Alan Keyes
Jindal's 'better of two evils' Trump endorsement
Alan Keyes predicts billionaire will preside over 'elitist dictatorship'
By Alan Keyes
May 16, 2016

Earlier this week, a good friend asked what I thought of Bobby Jindal's Wall Street Journal article in which the former Louisiana governor said that he will vote for Donald Trump in November. After reading Gov. Jindal's article, I concluded that it is just another variation on the ill-fated "lesser of evils" logic. That logic has left voters still loyal to the U.S. Constitution and its God-revering Declaration principles with no effective representation in the U.S. government. Gov. Jindal says of Donald Trump, "He is certainly the better of two bad choices." So the "lesser of two evils" now becomes the "better of two evils," which in either case leaves good out of the picture.

But the "better of two evils" formulation more overtly makes evil the standard of choice. Break it down, and we are comparing one evil to another while asking, "Which is the 'better' evil?" If we ask, "Which is the better apple?", the question leads us to consider which choice better corresponds to what we look for in an apple. Identifying the "better evil" thus invites us to consider which choice better corresponds to what we look for from evil. But even more than most concepts, evil has to be defined in terms of negation. In this case, that's the negation of good.

Reformulated in light of this conclusion, Mr. Jindal's criterion suggests, at least implicitly, that he is voting for Donald Trump because he better corresponds to what we look for from evil. Given that what we look for is the negation of good, this implies that Mr. Trump is to be preferred because he will negate good more effectively than Hillary Clinton.

That's what the quote appears to mean, by one train of logic.

Did Mr. Jindal think this through? I'm not saying that he did. But his reformulation makes perfect sense from the perspective of the elitist faction's agenda to replace constitutional liberty with elitist tyranny in the United States. Barack Obama has consistently pursued that agenda, and Hillary Clinton is likely to continue that pursuit. Now, Obama has become the focal point for angry grassroots' opposition to the elitist faction's agenda, arising especially (though not only) among the GOP's constituents. That effect is likely to be even more pronounced with Hillary Clinton in the White House.

In record of his life, the preponderance of the evidence supports the view that Donald Trump will also pursue the elitist faction's agenda. But he will become president wearing a GOP label, and getting his critical margin of support from conservative voters conned by his star turn as a champion of their anti-elitist anger and frustration. The very people who strongly oppose Clinton and Obama will then be disposed (by stubborn pride, if nothing else) to insist that Trump be given the benefit of the doubt for some time after his election.

While helping to gull these voters, Trump's rhetoric has also distracted them from statements and stances with which he signaled his intention to continue the elitist faction's anti-constitutional agenda. The record of his campaign is seeded with such markers. If and when voices are raised to suggest that he isn't keeping his promises, he will point to them. With apparent justification, he will scoff at the charge of perfidy, maintaining that his intention was on the record, and thus clearly included in his election mandate.

The most obvious such promise has to do with "building a wall" to secure the nation's borders. But it will turn out (as people like me who are really committed to border security know full well) that the reference to a wall is a rhetorical trope that at best involves one element of what it will actually take to re-establish effective control of America's borders. Whatever their strong feelings, Trump's backers will be faced with truthful arguments based on that reality, deployed against their demands for immediate action. The phrase may conjure up visions of the Great Wall of China, but 21st century technology involves threats that make those visions obsolete. A President Trump will therefore be able to make a strong and reasonable case for the fact that keeping his most important promise is not a matter of instant gratification. Of course, he'll build a little wall (more likely a fence) here and there, for political effect.

Meanwhile, the elitist faction coalition Trump actually represents will move forward with its agenda, producing results – the retooling of Obamacare, for instance – that irreversibly institutionalize socialist approaches. For political effect, these results will be played up as bipartisan triumphs. This may inaugurate an "era of good feeling" that sets the stage for a new constitutional convention, intended to entrench the oligarchic dictatorship Trump's victory actually serves. More likely than not, it will also cut us off from the understanding of right and rights, including liberty, that was the basis for America's founding.

Be warned, however, that this is the most optimistic scenario for the first years of a Trump administration. It takes no account of the possible economic, national security, and other crises that will offer excuses to expand and more overtly institutionalize the regime of tyrannical, oligarchic control already well advanced. By background and personality, Donald Trump is well suited to preside over such a regime. So, what begins with pandering demagoguery will end in elitist dictatorship, entrenched in the provisions of a constitution bereft of every real safeguard for liberty.

This will indeed be evil better and more effectively realized. It will essentially abandon the common good, defined in terms of justice and liberty Americans have pursued since the beginning. In pursuit of that good, Americans lifted their nation to the pinnacle of the kind of achievement God approved and strengthened with His blessings. That is, until we turned our face against His benevolent rule. Choosing the unrepentant Mr. Trump is unlikely to secure them again, to ourselves or our posterity.

To see more articles by Dr. Keyes, visit his blog at and his commentary at and

© Alan Keyes


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Alan Keyes

Dr. Keyes holds the distinction of being the only person ever to run against Barack Obama in a truly contested election – featuring authentic moral conservatism vs. progressive liberalism – when they challenged each other for the open U.S. Senate seat from Illinois in 2004... (more)


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