Conservatives should support Trump, but don’t give him a free pass

Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States and as such, he deserves our respect (yes, even if you’re a Democrat). As a Republican who has promised to do some good things for the country, he should also receive the support of conservatives who balked against him during the primaries because of his leftist mentality and liberal core. Hope for the best, plan for the worst.

When Trump does the right things, I will cheer. When he does the wrong things, I will oppose. That should be the mindset of every conscientious American patriot. His first unofficial move as President was to cut a deal (it’s what he does best, remember) with Carrier to keep 1000 jobs in the United States. On the populist surface, this seems like a good thing. Dig just a little deeper and it’s very clear that this was a textbook example of crony capitalism. That should worry us all.

In fact, it’s already worrying many. Not surprisingly, pundits like Ben Shapiro, Kevin D. Williamson, Jay Caruso, Patterico, Mark Levin, and Robert Tracinski were quick to go after the deal. What’s mildly surprising is that Mike Pence, a former free market capitalist, has embraced Trump’s fair trade mantra so smoothly. What’s even more surprising is that some of Trump’s most fanatical supporters are starting to question him even before he takes office. Of note in this crew is Sarah Palin. Her piece over at Young Conservativesisn’t a direct attack, but more of a shot across the bow to remind Trump (and conservatives) that winning through crony capitalism isn’t actually winning at all and can do long-term damage. For the first time in over a year, I completely agree with the former Alaska governor.

Regardless of who won the election, we were going to build the Federalist Party. We waited to see what would happen with the election first because we knew our message delivery strategy would change based upon the status of the Presidency and Congress. The message itself would never change regardless of who’s in power; we are a party that believes in dramatically cutting the overreach by the federal government by reducing their budgets, bureaucracy, and power. The message is constant, but how we were to deliver it depended on the power structure in DC.

Now that the lines have been drawn, we know how to deliver the message. It aligns perfectly with how Americans should handle the next two years of President Trump with his GOP-controlled Congress. Support the small government initiatives, if any, that they propose. Object to the ongoing bloating of the federal government that both major parties gravitate towards with the majority of their actions.

Whether you’re a Republican or not, you should embrace this mentality. Whether you were a Trump acolyte from day one, a reluctant Trump-supporter once he secured the nomination, or one who felt that Trump has been and always will be too liberal to protect our individual freedoms and reduce the size of government, you should adopt the stance of supporting him when he’s right and dissenting when he’s wrong.

We’ve seen what happens when a political group fawns over their leader without question. President Obama was a disappointment for many liberals who thought he would deliver on his promises. To this day, he’s still loved mostly because liberals hate Trump and didn’t fully embrace Hillary Clinton, so they’ve continued to put Obama on a pedestal. They willfully ignore that fact that his two greatest “achievements” — Obamacare and the Iran Nuclear Deal — are both disasters. Conservatives, Republicans, and Federalists must not make the same mistake.

Trump is just a man. He’s talented and eventually learned to make the most out of the money he was born into and the natural sales skills he’s mastered throughout his life, but to act as if all of his actions are gold-plated is foolish. One does not have to oppose his Presidency in order to oppose his liberal actions. It takes discernment to realize that crony capitalism is bad even if it helps to save jobs. Are those 1000 jobs worth it if it costs 2000 jobs in the long term? Is keeping Carrier in the United States a good thing if its competitors who never considered leaving the country get shafted for staying loyal to the nation? What precedent is being set by an administration when it’s already so willing to make unprincipled deals before it’s even fully formed?

As Americans, we owe the office of the President our complete respect. As conservatives, we should support constitutionally sound moves made by the administration and Congress. As Federalists, we should embrace moves that are designed to reduce the overreach of the federal government. Anything outside of those boundaries should receive the same dissent that we would give if the ideas were promoted by President Obama instead.

Article originally published on The New Americana.