Michael Brendan Dougherty

Grudem’s case for trusting Trump is not very persuasive. He simply asserts that the “most likely” outcome is that Trump would not renege on all his campaign promises, so voters have to assume he will follow through on them.

There are serious problems with this argument. The first is that most modern politicians commit to their political identity over a lifetime, whereas Trump has changed his political identity several times. And his change on abortion politics was the least convincing part of his transformation.

Another problem: One of Trump’s few proven and consistent traits is making whatever outlandish promises he has to make to close the sale, and then leaving his creditors and business partners in the lurch later. He creates scam businesses, and he does so by selling his marks on a fantasy. Come to Trump University and become a real-estate billionaire. Finance Trump Taj Majal with junk bonds, and I’ll save Atlantic City. I’ll sign your pledge, but I won’t be held by it. Make me president, you’ll get four more Scalias. Subject to terms and conditions, of course.

Grudem’s argument for Trump only makes sense if you make a strong effort to avoid the evidence about what kind of man Trump is. Trump has been serially unfaithful to his wedding vows, to his creditors, to his political personas. He doesn’t just back away from extreme positions, he runs away from his campaign promises even during the campaign. The one believable statement Trump has made about himself is that he “doesn’t bring God” into his life such that he would ask for forgiveness for his sins.

If Trump were not married, Grudem would surely not approve of him courting one of his daughters. If the local public school superintendent spoke about the size of his genitals on a public stage the way Trump did on a Republican primary debate stage, Grudem would seek to have that man removed from his office.

Why would he trust such a man with the grave causes that he believes are at stake in this election?

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