Dennis Prager now tells us that it’s not important if a President is a good role model for children. This is how low the “conservative” position has fallen. It’s no longer necessary for the President to be of good character as long as he/she implements policies that we like.
I know, this has been the implicit position ever since Trump famously rode his bone-spurred inflicted body down the escalator to announce his candidacy. The religious right has since abandoned all sense of moral standards in order to convince us to shed our own principles to support the reprobate and even went as far as to suggest that it was our moral obligation to do so…and it was God’s will.
That Prager has found it necessary to once again attempt to rationalize his continued support shows me that he is experiencing an ongoing internal struggle about this. In other words, it seems to me that he’s trying way too hard to justify his and others’ excusing of Trump’s jackassery and amoral behavior.
His latest attempt comes in the form of an article in the National Review, “Is the President a Bad Role Model for Children?”. I knew that I was in for an pretzel-twisting treat when, during the opening paragraphs, Prager stated the following:
…those of us who are religious conservatives and support the president are deemed hypocrites for supporting a man who has presumably committed adultery on more than a few occasions and said gross things about women in a private conversation.National Review
The way that he describes Trump’s moral failings gives us a quick glimpse of the absurdity of his arguments. First, he softens Trump’s lecherousness as having “presumably committed adultery”. Presumably? So, he probably did, but we don’t know for sure…is what presumably signifies. No, Dennis…we now know for a fact that Trump has had multiple affairs that have destroyed multiple marriages. Affairs with porn stars, Playboy models, and others even while his wife is at home still recovering from child birth. I think that’s a bit more than “presumably committed adultery”.
The other part of that statement describes the way he has talked about women as “said gross things”. Among other things he has said about women (including his own daughter, by the way) he has talked about actually kissing and grabbing women’s, uh, “private parts”, without permission. That is not merely saying gross things about women…that is talking about himself committing sexual assault.
You would think that someone like Dennis Prager, who, in his own words, is “someone who has devoted his life to writing and speaking about moral issues and the importance of character”, would not be mis-characterizing Trump’s atrocious actions in order to assuage his own guilt for supporting the man. But here we are.
Prager than continues to the premise of his article.
Perhaps the most common objection to supporting the president is this: “He is a terrible role model for children.”National Review
That’s ridiculous. Although I may have at some point mentioned that he is a bad role model, I really don’t think it would even reach the top 10 on my list of objections to supporting Trump. But let’s play Prager’s game for a bit.
Prager goes on to state that he believes all men should strive to be good roles models. No argument there. But then he veers off to explain why that doesn’t need to apply to the President and he can’t believe all conservatives can’t easily see why. Huh?
The role of the president of the United States is first and foremost to be a good president. If he (or she) is a personal role model, that is a lovely bonus — but it is only a bonus.National Review
I guess I’m too dense to understand this concept…I always thought that one of the first qualifications in order actually be a good President was to have good character. I guess all of the Founders were wrong about all of the talk of virtue. And I would suspect that Prager himself has probably put forth that idea on a consistent basis…before Trump.
He explains further, using Jimmy Carter as an example.
President Jimmy Carter was known to be a faithful and devoted husband, and he was not known for making false statements (only libelous ones after leaving office — such as calling Israel an “apartheid” state). So what? Do conservative Never Trumpers think that Jimmy Carter’s personal integrity mattered more than his presidential decisions?National Review
No, Dennis…just because someone has good character does not automatically mean that he would be a good President. There are millions of people in the country that have great character, yet don’t have the knowledge, experience, and leadership qualities to be a good President. Yet, it’s impossible for a man with despicable character to be a good President.
He then goes into a bit of “but Hillary” nonsense which isn’t even worth discussing.
The crux of his argument is thus:
What a president does as president is immeasurably more important than his personal sins. What he does personally affects his family. What he does as president affects the lives of 328 million Americans and, for that matter, the whole world.National Review
Pager gives examples of Trump’s “accomplishments” as President.
Donald Trump is responsible for the lowest unemployment in generations, for appointing two conservative Supreme Court justices, for boosting defense spending, for confronting the illegal-immigrant crisis, for cutting government regulations, for strongly supporting Israel, for lowering taxes, for confronting Western European countries over their morally indefensible low defense spending — and for so much more that anyone who calls himself conservative should celebrate.National Review
I won’t go into all of the arguments concerning those “accomplishments” that make them not so great, as that is beyond the scope of this article. But what Prager is missing is that “what the president does as president” includes all of the lying, exaggerating, bullying, and demagogueing. So even if we ignore his other “personal” moral failings that Prager says don’t affect us, we can’t simply ignore all of the virtuous failings that most certainly do.
I used to enjoy and recommend the videos put out by Prager-U…but he is now just another that has been so tainted by Trump, that it will be difficult, if not impossible, for him to regain his credibility.