On Tuesday, aka new year’s day, Utah Senator Mitt Romney wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post targeting President Trump and his character. As we all know by now, Romney has been not particularly supportive of Trump. Part of the reason for this is due to Trump’s character, or lack thereof. Now, when it comes to the President’s character, I have issues with him, and I have thought this since he was a candidate. However, the op-ed that Mitt wrote here is counter productive to the conservatism and I’ll explain why, but first here is the piece.
The op-ed is titled Mitt Romney: The president shapes the public character of the nation. Trump’s character falls short. Here is what it says.
The Trump presidency made a deep descent in December. The departures of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, the appointment of senior persons of lesser experience, the abandonment of allies who fight beside us, and the president’s thoughtless claim that America has long been a “sucker” in world affairs all defined his presidency down.
It is well known that Donald Trump was not my choice for the Republican presidential nomination. After he became the nominee, I hoped his campaign would refrain from resentment and name-calling. It did not. When he won the election, I hoped he would rise to the occasion. His early appointments of Rex Tillerson, Jeff Sessions, Nikki Haley, Gary Cohn, H.R. McMaster, Kelly and Mattis were encouraging. But, on balance, his conduct over the past two years, particularly his actions last month, is evidence that the president has not risen to the mantle of the office.
Like I said before, I agree with Romney that President Trump lacks character, and I think most conservatives think this way. I have yet to see any conservative suggest that Trump is a person of supreme moral value. He continues.
It is not that all of the president’s policies have been misguided. He was right to align U.S. corporate taxes with those of global competitors, to strip out excessive regulations, to crack down on China’s unfair trade practices, to reform criminal justice and to appoint conservative judges. These are policies mainstream Republicans have promoted for years. But policies and appointments are only a part of a presidency.
Again, I agree.
To a great degree, a presidency shapes the public character of the nation. A president should unite us and inspire us to follow “our better angels.” A president should demonstrate the essential qualities of honesty and integrity, and elevate the national discourse with comity and mutual respect. As a nation, we have been blessed with presidents who have called on the greatness of the American spirit. With the nation so divided, resentful and angry, presidential leadership in qualities of character is indispensable. And it is in this province where the incumbent’s shortfall has been most glaring.
This is where I disagree with Mitt on this. He basically suggests that the President is supposed to shape the moral values of our country meaning that we get our principles from the President, and this is completely wrong. The president’s job is get things done and leave the rest to us basically. We should not be getting our values from the President, the President is a human. Our values come from God not man.
The world is also watching. America has long been looked to for leadership. Our economic and military strength was part of that, of course, but our enduring commitment to principled conduct in foreign relations, and to the rights of all people to freedom and equal justice, was even more esteemed. Trump’s words and actions have caused dismay around the world. In a 2016 Pew Research Center poll, 84 percent of people in Germany, Britain, France, Canada and Sweden believed the American president would “do the right thing in world affairs.” One year later, that number had fallen to 16 percent.
Ok, so. Why exactly should I care what Germany, France or even England think about us? And to be frank, President Trump’s foreign policy has been a lot more better than President Obama’s disastrous policy. The piece basically goes on like this, basically with him saying that character must be brought back into the oval office. I agree, but what he’s doing here is counter productive and here’s why.
Basically what Romney is doing here is creating a false choice between conservatism and Trumpism. If you support Trump, you’re a Trumpian, if you don’t, you’re a conservative. This is a complete false choice, you can like Trump while having conservative values, that is a thing. All this does is divide the right in ways that will only hurt us. The last thing we need right now is a big division in the conservative party.
Ultimately what this looks like to me is Romney prepping for a 2020 primary run against Trump, and to be blunt here, he will get slaughtered. Conservatives will have a choice between someone who ran and won the presidency and someone who ran and lost, people will choose the one who won, I know I will. This piece was completely unnecessary and does nothing to help Republicans fight against the radical democratic party.
Link to Romney’s piece: