“Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”
“A Republic, if you can keep it.”
Benjamin Franklin after the conclusion of the 1787 Constitutional Convention.
By David McKalip, M.D.
Call me part of the loyal opposition. I am loyal to the true principles of republicanism. I am loyal to those members of the Republican party who support true republicanism*. I have worked hard and will keep fighting for republican principles. However, I won’t be able to vote for Donald Trump. That is because I am a republican (with a little r) more than I am a Republican (with a big R). Most leaders in the Republican party are interested in the same thing as their equivalents in the Democrat party: Power. They seek power at any expense. They wish to be in charge of the government and they demand “unity” from all those who are registered in the party. They refuse to truly respect their members and refuse to advocate for true principles of republicanism, because, as these leaders have said over and over, the party exists to get Republicans elected. The Republican party is interested only in filling the halls of corrupt governments with those with an “R” after their name, those who are part of their tribe. It matters not if the person actually supports the founding principles of our country or the Republican policies. That is why the Republican party will demand a vote for Trump, the most unprincipled, unconstitutional candidate for President ever to run as a “Republican” making him the biggest RINO of a massive herd of RINO’s.
The Republican party will not get my vote for Trump, because they are not entitled to my vote and Trump has not earned my vote. I am not part of some democrat “voting block” like a yellow dog democrat that will vote like a zombie for anyone with a particular letter after their name. I am part of the loyal (r)epublican opposition and I will be there after Trump is elected to hold him accountable. I will continue to fight for the true founding principles of our country which used to be the same principles of the Republican party.
Historic Times Ahead Require a Different Leader, not Collectivist Populists Trump or Clinton
It is clear that America and the world face a very bleak and dangerous future in the short term. The collectivist state built by progressives in both parties is on the verge of failure. The continued printing of money by the Federal Reserve is propping up a bankrupt government and elite, wealthy investors and corporations that produce little of value in America. The entitlement state is unsustainable and the false promises of Medicare and Social Security are being revealed – leaving unsuspecting beneficiaries subject to healthcare rationing and retirees unsecure. Cities, counties and states face regular default on their politically motivated and corrupt government worker pension plans (Detroit, San Bernadino, Illinois, Puerto Rico). The result is continued cutting of basic government services (utilities, roads, military protection) as the retired government workers continue to be the politicians’ first priority for taxpayer dollar and printed funny money. Global conflicts continue to escalate and new power players are emerging. Islamic Jihad and ISIS threaten all and are collapsing Europe. Russia is trying to rebuild an empire and China seeks to secure its place as the sole Super Power militarily and economically. The world seeks a new benchmark currency as the USA debauches the dollar on the printing press to prop up the rotting collectivist, progressive agenda.
This backdrop is important since neither Trump nor Clinton will change anything about American policies that have gotten us here. Trump and Clinton have pledged not to modify Medical and Social Security entitlements. Trump and Clinton both like a foreign military presence, with Trump merely wanting our military to serve as mercenaries for hire (“those countries have to pay us for it”). Both believe the government should decide who trades where and seek to punish businesses that don’t bow to government power. Both seek and have massive union support and both clearly believe government is the solution to all problems – even if government created those problems. The coming challenges require a leader who will return America to limited government, free markets, individual liberty, rule of law and the severe restraints on government of the constitution. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul were those candidates, but the people have spoken: they want an authoritarian, collectivist government that provides bread and circuses for the people, not individual freedom and responsibility. Let Trump and Clinton take the blame for the coming collapse, then the people may see the error of their ways. This will give the best chance to pave the way for a true choice between 100% socialism (e.g. Sanders/True Obama wing) and constitutional conservative (e.g. Reagan/Cruz/Paul wing) in 2020 or 2024.
Local and National Republican Leaders Place Power over Policy and Principles
Republican leaders at all levels desire power more than anything else. They seek to have party loyalists sitting in the chairs in city councils, county commissions, state houses, Congress, the White House and all courts. The actual character, policy positions and devotion to republican principles are of little concern to Republican Party leaders. Witness Charlie Crist – as big a RINO as has existed. He received endless party support until he committed the cardinal sin of becoming a democrat. Witness Florida Senator Jack Latvala – another RINO calling for tax hikes for rail projects, undying protection of unionized government worker beneficiaries. Latvala is the Don of the local Republican Party and all bow before him. Witness Pinellas County Commissioners John Morroni and Karen Seel – endlessly supporting every property tax, sales tax and utility fee hike on every vote of their multiple terms. When this member of the Pinellas Republican Executive Committee (yours truly) sought to have the local party demand that Property taxes merely stay level rather then get cut, the local party leaders broke every parliamentary rule in the book to prevent a vote on the issue by the members. They then berated those wanting lower taxes, wagging their fingers and saying: we are here to get republicans elected, not advocate for “issues”. As Republican Party leader Nancy Riley said last year: “We exist for one reason – to elect Republicans…I strongly urge you to get out of the business of creating problems for our elected officials and stop having the debate about which factor of this party is right or wrong.” At this week’s Pinellas Republican Executive Committee, we were treated to a Trump pep rally and admonished that we should not let our “emotional” connection to other candidates (or even principles) interfere with the plan to get Trump elected. The National Party leaders are equally bad, failing to cut spending, cut taxes or regulations. They have not used their equal if not greater power of Congressional Spending to stop Obamacare and the rest of Obama’s agenda. In short the National Republican leadership is made up of unprincipled cowards – and many of them are meekly bowing to Trump after he pointed out this very fact!
Trump Unqualified to be President
It is clear that Trump is not qualified to serve as the Chief Executive Officer of our Constitutional government. He demonstrates abject ignorance of the purpose of government and the Presidency. He seems to equate it to a corporation where the CEO calls all the shots rather than a multi-branch entity of divided and limited powers with each branch checking the power of the other. He calls for tax hikes and higher government mandated wages. He promises to use government power to bully companies to stay in a high cost, regulatory quagmire accusing those seeking better conditions of betraying America (all while he does the same with his companies). Trump supports wholesale moral changes in societal norms by letting men going to girls rooms, thinks Planned Parenthood is important for “women’s health” and has supported banning guns for more of his life than he has supported the second Amendment. He has shown that he will say anything to get elected (Cruz’s father involved in JFK assassination!) and will certainly lie, deceive and probably cheat to get his way as President. Trump calls for the printing of money to prop up our collectivist failed government and economy and even promises to default on the US debt like some corporate con man who bilks investors through bankruptcy. Trump has every character flaw indicating he will be a narcissistic dictator that will stop at nothing to silence his opposition. Trumps abuse of the Presidency’s power and position will make Obama look like a rank amateur. Clinton will be the same.
Hillary Clinton would be Better as President than Trump
There is no doubt that Hillary Clinton would be the best person to temporarily hold the Presidency than Trump. That does not mean she will be a good President, she will be just as bad as Trump and she will also not get my vote. But America can survive a Clinton Presidency since she will have the chance of true opposition against her in Congress from the Republicans seeking to preserve their power (not acting out of principle). Under Clinton, her efforts to raise taxes, increase regulation and harm individual freedom will have a strong group of Republicans voting against the agenda. Also her lying and scandals will be exposed and attacked by a republican Congress. The conservative (tea party) republicans will not have to also fight the Republican establishment to stop Clinton Overreach and hold her accountable through congressional oversight. Divided government with CO-EQUAL branches of government will serve the goal intended by our founders as defined by our Constitution.
A Trump presidency will be an unmitigated disaster for constitutionally divided government. First the establishment republicans will back him every step of the way because he has an “R” after his name. Secondly the tea party conservative (freedom caucus) won’t have a fighting chance against Trumperian over-reach and scandals. Every time Trump abuses his office, issues an unconstitutional executive order, offers a liberal, progressive or collectivist policy, the establishment will crush efforts by conservative republicans to fight him. Moreover, Trump will find willing support from many democrats and we will likely find a coalition of RINO’s and democrats supporting his agenda causing further harm to the country. The only downside to a Clinton Presidency will be in the Supreme Court replacement for Scalia, but good republicans can limit the damage from that. But Republicans will make excuses for whatever Trump yes-man appointed by the Donald.
There is a larger danger of a Trump Presidency: the willing mass of people blindly supporting every move he makes. Anytime he puts the rule of man (his decision) over the rule of law (the constitution) he likely will have tens of millions of Americans cheering it as a move to “make America great again”. How many media outlets, reporters and bloggers will he silence through law suit and executive order? How many citizens will have their businesses or livelihood destroyed by fiat for displeasing Trump? How many Americans will die in unconstitutional war because Trump made narcissistic decisions? The answer to the number will be proportional to the size of the mass of people that swear loyalty to Trump as a monarch and ignore the liberty of their fellow citizens. That is the best reason to keep Trump out of office, the continued growth of a superficial citizenry that make excuses for their “dear leader”. That trend started with Obama and will worsen with Trump.
Trump Can Only Earn Conservative Support by Acting as a Conservative President
Trump does have a way to earning my support and that of my fellow conservatives. (He may even earn the support of notable non-conservative Republicans like Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney and more). Unfortunately he will only be able to earn conservative support only after he happens to be elected President. To earn conservative support, he must stand up for limited government, low taxes, sound monetary policy, rule of law, individual freedom, free markets, equal justice and the power of the citizen over the state. That means he will have to serve the nation a President in a completely different manner than he demonstrates as a candidate for the office. As a citizen and patriotic American, I will pray to God that Trump serves as a constitutional conservative. But also as a patriotic American, I will keep my oath of eternal hostility toward tyrants and support of the Constitution of the United States of America. For now, that means I will never vote for Donald Trump for President of the government of our nation.
*For an understanding of “republicanism”, one can read Randy Barnett’s book, “Our republican Constitution” reviewed here and discussed here. Basically a republic is characterized by a limited government that protects the rights of individuals through elected representatives. The limits on our government are created in the US Constitution and prevent a “tyranny of the majority” from subjugating individuals or a minority of the population. In a “democracy” a mass or mob can deprive people of their natural rights, freedom, property and lives with a simple 50%+1 Vote.