By Dan Phillips
“As in Jephthah’s day, at stake in the upcoming presidential election is the life or death of a nation. Is Trump America’s Jephthah? Only if, by the providence of Almighty God, He moves the hearts and minds of the American people to reject America’s political elite who would choose global hegemony to an independent American republic.” ~ Herb Titus
The above quote is from an article by Herb Titus asking “Is Trump America’s Jephthah?” Titus does not endorse Donald Trump in so many words, but I think the article can be fairly read as an endorsement. If you are not wonkishly familiar with the outer edges of the right-wingosphere, you might not recognize the significance of this. Your first reaction might be, “Who is Herb Titus?”
Herb Titus is a lawyer who is probably best known in “regular” conservative circles as the founding Dean of the Regent University (“Pat Robertson’s college”) College of Law. For the purposes of this discussion, however, the significance is that Herb Titus was the Constitution Party (CP) Vice Presidential nominee in 1996 and was the runner up for the CP Presidential nomination in 2000 behind Howard Phillips. Of interest, some people might dispute this characterization, but he arguably ran as the more doctrinaire and less accommodating candidate in 2000.
Clearly, Herb Titus is no shrinking violet conservative. His conservative and Christian credentials are impeccable, but here he appears to be virtually endorsing Trump who is obviously flawed by CP, check box conservative and Christian standards. Titus is obviously not opposed in principle to third party voting so this is not “a vote for anyone other than Trump is a vote for Hillary” type appeal. So what gives?
Titus seems to recognize the meta-narrative of this election which he encapsulates perfectly in the quote above. Trump represents the last chance for American nationalism to reassert itself against the encroaching forces of globalism before it’s too late. At stake is indeed “the life or death of a nation” in any real sense. I am convinced that this is the major difference between pro-Trump and anti-Trump conservatives. Pro-Trump conservatives get this meta issue. Anti-Trump conservatives do not.
I too am not in theory opposed to third party voting. For example, I didn’t vote for Romney or McCain because I couldn’t support their foolish foreign policy interventionism, and I voted CP instead, but a large number of my CP friends and contacts are, like me, supporting Trump this year despite his flaws. I’m convinced this is because we understand the meta issue.
Trump is certainly no Constitutionalist and is in many ways best understood politically as a manifestation of the Radical Center, something that Trump’s hysterical critics on the left should recognize but can’t because the modern left is too obsessed with PC grandstanding to be able to think clearly.
Trump’s box checking critics on the right understand the somewhat centrist nature of the Trump phenomenon, which is why they all call him a “liberal” and a “lifelong Democrat” which he is neither. Just because they recognize something the left by and large can’t, doesn’t mean they are particularly nuanced about it. What Trump’s box checking conservative critics don’t seem to realize is that a country is not just a laundry list of preferred policies that accord with some set of abstract principles or even our governing charter. Their preferred policies on which they view Trump as a heretic aren’t ever going to be enacted if something more fundamental, our actual country and its people, are not first conserved. Good luck with your conservative agenda when the country has turned permanently Blue due to the deliberate importation of future Blue voters and you have a two tiered third world economy with a vanishing middle class due to the deliberate exportation of good jobs. How’s that conservative agenda doing in California?
So take note Erick Erickson, Steve Deace, Russell Moore, Al Mohler, Doug Wilson and the rest of the anti-Trump preening grandstanders. If Herb Titus, a man of impeccable conservative and Christian credentials and a former third party candidate no less, can assess the current situation and recognize the overarching narrative and the direness of the moment, so can you. Should Trump fail to be elected, partially at your hands, and the United States turns into Brazil, when your kids and grandkids are living in a favela scraping to get by while the elite you are wittingly or unwittingly carrying water for live behind gated communities, you won’t be able to say no one warned you.