Everyone wants to be President.
You’d think the office was still worth something. But it isn’t. And it probably never was –not what people now seem to assume it is.
The office of the presidency of the United States was formed as an alternative to royal tyranny. The King of England had almost unlimited power. George Washington was determined to break that pattern, which is why he only agreed to be President, not a King; a President checked by Congress and the courts where the Constitution and Bill of Rights were primary.
Today, you’d think the American President has power beyond anything that royal monarch of 1776 had. You’d think the President is King (or Queen) of the universe. Or better yet, the master of the universe. Beyond whatever people conceive God to be. That’s the fervor with which everyone now seeks the presidency.
That’s why it corrupts virtually everyone who touches it. Look how far Ron DeSantis went to be President. He now claims there was no election fraud in 2020. He knows full well there was. The fact that his state — under his watch — permitted Trump to win in a landslide shows what the absence of fraud can do. But evidently DeSantis concluded — or, worse yet, let some professional political consultant handler conclude for him — that in order to win the Republican nomination in 2024, he must claim there was no election fraud. “Trump didn’t win; but I can.”
In the process, DeSantis gave up his integrity. You only have to give up your integrity in one instance; and then you’re done. Once you do that, you’ll never get it back. You might be right on a lot of things, and you might still be a beneficial governor for Florida (given the nonexistent alternative). But you will never get your integrity back.
The only exception to this rule about the presidency destroying your integrity is Donald Trump. Whatever you think of him, he doesn’t blink. He doesn’t flinch. There’s not one example anyone can name of where he got paid off, or listened to some inside-the-Beltway political consultant against his own better judgment. Yes, Donald Trump made mistakes. His biggest mistakes were not his Tweets, nor January 6. I don’t think any of those were even mistakes. His biggest mistake was falling for the COVID fallacy, the idea that it was worse than the flu and therefore the entire world must shut down. He made this dreadful mistake during the critical months of 2020, including the inauguration of hyperinflationary spending by the Congress. It was painful to watch. We’re still paying for the precedents set during those times. During the spring and summer of 2020, I told myself that Donald Trump would probably lose the presidency because of this terrible, fateful error. Yet he still managed to come back — until we got the election fraud that Ron DeSantis and all the other Republicans appear ready to deny today.
By the way, Ron DeSantis did not have to give up any chance of running for President by telling the truth. All he had to say was the truth. “Trump made some mistakes that I did not make during the COVID debacle. Vote for me, for that reason.” And you can decide.
Giving up your integrity is never practical. You might think it is, but it’s about as practical as a bridge giving up its structural integrity, or a computer giving up its firewall. Look at how far DeSantis is behind Trump in the polls. How well has his self-deceit worked out for him?
Today’s leftists and RINOs are potentially some of the worst totalitarians in all of human history. Today’s civilization has the most to lose of any civilization in history. If we fall, the fall will be momentous beyond anything ever seen. Millions will suffer, and even die.
We must have people in power with unbreached integrity, in these perilous times. Trump still has that integrity, and DeSantis — while perhaps great on many of the issues — can no longer be trusted when it really counts.
It’s a shame that such reliability is so rare. But it’s so special when you find it.
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