The contrast between the Republican and Democratic Debates has been eye-opening when you remember in 2008, following President Barack Obama’s coronation, the media hawks and Democratic talking heads were predicting the demise of the Republican party and its conservative base. Like vultures feasting on road kill, the prediction of some analysts and the prophecies of liberal media experts was either the Republican Party adapts to the new morality or it would cease.
What a difference 7 years makes! The contrast between Democratic and Republican presidential candidates could not be more stark. While Democratic Party candidates look old and tired (with the exception of, what’s his name…“Howdy Doody O’Malley”), the Republican Party’s presidential hopefuls cover the full spectrum of American society. Conservative, articulate, youthful, anti-establishment men, savvy lawyers, a real estate tycoon, a corporate businesswoman, a skilled neurological surgeon with an incredible “rags to riches” story, and one preacher\politician round out the Republican presidential hopefuls! Regardless of who wins the party nominations for president, the undeniable reality is the stable of candidates aspiring to public service in the Republican party is a generation of racing thoroughbreds compared to the Democratic party’s stable of donkeys and a broken down mare, all of whom should long ago been put out to pasture.
Polls show a majority of Americans believe our nation’s presence on the world stage militarily, economically and morally is eroding, and yet, in spite of those concerns, we may be on the cusp of making a graver error in judgment than electing and re-electing President Barack Obama. If polling data is to be trusted, it appears the Republicans are well on their way to casting a majority vote for a man who, judging from his history, is an unprincipled pragmatist.
Like many Americans, I have found the brash, off the cuff, “apolitically correct” style of Donald Trump entertaining and refreshing; however, the question is: Is this the man I want for president? I have listened to the debates, followed the interviews, chuckled at the Tweets, and been entertained by Trump’s backhanded slaps at the media; however, I cannot tell you one promise he has made that is guided and driven by a lifetime pattern of unalterable, non-negotiable personal convictions and principles.
Who is Donald Trump without his billions of dollars in real estate holdings? Who is this man who boasts he is a Christian, brandishes the Bible as his favorite book, but quotes “Two Corinthians” when citing a passage of Scripture? Are we to ignore his checkered history as a philanderer and trust him to faithfully carry the banner of traditional “family values”? What are his guiding principles for choosing Supreme Court Justices?
I have heard “The Donald” promise he will make Mexico build a wall, put illegal immigrants out of the country, bomb ISIS into oblivion, and bring back jobs from China; however, I am left pondering the question, “What are his principles?” His life, both personal and business, indicates he has been an extremely successful opportunists and a skilled pragmatist when promoting his own interests. But, what are his principles?
It is my fear, after he has cannibalized Republican conservatives running for president, Donald Trump will become in office what he has always been…an amoral, irreligious, narcissist who lacks the moral compass to promote the spiritual and moral principles that are fundamental to America’s greatness as a people and nation.
I close with an admonition to conservative voters in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina: America cannot suffer one more unprincipled leader who fails to set forth a platform of non-negotiable, life-guiding principles and whose life evidences he is little more than a pragmatic egotist. I beg you, look at the Republican field and vote for the man or woman whose life is consistent with his or her rhetoric.
Copyright 2016 – Travis D. Smith
* This blog expresses the opinion of one voter and is not intended to represent any group or institution.