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.