While Donald Trump may be a successful businessman, one who has created a larger than life public relations persona, his business acumen and PR spin does not qualify him to be the next President of the United States. Further, Donald Trump is an existential threat to conservatism.
Despite his boisterous claims, Donald Trump is no uniter. He is arguably one of the most divisive figures in modern political history and his candidacy represents not only a threat to the Republican Party, Donald Trump is dragging the nation into the political gutter. It’s time for Republican and conservative voters to open their eyes to the real Donald Trump and understand the reasons why the nation deserves better than this political huckster.
First and foremost, Donald a Trump is not an electable candidate in a general election. Trump’s negative rating among general election voters reaches epic proportions. Some recent surveys even suggest that Trump is so divisive, loyal Republican women voters say they could likely defect to support Hillary Clinton if Trump becomes the GOP nominee.
Trump has tapped into a segment of voters who are understandably angry with the way Washington operates, our nation’s growing and seemingly uncontrollable debt, and how many of our GOP Leaders have failed to address these legitimate concerns. But the people who support Donald Trump are simply paving the way for Hillary and Bill Clinton to move back into the White House. A vote for Donald Trump is in effect, a vote for Hillary Clinton. Voters who are angry with the present direction of America need to support a GOP candidate who can win the White House and unite the nation.
Secondly, Donald Trump is no conservative. Trump dramatically espouses conservative talking points but he has an established track record of flipping on core issues of top concern to conservative voters. Trump was once adamantly pro-abortion and just recently praised Planned Parenthood during a GOP debate. Trump has – in his own words — described himself as aligning more with Democrats than with Republicans, mentions how hates gun ownership, supports government run health care, and thinks eminent domain is great.
This is a man who will carry the conservative mantle as President of the United States? The only way we can be sure about how any nominee would serve as president is to examine the candidate’s past record. Donald Trump is clearly inconsistent — even deceitful — regarding his alleged conservative credentials. When asked about his inconsistencies on issues of great concern to conservatives, Trump simply says that was then, this is now. An individual may change his mind on policy issues over time, but flipping on core values such as sanctity of life or the Second Amendment?
A conservative president must be willing to compromise on policy but never on principle. Yet Trump promises to compromise on principle itself and he scarily derides those who refuse to make a deal. Trump as a Republican president would remake the GOP into a party that no longer aspires to constitutional government, and his strong-man tactics — following Obama’s lawlessness — would forever move the presidency into an office where presidents claim whatever power they need and engage in the most appalling demagoguery to get there.
Finally, Donald Trump is so divisive and is such a polarizing figure, it’s hard to imagine how the rest of the free world or our enemies will react to a Trump presidency. Recently more than seventy foreign policy experts signed a letter saying they could not support Trump due to his dangerous and uniformed positions on foreign policy. These national security experts and leaders — including former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff – said if America were to choose Donald Trump, “the prospects for a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished.”
Ronald Reagan proved that when a candidate embraces full-spectrum conservatism — economic, social, and national security — that candidate is able both to persuade a majority of Americans to vote for a conservative vision and deliver extraordinary results for the American people by governing according to that vision.
My forty years of working in the conservative movement, in both elected and appointed office in the public sector, as well as a business owner, corporate officer, and serving on the boards of many conservative organizations, tells me that Donald Trump is no such a candidate.
Ken Blackwell is the former mayor of Cincinnati, Treasurer and Secretary of State for Ohio, undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission