Byron York wrote what I consider a disturbing story for the Washington Examiner: “Voters don’t want honest. They want strong.”
In a new Quinnipiac national poll of the Republican and Democratic presidential races, the candidates whom voters view as least honest and trustworthy are leading the pack. In fact, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump score almost equally on the issue.
When asked “Would you say that Hillary Clinton is honest and trustworthy or not?” 60 percent of voters nationally said she is not, versus 36 percent who said she is.
When asked “Would you say that Donald Trump is honest and trustworthy or not?” 59 percent of voters nationally said he is not, versus 35 percent who said he is.
What York seems to imply is that voters who view Trump and Clinton as untrustworthy are going to vote for them anyway.
The survey does address how many people think a candidate is “strong.” Thirty percent of Republicans polled who said they would vote for Trump considered getting a “strong leader” the most important issue. No other candidate had as many respondents say getting a “strong leader” was the highest priority (the closest was Ted Cruz at twenty percent).
Seventy percent of Democrats voting for Clinton said that it was most important to get a “strong leader.”
So by my rough estimate, York’s interpretation seems justified. A significant number of voters seem to care about strength and not be as concerned about trustworthiness.
But obviously, such priorities are insane. The only thing you have to go on when you vote is a candidate’s past record and his promises. If his record doesn’t lead you to trust his promises, you don’t have any reason to expect him to do anything you want. All that strength you admire can be as easily used against you instead of doing what you want.
In Trump’s case, as happy as I am that he has liberated us from Jeb Bush, I don’t see him as a person who respects property rights. As much as I want a strong leader, I want one I can trust to restrain his power to respect the rights of others.