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HomeIllinois PoliticsDi Leo shocker: On April 1st, "I endorse Donald J. Trump"

Di Leo shocker: On April 1st, “I endorse Donald J. Trump”



By John F. Di Leo - Trump lapel sticker

As this long and unusual primary season continues its seemingly never-ending trek, I have finally reached the point at which I feel comfortable making an endorsement in the presidential race.

This has not been a normal season. In a year in which accomplished governors and senators have been dismissed out of hand by a fickle electorate more interested in “feelings” than philosophy, it was at first difficult to accept the truth with which I – like millions of other concerned Americans – have been confronted, day in and day out, on radio, on television, and in print.

Clearly, the only man for this new day is the ultimate outsider, the negotiator, the legend, Donald J. Trump of New York.

It is a year in which most of us are angry.  Granted, the anger may be caused by the incumbent, or by the economy, or by Mr. Trump himself, but the important thing is that he embodies it.   He is anger incarnate, and that has such a raw, visceral appeal.

It is a year of economic pain. Some 94 million people who ought to be in the work force are living outside it. And many who are in the work force are underemployed; how better to fight that pain than by nominating the comeback king himself, a man who, again and again, has just ripped up his debts to his fellow Americans (legally, through use of the bankruptcy laws of course), and given himself a fresh start with other people’s money? Now, I ask you, who doesn't find that level of self-confidence and salesmanship utterly inspiring?   I mean, the man really gives you the impression that if you just had access to his pool of billionaire investors, you could do just as well as he does. Maybe even better!  

It is a year of geographic frustration, with enemies abroad and within.  The problems of immigration, distant wars, and terrorism demand detailed analysis and complex solutions. But such analysis and such solutions tax a tired and angry mind.  Much better to select the one candidate who skips past the solution and just denounces the problem.  After all, we don’t really want to build a wall, or enforce our visa restrictions, or engage in military action, however necessary it may be.  Better to select the proudest example of a diffident American WASP, and let our choice of a president serve as a substitute for all that complicated thinking.

We are frustrated by selecting “1” for English on the phone, or by repeating ourselves again and again at the drive-through window, or by dating girls who slap us because they understand exactly what we’re talking about, even on the first date.  How better to act out our feelings about these challenges than by nominating a real man’s man, one who has always been in control of his relationships, so much so that he’s always had the upper hand, by marrying women from such exotic locales as Czechoslovakia, Slovenia, and even the state of Georgia (before you say “But Georgia’s not an exotic locale,” remember that Donald Trump is from Manhattan.  Cohutta, GA is pretty exotic to a son of Kew-Forest and Fordham).

America is torn apart by the complex issue of abortion, with some for it, some against it, some for abortion being taxpayer-funded, some opposed to such funding.  Only Donald Trump can support all of these different positions convincingly, sometimes all within the same interview.

America is furious that the Democrats replaced our expensive but great healthcare system with an even more expensive and largely inaccessible healthcare system instead of improving it.  Donald Trump is the one Republican who will call for market reforms and “the government paying for it” in the same speech.  Only Donald Trump could slam obamacare as a failure and then praise the failed nationalized healthcare bureaucracies of Canada and Great Britain at the same time.  Forget sound economic policy; the man has chutzpah, which is much more important in this television age.

America wants a border fence – not just wants, but needs – and Donald Trump is a builder.  Better still, he’s known for building things with other people’s money.  So who but Donald Trump can convincingly promise to build this fence and make a foreign country pay for it?  Whether such a plan is legal or not (it isn’t) is beside the point… even whether such a plan is possible or not (it isn’t) is beside the point as well.  The important thing is that voters view Mexico as an enemy, a real, nearby, cocky, tangible enemy… and supporting the Trump campaign is their way of flipping a vulgar insult gesture at our neighbor to the south. What could be a better use for a presidential campaign?

America has allies.  Our allies – the democratic republics of the world, especially the English-speaking ones – are being invaded by Islamofascist hordes calling themselves refugees.  Coming to the aid of these allies will require weaponry, money, and in some cases, military boots on the ground.  So we don’t want to really come to their aid, but we want to seem like we are.  How better to fake our way to supporting our allies than by nominating a candidate who talks a good game but never delivers?  Donald Trump may not be able to adequately craft a battle strategy or even describe the component forces of a carrier group by name, but he can insult our enemies with the best of them.  Foreign policy by braggadocio and trash talk… thy time hath come.

America has ability.  While we have perfectly dreadful politicians – low, venal ward heelers and socialists in both parties, from the intolerable Chuck Schumer and Hank Johnson in the Democratic caucus to the unelectable Mark Kirk of the Republicans – we also have a huge number of dedicated, focused, successful and worthy statesmen as well.  Governors Bobby Jindal and Scott Walker, Senators Mike Lee and Ted Cruz, such principled and hardworking statesmen give us an inferiority complex.  They stand for the same thing, year after year, making the rest of their colleagues look bad.  Better we throw over all of them, stereotyping them all as “the establishment” so that we don’t have to go through the difficult vetting process of separating the wheat from the chaff.  Donald Trump has never been elected to anything; we can have no idea how he would perform in office.  Yeah, that’s our man, for sure!

And America has a campaign finance system, carefully crafted in the 1970s.  Sure, it’s not remotely helpful, but it is the law, with at least the honorable intention of keeping corruption out of the process.  Isn’t it high time we had a candidate who uses the campaign as a way to channel donors’ funds or his own personal loans directly into his businesses, renting campaign space in Trump buildings, holding events in Trump banquet halls and conference centers?  The time has come for political corruption to come out in the open and proudly declare itself.  We need a candidate who proudly boasts of using campaign donations as bribery for decades, and who does so in the guise of a campaign so that nobody would dare prosecute him for it.  How come, until now, only banana republics and big city ward heelers have had the monopoly on political corruption?  I’m glad Donald Trump has removed the nasty stigma from “bribery” and given a fresh new whitewash coat of “realism.”

And further to that topic… millions of us conservatives have spent decades walking precincts, volunteering at phone banks, donating our meager checks, writing letters to the editor… whatever we could to help nudge both the Republican Party and the nation back in the direction of the Founding Fathers.  It really was time that we admitted to ourselves that those years were really a waste. What America needs isn’t morality, liberty, justice, economic freedom, or Constitutionally limited government; what we need is a big pompous braggart who wouldn’t know a Federalist Paper from a calculus treatise if he had a huge team of advisors, the BEST advisors, to help him analyze them.    The time for accomplishment , and principle, and philosophy are gone.  The time for nihilism has arrived.

And that’s why my candidate, on this sunny April 1, and only on this sunny April 1, must indeed be Donald J. Trump.

Copyright 2016 John F. Di Leo

John F. Di Leo is a Chicago-based international trade compliance lecturer and writer. A movement conservative since the 1980s, he intends to support whichever Republican is on the ballot in November.  He is therefore praying for wisdom on the part of the primary voters of the remaining states, and at the Republican Convention this summer, because if Donald Trump gets the nomination, there will be no Republican on the ballot this November.

Permission is hereby granted to forward freely, provided it is uncut and the IR URL and byline are included, along with the date tying the column to April 1.


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  1. I don’t think you’ll ever realize how much conservatives hate the GOP and have woken up to the fact that there are no serious conservatives of any stature in the GOP. I doubt conservatives have much love for Trump, but their rejection of the GOP and people like Paul “no budget/omnibus” Ryan is the only reason for their support for Trump. I can’t imagine conservatives will ever consider the GOP a serious party and ally, ever again. The curtain has been removed. It can never be put back together again.

  2. Chase, I disagree, and I’m sure that I am at least as conservative as you are.
    The GOP is an enormous “big tent” now. Not by choice, not by choice at all, but by necessity.
    Since this is a two-party country, now that the Democratic party is essentially communist, anyone who can’t bring himself to be a communist has to join the GOP. It’s a mess, but it’s not like we chose for the Democrats to turn communist. They did, so we’re the only alternative.
    We can survive, but only if we try to drive a rational rightward course: be practical, win elections, and be as philosophically conservative as possible while doing so. I believe the Reagan/Jindal/Walker/Cruz line is the way to get there. It takes political skills, but we can be philosophically on the right where we belong.
    I’m not disagreeing with you that we have many who are too willing to “compromise” with the left (which really means CAPITULATE)… but we can solve this with proper work in the primaries.
    As long as we don’t completely blow up our platform by nominating an anti-conservative, anti-philosophy, anti-honesty candidate like Trump, we CAN still save this country.

  3. “…..anyone who can’t bring himself to be a communist HAS (emphasis mine) to join the GOP.”
    See, there you go, you couldn’t even get past your 3rd paragraph of reply without showing your arrogance and ignorance.
    No, those of us tired of – and disgusted with –
    AND DONE WITH – the lies of the GOP do NOT have to join the GOP.
    Nope, not at all.
    We can choose to work against the GOP – and that is what people like me are doing.
    We are completely disgusted by people who think like you Mr Di Leo – you are fine with the status quo of the GOP and I am not.
    I am working to tear down what you hope to prop up.
    See you on the battle lines.

  4. No… I’m saying we must stand for conservatism… Recognizing the undeniable reality of open primaries and demographic changes. It’s not an easy time. Mis-allocating blame for our problems won’t make it any easier.

  5. If we conservatives and Constitution supporters can’t find support within the Republican Party, and have learned the current GOP is simply “Democrat Lite,” it’s time to form a NEW Party.
    What we witness during the 2016 Republican Convention may be the turning point.

  6. Ummm… no.
    We have to beat the Democrat party first.
    If the GOP collapses and splits, all that will do is give the Democrats sole absolute power over the United States.
    And if you think that omnipotent Democrats will allow a NEW party to spring up, you just haven’t been paying attention to world history over the past hundred years or so.
    cf. Germany, Russia, Poland, Cuba, North Korea….

  7. I’m honestly not questioning whether you are conservative or not.
    You act like this would be a first.
    Don’t you remember nominating Mitt Romney? John McCain? Bob Dole? Anti-conservatives all of them. Now is where you draw your line in the sand? With Rafael “TPP”? I don’t think you appreciate how much people hate these job export deals.

  8. If the Democratic Party had complete control, how would that be any different than what we have witnessed the past six years?
    You can even go back to when the GOP had complete control. Instead of closing bureaucracies we were give a new Federal Department. The budget never approached being balanced. Bush/McCain tried their hardest to give us amnesty. Bush wanted to nominate Harriet Miers (!!!!!!) to the Supreme Court and only had to pull back when the peasants pulled out the pitchforks. But he did nominate John Robertscare.
    I fail to see anything remotely conservative. What am I missing?

  9. Chase, I am reminded of a moment in Mel Brook’s classic masterpiece, Young Frankenstein.
    Gene Wilder and Marty Feldman are stealing a dead body and transporting it through town in the middle of the night … and Marty Feldman says “Could be Worse!”
    How could it POSSIBLY be worse?
    “Could be raining!”
    Yes, Chase. It could be worse.
    Before Obama, I’ll bet you never dreamed the government could do all the damage that his administration has done. We knew it would be hellish, but did we think it would be this bad?
    Democrats can ALWAYS be worse, Chase. There is simply no point so low that they won’t exceed expectations.

  10. I don’t disagree it could be worse.
    But conservatives joining the GOP is akin to punishing the bank robber and rewarding the driver of the getaway car. You’re still responsible for the train wreck the driver of the getaway car gets into and then you have everybody else saying “That bank robber wasn’t so bad.”
    Of course I imagined it could get this bad before Obama! Who wouldn’t? When the supposed “conservative”, “anti-government” party was turning its backs on our culture and growing the government at record breaking speeds of course you would expect the next Democrat elected would be a lunatic.
    So, yes, I blame the GOP for the rise and success of Obama and I fully expect that if for some reason a GOP candidate wins the presidency he and the Ryan/McConnell Congress will conserve the gains made by Obama. They never undid anything Clinton did, why should we expect a different result?

  11. Di Leo just does not get it.
    Or he does get it, and he’s a liar.
    One or the other.
    Above Mr Di Leo lectures several times NOT how the Republican party is GOOD for us, but rather he lectures us several times how the Republican party is LESS BAD for us than is the democrat party.
    Well I’m done with the ‘less bad’, I want ‘good’ for us or nothing at all.
    I want a new party, a party of Conservative candidates working on behalf of Conservative principles and values – and we don’t have that anywhere today in our politics.
    Do Leo and his ilk want more of the status quo – and I think that Di Leo and his ilk have a serious case of Stockholm syndrome after all these years of being bait-and-switched and ignored.

  12. Dear LakeCoConserv my question is to you, what have you done the last 8 years to make things different or change things? Voting is the smallest part of a Political process. The very smallest. Where is your participation in changing the system, you are so sorely mad at?
    If you want my resume of actively participating, I can surely pass it along.
    Whining, about the past, is just another way to fluff off, what one individual chooses not to do the aid in a task.
    So , please, spare me your ‘I hate the GOP” diatribe.
    You are part of the problem, not part of the Solution, obviously.

  13. Thank you John for the poignant, applicable and accurate summary of what is going on in so many fronts, in the Political arena. Would love to see this posted on Breitbart. If you get my meaning.

  14. See your “resume of actively participating”?
    What makes you think i give a damn about your “resume of actively participating”?
    As a matter of fact, if you’ve been “actively participating” for the republican party, you are part of the problem.
    What good has the Republican party done in the last 16 years?
    Has the Republican party:
    Prevented Obama care?
    Repealed Obama care?
    Put a solid Conservative on the supreme court?
    Stopped obama’s efforts to turn this country into a third world sh*th*le IN ANY WAY, ON ANY FRONT?
    Prevented the formation of the American job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership?
    Prevented the fast-tracking of the TPP by Obama? (Let me help you out with this one -the answer is NO! The Republican elite’s chosen candidate Ted Cruz WROTE the fast tracking resolution known as TPA which gives Obama the authority to sign off on the TPP! )
    In continuum:
    Has the Republican party:
    Done ANYTHING to prevent Obama from laying wide open our southern border?
    Done ANYTHING to support our border patrols?
    Done ANYTHING to shore up our southern border? (Remember, I’m asking about the last 16 years).
    Done ANYTHING to bring up to date our investments in NATO and/or the UN ? (As in, get us out of those unnecessary money pit alliances)
    I could go on, but you get it.
    Of course you get it, you just ignore it and think we will to.
    I will be anxiously awaiting the list you will no doubt provide detailing all the wonderful things your Republican party has accomplished on behalf of Conservative causes over the last 16 years.
    By the way, I can’t wait for the convention.
    You can ignore us for now if you choose, but you will not be able to ignore us at the convention.
    At least not until you make it inside the building, where your anti-American, globalist, rest-of-the-world-firsters will be waiting to shower you with additional lobbyist dollars.