The Republican Party and the Conservative Movement are at a turning point. Having lost the two Senate races in Georgia, America itself is also at a turning point. Mr. Trump cannot escape responsibility for the Georgia debacle. His antics and show-boating over the recovery money literally handed the Democrats a majority in the U.S. Senate and will open the flood gates for their left-wing policies.
The question now is not whether President Trump served the conservative cause in the past, but what if any role he should play in the future. This is a question whose answer is urgently needed. The Conservative Movement and most importantly America must have that answer. The Republican Party must decide what is worth fighting for and what is not. It can choose like extreme left-wing and right-wing party's and devolve into a "Cult of Personality" or return to its core conservative principles. Conservatism as a political philosophy has never been about the glorification of an individual leader. Our great, American, Constitution, was written by men who had a deep suspicion of human frailty. They intentionally created a government where ambitious, self-center men would be restricted by "Checks and Balances", by "Separation of Powers"and by inviolable individual rights that no strong-man could abrogate.
If America is to be saved from the Democratic Party's vision of a secular-humanist, socialist state, it will only be by putting conservative ideas above personal leadership. We must admit President Trump was never an ideological conservative. He was and is an opportunist. He used the Republican Party and the Republican Party used his mass-appeal. As conservatives we all appreciate his real achievements: putting conservatives on the Supreme Court, roaring economic growth based upon lower taxes and less regulations, more secure borders and most of all standing up to totalitarian China's attempts to rape our economy and promote strategic malevolence. All of these achievements are real but under Democratic Party control will soon be canceled. (except the judges)
The real danger is that a vain attempt will be made to prolong Trump's leadership and this will cause the Conservative Movement to fracture. If we use history as a guide this took place in 1912, when another stong willed , ex-president, Theadore Roosevelt ran as an Independent (The Bull Moose Party). The result was Roosevelt spoiled his and conservative , William Howard Taft's chances and propelled the Democrat, Woodrow Wilson into the White House. If Republicans and conservatives want to put a permanent smile on Nancy Pelosi's face we only have to continue down this track. By focusing on personalities rather than political convictions we will insure that the Republican Party becomes irrelevant and the Democratic Party becomes dominant.
The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, wrote that human beings were primarily motivated by "The Will to Power". There are no shortages of people who think or feel that they are indispensable. There are no shortages of people who are willing to " burn down the house" rather than admit defeat or lose their position of dominance. Few politicians achieve the rank of statemen or place their personal interests below the good of the community. Republicans need not be concerned about the future of Donald J. Trump. He has shown himself supremely capable of both promoting and pursuing his own interests. American is now at a " tipping point". Let those who love this country more than they love celebrities, more than they love faction and narrow personal interests, come together and out of the ashes of defeat, champion those ideas which will truly "Make America Great Again".
One thing the Trump Presidency should have settled is the debate over the importance of a leader having sound moral character. Who surveying the lives of Washington, Lincoln or Reagan could dismiss the importance of their character or core values when it came to their leadership. On the negative side who surveying the lives of Hitler, Stalin or Mao could argue that their core values or beliefs were irrelevant to the atrocities they committed. To put it simply truth matters, ideas matter and what people put their faith in matters. To quote Stephen R. Covey"
"Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny."
William D. Howard is a freelance writer who had a long career as an educator. He holds degrees in philosophy and history and has traveled widely in over 40 countries. His essays have been published in American Thinker, Life/Site/News, Intellectual Conservative and other publications.