Trump, The Apprentice Conservative
In the last few days, The Donald has allowed himself gaffes that must give pause to every one of his conservative supporters; to those supporters, that is, who care for conservative values rather than being worried (which they legitimately can) for their job or for other issues.
The first one was an interview some days ago, during which Trump included health care and education (together with security, obviously) as the three “top government priorities”.
Heavens. Even from the other side of the Pond this sounds immediately “off”. It is like stating on TV he will slaughter two of the fattest conservative sacred cows immediately upon election.
The second one was the embarrassing flip-flop-flip-zig-zag on abortion, where the man has managed to shoot himself on each one of his toes in a matter of just a few days.
The woman must be punished. I was talking in answer to a general question. The woman is a victim. I would prefer States’ rights. But right now we laws are set and we should leave it that way. Until I am elected, that is (this comes from his aides, and thank God for them).
Now, let me say first that I consider Trump a highly intelligent man, who will – if elected – do a lot of good for his Country. However, the shortcomings of this man’s conservatism are becoming shockingly evident.
Trump has based his entire electoral campaign on the electorate wanting to vote the man, and all the elements of novelty this entails. However, it seems to me that Trump is either too arrogant to grasp and internalise what conservatism is, or naively thinks that merely “being Trump” will be enough to get him the conservative vote in November.
Not going to happen.
The blunder on education and health care will have opened a lot of people’s eyes as to the danger of a man who discovered himself conservative when he discovered he wanted to be President. The unbelievable flip-flopping on abortion shows a man who may have (recent) sincere pro-life feelings, but has no clear moral stance as what should be done and why. If you read my recent post about why the mother should be punished you understand that this is the way it should work: the moral stance is the logical starting point for the proposal of the legal discipline. It can’t work any other way.
Trump is not controlled in the way he speaks, and I suspect he is very confused in the way he thinks. He is shockingly unprepared in simple matters of policy, and seems to believe the (laudable) swagger and (admirable) political incorrectness will lead him through the nomination and the victory in November alone. Again, not going to happen.
Trump has a lot going for himself, but the man must do his homework fast and become a conservative already. If he goes on thinking that the “brand” alone will lead him to victory he is very deluded.
I wrote a post some time ago explaining why I think that Cruz is the better candidate (both are good; Cruz is better). On that occasion, I explained that Trump will disappoint you far often than Cruz, because the latter has a firmness of belief and an ideological stance the second just does not possess.
So: is Trump serving the Cross? How is a four or five fold correction on such a stance, and on such an issue as abortion, an indication of one who wants to serve the Cross?
Trump has many qualities we should appreciate. But when you scratch his surface, he is no more than an apprentice Conservative.
Does he have the will – and the humility – to learn to do things right? Will he listen to his (better) advisers and push for a really conservative agenda? Will he do what he should have done these many months: do his darn homework and learn what it is to be a Conservative?
The Italian film director Nanni Moretti said it beautifully: “Chi pensa male, parla male“, or “he who thinks badly, speaks badly”. Trump’s confusion is not a coincidence. It’s in his head. He must clear the confusion, learn to be a conservative, commit to it and toe the line, or he is doomed. If not in Cleveland, in November at the latest.