Back in the year 2000, William F. Buckley Jr. got to the essence of Donald Trump with two words: "narcissist" and "demagogue." Beginning in 2015, we all saw what Buckley meant, as Trump launched his scorched-earth, flame-throwing campaign in a hostile takeover of the Republican Party.
There was the demagogue in all his glory riding Trump Tower's down escalator, telling the world that Mexicans were "rapists" and drug runners.
I am a political conservative. I believe in limited government and personal responsibility. While I have voted for Democrats (including Edward Kennedy in his failed 1980 primary campaign against incumbent Jimmy Carter), from Reagan on I have aligned with Republicans. I proudly served in the administration of Wisconsin's former Republican Governor Tommy Thompson.
But it didn't take long for me to be appalled by Trump's campaign. This is not the sort of person I want in the White House.
Trump capitalizes on public fear and anxiety to fuel his insatiable drive for power and attention. Clearly, he has no core principles or convictions. He certainly is no conservative.
Moreover, the man is spectacularly unqualified. He pretty much admitted as much when he publicly groused that being President is much harder than he imagined. Oh, and "nobody knew health care could be so complicated."
As a conservative, as a Republican, I am appalled that this man is President. My decision to say so publicly has cost me many of my Republican friends. Some stopped calling, others blocked me from their email accounts. One person suggested that my anti-Trump feelings had something to do with my dietary choices. I never did learn what a pro-Trump diet might be.
Not long ago, I appeared on a local radio show to discuss Trump's presidency. The other guest (a strong pro-Trump guy) claimed that the four-month-old Trump presidency is already the second-greatest in American history, behind only James Madison. Really? Greater than even Washington and Lincoln? I was dumbfounded.
What can one say when such an un-couth, unprincipled, and undisciplined man is put on a pedestal?
Two decades ago, Rush Limbaugh and his echo chorus were all over the airwaves in the wake of Bill Clinton's escapades, screaming that "character matters." Now character doesn't seem to matter at all when it comes to Trump. (Sure, we need to ferret out evidence of any collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. But I think an even...