Principles in TrumpLand

By: Kassie West

The words “conservative” and “libertarian” could both be loosely defined as meaning “limited government,” and in general most who self-identify as such would describe themselves as supporters of “personal responsibility.” I generally describe myself as both a conservative and a libertarian. These “labels” are the same ones many ardent Trump supporters use to describe themselves. Yet I find virtually everything about Donald Trump to be repulsive and wrong, and much of my reasoning stems from the fact that I am a conservative libertarian and believe Trump to be the antithesis of everything such a worldview stands for. He is not merely what we as a society “don’t want”; he is the very thing I teach my children to stay away from and to stand against. Arrogance, greed, a lack of integrity, a blatant disrespect toward women, and infidelity are character traits he flaunts for the world to see. He is a proud predator. 

Trump and his administration are not the cause of America’s problems, though,
they are just a symptom of a disease. I cannot say if things would have been better or worse had Hillary been elected. Candidates rarely stick to their “platform” anyway, so had Hillary won things could have been more peaceful, or we could have ended up in a nuclear war. We won’t ever really know. What I DO know is the fact that our country turned an arrogant, manipulative, and cruel man into a legitimate candidate in the first place is indicative of a jarring lack of empathy. We can say all we want about “American values,” but America has been showing its “values” for years and they’re hardly something to be proud of.

Many were shocked at how this man could be elected despite all his derogatory remarks towards women, but he wasn’t elected in spite of such things—he was elected because of them. With every nasty remark he only gained in popularity. To his supporters, it made him more of a man’s man, and demonstrated that he doesn’t mince words. “Trump tells it like it is,” they’d say. Millions of Americans—females included—viewed Trump’s objectification of women as a status symbol and a virtue. This shows that for many Americans bullying and dominating women is more important than possessing empathy for those who have been violated or disrespected. When we live in a world where “
conservatives” have no problem believing liberal Hollywood stars have engaged in sexual misconduct but vehemently defend the likes of Donald Trump and Roy Moore, it is clear conservatives as a whole have largely forgotten the very values they claim to hold.

From his views on Muslims, to his disdain for immigrants, to his notorious wall, Trump’s gleeful disregard for political correctness was what differentiated him from other candidates in the first place. So to say Donald Trump has nothing to do with the emboldened racism of the alt-right we see growing in our country is simply dishonest. His xenophobia is literally what got him elected. Promoting a wall that would cost billions upon billions of dollars to construct and maintain hardly constitutes “limited government.” It isn’t supporting the idea of “personal responsibility” to whine that a white man in Idaho is out of work because “illegals” who came to America with no connections and a language barrier “stole” his job from him. Developing enough life skills to be able to find a way to add value to the work force is a key aspect of the conservative ideal. Yet these so-called “conservatives” would rather triple the size of government, tell companies who they can and can’t hire, and ban immigrants rather than develop basic work skills that would make them more valuable hires.

The worst thing about the Trump administration is not that there is a singular “bad man” inflicting evil on the world around him, it is that millions of men and women have failed to be right, and just, and principled. They have failed to live with integrity and empathy. It’s not Trump who should be our greatest concern, but the guy in your office, the people at your church, your racist aunt or uncle, and your friends and acquaintances who continually excuse bad behavior and turn a blind eye to injustice.

Kassie West was born in Dallas Texas and graduated with a degree in Political Science from the University of Texas @ Arlington. She is a commercial and film actress for her husband's production company and has worked as a commercial content writer  for both local and international corporations for the past 2 years. Prior to this she worked several years as a political consultant for non profits, Congressional,  and presidential campaigns in DC. She is an occasional blogger and vlogger on her personal website and currently lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and 2 children.