Texarkana, TX 67° Fri H 93° L 77° Sat H 92° L 76° Sun H 89° L 68° Weather Sponsored By:

Trump defenders are not bad people

Trump defenders are not bad people

June 9th, 2019 by Jay Ambrose / Tribune News Service in Opinion Columns

John Pavlovitz is a liberal, widely read Christian pastor who has composed an internet article saying good people don't defend a bad man. And you know who he's talking about, of course: none other than President Donald Trump, whose deplorable supporters have climbed from a basket into the crosshairs of a sanctimonious sharpshooter.

Let me first respond by saying good people do not threaten the basic principles of our democracy in order to be bad to a bad man. Few see Mother Teresa in golden hair when they look at Trump. They know his narcissistic, vulgar, scatterbrained ways and can be horrified by his abusive tweets and rhetoric. But then they see an unprecedented effort through illegitimate means to overturn a legitimate election and understand how a pattern could thus be established threatening peaceful transitions of power.

One of the most persistent voices defending Trump in this regard has been that of Alan Dershowitz, a brilliant former law professor at Harvard and a mighty advocate of civil rights. He voted for Hillary Clinton and is himself a liberal but was more than a little displeased by the investigation of Trump by special counsel Robert Mueller and thought Mueller's recent comments were outrageous nonsense unforgivably on the side of impeachment. Dershowitz is primarily defending truth, justice and the American way, and that is good.

Ah, but by Pavolitz's reckoning, anyone standing up for Trump is probably "a terrible human being," someone liking Trump because "he reflects your hateful heart; he shares your contempt of people of color, your hostility toward outsiders, your toxic misogyny, your ignorant bigotry, your feeling of supremacy." Ah, poor Victor Davis Hanson. A former professor I happen to know and a dazzling polymath whose knowledge would fit in very few brains, this writer has supported Trump and is therefore a hateful, bigoted, misogynistic supremacist who doesn't come close to any of that.

I will skip an adjectival attack on Pavlovitz. But good people, we should note, should also slow down and look in both directions before saying, for instance, that Trump referred to some "racists and Nazis" as "fine people" after the horror in Charlottesville. Sorry, Pavlovitz, but you are now about to get run over by a fact: Trump said there were "fine people" on both sides in the protests, but that he was "not talking about the neo-Nazis or the white nationalists because they should be condemned totally."

I am not through.

Pavlovitz talks about Trump pushing ahead to "gouge the working poor and shelter the wealthy" when Trump instead gave tax breaks to two-thirds of the population and employed tax and regulation reform to enable internationally competitive corporate profits. He thereby delivered an economy in which we have the lowest unemployment in half a century, more jobs for black Americans than ever in history and decent growth again. What President Barack Obama gave us was the slowest recovery since World War II, vastly increased welfare rolls and bits and pieces of help tied to unaddressed obstacles.

A Pavlovitz sin, at least intellectually, was to leave out context, such as misdeeds of other presidents, the potentially ruinous policy ideas of too many of the Democratic presidential candidates or the frequent, politically advantageous malevolence of congressional Democrats. I as a layman am not absolutist about it, but I believe Trump's often misrepresented positions sometimes go amiss but are often much to be preferred to those on the other side.

It does not follow that I embrace Trump's worst characteristics or fail to recognize that he wins the award for shock and awe in the Oval Office. For Pavlovitz to say such nasty things about millions of people he does not know is not good, and it is worth paying attention to him because he is representative of so many others we do know about through their writings.

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Texarkana Gazette Comments Policy

The Texarkana Gazette web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Gazette web sites and any content on the Gazette web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Gazette, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Gazette web sites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Texarkana Gazette
15 Pine Street
Texarkana, TX 75501
Phone: 903-794-3311
Email: webeditor@texarkanagazette.com