This posting’s title refers to 1 Corinthians 15:52 when Paul writes of the final days and Christ’s imminent return. I’m not pleased that Republican and independent primary voters in the 2016 GOP presidential primaries succumbed to Trump’s simplistic rhetoric. However, I know that God is in control and His plan is bigger than the bizarreness of this year’s presidential campaign.
Moving beyond Christian eschatological theology, let’s take a look at this year’s presidential campaign past and future. The GOP had a plethora of candidates which diluted the impact anyone of them could have in the place of Trump’s bombastic rhetoric, sometimes over the top personality, and mastery of traditional and social media. I stand by my contention that Marco Rubio, and to a lesser extent Ted Cruz, were the intellectually most qualified to be President. However, a poisonous, though understandable, anti-establishment paroxysm has swept both parties and it is clear that an “outsider” was destined to win the GOP nomination.
Trump is to be credited for capturing the public’s acute anger with the vague euphemisms of the “status quo” and the “establishment.” Congressional Republicans, unfortunately, have to a large extent brought this on themselves by failing to make aggressive use of the congressional power of the purse and other constitutional authorities granted to them to thwart Obama’s expansive use of illicit and unconstitutional policymaking. Too many Republicans have let themselves become afraid of being branded with the empty leftist group identify political epithets of “racist”, “sexist,” homophobe”, “Islamophobe”, et. al. to display the resolve to defeat our egomaniacal President.
Trump’s flaws are many. He is hardly a model of personal morality, subscribes to conspiratorial fantasies like invading Iraq was a “bad idea,” falsely telling American workers that he will bring back expensive and technologically obsolete manufacturing jobs, and claiming he’ll renegotiate international trade deals without providing specific details as to how he’ll do this and what provisions of these “bad deals” he’ll renegotiate. His recently voiced declaration that he thinks the U.S. should pull out of NATO is also dangerous naive, although I understand his frustration that so many NATO countries refuse to pull their weight when it comes to western defense against ISIS and a resurgent Russia.
Yet there are signs of hope. His release of potential Supreme Court nominees, compiled with the help of the Heritage Foundation is a sign of hope that he will listen to sage conservative advice. His denunciation of what is likely a terrorist attack on an Egyptian airlines flight from Paris to Cairo signifies he has a reasonably accurate understanding of the Islamist foundations of the existential terrorist threat we confront. Hopefully, the next several weeks will see Trump consult with the leading policy luminaries of the GOP such as Henry Kissinger and absorb the successes and failures of their domestic and international policymaking experience. Selecting a conservative vice-presidential running mate with solid policymaking experience and the ability to appeal to independents and some Democrats would also be beneficial. He should also jettison Twitter for the rest of the campaign, develop a thicker skin, and lose his penchant for threatening opponents with lawsuits. That’s a Democratic tactic!
It is also good that Trump represents genuine nationalist sentiments against the victim mentality inherent in leftist group identity politics. While his “America First” rhetoric may cause some to conjure up false historical analogies with the isolationist movement of the 1930s, an American President should always put U.S. interests first just as the chief executive of any other sovereign country will place what they see as their countries interest first above the will of a mythological international community.
Trump has also inherited the fortune of competing against the evil, corrupt, and incompetent termagant Hillary Clinton. The Clinton’s are known for fighting dirty and we can rest assured that Trump’s campaign will go after Hillary without restraint. The key is surgically attacking her on salient issues like her email server scandal, her lousy performance as Secretary of State, her desire to impose further government regulation on the economy, and her support for the Obama Administration’s odious, perverse, and dictatorial social agenda which now includes forcing “transgendered restrooms” onto our society.
Conservatives should support a campaign that offers a compelling aspirational vision for the future against the failed statist delusions of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Trump needs to partially modulate his tone to show how conservative policies benefit individuals from all ethnic groups who play by the rules and seek to maximize their potential. Individual Republican candidates can decide to what degree they want to associate with or disassociate themselves from Trump. We must never compromise our core values of limited moral government, traditional lifestyles, and a strong and unswerving national defense in our campaign. We must abandon the delusion of a third party presidential campaign and work hard to defeat Hillary Clinton and her pathological world view even if our own candidate is seriously flawed in many respects. This campaign is a matter of doing the least harm to the country and a Donald Trump presidency represents significantly less harm to our domestic polity and national interests than a Hillary Clinton presidency.