Ben Lowry: Trump is too selfish to be either left or right wing

Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump speaks during the final day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Thursday, July 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump speaks during the final day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Thursday, July 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

How is that some ideological conservatives still support Donald Trump?

Anyone who pays any attention to the man and his career will have long ago realised he is devoid of ideology.

His focus in his life to date has been his business and personal advancement. There is nothing necessarily wrong with that, provided that such a person conducts themselves with integrity.

But even if they do, you would think that, for example, evangelical Christians would expect much more from a political leader than a lifetime of relentlessly focused, selfish advancement.

Trump is so greedy that he quickly moved from welcoming Brexit generally to welcoming it as a business opportunity for his British tourist attractions.

He is so vain that he spent 30 minutes introducing his running mate Mike Pence by talking largely about himself.

Again, if someone is a vain, egotistical business leader that is one thing, but you cannot be surprised if they then behave the same way in a presidential bid.

You would also think that an ideological conservative would expect Mr Trump to have a basic grasp of conservative values, but no. He is so ill-informed on foreign affairs that he seems not even to value Nato, and would not stand by Baltic states.

As to social conservatives, only an obtuse such person could believe that a man who brags about his sexual conquests shares their values.

Or that a man who viciously and personally insults anyone who challenges him will ever become a civil inhabitant of the Oval Office.

Trump might win in November. I doubt that the world will fall in if he does, because the US system of political checks and balances is so well constructed that he will be constrained by the Supreme Court, Congress and the 50 states. But symbolically it will be a sad day.

Distinguished Republicans such a Bob Dole, a man injured in World War II, seem to think that they have shown commendable loyalty to their party by endorsing Trump. But I think they have tarnished their reputations (in the way that the moderate Republican John McCain besmirched his fine record by selecting Sarah Palin as his VP running mate).

But the elites share blame for Trump’s rise. Support for his stupid policy of a US Muslim entry ban was fuelled by elitist reluctance to speak honestly about Islamic terror.

Ben Lowry (@BenLowry2) is News Letter deputy editor

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