SAN DIEGO, January 21, 2016 — He’s refreshing because he speaks his mind, but his mind switches channels more often than a premium cable TV.
He talks about the need for his fellow candidates to be nice, but he doesn’t monitor his own communication etiquette.
Much like Al Capone in the movie The Untouchables, his motto seems to be, “If somebody messes with me, I’m going to mess with him.”
And yet, now he’s going after one of the few candidates who had not been messing with him, Ted Cruz. His song and dance about Cruz’s citizenship has had more performances than Phantom of the Opera. Denying that he is attacking, he shrouds his words with platitudes, suggesting that he is merely looking after the kid, much like a caring father figure who is helping the poor innocent underling avoid a Democratic lawsuit. But in reality this unsolicited “help” dominates the news and functions like sabotage.
On both social issues and foreign policy, he’s been all over the map: for a single payer system, against a single payer system, for abortion, against abortion.
He woos the Evangelicals, yet when asked, he cannot name any personal examples of asking God for forgiveness. He holds up the Bible as a good book to read, only slightly higher on the list than his own book.
He’s a man who at any time could say anything, do anything or stand for anything.
Such inconstant behavior is not suitable for a President of the United States.
And yet, scary as this profile looks, perhaps he’s still the man we should pick. Due to a comedy of errors mixed with a time in America’s history which seems headed more for tragedy than comedy, the best thing at this point may just be to cut our losses, hold our noses, and put Donald Trump in office.
Think of it as that last ditch, eleventh-hour, unconventional drug that a doctor tries on a dying patient when nothing else works. The doctor doesn’t promise that his latest idea will work either. He merely says, “We better try it.”
There is a reason why we should hope Trump wins the Republican nomination and an even better reason to hope he wins the general election.
The first is simple: Trump may have pledged not to run as a third party candidate but that pledge is about a air tight as his chameleon policies. Lest we forget, the “fine print” is that Trump will refrain from launching a third party campaign—if the Republicans treat him fairly. In all likelihood, the man will define fairness as winning the nomination. If he loses, it means he was not treated fairly.
Because a third-party run will hand the election to Hillary—or Bernie Sanders—we may as well hope that Trump just goes ahead and takes the GOP nomination.
If the two nominees are Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, we will choose between the known and the unknown. Trump could be a great president or the worst we have ever had.
We have no idea what we will get with Trump, but we know exactly what we will get with Hillary: four more years of Obama’s socialist, dictatorial policies. Should our country finally get a revelation and see Hillary as the liar she has always been, an alternative Democratic candidate would be no different. Sanders differs little from Hillary except that, unlike other Democrats, he’s willing to actually call his socialist policies by their true name. He’s the same cereal in a different box.
And so, our menu is a man who is unpredictable or a Democrat who will be entirely predictable. Given that choice, we would be wiser to roll the dice.
Unless our country is already headed down a road without any turns, which it may very well be, something needs to stop us dead in our tracks. The brass and tactlessness of Trump may make some flinch, but it is still satisfying to see somebody who does not consult a politically correct dictionary before talking.
Both Mitt Romney and John McCain walked on eggshells to not insult Obama in 2008 and 2012. They were surrounded by campaign strategists who warned them again and again to avoid being offensive.
Therein lies the Republican trap. Democrats are not shy about attacking even if the attack is a downright lie.
Harry Reid shamelessly commented on Romney’s tax returns without offering a shred of evidence.
President Obama claimed that Republicans want dirty air and water.
None of this matters to the Democrats. It works. Without hesitation, they lie about Republicans, yet Republican candidates will not even grow enough spine to speak the truth about Democrats. And there is a lot of truth to be spoken, truth which puts a spotlight on lies, from lies about Benghazi, to lies about health care, to lies about Fast and Furious.
Trump will not be so timid. He has shrewdly calculated that conservatives are tired of the mealy mouthed approach. They want a candidate who takes on his adversary as if he were stepping into a ring. They want somebody to fight for their values even if they are uncertain how much he actually shares those values.
During World War Two, General Patton’s superiors were often worried. The man was a romantic who seemed to love war for war’s sake. He might have been just as happy to fight the Russians as the Germans. He had zero tact and was regarded by many as a fanatic. But he was the fanatic we needed. His stubbornness, resolve, and even ego contributed greatly to the defeat of the Nazis.
Purists say that the lesser of two evils is still evil. But politics is a practical field. If you do not vote for the lesser of two evils, you choose the greater of two evils.
And so, with all his flaws, it’s time to vote and pray or just plain hope that Donald Trump is our next president. In the electoral game show, we already see the lemon behind door number one. We’d do better to go with what’s behind door number two.
This is Bob Siegel, making the obvious obvious.
Bob Siegel is a weekend radio talk show host on KCBQ and a columnist. Details of his show can be found at www.bobsiegel.net