- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 18, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

As a University of California regent, Ward Connerly became a national hero of the political right. He did it by leading a successful campaign to eliminate affirmative action in California college admissions. He called it is a matter of fairness. He said merit, not quotas, was and is the American way.

He supported similar initiatives in other states despite a lack of support from Republicans or at times their active opposition.

He has called affirmative action “yesterday’s solution to yesterday’s problems.”

Now he’s taken to Facebook as a place to suggest today’s solutions to today’s problems. One of the biggest of today’s problems as Mr. Connerly sees it is he need to rally wider respect for President Trump, something once thought of as any American president’s natural due.

In a Wednesday Facebook post, Mr. Connerly addresses not just the Trump-phobic news media and partisanship of Democrats but, yes, the propensity of Mr. Trump to make inadvertent mischief for himself, his party and the conservative movement, many of whose members were skeptical of claims that there is such a thing as a Trump movement and that said movement comports with conservatism’s tenants.

“I was not an original supporter of Donald J. Trump,” Mr. Connerly writes in his post. “Mr. Trump displayed several traits during the campaign which I found to be distasteful. I continue to cringe at certain behavior.”

Then comes this Connerly punch in discussing former FBI Director James Comey, whom Mr. Trump, you’ll recall, publicly decried as a “grandstander” and “a showboat” who was letting a Russia-Trump campaign investigation drag on even though Mr. Trump called it nothing more than a “taxpayer-funded charade.”

Mr. Connerly writes that “while I do not second-guess President Trump’s decision to fire the FBI director, I found his comments about Mr. Comey and the reason for his firing to be inappropriate.”

Why? For the same reason many uncomfortable Trump supporters were thinking at the time: “When you fire someone, you don’t publicly trash that person.”

Mr. Connerly could have added that this is especially true if you’re cashiering the head of America’s largest, most powerful criminal investigative agency. Who better knows, figuratively speaking, where the bodies are buried?

So, is Mr. Connerly saying that the Trumpian uniqueness that intrigued legions of voters has finally snapped the bonds that bind the mogul and the former UC regent? Hardly.

“In the interest of full disclosure, I am now supporting our president 100 percent,” Mr. Connerly writes, adding this admonition: “That is what Americans should do, if they love our nation and want us to be successful. It distresses me beyond words to witness the current political spectacle. President Trump is being treated in a very unfair manner.”

You have that right, Mr. Connerly — as many Trump critics acknowledge. But the media and the Democrats fall off their flat earth in judging Mr. Trump’s actions as criminal and impeachable.

“I don’t believe for one moment that he has tried to ‘obstruct justice’ or that he has inappropriately released national security information to the Russians, or that talk of impeachment is warranted,” Mr. Connerly says. “This focus on collusion with the Russians is a phony political issue, in my opinion, and needs to be disregarded.”

Mr. Connerly argues that the Trump “policy agenda of smaller government, fewer regulations, respect for the rule of law, secure borders, and respect for traditional values are among the very significant reasons why Mr. Trump merits our support.”

Not all Mr. Trump conservative supporters see in his agenda all that Mr. Connerly sees, but they still see enough to render this Connerly plea as worthy:

“For the good of the country, I pray the Democrats will abandon their game plan of resisting the president, that Republicans will give Mr. Trump the support that he deserves, that the ‘war’ between the media and the president will come to an end, and that my fellow Americans will realize the importance of this moment and rally to the defense of the Trump agenda. May God Bless my beloved America!”

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