DEFENDING DONALD: Supporters Double-Down On Dismissing The Indefensible

Written by Steve Pauwels on October 23, 2016

Column last, I outlined and critiqued — okay, criticized — some of the popular justifications being advanced for Donald Trump’s execrable behavior (specifically the egregious “Billy Bush video”; since then, multiple sexual abuse/harassment allegations). As it happens, I didn’t mention all of them — there’s a Trump-slobbering cornucopia of indefensible defenses for his shenanigans.

Some additional examples — certainly as scorn-worthy as those I addressed previously:

Donald Trump’s most revolting behavior occurred years ago, well before he was planning on running for the presidency.

I’ve heard fiery Trump booster Fox News host Jeanine Pirro, among others, peremptorily uncork this one, as if it somehow gives him impenetrable cover. Like many of these apologias this one turns out to be both factually bogus and inane. The Manhattan magnate’s been toying with a White-House run since, what, the late 1980s? A lurid, 2005, caught-on-mic embarrassment can hardly shield beneath this “he-didn’t-know-he-was-going-to-be-a-candidate” twaddle.

Moreover: what about the matter of inbuilt ethical character? If a person is a complete cretin but manages to play-act ground-level decency in front of cameras and worshipful crowds, he’s therefore suited to serve as the most powerful political figure on the planet? Swine are a-okay vying for high office providing they withhold their swinishness from public consumption?

Not a few prominent conservatives are now in the business of approving phonies. Terrific. Another forward step in societal evolution courtesy of the Donald Trump Travelling Road Show.

An attempted corollary Trump-excuse: He didn’t know the microphone was hot when he was spewing to Bush.

I’ll cite our first president in response: “The foundations of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality,” averred George Washington,” and the preeminence of free government be exemplified by all the attributes which can win the affections of its citizens, and command the respect of the world.”

Note: “private morality”. That’s “character” as frequently defined: What a person does when no one is watching (or, for modern purposes, when audio or video tape isn’t recording.)

“When a citizen gives [his vote] to a man of known immorality he abuses his trust; … sacrifices not only his own interest, but that of his neighbor; … betrays the interest of his country.” —Noah Webster

“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” — Benjamin Franklin

— Rush Limbaugh spouted this one the other day: No matter who Republicans send up, the Left is going to trash him/her. Look what they did to Mitt Romney!

So what’s the point? Pornographic commentary flooding from the mouth of a potential POTUS is irrelevant because Liberals hate “right wingers”, regardless? We should no longer attempt even a stab at minimalist honor and respectability in our candidates? Fare-thee-well to that ideal?

The commie Media’s hysteria over the Romney family’s canine-on-the-car-roof incident or his reported high-school pranks is nowhere in the same galaxy as popular (and reasonable) reaction to degenerate sexual braggadocio from a then sixty-year-old who is now eyeballing the White House. One is persnickety nit-picking; the other, transparently understandable.

Does that really need to be pointed out, Rushbo? C’mon, you’re better than that.

Trump has expressed “regret” — he’s willing to change!

I hope Donald Trump is truly sorry before God and the electorate for his cracks to Billy Bush; actually, for a score of improprieties which have come to light over the course of this ghastly election cycle.

But number me (along with National Review‘s Rich Lowry) among those undazzled by his grudging, dragged-out-of-him mea culpa: vague, recited woodenly, almost immediately transmogrified into attacks on those offended by the misdeeds for which he’s allegedly apologizing. Not the marks of genuine “repentance”, folks.

Do we really, furthermore, want an individual undergoing major, personal reworkings while simultaneously engaged in economic policy proposals, decisions on national security and military action, interactions with international allies and rivals, proffering key governmental nominations, etc.? I’d think reflective conservatives and members of the “Christian Right” would prefer, up-front, their guy’s moral core be mainly settled before mounting to the presidency.

— The normally insightful radio host Buck Sexton lately dismissed Trump’s grossness by also comprehensively dismissing the idea of President of the United States as “role model”.

Teddy Roosevelt’s formidable “bully pulpit” notion of the office? The conception of president as “First Citizen”, as the Representative American? Abandoned, I guess. Are we effectively repudiating Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis’ 1928 avowal that, “Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example”? If so, what a dismal development that is.

Government as it exists is predominantly shaped by its inhabitants. If scoundrel conduct is tolerated among elected/appointed officials? Don’t be shocked when the whole shebang lurches in that direction; and the land as a whole follows that lead.

— Then, there’s this chilling reaction to those with the audacity to openly object to Trump’s barnyard antics: You all, behave! Mr. Trump got the nomination! Where’s your loyalty to the GOP? You Trump-naysayers will be made to pay for your uncooperativeness.

Seriously? I expect fascistic ultimatums from Hillary-adoring precincts. Not from God-and-Country-loving, Judeo-Christian-saluting, Liberty-revering types.

Permit me razor-edged clarity: I’m first and foremost a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven (Philippians 3:20). My loyalties are anchored, number one, with my Savior; second my family; third my country. Party devotion? Far down the list.

I should scramble these life-long, heart-felt priorities so Donald Trump can get this new gig? You’re joking, right?

And professing Christians are regurgitating this kind of brainwashed, celebrity-worshipping codswallop. Words fail.

Vote for Trump if you feel you must, but please knock off the Jesuitical sophistry; nix the debauching of principle to paper over a bullying cad’s atrociousness. Simply admit: you think Hillary’s atrociousness is worse, so you’re willing to endure the puerile, power-hungry, ruthless, vicious and supercilious alternative. There’s slim intellectually rigorous or morally sound argument, however, for defending him.

photo credit: Gage Skidmore Donald Trump via photopin (license)

Share if you agree there is little defense for Donald Trump’s worst offenses.

Steve Pauwels is pastor of Church of the King, Londonderry, NH and host of Striker Radio with Steve Pauwels on the Red State Talk Radio Network. He's also husband to the lovely Maureen and proud father of three fine sons: Mike, Sam and Jake.