Say a lot of things about Donald Trump, but you can confidently state he’s no angel.
Myriad affairs, sharp business dealings, and a less than stellar maturity when it comes to political debate does not rank him amongst the saints. And yet, evangelical voters have been in his corner.
Like other conservatives they overlooked his foibles because, as Lincoln said of Grant, “This man fights.” His battles got results, as the Hobbs decision proved. Not just on abortion, but on a host of issues the man led the way in opposition to the cultural left. That’s why he may not be a shining example of probity, but garnered the votes of those who look for that in a leader.
But two issues are making their way across the GOP political landscape that could be used by his primary opponents to separate socially conservative and religious voters from the Trump camp. The first, the Stormy Daniels affair, has already been hinted at by Ron DeSantis. The second, a more recent addition to the game, recalls that Trump was not always the rightist culture warrior he makes out to be today.
Those who follow the news know the basic outlines of the politically motivated prosecution of Trump on the Daniels affair. Given what we know of Trump’s personal life, other things he has admitted to, it is likely he indeed did sleep with the porn star. So, who cares? As stated above, we all know he’s not a choir boy.
However, Manhattan prosecutors are hinting to the press that in their investigation of the affair they have found out some pretty outlandish things about The Donald, things that would make your Baptist next door neighbor a tad miffed. According to their scuttlebutt the former president is not your everyday lecher, but has some rather odd tastes in the bedroom. Shades of the discredited Moscow story.
Now while this will have no bearing on the legal case, it could be leaked, or rumored-even better, to embarrass Trump before the primary season. Though you’d think Alvin Bragg and his Dems would do everything in their power to help Trump get the nomination. Go figure. Likely their hatred for him is so pathological that it, yes, trumps strategic political calculation.
How far could this go in hurting Trump with religious fundamentalists? Only to a point, as the results argument is still strong. The other issue, though long in the tooth, can also make hay with religious voters.
Fox on Monday, “Before declaring Sunday that ‘God created two genders, male and female,’ former President Donald Trump rose to stardom among the LGBTQ community when he overturned the rules at his own Miss Universe organization to allow a transgender woman to compete in 2012. Over a decade ago, Trump famously overturned an earlier decision by the Miss Universe organization, which Trump owned from 1996 to 2015, to disqualify Canadian model Jenna Talackova, then 23, because she was not a ‘naturally born’ female.”
So the man who now says he is at the forefront against the trans agenda once intervened to get a guy into the Miss Universe contest. Yeah, we know Trump was once pretty liberal. But this is only four years before he ran for president.
If, as he rightly says today, there are only two genders, then why was Trump so intent on gender bending a female beauty contest? Because he was a typical Manhattan liberal? Is he still one underneath? Thus, could his present social conservatism merely be an act to suck in gullible fundies? Does it even matter if it is? To me, no. To evangelicals, hell maybe.
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This won’t be last you hear about Daniels or the Miss Universe deal. During the mud wrestling segment of the GOP debates you may come upon the issues again. No doubt Trump will be ready for it. But his opponents, with guns blazing, will be too. Pass the popcorn.