Mary Cooper: If you recall when you were little, we sat right here at this very spot and we talked about some of the problems you had getting along with the neighbor kids.
Sheldon Cooper: That was different. They were threatened by my intelligence and too stupid to know that’s why they hated me.
Mary Cooper: Oh, baby, they knew very well why they hated you.
The Big Bang Theory: The Electric Can Opener Fluctuation 2009
George Weigel the great Catholic public intellectual has put out a screed the talked of the path that lead him out of the Democrat party (via canon212.com)
Declaring myself a Democrat, however, became impossible in principle after the 1992 Democratic National Convention.
and into the GOP and suggest the nomination might lead to a 2nd exodus from a national party.
As a person who felt ethically compelled to publicly leave the GOP four years ago I can certainly sympathize but when I saw his argument or doing so
The Democratic Party once left me. Now, the Republican Party has left me by embracing Donald Trump, a man utterly unfit by experience, intellect, or character to be President of the United States (a trifecta of disqualifiers, I hasten to add, that I would also apply to Mrs. Clinton).
I had to not only disagree with Mr Weigel but submit and suggest that at least two of the qualities that by which he disqualifies Mr. Trump (experience & intellect) are at the very best misapplied and at worst stated with an assumed superiority reminiscent of Alexander Stevens’ Cornerstone speech.
First of all let’s deal with his first disqualification: Experience.
The President of the United states is a person in an executive position whose primary duty is to set and manage the direction of the country. He has a vast amount of people below him whose job is to execute his vision of that direction and must deal with external forces both internal (Congress, the judiciary and the states) and external (foreign powers and business) that might interfere with said direction. To this he uses allies both internal (his party faithful) and external (friendly countries) his own power of personality and his ability to move public opinion to get things where he wants to go.
Is this not what Donald Trump has been doing for decades?
He has managed multiple businesses with vast international holdings into the directions he wishes to go. He employs a vast number of people to execute this vision and has deal with both the practical day to day operation of the business and external forces in terms of regulation and law not to mention both domestic and foreign pols looking for a handout to allow him to proceed toward his goals. He uses his own influence, wealth and personality both private and public to get things done.
Far from being unfit I think his experience is very much qualifies him for the position he is looking to fill, it’s just not the experience Mr. Weigel is accustomed to seeing applied to it. It’s analogous to Ty Cobb’s opinion of Babe Ruth. Cobb did not approve of Ruth power game yet he conceded that in the end it won ballgames. Moreover it is an experience mostly of success.
Furthermore I submit that it is in keeping with the principles of the founding fathers that a political leader be drawn from the non-political class.
Now lets look at Weigel’s next argument: Intellect.
The “anti-intellect” argument is a familiar one, it was applied to Ronald Reagan by the Media and Democrats , it was applied to Lyndon Johnson who was derided as Rufus Cornpone within the Kennedy administration and it was applied to Lincoln by both Democrats outside his administration and republicans within it.
And like the foes of all of these men before him, they mistake his style for ignorance.
Donald Trump is a well educated man, he went to excellent schools and did well, he furthermore has, thanks to his wealth had access to and patronized some of the finest minds on the planet. The primary difference is that instead of applying said intellect to political theory he applied it to his business both in the form of reading the business climate and more importantly in reading people. Moreover he has had to do this not only all over the country dealing with states and cities along the entire American political & cultural spectrum, but he has had to do so internationally, in Russia, China, Europe and the Middle East dealing with cultures as diverse as the entire human race.
Merriam Webster defines intellect as: the ability to think in a logical way
I would submit and suggest that Donald Trump entire career is the very definition of intellect, thinking in a logical way to achieve success. I would further suggest that his success this election cycle confirms this analysis, he saw the logical path to the nomination that everyone else missed because his logic, his intellect allowed him to think outside of the box that the professionals who have been pronouncing his doom for a year do.
Just like Forest, Lincoln, LBJ and Reagan did.
So much for lack of intellect.
Now Weigel’s third argument is Character and it’s an argument that may or may not be valid. There have been some things that Mr. Trump has done in this cycle, tactical or no, that I strongly disapprove of. In fact one of my own misgivings about Mr. Trump despite my eventual endorsement is I don’t have a sense of his core values and must trust others who know him for that assessment (they have been uniformly positive). I don’t know if Mr Weigel has had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Trump socially or of having a discussion with him so I can’t judge if his concerns are from personal experience or reputation. I would submit and suggest that lack of knowledge of a person’s character is not the same as having a bad character and presuming such on Mr. Trump part would do him an injustice but again not knowing Mr. Weigel’s source of his assessment and being confidence in Mr. Weigel’s good character I’m certainly not going to pass judgement on this assessment.
So that leaves Mr Weigel 1 out of three and while that’s good enough to lead the majors in batting many years I don’t think it’s enough to aid and abet the election of Hillary Clinton (whose lack of Character is not in doubt) by denying Mr. Trump his vote.
But in the end that’s Mr. Weigel’s decision and I respect his right to make the one he has, but I reserve the right to publicly disagree with it and urge others by this argument to avoid the same mistake.
Closing thought: By an odd irony Mr. Weigel application of lack of experience & intellect fails on the part of Mrs. Clinton too. Generically the positions she had held, Senator & Sec of State would suggest the experience to be president unfortunately her record in those position, unlike Donald Trump’s is one of continual and epic failure. I would also maintain that Mrs. Clinton has intellect, but it’s an intellect put in the service of aiding and abetting her corruption and defending it from discovery and punishment rather than an intellect put to use for the public good. Put simply Mrs. Clinton’s experience & intellect has been used Mr. Trump experience and intellect has been used to create while Mrs Clinton’s has been used to destroy.
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