Monday, June 06, 2016
Recently in the Federalist, Robert Tracinski considered an argument I have heard some conservatives make in favor of voting for Donald Trump in November:
The idea is that whatever downside there is to the Trump presidency, it is a merely temporary diversion, no worse than what we've suffered under previous presidents, and certainly not something that makes Trump a worse evil than the other major party candidate. Given that the other major party candidate will be Hillary Clinton, that's a pretty good argument.Although there is much I disagree with in the rest of the piece, I agree with Tracinski's main point:
[A] review of the health our institutions does not support a sense of complacency when it comes to the mind and character of our next president. The bigger and more powerful government becomes, the more individual personalities matter. The less the president is restrained by Congress or the courts, the more we need someone who will restrain himself. But there is one respect in which Trump uniquely makes the situation worse, because the health of our institutions -- and of one institution in particular -- is precisely what his candidacy calls into question. [link omitted]And that institution is the Republican Party. I find it debatable that it was Trump who "knocked it over," but I do agree with most of the rest of what he says about that party as an institution. Although Republican leaders are trying to assure us that they'll keep Trump on a short leash, I think the GOP would much more likely resist the outrages of a Democrat in the Oval Office than those of Trump. And in fighting an clear ideological opponent could also lie the seeds of a rebirth.