Nobody has asked why, though I have made it pretty obvious that I support Donald Trump for President of the United States. But I know there are a lot of assumptions even in my own family as to why, even to the point of expressing their disappointment with me because of my support for Mr. Trump. But they do not ask why.
Last night, while we were doing American trivia around the table as we usually do to end our evening meal, Mama read this question, “Who was eulogized with the following epitaph: ‘First in War. First in Peace. First in the hearts of his Countrymen”?
I got a little teary-eyed the moment I heard that quote and had to suppress a bit of a gasp, much like what happens when I hear The Star Spangled Banner. The answer is George Washington. That I know that, along with my reaction to the mention of our greatest president ever (and my well-known similar autonomic response to the National Anthem) confirms that in no way can my American Pride and Patriotisms be called into question by even my harshest political critic; and that Pride and Patriotism serve as the foundation of my support for Donald Trump.
A few months ago Jerry Falwell, Jr. explained what his father told him on why the elder Evangelical was supporting Ronald Reagan, despite theological differences:
“He wasn’t electing a Sunday school teacher or a pastor or even a president who shared his theological beliefs. He was electing the president of the United States…”
There’s more to that quote and you can read it here.
But to the point of Falwell’s reasoning…
I woke up this morning, Super Tuesday or the “SEC Primary,” eager to do my Texas duty, which I will at about 4:30 this afternoon. As I made my way through my morning routine of driving to the convenience store to fill my Texas-sized cup with diet Coke, I heard a few songs on the Radio – and each of them made me tear up. It’s an emotional day for me, and, being a bit of a music aficionado, I can find meaning in any song. Switching the dial from Christian to Classic Rock to Contemporary to Rap each song reminded me of America. A lot of people with different tastes and perspectives, all in one big melting pot.
And it was morning. Morning in America.
Morning in America was Ronald Reagan’s mantra in 1984. This summarizes it fairly well and reduces the amount I have to type or you have to read:
History Channel: Morning in America
And here’s the commercial…
Think of all the campaigns you can remember, and their slogans. If you need some help, here’s a link to them on Wikipedia.
The ones that win, or stick out, are not the ones that are about the candidate. They are the ones about America. They are the ones promulgated by the populist candidate, regardless of party. And, like it or not, those who used those slogans tended to wind up in the White House and tended to have productive presidencies when it came to what was right and best for America – not ideology or party.
Modern populist candidates include Ronald Wilson Reagan, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Theodore Roosevelt – none of whom were darlings of their parties until AFTER their presidencies got rolling.
- Reagan ran against the incumbent of his own party in 1976 – not a popular thing to do – and was a raging Democrat not soon before! Reagan was a Republican doing what was best for America, not his party.
- FDR was a war-monger by any measuring stick, knowing full well that to protect America we would need to stop Hitler before he came here – which is why he was very glad that Japan attacked us. It gave him an excuse to ask Congress declare war on Germany on December 9, 1941 – a war which FDR had been fighting secretly for years. FDR was a Democrat – a party more known for its pacifism – doing what was best for America, not his party.
- Teddy Roosevelt was as anti-business as they come and by any GOP standard today an environmental whacko. Yet he was the Republican doing what was best for America, not his party.
About thirty years separates these presidencies, and you can even go back to Lincoln, thirty-five years before Teddy Roosevelt, who was all in for “What’s right for America.”
Where did it start? Arguably, notably, and probably the most supported date for the rise and success of populism in America is the 1928 election of Andrew Jackson. He was so successful at bringing the people together that he was nicknamed “King Mob.”
This was thirty years prior to Lincoln’s election.
Every-other generation has a populist who stands up and says he’s tired of the status quo – a status quo promulgated by parties that our Founding Fathers railed against as factions and destructive to the Country they founded.
Thirty years before Jackson was the famous discord between Jefferson and Hamilton concerning the banking and manufacturing and agricultural policies of America – or if America should even have such policies – that ended the Federalist Era of the birth of our nation in our Constitution and the Presidency of George Washington and ushered in two things that have plagued America since: The Rival Political Parties.
There have been two major Parties since Jefferson and Hamilton started off with the Democratic – Republican Party and the Federalist Party respectively led by these two founders. You can read more about the First Party System and Second Party System to see how they morphed into what we have today – extensions of what we had at the outset: Two Parties that broke the system with the occasional upstart third party.
Populist Andrew Jackson was the first Democrat. And he won by a landslide after losing the 1924 election to John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay’s cronyism taking the popular vote winner – Jackson (Adams lost to Jackson by 38,000 votes…a big deal since the total votes cast were only 113,000!) – and defeating him in a backroom deal through the House of Representatives that gave Adams the Presidency and Clay the Secretary of State slot. In 1928, the people refuted this corruption of 1824 – though legal by the Constitution – and swept Jackson into office. Here’s a table edited from Wikipedia (to remove administrations between) showing all these every-other-generational, populist elections:
You may see numbers that don’t look populist to you, such as Lincoln’s first election. The table only shows the closest competitor to Lincoln. He had three opponents, but still beat them all by almost half a million votes of the two and a half cast. The people had spoken, and he walked away with 180 electoral votes out of 303 available. The next election wasn’t even close – and Lincoln was a “National Union” Party man (The GOP changed its name nationally but kept its name on the local level. Lincoln was certainly the Republican party choice) and his Populist ticket consisted of *GASP* a Democrat: Andrew Johnson. They won in a landslide eschewing party and combining for what was right for America – National Unity.
Or maybe you see Reagan’s first election at barely 50% of the vote. Let’s not forget that John Anderson ran an independent campaign in the general election, indicating dissatisfaction with American politics. If only half of Anderson’s voters had voted for Reagan absent an Anderson campaign, Reagan would have had 54% of the vote to Carter’s 44%, commensurate with other Populists in the table above. Reagan still won 489 of the 538 electoral votes available, and trounced Mondale four years later with an even higher electoral and popular vote count.
When it was Morning in America.
So now we come full circle. With one little nugget before I actually get to Donald Trump:
Notice the campaign slogan for Reagan in 1980?
“Let’s make America great again”
America, as conceived in Liberty by our Founding Fathers and God himself, is in our DNA. It takes a generation of wayward misdirection and relentless adherence to ideology for us to learn that what we have started to form and mold as America for that generation is not the America that God wants or that our Founders instituted. At some point, the emotions of revolution arise and manifest themselves in the discontent of We, the People.
The every-other generation…We, the People, begin to refute party for principle. We saw that with the rise of the Tea Party – of which I was a founding Vice President of our local chapter – six years ago. This sort of sentiment precursor is evident to varying degrees before the revolution that has catapulted a Populist to victory throughout our electoral history.
We know, instinctively, what our country is and how it should be. When it goes astray, we have the mechanism with which to right it.
Donald Trump does not represent my ideology as a Catholic, or as a Conservative, in many areas.
Of course the only person who really does is Jesus Christ, and he’s not on the ballot.
Which brings us back to Jerry Falwell, Sr.’s approach. I’m not voting for a God. I’m not voting for a Pope. I’m voting for the President of The United States of America.
Just as the Founders knew God would never be a candidate – though no doubt they wished he were, I’m voting for the person who best represents America and her Founding.
America was founded on the ideals of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness as dreamed of in our Declaration of Independence and codified in our Constitution as being under the purview of We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.
Those words are the Preamble to Our Constitution for a reason. And they specifically do not, nor do they in the 3000 words that follow them, proclaim a way to do it. It simply states that those ideals are reachable and doable and the foundation for doing it is the document and the land, controlled by the people.
Strict adherence to political ideology represented through a polarizing party is not the American way our Founders envisioned. In fact, they railed against ideological parties from the get-go.
What they envisioned was a more perfect Union. Not a perfect one, which is what Parties proclaim they have the lock on knowing how to create, but only God can do and has only chosen to do in Heaven since we screwed up the Garden of Eden deal;
They envisioned the establishment of justice, not the uneven application of the law or rampant disregard for it in subordination to the political winds and oligarchic control;
They envisioned domestic Tranquility, where people who disagree can live together and let live those who disagree without tearing them apart or delegitimizing their contrary opinions and still hold firm the ideals of the American way of life;
They envisioned providing for the common defence, where each citizen was safe in their own home, their own state, and their own country, each protected by and protecting one another and the common beliefs of those subsidiary regions;
They envisioned promoting the general Welfare, not guaranteeing it or securing it for one demographic at the expense of any or all others;
And they envisioned securing the Blessings of Liberty to themselves and their Posterity: Us, by giving us a framework under which the memories of their recent revolution would be so prevalent in our hearts that we would not sacrifice any of the Rights they secured for us in the name of some other thing we might think is more important than our Liberty.
Donald Trump will win the Presidency because our Founders knew what was in our DNA and that we would gravitate back to that central unifying spirit in our Preamble when led astray by tyranny. Tyranny has many forms, and our modern equivalent is an unchecked Party System that maintains power through ideologues and choices that turn out to only be concerned about consolidating and retaining that power, not Constitutional principles or American exceptionalism.
Listen to the candidates and donor class in the Republican Party. The fact that there is a “donor class” to begin with should tell you the tale. They are all interested in what’s best for the Party, which they have no problem telling us, before they are interested in what’s best for America.
The Democrats are the same. It’s always party and ideology first, and maybe America second if at all. If you don’t think that is true, imagine if Hillary Clinton were a Republican with these email problems and a Democratic Attorney General…
Thomas Jefferson said that “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” That is oft-quoted…but what of our Founding Father in the context of this quote? What did he say that led to this declaration?
“God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion.
The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is
wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts
they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions,
it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. …
And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not
warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of
resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as
to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost
in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from
time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
It is its natural manure.”
The only thing Jefferson got wrong here was our patience. Apparently America waits about thirty years before rebellion, not twenty.
So this is why, this morning, after I received a text message from the guy who cuts my hair and he said, “Rubin says Good morning!” as he is wont to do every ten days or so in his marketing plan, I replied with “Kristofer says VOTE TRUMP!” and Rubin, who is as gay as the day is long, and voted for Obama and loves his Obamacare, replied “Of course!”
This is why National Review is in a tizzy over Trump. This is why nothing sticks to Donald Trump. This is why leaders in both parties hate Donald Trump. This is why Pundits don’t understand Donald Trump’s appeal. This is why people who haven’t voted for decades are voting for Donald Trump. This is why black people, Asians, immigrants, Hispanics, rich people, poor people, smart people, dumb people, old people, young people…Americans all, are voting for Donald Trump.
This is why I am voting for Donald Trump. Millions of Americans and I are, for the first time since we were able to vote (I was first allowed to vote in 1988, right after Reagan), voting for America.
Donald Trump, born right after the populism of FDR, is in it for America Not himself. And not a Party.
Trump has no ties to all the people who have the control, which they wield through money. Without that control, the parties fail. The People get the messages that are delivered, and Trump delivers without having to ask someone else to pay for it – so he owes nobody anything.
At sixty nine years old, Trump has nothing to prove. No gain for a man who will be dead in a decade or two, and certainly no reason to get into politics at this late stage with all its character assassination when he could be sitting on a beach somewhere.
His motives are straightforward: Make America great again.
There’s no lie in that.
Ideologically, I’m glad Trump has changed his tune on abortion and health care, and many other things. The same people who say he is unqualified to be called conservative because of those previously held beliefs would have to reconcile the following by that same logic:
- Is Abby Johnson Prolife? After all, she was director of a Planned Parenthood abortion facility and personally responsible for thousands of dead children before she converted.
- Is Al Gore really Pro-Choice? After all, he was Prolife before he changed his mind when running for political office?
- Was Ronald Reagan a Conservative? After all, he was a Democrat and even president of a labor union – not exactly the paragon of conservative ideology he is held up to be now.
And the list goes on…
So the thing that the media and pundits and the party apparatchik don’t get is that Donald Trump isn’t in it for the Party or the prestige or the power.
He’s in it for America.
And that’s what We, the People get, too.
Time to warn the rulers. Time to spread the natural manure.
Let’s Make America Great Again!
It’s in our DNA.