Jonah Goldberg explains why he is not moved by arguments urging him to fall into line and start supporting Donald Trump.
I canâ€™t stand Kasich. But he meets my own minimal requirements for support. Trump, simply, doesnâ€™t. He falls short of the mark like John Candy in the long jump. Iâ€™m not going to rehash all of my reasons for this conviction, but suffice it to say I think heâ€™s unpatriotically unprepared and unqualified for the job. Politically, conservatism at its core is about the importance of ideas and the importance of character. With the exception of his longstanding support for protectionism and the unalloyed importance of â€œstrength,â€ Trump cares not a whit for policy or philosophy. His attachment to principles is, for the most part, a nearest-weapon-to-hand approach. As a matter of character heâ€™s crude, boorish, dishonest, proudly promiscuous, and has launched countless businesses based on the idea that itâ€™s morally acceptable to take advantage of people. He dodged the actual Vietnam War but claimed that avoiding the clap in the 1970s was his own personal Vietnam.
Kozak and many others either disagree with me on these points or they simply donâ€™t care. If itâ€™s the former, we have some substantial disagreements about what I think are obvious facts. If itâ€™s the latter, then I take our disagreement as a badge of honor. If Roger Simon wants to describe that as â€œmoral narcissism,â€ so be it. But, thereâ€™s a practical point here too. I plan on being in this line of work for a while longer. In the future, I want to be able to continue to say character and ideas matter without someone shouting, â€œOh yeah, then why did you support Donald Trump?â€ …
By waiving the standards we use to judge liberal politicians in order to defend an allegedly conservative one, we are waiving those standards for all time. Iâ€™m not talking about some allowances at the margins, politics should be flexible â€” strange bedfellows and all that. But thereâ€™s a difference between being flexible and willingly snapping your own spine to bend over for a politician who, almost certainly, has contempt for the standards you once held near and dear.
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