Why Everyone Who Hates Donald Trump Should Become a Political Conservative

… Or At Least Consider the Prospect and Benefits Thereof

Written by Terrell Clemmons

Earlier this month, David Frum spilled his spleen in a lengthy harangue at The Atlantic titled, This Is Trump’s Fault. Against the backdrop of the coronavirus outbreak, the author of the upcoming Trumpocalypse: Restoring American Democracy, spent more than 5,000 words (that would be about a ten-page, single-spaced Word document, by the way) taking the president to task in hyperbolic, over-the-top, no-holds-barred terms. The piece was a doozy that, IMO, revealed more about David Frum than about the object of his harangue.

According to Frum, pretty much every element of the suffering connected to the pandemic is Trump’s fault. Unpreparedness? Trump’s fault. Not enough respirators? Trump’s fault. Insufficient protective gear? Trump’s fault. Not enough ventilators? Trump’s fault. Crowded airports due to repatriating Americans? Trump’s fault. FoxNews “lying”? Trump’s fault. False hopes for cures or vaccines? Trump’s fault. Economic fallout? Trump’s fault. Fired Navy captain? Trump’s fault. Government incompetence? Trump’s fault. Crowded Florida beaches? “That fault is more widely shared, but again, responsibility rests with Trump.”

“If somebody else had been president of the United States in December 2019,” the all-knowing, all-seeing Mr. Frum wrote, “Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, Mike Pence, really almost anybody else, the United States would still have been afflicted by the coronavirus. But it would have been better prepared, and better able to respond.” The only thing that’s not Trump’s fault is the fact that the pandemic itself occurred. (Rather sporting of him to acknowledge that, wouldn’t you say?)

Anyway, not only is the president responsible for nearly all our virus-associated ills, according to Mr. Frum, he is ignorant, demanding, egotistical, and haunted by guilt. With the breakout of COVID-19, his “psychological deformity has mutated into a deadly strategic vulnerability for the United States.” If you have suffered as a result of coronavirus in any way, you should pin the blame on President Donald J. Trump.

Frum’s Atlantic piece is a stellar example of Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS). Different people define the presidential derangement syndromes differently (see the Wikipedia entry), but the idea is, the syndrome is in play whenever there is an irrational, visceral, head-exploding kind of reaction to the person (or even the mention of his name), rather than a reasonably clear-headed response to a specific statement the person has made or an action he’s engaged in.

I’m not going to respond to Mr. Frum’s attack points, here. We can criticize our government in America, and I think everyone should be skeptical about what elected leaders are up to. What I am going to do is offer Mr. Frum, and by extension anyone who believes like him (i.e., that America would be better off with anybody else in the White House), a different way of thinking about our political moment.

If you, or someone you love, believes the current president is a disaster, to the point that we’re on the verge of “Trumpocalypse,” to use Frum’s neologism, then here’s what I suggest: You (or they) should consider becoming a political conservative–a limited government, constitutional conservative. Or at least a libertarian. Here’s why: it is the conservative side of the political divide that wants to limit the power of government. It is the liberal side that wants to increase its size and scope. And so, it logically follows that if you are afraid of suffering the consequences of a bad actor in the White House, then you should be all for the side of the aisle that limits the powers of the president.

Mr. Frum’s upcoming book, Trumpocalypse, will no doubt be a full-on attempt to convince Americans to vote the man out of office in November. That’s fine. He’s free to make his case. But he seriously misunderstands his ideological opponents. The marketing copy for Trumpocalypse begins with two sweeping statements that just aren’t demonstrably true: “A huge swath of Americans has put their faith in Trump, and Trump only, because they see the rest of the country building a future that doesn’t have a place for them.”

No, not everyone who voted for Mr. Trump has put their faith in him. A huge swath of American conservatives, in fact, do not put their faith in any president. This is part of the reasoning behind political conservativism from its beginning. Christian conservatives, at least those who are so more than nominally, put their faith in God.

Second, as for this conjecture that conservative voters “see the rest of the country building a future that doesn’t have a place for them,” well, Mr. Frum can speculate all he wants about other people’s inner thought lives and motives, but if this is his way of saying “to vote for Trump is to be a racist,” then that just shows how ignorant he is about his ideological opposition.

And that means it is our job, conservatives, to bone up on our own foundation so we can enlighten people who think like him. There are a variety of ways to set about this. For starter’s check out PragerU’s five-part series, How Big Should Government Be? For the more intellectually-minded, Hillsdale College offers a free, online Constitution 101 course that consists of twelve 30-minute lectures. Check that out here.

Whatever you do, work to be well-informed. Then do what you can to introduce any well-meaning liberal who will listen to the manifold benefits for all (except would-be tyrants) of constitutionally conservative government. A modest dose of conservative thought just might lay the derangement syndromes to rest.

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