for the Republic. This means he is totally for us.

    For reference, the oath I took;

    I, Gerry_D, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

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  16. So much here! Thanks!

    I believe the political/psychological fulcrum is on the scale of how well you understand the left. Anyone who truly understands the left knows a Hillary Presidency would be a disaster and a horrific boost for nanny state oppression, theft and cultural vilification. So is it that Bill Kristol and friends are that naive politically, or that their moral standards are superior to Evangelicals. I’m impressed.

    And how much ‘morality’ should we expect from, or imbue into, our politicians? Go to other heroes besides politicians. How did being President become worthy of worship?

    Trump was pre-scandalized. That was his best defense. In a very real way, our more stringent requirements for our representatives becomes a tactical trap. Since every one has some kind of transgression or embarrassing moment that can be discovered in October it’s much more damaging, even though it’s relatively tame. The squeaky clean Romney gets a speeding ticket and it’s a scandal because: hypocrisy. But Trump is banging cocktail waitresses two at a time…

     

     

    It’s interesting that the Kristolytes hold such Christian

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  17. Franco:
    Trump was pre-scandalized.

    Yep, that’s why he was my last choice in the primaries.

    Once he was the nominee, well, he was pre-scandalized, so it was easy to pull the lever for him…

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  18. I do not ask for the personal moral underpinnings of a surgeon, or a plumber. Sexual escapades have been around for a long time and I have known sexual sinners to be solid people when it comes to honesty, courage and intellect, and I have known celibate vowed men of the cloth who tried to entice young men to meet their sexual needs.

    We all have less than perfect personal lives, we have all hurt others by commission or omission, but many of us still leave this Earth with a net positive impact.

    If a person is willing to enter the arena and work for the good of most of the citizens while paying the price to accomplish change, to me that shows a moral character our preening Never-Rights, our Childish Tantrum throwing Media and the Establishment Elites who have stolen the birthright of millions for their own greed have no standing to oppose.

    We have a person who is at a crucible, a human with flaws and strengths who has chosen to risk it all for those who cannot do it for themselves and the little people dare challenge his morality?

    We should make them envision our wrath if they succeed.

    We flawed humans need to stick together. Let the perfect in their own minds cower in their holes.

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  19. It just seems quaint to me to read people complaining about Trump’s immorality after the presidency of Bill Clinton and the career of his even more corrupt wife.

    If people wanted a resume to become president Mitt Romney would have won in a landslide.

    He did not.

    I still remember something I read in (I think) the Weekly Standard, circa 1996. Bob Dole was asked if he was going to make an issue out of the Clinton scandals. Instead of saying something like of course I’m going to make an issue out of his corruption, Dole gave a long-winded tactical political answer that meant no, I’m not.

    What I took away from the Clinton era, as a voter, was that the GOP really didn’t care about corruption or morality at all.

    Lesson learned, GOP.

    Thank you for clearing the way for Donald Trump to become President.

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  20. I think the GOP prior to the Tea Party operated from a position of fear. Fear of being ravaged by the media if they actually joined the rhetorical fight against the Left. That’s the only thing that I can fathom that explains why the GOP never responded to the vicious personal attacks of racist or sexist or wanting to kill children and old people by cutting social programs. There was rarely any pushback and the few who did were pushed out by the GOP. Trump proves you don’t have to fear these people. You just need to hit them back.

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  21. Franco:
    And how much ‘morality’ should we expect from, or imbue into, our politicians? Go to other heroes besides politicians. How did being President become worthy of worship?

    Not worship.

    But moral living used to be considered a prequalification.

    Journalists loved FDR and JFK, and so kept quiet about their affairs.   Bill Clinton was our first experience with widespread knowledge of presidential extramarital sex while in office.   His affairs were kept quiet by a fawning press.

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  22. Robert A. McReynolds:
    Fear of being ravaged by the media if they actually joined the rhetorical fight against the Left.

    The success of the TEA Party in 2010 revealed that at least half of the country had completely lost faith in the legacy media.

    The only politician who recognized this and took full advantage of it was D.J. Trump.

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  23. Dear MJB,

    I have come to hate pieces that begin with “sure Trump is a slimeball, but..”. I just feel so strongly that if we support him, we shouldn’t even acknowledge any failings.    And the reason I feel that way is not because of slavish personal devotion but just because of the simple fact that he is getting NOTHING BUT CRITICISM from the other side.  They are “not at home to Mr, Reasonable”, as Terry Pratchett put it, so neither should WE be.

    But I read your piece because it is here, because it is you, and I have to say it is the only such which didn’t make me furious.

    You’re right, there’s no point in ignoring the tabloid stuff.  Nor can we, (although this would be only logical) just point out the many, many equally tabloid worthy incidents involving Dems.  I don’t know why, but that doesn’t work.

    So thank you for this post.  I feel it helps me personally in working toward some kind of equilibrium on this subject.

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