The GOP’s New Mantra: What Counts Is Trump’s Actions, Not His Character

Betraying the Kurds made it impossible for the GOP to ignore Trump’s character, so the new spin is that his bad character doesn’t matter.

DavidGrace
Nov 6 · 5 min read
Image by falco from Pixabay

By David Grace (www.DavidGraceAuthor.com)

The More Powerful The Person, The More Important Is Their Character

Powerful people always have the ability to use their power for good or for ill. The principal thing that keeps them from misusing their power to do bad things is their moral code.

It used to be unquestioned common sense that a person whom you entrusted with power needed to have good character so that you could be confident that they would use that power fairly, wisely and for good purposes.

Powerful People With Bad Character Use That Power To Do Bad Things

Of course, no wise person would knowingly choose to grant power to a despicable person as their CEO, business partner, personal representative, mayor, or, God forbid, President.

We all know that the more corrupt the person to whom you give power, the more likely they will be to use that power to do bad things, not only to others but, eventually to you as well.

  • The vicious dog you buy to bite others will eventually bite you.
  • The cheat whom you make CEO will eventually cheat you.
  • The spokesmen and lawyers you hire to lie to others will eventually lie to you.
  • The thieves you hire to steal from others will eventually steal from you.
  • Dishonest people are going to break their promises both to others and to you.

You can’t predict what dishonest people will do because they will lie about their plans and because they will have no moral boundaries to keep them in check. If an opportunity for a dishonest advantage appears, they will take it no matter what promises they might have made.

That’s why we want the CEO of our company, the manager of our bank, the judges in our courts, the mayor of our city, and the President of our country to be honest, decent, truthful, trustworthy people — because of the great harm that dishonest people can and will do when they are put in positions of power.

Donald Trump’s Character

During the 2016 Presidential campaign there were claims that Donald Trump was dishonest and untrustworthy, but many people ignored them as untrue or at least overblown.

The real problem was that his base dismissed them as irrelevant.

A year ago a conservative-Republican friend dismissed Mr. T’s aberrant conduct as just “antics,” as if he were merely a rogue preacher or an oddball reality-TV-show contestant.

Then Trump threw the Kurds under the bus.

The Elephant Was Finally In The Room

I think that was a bridge too far for even these Republican stalwarts. They couldn’t pass that off as just another silly antic by Crazy Uncle Donald. No, that was a real betrayal of people they liked, an act that ruined the lives of thousands of people who had helped the United States fight terrorists.

Mr. T’s dismissive comment that what he did was OK because the Kurds “were no angels” was finally such an unignorable, horrible act that these conservative Republicans could no longer will themselves into self-imposed political blindness.

Trump’s toxic character had become so obvious that even they could no longer pretend that he was just odd, eccentric or quirky.

After almost three years in office Mr. T’s lies, his meanness, his dishonesty, his narcissism and megalomania have became so painfully apparent that only his most fanatical supporters still even try to deny them.

This Required A Change In Policy

So now, many conservative Republicans have been forced to adjust their moral compass to take into account this inconvenient but unavoidable truth.

They now need some alternate policy that will allow them to continue to support Mr. T. They found it with their new mantra:“What counts is what a politician does, not who he is.”

The same people who claim to be part of the moral majority, committed believers in the teachings of Jesus Christ, upstanding, church-going citizens who bemoan the availability of pornography, drugs, abortion, homosexuality and other signs of what they label as moral decay, in defense of a President with abysmally bad character have now decided that character really doesn’t matter after all.

They’re now saying, “OK, personally, Trump actually is the untrustworthy, dishonest, mean-spirited, despicable human being you’ve been claiming he is all along, BUT that doesn’t really matter. The only thing that’s actually important is what a politician does. Now that we can no longer deny that our guy is a horrible human being, his character doesn’t really matter at all.”

This attitude is no surprise. This has actually been Trump’s core supporters’ position since day one. Trump knew this when he made his famous and accurate “I could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and they would still support me” comment.

Character Doesn’t Matter Anymore

Trump has always known that his character was irrelevant to his supporters so long and he stuck to the policies they hold dear.

The fact is that the character of their candidate has never mattered to true believers of any persuasion. True believers only claim that character matters when they think they can use a perceived flaw against the other guy.

If the other guy has a character flaw, then character counts. If your guy has a character flaw, then the only thing that matters is what he does, not who he is.

The New Rule: The Ends Justify The Means

This nonsense position is easy for people who are not bothered by hypocrisy and who believe that the ends justify the means.

Simple hypocrisy is bad enough in an ordinary person, but for someone who claims to be committed to Christ’s teachings and to living a moral life, it’s downright outrageous.

There are, of course, always some honest people who refuse to be hypocrites — Mitt Romney, Jeff Flake and George Conway III immediately come to mind.

What Is Really Important

So, here’s the deal:

  • Character does count, and the more power a person has, the more essential it is that he/she have good character.
  • Ignoring bad character because you think the person will use the power you give him to do what you want is a fool’s game.

Sooner or later,

  • That vicious dog you bought to bite other people is going to bite you.
  • The blood shed by the criminal you hired to shoot your enemies will end up contaminating you.
  • Those who lie down with dogs will get fleas.
  • Good results do not come from empowering bad men.
  • You can’t do good by doing bad.
  • You cannot do right by doing wrong.
  • What a politician does is not the only thing that’s important.

Character always counts.

— David Grace (www.DavidGraceAuthor.com)

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DavidGrace

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Graduate of Stanford University & U.C. Berkeley Law School. Author of 17 novels and over 200 Medium columns on Economics, Politics, Law, Humor & Satire.

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