It used to be that no matter our political differences, our country came first.  Not so for many Americans these days.

Partisanship has become so rampant and our polarization so dividing us that many Americans put “their group and their position” above the success and survival of our country.  So many act in a way that seems to place winning above country. Sad.

Trump Supporters Living in Denial

Look no further for evidence of this issue than the fact that hard core Trump supporters will not abandon their “leader” even as evidence continues to come out that points towards Trump and his campaign were supported by Putin and Russia who were working to elect him. Trump and many of his supporters call any evidence “fake news” and assume that this will blow over.  Here’s a sampling of recent headlines/articles that show that it is not:

New York Times, April 6, 2017:  C.I.A. Had Evidence of Russian Effort to Help Trump Earlier Than Believed

ABC News, April 6, 2017: No sign probes into Russia, Trump campaign will die down

The Independent (UK), April 15, 2017: Concrete evidence of collusion between Trump team and Russia’ handed to official investigation

Why are Trump supporters sticking with him and not calling for an investigation?  This author offers 5 Reasons Why Trump Supporters Don’t Care if He Committed Treason by Colluding with Russia. His five reasons make sense….there are probably more reasons that you and I could come up with….but I want to call attention to the second of his five: “Winning is all that matters to many Republicans”.

I tend to agree. If “America First” were truly the supporters motto, then there would be bi-partisan and overwhelming calls to keep this topic at the forefront until we know all the facts and take any appropriate action. If our country was more important than winning, no one would expect this issue to go away without all the facts. However, there are many on the conservative end of the spectrum who have buried their beliefs and ethics as they continue to support Trump no matter what.  They want to bury the Russia story.  They want to ignore Trump’s many lies to the American public.  They want to sweep under the rug his many flip-flops on political positions.

Consider the Religious Right

Data from the Pew Research Center shows that those who identify with being “religious” voted overwhelmingly for Trump.  For example, “white, born-again, evangelicals” voted for Trump 81% to 16% for Clinton.  On the other hand, the religiously unaffiliated voted by Clinton by a large margin.

Religious people overlooked Trump’s obvious “religious red flags” — multiple marriages, crude language and actions towards women, being religious only for show, among many other things — and voted for him anyway.

While some people make the case that the religious right lost their moral authority by supporting Trump, others such as so-called skeptic Michael Shermer argue that it doesn’t matter that Trump is not religious. What do you think?

Personally, I don’t care that Trump is not religious…..but I do wish he was a bit more “spiritual” such that he cared for his fellow humans and wanted to better their conditions.  He says he does, but his actions tend to support corporations and the wealthy over “working Americans”.

If a true “Christian” sat down and honestly listed what they felt are the most important things that their faith guides them towards…..and then compared those values against the real actions of the “real Donald Trump”, there is no doubt that they would not line up.  After all, when Jesus was asked what was the most important commandment, he replied,  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

Is this the actions of Trump? No. Sad.

Winning is Everything?

Of course, religious people are not the only ones who have ignored Trump’s many ethical issues to lend their support.  Look at all of the Republicans who could not stand Trump during the campaign but somehow found a way to get on his bandwagon after he became the candidate.  I cannot help but recall the famous quote (frequently attributed to Vince Lombardi), “winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”  Seems like so many have bought into that quote at the expense of our country.

Many on the conservative fringes have been brainwashed by the right wing talking points continuously fed them by right-wing talk radio and Fox (so called) News.  At the root of their message was the claim that if only the Republicans could control Congress and the Presidency, they could further a social conservative agenda (if not necessarily a fiscal conservative one).  And those on the progressive side of America have watched in dismay as the early actions of the new President have been towards such things as: finishing the Dakota Pipeline project, growing the military at the expense of every government social program, rolling back the Affordable Care Act, undoing the rules in the Senate in order to force through the new Supreme Court nominee and more.

Meanwhile, Trump has appointed numerous cabinet officials with the seemingly goal of undoing the agency to which they have been appointed…or at a minimum, reversing any actions of President Obama that might have served to give rights to people, protect the environment, hold corporations accountable for misactions and the like.

To their credit, many who supported Trump have been upset by his policies and have pushed back….especially in the area of their losing their health care coverage under the ACA.  Yet, many continue to overlook Trump’s lies and egregious actions and statements and fail to call to hold him accountable for such things as releasing his tax returns so we can ensure that there are no conflicts of interest between his Presidential actions and dealings and his private businesses.  You know, things that were basic ethical standards previously.

So here we stand, our country loses while some groups, especially the rich, stand to benefit from Trump’s actions.  Worse yet, many who do not benefit from Trump’s policies continue to stand with him and argue against any effort to hold him accountable. Why?

The reasons are many, but for some, they have made a mental call to be a Trump supporter no matter what…..and “winning” is more important than our country.

But, it doesn’t have to be that way.

It’s time for everyone to wake up and ask yourself this:  What is more important — winning and being in control politically…..or the maintenance of the standards of ethics and the care and concern for all of our citizens on which this great country was based?  What is more important — winning and forcing our beliefs and opinions on others…..or ensuring that everyone’s voice and needs are considered by this great country? What is more important — winning and gloating over others who disagree with you….or doing everything in your power to ensure that this great democracy continues to be a country of the people, for the people and by the people?

What are you going to choose?

Mark Gilbert

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If you liked this article, why don’t you check out my other writings? Here are all my 4 books available on Amazon.  You might like the popular Becoming a Spiritual Change Agent and Our Spiritual Evolution (available in paperback and Kindle versions). Also, be sure to follow Conscious Bridge on Twitter and Facebook!
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Photo credit: adrian valenzuela via Foter.com / CC BY