Opinion

President Trump Doubles Down On Strange Pick

Since his impressive first place finish in the first stage of the GOP primary for the Alabama Senate seat formerly held by now U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Judge Roy Moore has received strong support from grassroots conservatives in Alabama, including the pro-Trump Great America Alliance.  The third-place finisher in that first round of balloting, Alabama Representative Mo Brooks, has also endorsed Judge Moore.

But President Donald Trump has apparently decided to double-down on his support for interim-Senator Luther Strange.  People concerned about President Trump’s recent retreats from several of the most important causes he relied on during his campaign may read this as a sign that as President, he now values loyalty to himself above the causes highlighted when he appealed for support from deeply pro-American and patriotic grassroots voters. His margin of victory depended on the fact that they were moved by his boisterous show of support for their views. Judge Roy Moore has been staunchly committed in his actions to the causes candidate Trump avowed with his words.  But if President Trump now intends to betray retreat from that avowal, it makes sense that he wants to prevent an articulate, informed “true believer” from going to the U.S. Senate.

Candidate Trump greatly benefitted from portraying himself as a staunch opponent of treacherous Washington’s treacherous swamp denizens in the GOP, who repeatedly cave to their Democrat counterparts on issues of budget and fiscal responsibility (failing to condition new debt on disciplined arrangements to foot the bills); immigration and border security (capitulating on Obama’s DACA policies); and who politically sabotage conservative grassroots campaigns.  In election after election they openly pursue political warfare against conservative grassroots candidates.

The key to their anti-grassroots strategy has been to deploy mega-millions of dollars to fund ad campaigns of personal slander against grassroots upstarts; rely on biased polling to create the impression of a close race as election day approaches; and then manipulate the election results to hand victory to their loyal tool.  This is precisely the pattern being deployed against Judge Moore—intended to thwart the will of the grassroots majority at all costs.

It’s hard to fathom how supporting this swamp sustaining strategy is consistent with President Trumps depiction of his electoral mandate in the speech he delivered to the UN General Assembly: “I was elected not to take power but to give power to the American people where it belongs.”  How is this mandate compatible with co-operating in Mitch McConnell’s persistent effort to make sure grassroots voters are thwarted whenever they raise up candidates for themselves?

President Trump’s impervious support for Luther Strange suggests that its more important to him to assure the decisive power of the GOP’s anti-grassroots Congressional leaders than to allow grassroots voters the power to decide for themselves.  Why else would he side with Senator McConnell in the battle to defeat staunch Trump supporters in Alabama?  Though his dealings with Pelosi and Schumer distract from it, perhaps the real conclusion to be drawn from all this is that President Trump means, to join forces with the elitist faction leaders he heartily professed to despise and continue the surrender of principle they consistently pursued during Obama’s tenure, simply to look as if they were “governing”.

Sadly, because money is the main resource deployed to subvert the voting process, President Trump’s support for Strange raises a question about what the phrase “give power to the American people” really means.  GOP leaders like Senator McConnell seem to rely on the view that, since money sways votes, it makes sense to forget about the voters, and focus on the money.  Prior to being elected president, citizen Donald Trump took ample advantage of this mentality to promote his business interests. What are we to make of the fact that he now lends the prestige of his present position to support an effort to deploy money power to defeat and break the hearts of grassroots people in Alabama? Just as they defied the elitist faction establishment to back candidate Trump, they have repeatedly defied the elitist faction’s judgements against Roy Moore’s reliable stand in favor of their commitment to America’s creed of God-endowed right, dependent on no human power whatsoever.

President Trump affirmed in his UN speech this week that power belongs to the American people.  But perhaps he does not share the understanding Americans have relied on to strive for right and justice in every generation — that power is not the gift of billionaire magnates or the factious political leaders who look to them for the resources they use to keep people in line with their will.  It is the endowment of God, freely given on no condition but that they do right, as He gives them to see what is right.

Time and again the people of Alabama have trusted in that endowment of God to resist the usurpation of their self-government.  They have backed Judge Moore precisely because he looks humbly to his Creator (as America’s Founders did), rather than to money or any merely human resource, as the source and measure of his integrity.  I pray that the citizens of Alabama will again let their votes be empowered by the good faith they share with Chief Justice Moore.  If they do they will produce an outcome next Tuesday that resoundingly affirms that voting power, fueled by good faith and used for God’s sake, can prevail against far greater material power deployed to support deceitful manipulation.