Anne Merdinger: Trump epitomizes the worst in all of us |

Anne Merdinger: Trump epitomizes the worst in all of us

Other Voices
Anne Merdinger

Almost 50 years ago, my high school political science teacher presented this scenario for debate: Two candidates are running for office. One is known to be of outstanding moral character but weak. The other is known to be a crook and a scoundrel, but able to get things done.

Who do you vote for?

The class was split. Some of my classmates insisted that character didn’t matter, or basically, the ends justified the means. Bottom line, it was most important that certain things were accomplished. Of course, I argued the other side, that character does indeed matter in our leaders.

Although this was many years ago, I still remember the case I made that our leaders should be role models, and that good people surrounding the honest candidate would make up for whatever lack or weakness existed.

So, do the ends justify the means? Apparently for Trump’s supporters, the answer is yes.

The scenario is not identical to the situation we find ourselves in today because there are serious disagreements on issues that would lead a person to choose one candidate or another. However, we are certainly dealing with the age old debate over whether the ends justify the means.

I have not talked to a single person who has been able to argue that Mr. Trump is a decent human being. The factual evidence of his lies and criminal behavior is overwhelming. Just recently he was found guilty of stealing money from a charity to line his own pockets. He was previously found guilty of committing fraud in regards to his university. If you read his tweets you know that he revels in being just plain mean. This is beyond whether you believe his attempted Quid Pro Quo with Ukraine was appropriate.

None of this seems to matter to his supporters. They must be getting something they want from this person with no discernible positive moral qualities. If he were a Democrat, those same people wold be screaming for him to be impeached. I was not a fan of Bill Clinton, but his short-comings were much less egregious than those of Mr. Trump, and some of the very same people attacking Mr. Clinton then have publicly demonstrated their hypocrisy by reversing their positions on what constitutes impeachable offenses.

So, do the ends justify the means? Apparently for Trump’s supporters, the answer is yes.

Although I do not share that viewpoint, it is a valid opinion, and I can respect that. What I do not respect is the pretense that character does matter to them, and my heart grieves in particular for Christians who have been conned by a man of no values who changed his pro-choice position to anti-abortion in order to court their votes.

They have abandoned the teachings of Christ to support a vile man who epitomizes the worst in all of us.

Anne Merdinger lives in Nevada City.

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