Horist: Where I Disagree With Trump

As a longtime conservative, my beliefs are based on principles and policies – not personalities.    My allegiance is to the Constitution and conservative values.  That means I do not take my beliefs and opinions from one person.  It is all about the issues.

In my commentaries, I have defended President Trump based on two things – his stand on many of the issues and against the barrage of incredibly outrageous and mendacious accusations against him from over-zealous and highly partisan Democrats and their cronies in the news media.

But that does not mean I always agree with Trump.  I gave him some leeway on the tariffs against China as a remedial action to push against Xi Jinping’s illegal trade practices, industrial spying and stealing intellectual property.  I disagreed with Trump’s abandoning the Kurds in Syria – and his preliminary, albeit conditional, plan to abandon the war in Afghanistan.

I have never liked Trump’s propensity to attack folks with good conservative histories just because they would not agree with him on some narrow point – or do his bidding without question.  That is not how true conservatives operate.

The most obvious person in Trump’s crosshairs is former Vice President Pence.  I have long admired him as a steadfast conservative when in Congress.  I thought he did a good job as Vice President – under difficult circumstances, at times.  

Trump turned on Pence for not stopping the certification of the Electoral College vote.   Pence was right.  Trump was wrong.  Pence had no authority to do anything but preside over the votes.  It was the right of the members of Congress to decertify the election – and there was not nearly enough to do so.  

No matter what the popular vote was, it is the Electoral Vote that decides American presidential elections – and President Biden won that.  The electors that voted were the ones that the states authorized … period.  Even Republican legislatures in states that Biden won refused to put forward alternative electors.

So … Trump’s attacks on Pence do not change my high regard for the former Vice President.

In the past, Trump has attacked Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.  I have disagreements with McConnell over budget resolutions, lifting the debt ceiling and term limits.  But on balance, I still see him as a plus.  He proved his worth in delivering three Supreme Court appointments to Trump. To quote Biden … that is “a big (you know) deal – a very BIG deal.

Trump has turned on a number of his own appointments.  Some with justification – but too many for petty personal reasons.

More recently he has renewed his attack on former Attorney General William Barr.  During most of his tenure at the Justice Department, Barr was regularly being lashed by Democrats and the media for his defense of Trump policies.  Trump went off on Barr when, as AG, he did not see the sufficient voting irregularities to overturn the election.  I believe Barr because he had no reason to walk away from any voting issues.  He would have wanted to see Trump back in the White House.

Barr has had a long history as a powerful conservative voice in the legal community.  He was a consistent protector of presidential powers against erosion by Democrats in Congress.  I do not disregard a lifetime of working in the conservative vineyard just because Trump is pissed at him.

Trump’s style is to attack anyone who is not supportive.  He even took a couple of swipes at Florida Governor Ron DeSantis when there was a lot of talk about him being the Republican standard bearer in 2024.  Personally, I hope DeSantis does run.

I know there are people who hang on every word that comes out of Trump’s mouth. They accept whatever Trump says as gospel truth.  I do not.  And I get weary of him attacking everyone who does not toe whatever line Trump draws – often people who I have long admired.  

Some see that as his strength.  I see it as his weakness – as the reason he never gets base support above 30 to 40 percent … as the reason he only won in 2016 because of the Electoral College … the reason the GOP lost so badly in the 2018 elections … and the reason Biden and the Democrats control Washington today.

Fortunately, most Republicans are NOT the cultists the Democrats and the leftwing media portray.  The GOP will do well despite the attacks on the home team from Trump.  I am appreciative of the many good things Trump did as President.  He was better than I had hoped.  But Trump’s all-about-me approach to politics is getting thread-bare – and judging from polls and various interim elections, I think I am not alone in feeling that way.

So, there ‘tis.

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