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When #NeverTrump Goes Pseudointellectual

James Madison once said the following:

It has been said that all Government is an evil. It would be more proper to say that the necessity of any Government is a misfortune. This necessity however exists; and the problem to be solved is, not what form of Government is perfect, but which of the forms is least imperfect.

He also said:

If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself.

In today’s world, the above observations can be boiled down to this: well-intentioned folks who believe that Donald Trump is so dangerous to the American republic that, if he were to be elected as President, he would be worse than any other such officeholder in history because, well, “insert favorite worry here.”

The challenges are what the “worry” is, what actual evidence there is for said “worry,” and exactly how one man could be so different from any other egotist who’s ever ran for the same office (and yes, all men who’ve been President have been egotists — it’s practically a requirement to be such to think that one could positively exercise that kind of power and authority over others).

When the evidence (at least as far as I’ve seen, and I’ve been actively searching for it) is anecdotal at best, we have a form of pseudointellectualism going on, defined thusly:

noun

1. a person exhibiting intellectual pretensions that have no basis in sound scholarship.

This is to say that a lot of fear is being misplaced on one American citizen — Donald Trump — with no basis in actual facts, merely circumstantial evidence, typically ascribed as this man being so confident in himself and selling himself and his abilities to such an extent that some cannot fathom even remotely positive outcomes.

In fact, this fear has become so palpable that radio talk show host Glenn Beck has been suspended for agreeing with comments by author and media contributor Brad Thor.

In a Washington Post piece, Mr. Thor is quoted as saying the following:

I am about to suggest something very bad,” Thor said. “… With the feckless, spineless Congress we have, who will stand in the way of Donald Trump overstepping his constitutional authority as president? If Congress won’t remove him from office, what patriot will step up and do that if, if, he oversteps his mandate as president, his constitutional-granted authority, I should say, as president,” Thor said, according to CNN. “If he oversteps that, how do we get him out of office? And I don’t think there is a legal means available. I think it will be a terrible, terrible position the American people will be in to get Trump out of office because you won’t be able to do it through Congress.”

“I would agree with you on that,” Beck responded.

To get to the point, I’ve underlined those areas that are currently at issue, as least as far as SiriusXM is concerned.

However, before explaining why the above is so controversial, I’d like to bring your attention to the Soundcloud recording of the above with a portion of the interview that wasn’t quoted (link should start you at the 4:03 mark).

During the interview, as Mr. Thor compares Mr. Trump to a South American dictator, he states the following:

“…That is the type of guy he is. And I guarantee you, Glenn, that during his presidency, during his ‘reign,’ if you will, he is going to petition the American people to allow a temporary suspension of the constitution so that he can help America get back on its feet again. He is a danger to America and I gotta ask you a question; and this is serious and it could bring down incredible heat on me, and I’m about to suggest something very bad [begin quote from Post, above]…”

What Mr. Thor is claiming (based solely on the words that he’s used) is that Mr. Trump would be an American dictator, would ask for the People’s permission to suspend the constitution for a particular purpose, and by doing such an action, since Mr. Thor doesn’t believe that Congress would remove Mr. Trump from office, that an American patriot would have to do that (office removal), which by definition would be illegal.

The assumption that the court of public opinion made was that Mr. Thor was referencing assassination as being that “illegal” office removal act that an “American patriot” would have to perform. Rationally speaking, the only other act that falls under this context would be a coup d’etat. Which would all be fascinating in that such a suggestion is to illegally remove a President for alleged and hypothetical illegal means of misconduct.

There are several questions I’d have to ask:

Where is this fear coming from?

Why haven’t these same fears from predominantly right-wing sources been levied against President Obama? If they have, what’s the difference between President Obama and Donald Trump?

Has Mr. Trump ever claimed anywhere that he is going to suspend the Constitution in order to make America “great” again?

What is it about a confident billionaire that strikes so much fear in the hearts of some media types?

While Mr. Thor and Mr. Beck have the right to their opinions, since Mr. Thor is a writer of thrillers, is this merely a move to drum up sales of his own wares?

I would suggest this was a publicity stunt, per my last question. Case in point: Glenn Beck immediately began backing away from all recorded comments regarding this issue. In other words, if Mr. Beck or Mr. Thor were really that concerned about the future of the country, and they really had some basis in fact for going forward with such a heavy hypothetical, they would not have backed off from that stance, no matter what pressure was brought to bear. By definition, in backing off, that makes them as “feckless” and “spineless” as they’ve claimed Congress would be.

This is a textbook study in the mindset of the #NeverTrump paradigm. The modus operandi is to take thoughts and concepts that have never been recorded by the presidential candidate to have said and base entire FUD (“Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt”) tactics against that candidate in hopes of pushing some other agenda. After all (as #NeverTump believers would claim), who would be against pursuing the conservative agenda?

The answer? Nobody is, actually, but if the GOP power-brokers in Washington, D.C. were all about pursuing the conservative agenda, then why is Mr. Trump so politically powerful at this point?

As I’ve stated before, the #NeverTrump folks are fighting the wrong battle. Conservatism isn’t on trial here; Washington, D.C. is. There is no evidence that Donald Trump, if elected, were to overturn the American constitution.

Which begs several questions:

If, as a #NeverTrump believer, Donald Trump is allegedly going to be so bad for the republic, why weren’t you this passionate and hot-headed during the “reign” of President Obama and demanding the same actions now and over the past seven-and-a-half years?

Were you afraid of a black man and didn’t want to be labeled a “racist” for going against him?

If that’s the case, who’s really the bigger fool in this drama?

-Phil

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