We’ve Become Morally Complacent

Published: March 26, 2024

By Jim Lichtman
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America’s tallest flag pole dedicated in Sheboygan, Wisconsin

My 90-year-old father was a Reagan Republican. When I told him that I was going to call to say hello to my uncle Don (his closest friend since grade school, so he was always referred to as our uncle), “Whatever you talk about,” he warned, “don’t mention politics. He’s a big Trump supporter.”

Five years later, I would walk into my dad’s second-bedroom office to find two corner walls facing his desk filled with signed letters, photos, and membership cards from Donald Trump. A devout Catholic, he had a Christmas blessing from Pope Francis framed on the same wall as a framed letter from Donald Trump, the polar opposite of morality.

What surprised me was that this World War II Bronze Star recipient had changed his belief system from the moral integrity of Ronald Reagan and the Pope to the rampant lies and immorality of Donald Trump. He left the trenches of Germany to support the battlements of Tucker Carlson.

He never strayed into hate, but he began to believe Trump’s lies that the government was against millions of Americans, and he was one of them. He had come to believe that the right side for America was the Trump side. He had shifted from World War II’s unity of purpose to Fox’s pseudo-news division.

I cannot begin to explain why a Reagan Republican steeped in the American morality of “the shining city on a hill” would make a 180 degree turn to the “American carnage” of Donald Trump.

Regan provided moral stability.

Trump has warned of a “bloodbath” if he loses.

Despite policy criticisms, Reagan presided over the “longest period of sustained economic growth in the 20th century.”

Trump presided over thousands of extremists who assaulted Washington’s Capital building.

Regan cut government spending and federal income taxes.

Trump cut business deals with 20 foreign governments, receiving approximately $7 million.

The Reagan Doctrine led to “the defeat of the worst totalitarian scourge to blight the globe since the defeat of the Nazis in World War II.” When he left office, Americans’ faith in its greatness had been restored.

The Trump “Doctrine” included smiling meetings with Kim Jung Un and Vladimir Putin. When he left office, Trump’s faith in himself soared.

We have become so morally complacent, so smug that we’re willing to allow our democracy to slide into authoritarianism under the guise of making America great again.

Among the items on Trump’s second-term agenda:

He suggested pulling out of NATO—the vital treaty signed after World War II that ensures that an attack against any member nation is an attack against all to stave off any outside aggression.

“Trump says he will ask Congress to pass a bill establishing that ‘only two genders,’ as determined at birth, are recognized by the United States.”

In a 2018 Pennsylvania speech, Trump said, “[Reagan] was a great cheerleader for the country. But not great on the trade.”

The libertarian Cato Institute reported, “The Reagan administration launched the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations in 1986 that lowered global tariffs and created the World Trade Organization. [It was Reagan who] won approval of the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement in 1988. That agreement soon expanded to include Mexico in what became the North American Free Trade Agreement.”

And when it came to crime, it was Ronald Reagan who said, “We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.

Donald Trump? “A president has to have immunity.”


  1. I am hearing that people aren’t really voting for Trump but against Biden. They are listening to the biased media as well as rampant lies and immorality of Donald Trump. I take a deep breath…

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