Guest Post: Why I Do Not Dismiss Trump

by jkatejohnston

6 June 2016

Dear Max,

A few posts ago I outed my dad as a possible Trump voter. Here is his reply. It’s too long for the comments.

My daughter Kate posted the following in her blog. “My dad’s argument for Trump goes something like this: he’s winning. The anti-immigrant racism, the woman-hating, the freakish self-regard—it’s all strategy. It’s a pose for getting votes, and it’s working. Trump wouldn’t govern like that. He’s a con man, but he hasn’t conned himself. And in our system of checks and balances, he couldn’t do all the outrageous things he’s promised, even if he wanted to.”

My Comments: The reason that I might vote for Trump is rooted in my libertarian and, more importantly, in my anti-elitist political philosophy. We pride ourselves on our democratic political system. But that’s not what we actually have. Our system is controlled by a tiny political elite with essentially the same set of values regardless of political party. (One commentator hit the nail on the head when he said: “We’re going to end up with a moderate Republican—Hillary.”) I despise this elite—mostly because their touchy-feely liberalism masks their fundamental arrogance.

And I watched with great interest and amusement over the past months the behavior this elite. They were initially dismissive of Trump. Then they tried to push back. But all the while, ordinary folks kept voting for Trump. The elite squirmed and danced around the question of how to respond to the phenomenon of Trump.

In our political system, folks who win elections get to hold office. Our Founding Fathers understood that sometimes the popular vote might elect someone who was not the best. To deal with this eventuality, they set up a system of checks and balances. They anticipated that from time to time the system would put jackasses like Trump into positions of power. They devised a political system that would moderate and limit the damage.

It is now a virtual certainty that Trump will be nominated. In November it will be Trump v Hillary. And it is entirely possible that Trump might become President.

I would like our society to move in the direction of more personal responsibility, less nanny-state socialism and an end to our current state of overseas meddling and perpetual war. For those who share this view, a vote for Trump is not irrational.

—Stewart Johnston