Impeachment Trial: I Don’t Care If They Acquit or Convict Trump
I do admit that the headline may sound a bit irresponsible. It would seem that we all should have an INFORMED opinion about such a headline-generating issue as Trump’s impeachment trial. My indifference – and I suspect the indifference of tens of millions of folks across America – is due to a bifurcated view of President Trump that has held since he secured the Republican nomination.
It is that old story of the policy versus the personality.
As a dedicated conservative, I have always placed policy above personality –actions above words. In the four years since Trump has come into prominence and power, I have defended his conservative agenda. I cast my 2016 vote for Trump with hope and fingers crossed.
I was pleasantly surprised at his dedication and enactment of a broad range of conservative policies — not to mention those excellent court appointments. Trump has a long and impressive list of accomplishments. There are some that mostly folks with conservative values can applaud. There are others that every American can applaud. Unfortunately, the awareness of those in the public mind has been lost to bad behavior and needless controversies.
On the other side, I have been a constant critic of Trump’s pugnacious, belligerent, bellicose, mendacious and ego-centric personality.
In plain language, I never liked the guy. Readers of my past commentaries would see me periodically expressing that dislike. It is not the first time I have found people I do not like doing good things – and people I liked doing bad things.
Perhaps the most fundamental problem with the Trump personality is that it crushed his own credibility. He allowed his critics to distort the Trump public persona for the public. For sure, they have been dishonest in their assault on Trump, but he gave them the ammunition. Even worse, he provided Democrats and their left-leaning media allies the opportunity to expand their slanderous demonization to Republicans, conservatives and virtually every voter who cast a ballot for Trump.
Not only did the personality prevent wide-spread appreciation for his successes, it prevented him from achieving much more. Trump not only did not protect his all-important credibility, but he also undermined it, himself.
It is my firm belief – based on more than half a century as a political observer and policy wonk — that had Trump toned done the more acerbic aspects of his personality in the 2016 campaign, he would have won the popular vote.
Trump could have pursued his issues with strength and determination, but without the street thug personality.
He could have won broad support if he did not make it all about him. He could have framed his mission as founded on the will and greatness of the American people a la President Reagan – rather than treating us like a victim that only he could save.
Consequently, Trump never built a mandate for his policies. I have repeatedly warned that he was on a downward trajectory from the day of his inauguration. We saw it when Republicans started losing races across the nation. Eventually, the GOP lost the House — and now the Senate and the presidency.
For all the good things he may have done to enact conservative policies, he also is responsible for those policies losing in so many elections. I do believe that the Trump personality was responsible for that.
Where Americans considered policies and principles, they gave Republicans significant victories in 2020. But not Trump. One can debate the level of election fraud in the 2020 election. However, the fact remains that President Biden sits in the Oval Office. And the most radical left-wing Democrats in modern history have gained power by controlling the House and Senate.
Whether Trump is allowed to run for office again or denied that honor – based on the outcome of his impeachment trial, I will be looking toward new leadership in the Republican Party and conservative movement. I hope never again to face the Hobson’s Choice of having to choose between Trump and the policies of the authoritarian radical left. If that would be the case, I would vote for Trump.
New leadership will best serve the future success of the Republican Party.
I will be looking for another Ronald Reagan – although I have yet to see one on the horizon. I think it is essential that we unite the Republican Party and the Conservative movement behind PRINCIPLES OF GOVERNANCE and not around a charismatic personality. Reagan was popular because of his principles and a uniting personality.
Though they articulate fealty to Donald Trump, the man, those who violently stormed the Capitol Building on January 6th – as opposed to the much larger number of folks who came only to legally protest — are not supporters of Republicanism or conservatism. Quite the opposite. Some of the agitators have been discovered by law enforcement to be false-flaggers — whose purpose is to damage the reputations of those on the right. That, too, needs more investigation. Regardless, Republicans everywhere should expel all of the violent rioters from even a tiny place within the Republican ranks.
Because I see Trump in the rearview mirror – not longer dominant or relevant in the Republican Party or conservative movement – I do not see much difference for me and for my beliefs if he gets acquitted or convicted in his impeachment trial. In either case, I am looking past Trump in the future.
Ironically, I am not sure if Trump would gain by an acquittal or a conviction after the impeachment trial. Because I do not know, I do not care all that much. As Trump, himself, often said, we will just have to wait and see.
So, there ‘tis.