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Well folks, I know you've all been wondering who I've been supporting during the presidential primary. If not, screw it, I'm going to talk about it anyway. First, though, I'm going to tell you who I don't support. That person is none other than Donald J. Trump.
I'm a simple, conservative working man just like many of you. I've also wrestled with how to view Trump's campaign. Trump's campaign is a funny thing. He's positioned himself as the outsider; Trump is the alternative to the career D.C. politician. Trump is also, first and foremost, a businessman, and he's conducted his campaign much like a high stakes negotiation. I really don't remember any other candidate in any other cycle taking that approach within the Republican primary.
Trump is also a populist candidate. I think he understands better than most what the people are actually concerned with. The people of this country are bothered by all of the illegal immigration that has been allowed to go on. They're concerned that they have lost jobs to illegals, and they're worried they'll continue to lose jobs if something isn't done. The people are also very concerned about the rise of ISIS and the growing threat of Islamic terror. Donald Trump has recognized that, and has built his campaign around a core of stopping illegal immigration and winning the war against ISIS. That message has resonated with the public, and ensured a wide base of support for the Donald.
The GOP establishment sees this populist aspect of Trump's campaign, and they absolutely hate it.
The GOP leadership has proven over the course of the last four years that they are only concerned with keeping power. They (quite rightly I think) feel that a Donald Trump win would cost them a large portion of their power. Thus they have thrown unprecedented amounts of time, energy, and money attempting to bring down one of their own candidates. Of course what they don't realize is that very act is going to turn the voters against them. The GOP establishment is going to destroy their power by trying to hold onto it.
Trump's campaign is different, and has destroyed the common wisdom when it comes to politics and primaries. All of the old models predicted Trump fizzling out, and all of those old models have been wrong. Whatever happens in this election, it's clear that nothing in the GOP will be the same.
These are not bad things, of course. Change is good, and Trump's campaign has been good for the whole process. So why can't I support Donald Trump? Trump is a populist, he is a businessman, and he is not a politician. He also is not a conservative in any way, shape, or form. I would question whether or not he'd be able to effectively articulate conservative philosophy if he were asked.
Now I know there are some Trumpkins screeching at their computer screams right now. "OF COURSE HE'S A CONSERVATIVE YOU FREAKING MORON!" you scream. Unfortunately, you're wrong. Very little in Trump's past actually points to any understanding of conservatism.
Then of course we had the South Carolina debate. Donald Trump defended his past remarks on Planned Parenthood, and said they did "remarkable things for women's health." The Donald did, however, reiterate that he did not support abortion. He laid into George W. Bush as well, in a state where Bush still had an 80% approval rating. Donald Trump stated that Bush lied about Iraq having WMDs, and decried the Iraq war. He sounded at times like a liberal. Now I will grant that much of this may have been strategic. South Carolina does have an open primary after all. Still, any conservative worthy of the name should have been concerned.
All of these items taken together are the reason why I cannot support Donald Trump during the primary season. I cannot call myself a staunch conservative while supporting one of the least conservative candidates in the race.
That doesn't mean, though, that I won't support Donald Trump if he ends up winning the Republican party nomination. I thoroughly believe that this election is one of the last chances we have to actually save the Republic. I also believe that a Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders presidency would be miles worse than a Donald Trump presidency. Under Hillary Clinton we would find this great nation turned into the painted whore of the world as she sold our influence to the highest bidder. A Bernie Sanders presidency would bring us even closer to economic ruin. While a Donald Trump presidency would be a wild ride, I do believe he has a much better grasp of economics and foreign policy than either of the Democratic candidates. Not to mention the fact that I definitely couldn't call myself a conservative if I actively hoped and prayed for a Democrat victory out of spite.
So sorry, Trumpkins, but I just can't support the Donald during the primary season. That doesn't mean I'll stay home come Election Day, however. After all, we still have a Republic to save. At the very least a Trump presidency would buy some more time.