The New Austin Bugle has been proudly serving our state for the past 153 years – through wars, disasters and the pigheaded changes made to the Associated Press style guide. Through all that time, we’ve maintained a staunch dedication to the conservative principles that have undergirded the Republican Party, whose candidates we have unfailingly—even blindly—endorsed for President of the United States.
Under any normal circumstances, we would do the same this year. Indeed, the Democratic Party has once again put up a candidate with more flawed characteristics and questionable decisions than even Franklin Delano Roosevelt or that pretty-boy John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Just as we remain skeptical of leaving the sports page under a female editor’s care, we have real misgivings with former Senator Hillary Clinton. Though our young, underpaid reporters have annoyingly debunked the more inane conspiracy theories against her, the fact remains that she has an icy demeanor and reminds us a great deal of our 4th grade diction teacher, Mz. Philbert, to whose Clockwork Orange-like training we owe our ability to properly use the semicolon.
But this isn’t a normal year. And this Republican candidate, we are sad to say, is no normal nominee for the party of Lincoln.
We simply cannot support Donald Trump for president. He is, in every way imaginable to us, repellent and unfit to lead. Like many of our fellow taxpayers out here in Real America, we can’t understand how any of our countrymen can seriously support him. His ideas? Absolutely. But his presentation? NEVER.
It is our job to think logically and rationally, and we will use this special front page staff editorial to explain why Trump must not win the presidency.
From his very first escalator descent more than a year ago, Trump has espoused odious views toward his fellow human beings, suggesting that all persons of Mexican descent are rapists and calling for the selective policing of refugees who are innocent until proven guilty. This is absolutely unacceptable.
Like another president we proudly endorsed while he was under investigation for spying on the opposition party, Richard Nixon, Trump should at least dress his othering in the trappings of polite language, or, better yet, target these groups of people for incidental wrongdoing such as drug possession. It is un-American to use the tools of the State to discriminate against members of minority populations. A president should at least institute systemic aggression in a way that targets the lawless who happen to also be minorities.
The last presidential candidate we endorsed, Mitt Romney, regarded Latinos as people whom he gingerly suggested should self-deport. That’s the kind of minority outreach the Republican Party needs, and which Trump is constitutionally incapable of performing.
Trump’s record with women is abysmal. He denigrates women regularly and publicly in terms utterly unsanitary to the ears of the children who are going to look to him as a leadership role model for the next four to eight years. And, unlike another politician we endorsed who has also been married three times and was also reputedly estranged from his one of his adult children, Rudy Giuliani, Trump doesn’t even pretend to act sorry about any of it.
It looks bad, people.
Trump has demonstrated again and again that he has not even a fundamental grasp of world affairs, or indeed, the geopolitical ramifications of his words and deeds. That he has cozied up to a world leader like Vladimir Putin and praised the disastrous Brexit are major causes for concern. America needs a leader who understands and appreciates the awesome responsibility America has as a superpower.
When we endorsed George W. Bush, who repeatedly made embarrassing gaffes and blithely pointed out that Iraq “tried to kill my daddy,” we did so because he at least surrounded himself with proper hawks like Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and Colin Powell – men who responded to a brazen crime with an utterly disproportionate show of force that embroiled us in unwinnable conflicts for at least the next generation.
For all we know, Trump is more likely to follow in the footsteps of that peacenik Democrat John F. Kennedy, who, unthinkably, talked his way out of a nuclear conflict with Russia. That’s not the sort of leadership we need in a Commander-In-Chief.
Name a dearly-held conservative tenet for which we have argued in this very space over the decades: Cutting entitlement spending on the grannies and destitute children who drain our earnings every pay period, ensuring that the wise princes of capitalism continue their conquest of the markets unimpeded by regulation or restraint, relentlessly rolling back and refusing to modernize government services, and preventing female licentiousness by putting strict controls on access to chaos agents like birth control or affordable child care.
Trump’s opinions on these crucial policy positions change with the tide, or utterly fly in the face of them as a matter of course. How can the leader of the conservative party waver on these topics in the face of one of the most progressive opponents in American history? We proudly endorsed Ronald Reagan because he stood stalwartly behind them, no matter the cost to the social fabric.
For all these reasons, Donald Trump would be a cataclysmic event for our nation – but in particular for the Republican Party and for all who hold it dear. For a century and more, we’ve endorsed their candidates because they’ve known exactly how to take the same tiresome prejudices and at least make us feel okay about voting for people who will perpetuate them. Trump has shown that he can’t do that. He is completely, utterly without a filter.
That’s not what we want to see in a conservative president.