“He is a great businessman; an outsider who is shaking things up in a town of career politicians, and I like it!”
It isn’t a direct quote. Rather, it’s a general mantra of the conservatives who voted for and continue to accept President Donald Trump’s poor decisions.
Other conservatives have defended the President, particularly for his decision to fire James Comey, by saying it is his right. Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., is one such person who defended the President’s decision to fire Comey. Haley argued that he is “the CEO of the country” and that “he can hire and fire anyone he wants.”
Who has doubted that he, the President, “can hire and fire who he wants” within his authority? Nobody questions he has the ability, or the right even, to do so. That, however, is not a defense of the action. It is a mere explanation of how he was able to take it.
I understand that Ambassador Haley’s position as an administration appointee politically obligates her to defend her boss. But others without such ties to the White House are using similar arguments to defend the President’s decision.
Those arguments need to stop.
Why Criticism is Necessary
Conservatives’ desire to keep the judiciary has clouded their rationality. Jonah Goldberg calls this defense “the everlasting gobstopper of Trump rationalizations.”
The judiciary is extremely important, but keeping it under the gavels of judicial conservatives shouldn’t be our sole political focus. It certainly shouldn’t become a be-all and end-all for conservative voters. Focusing on that issue to the exclusion of all others precludes them and their representatives from raising legitimate criticism.
Some are willing to acknowledge the President’s repeated faults, but do nothing further with them. These critics only explain them away on account of his non-politician status. This is analogous to smoking cigarettes in order to mitigate tremor-inducing depression. It has only a brief effect.
Another thing motivating conservatives to defend the President is seeing the Left kicking, screaming, whining, and even convulsing at the mere existence of the man. I concede this point: it is entertaining, and is especially telling of the left’s mental state. But it can’t be a long-term motivation for accepting that which we truly know is harmful to conservatism.
Greg Gutfeld rightly suggests that those “in constant wrath over Trump” could “pull back a little.” However, conservatives avoiding any criticism of the President because “he’s better than Hillary” could stand to criticize him a little more.