In his op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, Walter Olson defends his decision to not vote for Trump four years ago by saying he will double-dog not vote for him this year.
Like every other never-Trumper, the reason is almost entirely personal.
“No modern president has shown so little care for or grasp of how government works … his conduct fell short of what Americans should expect … the lack of impulse control, the vindictive meanness of spirit, the Niagara of lies,” Olson writes.
He hoped Trump would, once in the White House, “put away childish things … and banish his internal Falstaff.” But alas, Olson writes, “Mr. Trump didn’t change. He won’t change now.”
Let’s leave aside the tenuous claim that Trump’s conduct disqualifies him. Compared to what? Bill Clinton’s Oval Office assignations with an intern? Barack Obama’s repeated attempts to bypass the Constitution to get his leftist policies enacted, or use the IRS and the FBI to hamper political opponents? And never mind about the illegal wars, mass internments, spying on political opponents, and other violations committed by past presidents.
Let’s even concede that Olson and other never-Trumpers are right that Trump has debased the office with his mean tweets, loose grasp of facts, and inappropriate off-the-cuff remarks.
No matter what happens in November, Trump will no longer be president a little more than four years from now. If he’s reelected, whatever damage he’s done to the office of the presidency can easily be restored and, as the nation has done in the past, we will move on.
But a Joe Biden win? That will harm the entire country. And the damage will last a lifetime.
If you don’t think so, look at the legacy of past Democrats who were able to shove their agendas through. Now in place for 55 years, Lyndon Johnson’s Medicare, Medicaid, and “Great Society” programs account for a third of the federal budget. (And their fiercest defenders are often Republicans.)
ObamaCare costs close to $100 billion a year (after Republicans betrayed voters and failed to repeal it).
Welfare dependency – another of Johnson’s legacies – is the main cause of the disintegration of families and the perpetuation of poverty, despite Republican efforts to mitigate the damage.
For 40 years the Jimmy Carter-created Department of Education has been pouring taxpayer dollars into schools, achieving nothing on standardized tests while massively fueling college tuition inflation.
Liberal judges with lifetime appointments make a mockery of the separation of powers.
The list goes on.
Any self-described conservative who thinks that the wreckage caused by Biden’s far-left agenda can simply be undone by a (socially acceptable) conservative somewhere down the road is fooling themselves.
Once in place, government programs, even supposedly temporary ones, are impossible to eradicate. As Milton Friedman so aptly put it: “Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.”
And never forget that Biden has grand ambitions for his presidency – something we have detailed repeatedly in this space. (See, for example: “Convention Wrap Up: Dems Keep Joe Biden’s Agenda Hidden in the Basement,” “The Stunning Gullibility Of ‘Republicans For Biden’,” “Has Democratic Party’s Far Left Hijacked Joe Biden’s Presidential Campaign?,” “Joe Biden’s Mask Mandate Is Only The Beginning.”)
Worse, should Democrats win the Senate, they will immediately move to eliminate the filibuster – they’ve already admitted as much. This will give the far left the opening it needs to carry out the radical Democratic Party agenda: nationalize health care, massively hike the minimum wage, grant amnesty to illegals, pack the Supreme Court, rewrite election laws, enact a radical social agenda, unleash regulators, and take over the entire economy by way of the farcical “Green New Deal.”
That prospect should horrify any conservative who’s been around long enough to know that you never want to let the left gain power.
So let’s acknowledge every complaint that never-Trumpers have about Trump. Their calculus still doesn’t add up.
Four more years of Falstaff is much, much better than a lifetime of socialist misery.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board