The 2016 presidential race will be remembered for many things, chief among them the fracturing of the conservative electorate, in which many people voted for actual conservatives and many more people voted for Donald Trump, who is not a conservative but a fraud and a charlatan.
Because Trump’s chicanery is so transparent and so self-evident, many of his supporters have been forced to defend him in some remarkably creative and incoherent ways. Scott Greer at the Daily Caller did so last week, claiming that Donald Trump has “turned conservatives into social justice warriors.” Conservatives, Greer argues, have adopted many of the same traits and tactics of those crazy left-wing activists, among them “hysteria,” “intense virtue signaling,” and “the desire to identify and punish heretics.”
It is true that these are all attributes of liberal social justice warriors. It is also true that they are attributes of Donald Trump, who has proven to be the platonic social justice warrior candidate, insofar as he is incapable of living in a grown-up world and functioning with any degree of maturity. Consider:
1. The Hysterics
Trump has complained, whined, and pouted ceaselessly every time he has confronted even mild criticism or pushback. He claims the debates are “unfair;” that the Iowa caucuses are “unfair;” that the debate questions are “unfair” and “not nice;” that his “media treatment“ was “unfair;” that super PACs are “unfair;” that Fox News is “unfair;” that the judge overseeing his fraud lawsuit is “unfair.”
Trump can encounter no mild difficulty at which he does not whine that he is being treated “unfairly.” This is the language of cowardly and delicate campus activists, and it is wholly disqualifying for the office of the presidency.
Furthermore, rather than be a man about it, there are plenty times Trump has tucked his tail between his legs and fled before this so-called “unfairness.” Upset that Fox News and Megyn Kelly had allegedly treated him (what else?) “unfairly,” Trump backed out of the GOP debate in January. When the Conservative Political Action Conference refused to give in to Trump’s Q&A demands, he backed out of CPAC, too. Like a gender studies undergrad fleeing to his “safe space,” Trump simply melts down, bawls, and runs away when he doesn’t get what he wants or has to answer difficult questions.
2. The Virtue Signaling
Trump is absolutely and unequivocally willing to “virtue signal” when it suits him to do so. When he took the coward’s route and fled the GOP debate, he decided instead to hold a fundraising event for veterans, at which he allegedly raised nearly $6 million. On its face, that seems magnanimous.
But Trump doesn’t care about veterans or members of the military. He sees them as political pawns and nothing more, as evidenced by the fact that at a recent debate he vowed as president to force his troops to commit war crimes. His fundraising effort was nothing more than a political stunt meant to “virtue signal” his commitment to the well-being of our troops—a commitment he expressly promised to abandon once in office.
3. The Desire to Identify and Punish Heretics
Trump has vowed to “open up” libel laws to punish people who write bad things about him. He claims these new libel laws would be used to go after “false” articles, but he also wants to target articles that are “horrible” and “negative,” and he vowed to prosecute people over “hit pieces.” “We’re going to have people sue you,” Trump said, “like you’ve never got sued before.”
Trump is literally vowing to “identify and punish heretics.” He has stated it in no uncertain terms. In fact, he’s admitted to doing it in the past: a while ago he sued a journalist who questioned Trump’s net worth even though Trump knew he couldn’t win the case. He did it simply “to make [the journalist’s] life miserable.”
Trump, in short, is the perfect social justice warrior president. He’s vain, egomaniacal, utterly convinced of his own rightness and of the evil intentions of everyone around him—but he’s also delicate, easily breakable, cowardly, whiny, and eager to use power to silence anyone who offends his incredibly sensitive ego.
He would be a disastrous, ineffective weakling of a chief executive, but also an authoritarian one: someone who flees in squealing ignominy from the dictators of the world while he prosecutes newspapers at home for criticizing him.
By all means, vote for Donald Trump if you believe he’s the best candidate in the field. But do not labor under the mistaken impression that you would be voting for a tough guy or someone who “tells it like it is.” You would be voting for nothing more than a sissy—an ineffectual man-child whose milquetoast cowardice would make our country a worse and more dangerous place to live.