Defending Trump Against Excessive Charges Is Not Selling Out
One thing should be clear, at least to Republicans: The left has had the long knives out for President Donald Trump since before he was inaugurated. It intended to destroy him regardless of his conduct in office.
Liberals and even some conservatives contend that Trump’s defenders on the right are tainted, partisan, idolatrous cheerleaders who have sold their souls and principles to defend him against troublesome charges. Some argue that even if former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton engaged in similar activities, two wrongs don’t make a right.
Trump supporters, they say, have always insisted they are strict adherents of the rule of law but are showing their true colors in defending Trump. But are they? Why is defending Trump against these excessive charges a betrayal of the rule of law? Just because he’s handled some things disappointingly doesn’t mean he’s committed a crime or an impeachable offense. The rule of law requires that we be discriminating about these matters and not jump on the bandwagon to condemn Trump just because we don’t approve of some of his actions or statements.
Without question, the rule of law and all other principles must be given the highest priority, and the Trump presidency doesn’t change that. But there’s something more involved here than mere Democratic hypocrisy.
We are talking about Democratic and liberal media wrongdoing. Obama, when injecting himself into the investigation concerning Hillary Clinton’s emails and saying that no criminal activity had occurred, actually engaged in the very conduct of which Trump is being sloppily accused. The left had no objection. But at this point, it sure doesn’t appear that Trump’s comments to then-FBI Director James Comey about then-national security adviser Michael Flynn rose to the level of interfering with a proceeding, much less obstruction of justice.
Liberals are also engaged in wrongdoing by conducting this ceaseless witch hunt against Trump for alleged collusion with Russia to interfere with the presidential election when they know there is no evidence of any collusion. It is reprehensible that they are perpetuating this slander to delegitimize Trump and undermine the will of the American people.
So no, two wrongs don’t make a right, but there aren’t two equal “wrongs” here, and attempts to attribute moral equivalence to these separate sets of conduct are deceitful and scurrilous.
Of course, Trump supporters should not compromise their principles to defend him against legitimate charges, but we shouldn’t throw him to the leftist wolves when the Democrats make false, excessive and otherwise unwarranted charges against him. There are a number of things I will criticize Trump for, but I am not going to accede to the Democrats' outrageously over-the-top characterization of these actions as criminal or impeachable just to appear fairer or nonpartisan.
I’m also not about to quit pointing out the monumentally worse behavior of the leftist media and Democratic Party just to avoid the undiscriminating claim that I am a Trump cheerleader.
We have to analyze whether Trump is culpable of those things of which he has been accused, but in no event should such accusations intimidate or deter us from condemning the left for making false charges and trying to wrongfully undermine Trump’s presidency.
Put another way, I am not defending Trump because he is being attacked by the left. I am not attacking the left because I am trying to change the subject from legitimate allegations against Trump. If I defend Trump, it is because I believe he deserves defending, and if I criticize the left, it is because I believe it deserves criticism. I am not compromising my principles to attack the left for trying to smear Trump and destroy this country. I am acting in accordance with my principles.
Sure, Trump shoots from the hip on Twitter and in some interviews, but he did this long before the election. The question isn’t whether he says things we wish he wouldn’t or commits gaffes. The issue that is before us — and will remain before us for as long as he’s in office because the Democrats will see to it, irrespective of Trump’s actions — is whether Trump engaged in serious misconduct on any of these things. So far, it appears he has not — from the firing of Comey to alleged collusion with Russia to the Comey memo to the alleged sharing of classified information with Russia. So why are some conservatives suggesting Trump just resign? It is neither prudent nor fair to rush to judgment. Let’s be guided by the evidence rather than innuendo or some anti-Trump hysteria.
I admit I’m concerned about Trump’s apparent flip-flop on Jerusalem, his seeming ambivalence about certain health care issues, the recent budget fiasco, the wall and confusion around tax reform. I just wish Trump would return forthwith to the agenda on which he was elected and the commitments he made to seeing it through.
I believe that if he would redouble his efforts to clarify his legislative priorities and present strong, viable proposals on all these issues and exercise leadership to advance them, he would unite a majority around him sufficient to pass them. As long as he rededicates himself to his campaign promises, his base will not abandon him, even with his occasional gaffes.
In the meantime, let’s recognize that the left is at war with us and is relentless in pursuing it. We must fight back as hard as the left is attacking if we expect our ideas to prevail. And we can do that without compromising our principles, so let’s get to work.
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