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=Orange= @LynwoodTalks
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'Are our debates today more “divided, resentful, and angry” than the battle over slavery was?'
'That’s the price we pay for our system, which is designed to protect political freedom from the concentrated and expansive power that often follows from “unity” preached by charismatic and “inspiring” great leaders.'
'After all, Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, and Mao were great at “uniting” and “inspiring” their peoples.'
'The appeal to decorum and unity, another NeverTrump trope, ignores the great diversity of American identity, with corresponding differences in standards of behavior.'
'So where does Romney find a “national character” that reflects the great diversity and variety of American identities?

Apparently not among the 63 million Americans who voted for Trump – the majority of whom live in fly-over country and lack college credentials.'
'This is what the NeverTrumpers don’t get: their harsh criticisms of Trump necessarily extend to his fans, who either are flawed in the same ways as he, or too ignorant and unsophisticated––or, as Romney put it, they can be played for “suckers” ––
... to see through his populist and jingoistic pandering.

Either way, they are inferior to the NeverTrump sophisticates who’d rather lose election after election than win and get the job done of rolling back a decade of progressive misrule.'
'And speaking of character, what does it say about Romney’s that he kept his principled critique of Trump to himself when he was presenting himself at the White House as a candidate for Secretary of State, and when he accepted Trump’s endorsement when he ran for the Senate?'
'Ingratitude for the president’s endorsement that helped him win his seat–– voters in Utah went for Trump by 18 points–– likewise doesn’t demonstrate much “integrity.”
'And isn’t it the opposite of integrity to refuse three times during a debate in the Senate race to say whether he stood by his earlier trashing Trump as a “fraud” and a “phony” who was “playing members of the American public for suckers”?'
'And now, with the House returned to the Democrats and impeachment a possibility, is it a coincidence that Romney is emboldened to launch harsh criticisms in a progressive, anti-Trump outlet like the Post?'
'Is Romney pleased or shamed by the praise now being heaped on him by the same progressives who demonized him when he ran in 2012, and will do so again if he doesn’t oppose the president at every opportunity?'
'Speaking of 2012, where were these criticisms back then when he sought Trump’s endorsement?

Isn’t there an odor of opportunism and trimming about his current salvo against the president?'
'Nor does it show much integrity or professional ethics for the newly elected Sen. to alienate the pres. with whom he must work in order to serve his constituents, and to advance the principles and beliefs that make them Republicans, and that Trump’s policy achievements embody.'
'As the president recognized in a tweet, Romney will likely become another Jeff Flake, a sometimes mole for the Democrats whose drift to the left suggests political principles diametrically opposed to those of Republicans.'
'As for the president’s penchant for exaggeration, has Trump told one lie as consequential in the real world as Barack Obama’s “if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor”?'
'Or his administration’s concerted, premeditated lies about the Benghazi fiasco, in which four Americans were murdered because of reelection politics and rank incompetence?'
'Or when has Trump demonstrated a slavish deference to Vladimir Putin more dangerous than Obama’s sotto voce promise of “flexibility” to Putin via the Russian boss’s flunky?'
'This straining out the Trump gnat while swallowing the Obama camel amounts to the NTR functioning as an occasional fifth column for the opposition, and puts in doubt the NTR’s claim to moral superiority and purity.'
'And if policies that demonstrate “conservative principles” Trump supposedly is besmirching are so cherished by the NTR, what’s so “principled” about hysterically attacking and weakening the president who has instituted some of the policies inherent in these principles?'
'Don’t such attacks in effect support and hearten the enemies of these policies?'
'Finally, Romney fires a parting shot at the president’s alleged foreign policy sins.

He decries “the abandonment of allies who fight beside us, and the president’s thoughtless claim that America has long been a ‘sucker’ in world affairs.”
'We assume Romney means by “allies” the Kurds,” but he should wait for the details of the withdrawal.

If, as appears likely air assets and troops remain in Iraq, we will have the means to support the Kurds if necessary.'
'But our strategic goals that justify our continued presence in Syria has yet to be explained clearly to American voters, who are impatient with over a decade of squandered lives for no apparent gain.

That’s why Trump promised during the campaign to pull out our troops.'
'Otherwise, Romney sings the old globalist tune about Trump being mean to our allies, as though alliances are based on politeness and protocol rather than interests.'
'All our relations with other sovereign nations are based on treaties whose terms spell out each side’s obligations.

We have allies in order to serve our interests and protect our security, and when allies stop doing that, a president should criticize them.'
'Trump’s scolding of NATO deadbeats, for example, who can’t spend a measly 2.0% of GDP on their military preparedness, is just and necessary.

It is shameless that NATO ally Germany, the world’s fifth richest nation, spends a bit more than 1% of GDP on defense.'
'And it’s an insult to promise to reach that goal by 2025.

Germany gets away with this fecklessness because US taxpayers subsidize its security.'
'Ordinary voters would agree that we are being played for suckers by the Germans, who among Europeans poll the highest dislike of Americans.'
'And we can’t let go unmentioned Romney’s typical NTR use of progressive question-begging epithets: “But I will speak out against significant statements or actions that are divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, dishonest or destructive to democratic institutions.”
'How does it demonstrate “conservative principles” to use these meaningless smear-terms, the left’s favorite Orwellian verbal clubs?

And exactly which “democratic institutions” is Trump destroying?'
'His appointment of two Constitutionalist SC justices has done more for our “democratic institutions” than the NTR’s endless carping.

And we just had a midterm election that gave power to the Democrats, a sign that our democratic machinery is functioning as it should.'
'I’d say a never-ending inquisition by a special prosecutor in order to reverse the results of a legal election is a much greater threat to democracy than Trump’s tweets and rhetoric.'
'Instead of obsessing over Trump, NeverTrump Republicans should practice some self-reflection and figure out what made Trump attractive to Republican voters, 89% of whom approve of him.'
'They can start with their smug self-righteousness, the way they assume that their superior intelligence and finer characters entitle them to rule.'
'They may think the masses are dumb or simple-minded, but ordinary people know when they’re being talked down to by entitled elites.

They can spot a double standard or one applied selectively from a mile away.'
'They know politicians lie all the time, usually when they make campaign promises they don’t keep, or sacrifice principle for political expediency or personal pique.'
'They get that criticizing Trump for keeping campaign promises is also a criticism of his supporters to whom he made the promises.'
'Trump, on the other hand, is trying to fulfill his campaign promises, and says plainly what a lot of voters think about our culture of politically correct tyranny and RINO preemptive cringing.'
'Among our clubby establishment political elite, that’s a rare example of political honesty and integrity manifested in actions, not words.

Romney should try it.'
~ End ~

Bruce Thornton is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, a Research Fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution, and a Professor of Classics and Humanities at the California State University.
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