Candidates and elected leaders represent a people and have a duty, from the positions they have sought, to represent the values of the people. The precise problem with Donald Trump is that his power will emanate not from the people he represents, but from his ability and desire to reject their values and further embarrass and compromise them unless he gets what he wants. As such, should Donald Trump be elected, the nation will be perpetually on high-alert, fearful that the next objectionable statement could come at any moment. And particularly at the most inopportune ones.
For those in prominent positions in society, it could be four (or eight) years of constantly being in crisis-management, damage-control mode, ready to disavow whatever was just sent out on Twitter or the next social media platform to gain wide acceptance among the masses. His targets will be anyone who can be made to look and feel uncomfortable.
Donald Trump is the embarrassing nominee and he will be an embarrassing President. Embarrassing because that will be the emotion he will stir, on purpose, in order to exploit it. And by extension, all of us.
There is a word to describe this. Extortion. “You better do what I say, or else I will “spill the beans.“
The second word is, Power.
The third word is most important, and potentially lethal. Control.
Control is the object of the power. Is this how Trump — and make no mistake, many others — “gets things done”?
I have long suspected that much of his support from prominent Republicans lies in his having successfully compromised those people by gaining information and threatening its disclosure unless his targets dance his tune.
This is Trump’s real “art of the deal.”
The danger to the American people is manifest. Trump’s methods suggest a danger not merely to the Republic at large, or to our culture. His previous modus operandi of control through threats (albeit through exploitation of the knowledge of the errors of his targets) must support the inference that if elected, he would eagerly seek to use the massive power of our federal government, together with collaborators among those seeking to curry his favor, to punish dissenters, critics, enemies and so on.
If you think the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security and Environmental Protection Agency (just for starters) have been politicized and abusive in their exercise of executive power, just wait until the Oval Office is occupied by someone who virtually declares vengeance to be a national policy.
Hillary Clinton may have no common ground with conservatives, none at all. But Donald Trump and his legions have virtually declared war on conservatives and stoked the fires of vulgar contempt among the fringe Alt-Right which could spill into violence.
Accidental, I’m sure. Accidents happen, you know.
This danger to us, as conservatives and libertarians, as those who hold our traditions and Constitution and the rule of law, is clear and it is greater under a Trump presidency. This is what sets Trump apart from Hillary Clinton. While her stated policies are even farther to the Left than Trump’s, at least Hillary is not crowing that her administration will be about “getting even.”
There will be those who disagree, but that disagreement will be on semantics. Whether Hillary Clinton is “as bad as” Trump, or worse, is to avoid acknowledging the central point here: An argument that Hillary Clinton’s exploitation of class envy is just as bad as Donald Trump’s is not an argument for supporting Trump. Not when Trump has indicated he will be sufficiently “bad enough” of a threat to abuse government power to require his rejection at all costs.
Hillary does not seek to embarrass us. Her values may not be ours, her policies may be entirely objectionable, but it is not personal.
Donald Trump’s mode of governing will be quite personal. Should you doubt that, look at the sordid details about the governing style of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, being laid bare in an ongoing federal criminal trial. Christie, in case you didn’t know, is running Trump’s transition team and prepping Trump for debates.
There is a difference. We have 30 days to make a difficult choice.
Americans are an exceptional people. Now is the time to stand up and earn that label.