The Pretensions and Delusions of Trump's Republican Haters
Away from those who harbor mere pretensions for conservatism, there are real conservatives who refuse to accept Trump. Notably, columnist George Will, a model of conservative intellectualism on the right, is quitting the GOP out of disgust. Will, like numerous fair-minded conservatives, has concluded that Trump is a racist. Many others believe Trump to be a sexist and misogynist as well.
But folks advancing such arguments are simply wrong. On controversies involving groups ranging from women to Muslims to Hispanics, Trump has resorted to plenty of inflammatory rhetoric but he is not the bigot the media and his critics portray him to be. On women, though Trump may be boorish and unpresidential, he is an equal-opportunity offender who is as tough on—or perhaps as nasty to—women as he is to men. On the temporary Muslim ban, Trump is raising tough questions about Islamic governments and Muslim communities that are decidedly not peaceful.
On Hispanics, Trump’s proposal for building a wall on the southern border is a response to Americans who wish to see tighter border security and an end to the flagrant violation of U.S. immigration laws. That is far more respectful of voters’ wishes than the drumbeat from prominent Republicans—ranging from Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) to Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI)—for one form of amnesty or another.
However unnecessary and unconventional Trump’s comments have been, conservatives must not forget that the Left is in fact the hotbed of real racism in modern America. Leftists are the ones who have systematically discriminated against students by race in university admissions. They call it affirmative action. They are the ones who insist that every black, Asian, Hispanic, Native American, or other person of color play a role as a token to provide a distinctly ethnic or racial perspective—and that perspective is inherently a liberal one. They call this diversity. Leftists are the ones who have given America political leaders who are afraid to speak tough truths about foreign religions, even when terrorists perpetrate horrific attacks against Americans in such a religion’s name. The Left’s politicians and cadres not only pretend that religion has nothing to do with radical Islamic terrorism; they behave as if every terrorist attack in America calls for an apology to the Muslim-American community. This is their version of religious tolerance.
Conservatives believe in none of this nonsense, but at the moment, a few too many seem to loathe Trump far more. They decry his style and say his bigotry makes them look bad, but they fail to connect the dots: Trump’s undisciplined bombast and outbursts in fact take a sledgehammer to the paradigm of identity politics that permeates every aspect of American society.
For far too long, instead of fighting back against this disgraceful yet powerful paradigm, conservatives have meekly succumbed to its prevalence and insidiousness. Conservative politicians, some of whom may well be slightly racist and sexist, have had neither the credibility nor the sensibility to challenge the prevailing orthodoxy. Trump is immune to these concerns. In fact, his unique brand of anti-political correctness denies even legitimacy to the Left’s edicts on race, gender, sexual orientation and religion.
Conservatives should embrace and assist this candidate. Opting to vote for a crook is not an exercise of conservatism. For the real conservatives who have threatened to stay home on Election Day, it is time for them to look beyond Trump’s style and at the big picture. Conservatism requires allies and spokesmen of all kinds, and Trump is a much more natural and effective one than they have imagined him to be.
Ying Ma is deputy director and senior strategist of the Committee for American Sovereignty, a pro-Trump super PAC. She is also the author of Chinese Girl in the Ghetto, a chronicle of her family’s journey from Communist China to inner-city Oakland, California.
Image: Donald Trump. Photo by Marc Nozell, CC BY 2.0.