The problem with Trump’s endorsers: An endorsement of selfishness

By Mwangala Simataa ’19

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger once said that in politics there are no permanent friends or enemies, just interests. Where else but the current American political landscape does this saying come alive in its full force?

We woke up a couple of weeks ago to the news that Governor Chris Christie had eaten his humble pie and endorsed the candidacy of his former nemesis Donald J. Trump.  Yes, THAT Trump, the man Christie rabidly attacked for his inexperience and hate-mongering.  Not to be outdone, the boring and ever sleepy Dr. Ben Carson also endorsed the man who had called him a psychopath. In endorsing him, Carson claimed Trump has a nasty side we see on the campaign trail and a more presidential and cerebral one he works so hard to hide lest it make him unelectable. While there is a lot to be said about a man who thinks intelligence on the campaign trail is a liability, let’s cast our eyes on the serious issues of honesty and sincerity in the Republican Party.

The important thing to ask is on what basis do Trump’s former rivals endorse him? It could be on principle, for personal expedience or an undying loyalty to the Republican Party. Given the behavior of all the Republican candidates so far, let’s just rule out principle. As for party loyalty, even the dimmest Republicans have to worry that a Trump presidency could run the reputation and well-being of these United States badly to seed.  So if endorsements are not based on principles, or undying loyalty to the country via the Republican Party, then they must surely only be out of personal convenience.

Carson and Christie, joined by former candidates Huckabee and Santorum, did not suddenly have an epiphany that Trump was the best candidate. Their endorsements for him are all for selfish personal gain. Perhaps they could secure a cabinet position here, an agency to run there or a fancy ambassadorship elsewhere based on patronage, not qualifications.  And remember, Trump does not yet have a running mate.

Still more, it could be out of that human need to be associated to with the winner, and boast about having the ear of those in the higher echelons of power, while giving lucrative paid speeches and punditry on conservative television stations. Whatever the reasons, the more Trump’s former rivals continue endorsing him, the more I wonder whether any of the greedy men that put their names up for the presidency of this country deserved the job.