I’ve been hard on Donald Trump — just like I was hard on Barack Obama — just like I will be hard on the next occupant of the Oval Office.
This has gotten me into hot water with Trump supporters.
I recently wrote an article highlighting the fact that the Trump administration managed to set a spending record in August. The federal government spent over $433 billion in that single month. No administration has ever spent more in one month — not even Pres. Obama.
Now, Republicans brand themselves as the party of fiscal responsibility and “limited government.” Spending $433 billion in a single month counts as neither fiscally responsible nor limited. But instead of upholding their principles and holding their president accountable, some Trump supporters turned their ire toward me for pointing this out. According to some, calling out this discrepancy between principles and actions makes me a “libtard.”
Sadly, this happens a lot. Every time I mention Trump’s latest unconstitutional action, Trump supporters berate me with similar epithets. Most of these comments simply represent a mindless devotion to party platitudes and a cult of personality, but every once in a while, somebody will advance an actual argument.
For instance, one guy insisted I should quit criticizing the president because “perfect is the enemy of good.”
I think the problem here is this guy and I have vastly different definitions of “good.” I define “good” as following the Constitution every issue, every time, no exceptions, no excuses. It seems he defines “good” as implementing some policies he happens to like.
Now, this guy claims Trump is “moving the country in the right direction.” He bases this assessment on tax cuts and a booming economy. And I guess if that’s your standard, you can make the case. (Although as I point out in my podcast, tax reform without government reform isn’t going to help the economy in the long-run.) But if your standard is the Constitution, Trump has done absolutely nothing to “move the country in the right direction.” He and his Republican cohorts in Congress have continued trampling on America’s founding principles, just like the succession of presidents before.
On top of record levels of federal spending, we still have Obamacare, the drug war continues, Congress reauthorized FISA provisions that “authorize” warrantless spying, Trump has proposed government censorship, the administration ratcheted up asset forfeiture and took the window dressing off police militarization, Congress reauthorized indefinite detention provisions without due process written into the National Defense Authorization Act, the administration dropped more than 44,000 bombs in unconstitutional military actions, the ATF has ratcheted up enforcement of unconstitutional federal gun laws, the NSA continues to spy on all of us, and the federal government is handing out billions of dollars in unconstitutional payments to farmers to compensate them for the consequences of the trade war.
I could go on.
The bottom line is that from a constitutional standpoint, the Trump administration and current GOP Congress have been every bit as bad as Obama and his Democratic cohorts. Seriously, when was the last time you heard Trump say, “I’m doing X because the Constitution demands it!’ or, “I’m not doing Y because the Constitution doesn’t delegate that power to the federal government!”?
I’m going with never.
I’ve never heard the president utter such a thing.
So, I’m supposed to support the Republican because while they may not be perfect, they are better than the Democrats, so I’m told. And perfect is the enemy of good.”
This is nonsense. Vox Day summed it up pretty well.
“Any last vestiges of hope in the Republican Party have been shattered by the current regime, wherein a Republican President, Republican House, Republican Senate and Republican-nominated Supreme Court have demonstrated that they have zero interest in the timeless vision of America’s founders. Supporting them in the hopes that they will revive American liberties is akin to hoping that shock paddles will suffice to revive a month-old corpse.”
Look, I’m not going to stop demanding perfection when it comes to the Constitution. That’s the standard. But my stubborn refusal to abandon principle isn’t the problem here. It’s not like I’m not getting “good” from the Republicans. I’m not even getting average. I’m getting downright terrible.
You might like some Trump policies. You might enjoy the fact that he talks tough and isn’t politically correct. You may appreciate his tax cuts. You may love that he’s putting China “in its place’ with the trade war. You may like the increased defense spending and think he’s made good Supreme Court picks. But none of this has anything to do with the Constitution. This is mere policy preferences. We can debate whether these policies are good or bad, but they have nothing to do with following the Constitution.
Perfect might be the enemy of good, but some people’s definition of “good” is an enemy to the Constitution.