By Tom Milligan
Back in June of 2016, my cousin had a chance to meet Dinesh D’Souza – one of his favorite authors – and to ask a few questions one on one.
I too have enjoyed his books, but was dismayed by his early support for Donald Trump’s run for President, which led me to ask, “Did he explain why he supports Trump?”
Here’s Dinesh’s explanation: (as described by my cousin)
“He used the analogy of abolitionism. Christian abolitionists never succeeded in ending slavery alone. It wasn’t until they allied with non-abolitionists in the nascent Republican party that their cause gained traction. Dinesh says coalitions are key. Standing on principles is selfish if it is about being right regardless of what is realistically achievable.”
What a great answer!
It made sense. A lot of sense.
Maybe I had set my standards too high.
Maybe I didn’t need to leave the GOP after all!
Maybe supporting Trump wasn’t ignoring my principles.
What utter and complete bullshit!
Isn’t he really just saying, “the ends justify the means”?
The ends justify the means is a pathetic excuse used by the guilty to rationalize their bad behavior.
I have two major issues with his logic:
First, if you follow his logic, as long as your end goal is pure (but by whose definition?), the people, organizations, and dogmas with which you coalesce are fully justified.
But where do you draw the line?
The abolitionists coalesced with the non-abolitionists so – at least according to Dinesh – they weren’t “selfish”.
The ends justified the means.
DISCLAIMER: I’m about to break this down to the ridiculous.
You’ve been warned.
I’m against rape. Period.
There is never a justification for any form of non-consensual sexual behavior – regardless of gender, marital status, religious beliefs, or mental state.
I’d like to end rape. And to end rape, I need to ally myself with an organization that promotes consensual sex.
So let’s say I allied with The North American Man/Boy Love Association (AKA NAMBLA) to fight rape.
Well yeah, they’re pedophiles, but at least – according to their website, NAMBLA is, “the love of a man for a boy, and of a boy for a man. Enjoyable, consensual, beautiful.” – it’s consensual.
If I don’t ally with NAMBLA, am I just being selfish?
Or am I being principled?
I’m aware it’s a crazy example, but it illustrates the fact that there’s a line of decency that must not be crossed.
The question is where is the line and who gets to draw it?
The second problem I have with his logic is who gets to decide what is “realistically achievable”?
Donald Trump won the GOP nomination NOT because he was the most qualified, the most presidential, or the most scandal-free candidate. He’s arguably the least qualified, the least presidential, and certainly the most scandal-laden candidate in history.
So why did he win?
He was nominated for three reasons:
- Nobody took him seriously. His competitors, the press, most of the GOP. Nobody thought this thrice married, adulterous, draft-dodging, bloviating douche bag had a chance. They let their guard down and by the time Marco Rubio FINALLY stood up to him in a debate, he looked petty. And Trump took him to task and made it worse. This was a clear warning to the rest of the remaining field that you can’t out-Trump Trump. There’s only room for one asshole in this race.
- Binary thinking. I am flat out stunned by the number of Americans that think the two-party system is something the founding fathers wanted, wished for, or even wrote into the Constitution – when the exact opposite is true. The founders knew that political parties were magnets for corruption, waste and manipulation. But our current two-party system is so ingrained in our political psyche that most voters are afraid to let it go. Most consider a vote for a third party a “wasted” or “throw away” vote and vote with the herd.
- $3 Billion in free air time. According to MarketWatch.com, Donald Trump had received over $3 Billion in free air time by May. That number just continued to rise throughout the primaries and the general election. The media loves this guy. He’s a ratings machine. And since they didn’t think he had a real shot (see #1), they kept giving him free air time. This provided Donald with the perfect opportunity to tell his lies often enough that millions of otherwise intelligent, patriotic Americans actually believe him.
If any one of the three realities I’ve listed above had been different, we would not be hunkering down for what looks to be the most dishonest, pro-Russian, and by far, the most fake conservative presidency in the history of our country.
In other words, when Dinesh first offered his support of Trump, there was still time to change at least one of those things. Sad.
What’s even more said, is shortly before offering his support, Dinesh had this to say:
“How is it possible that a man who betrays the fundamental principles of conservatism is leading in the polls? Ultimately the problem would not seem to be with Trump, it would seem to be with the Republicans who support Trump.”
Dinesh, in his own words, became part of the problem as one of the “Republicans who support Trump” – “a man who betrays the fundamental principles of conservatism.”
So instead of trying to achieve the truly achievable, Dinesh – and millions of Americans – chose to ally with the celebrity liar with free air time just so they could avoid wasting their vote.
Who’s being selfish now?