By Chris Stigall

BREAKING! President Trump allegedly had consensual sex with attractive women who get naked for money!  ALSO BREAKING!  President Trump allegedly paid attractive women who get naked for money to keep quiet about their consensual sexual relationship.  BREAKING! BREAKING! BREAKING! President Trump’s alleged consensual sexual relationships occurred while married to his third wife, the current First Lady.

This is what constitutes “news” in 2018.

As always when talking Trump, if you’re already inclined to loathe him, this is just more evidence of how abhorrent he is.  That’s fine.  But I’ve yet to find one – not ONE – person of the thousands I talk to weekly whose mind has been changed about voting for the President since these “revelations” broke.

Mostly because we’re not naive children and we all know the score.  These aren’t revelations at all.  To those of us who voted for Donald Trump – much like his alleged dalliances – it was transactional.  It was the cost of doing business. The game has changed for voters like me.  I have liberals to thank, I suppose.

Since the 2012 election, I’ve written and spoken at length about character in our politics.  Mitt Romney was a man I’d trust with my children and my house keys.  Truly, I believe him to be a man of higher integrity and morality than any candidate from either party in decades – maybe in the history of presidential politics.  Yet, we saw how he was treated.

Romney was savaged as a monocle wearing, sexist, animal abusing, one-percenter who allowed an employee’s wife riddled with cancer to die just to save a buck.  Remember all that?

No, he wasn’t a great candidate.  No, he wasn’t politically as principled as I’d desire in a nominee.  But in the end, I felt good voting for Romney because I found him and his family to be the picture of decent, warm, moral standard bearers for our nation.  Most of all, he wasn’t Obama.

That would have to be good enough.

Of course, that’s the fundamental problem with my thinking.  For too long, “good enough” was all we got out of the GOP.  In 2016, Republican voters were tired of “good enough.”  They no longer tolerated nice men with no fight.  In politics, nice guys get crushed these days, it’s sad to say.

Republicans picked a brawler this time and they never looked back.  A brawler with many personal flaws but minced no words about what he wanted and where he was going. The anti-Romney.  It worked.  He won.

I’ve heard the liberal criticism since.  “You claim you’re a Christian, but you voted for this guy and you still support his behavior?  You’re a hypocrite!”

This is where the left’s argument is as screwed as Stormy Daniels.  It was the Democrats and the American left who’ve spent decades telling Republicans and conservatives that we should “butt out of their bedrooms.”  We were to shut up and have nothing to say about sex, abortion, marriage, morality, the Ten Commandments in public spaces, or even the designation of gender specific bathrooms and activities.

You can’t spend all of modern political history screaming “if it feels good do it, say it, and act on it” only to chide Donald Trump when he embraces your game and wins at it.

As for people like me, I sleep well at night with Donald Trump in the White House.  I didn’t vote for him as Role Model In Chief, Father In Chief, Pastor In Chief, Husband In Chief, or even Friend In Chief.

This is where liberals also misunderstand the conservative case for Trump. Religious liberty has been under attack.  Commonly held Judeo-Christian practices and traditions have been legally challenged, shouted down, shamed, and threatened for a very long time.

While Mitt Romney was the embodiment of many of those traditions I value personally, Donald Trump is the man who will fight for my right and my community’s right to uphold them.  Romney had no such fight.

Trump may not quote scripture well.  He may have an “immoral” past.  But I have every confidence he knows why faith and spiritual culture is important to millions of Americans like me even if it’s not central to his life.  That’s all I need from him.

Would I love it if a Billy Graham figure were President?  You bet.  Do I acknowledge a Billy Graham figure would never win the presidency today?  Sadly, yes.  Can I be satisfied with a flawed fighter who will focus on protecting the country and my constitutional right to worship and speak as I see fit? Absolutely.

So don’t misunderstand what Trump represents for conservatives like me.  We know exactly who Trump is and who he isn’t.  Spare us the pearl clutching, fainting couch routine about his sex life.  We all knew what we were getting.

Trump’s past is between him, his family, and God if he chooses to speak with Him.  I’ll continue to pray for our nation and its leaders as I always have.  No amount of BREAKING Trump sex news will change that or my attitude about voting for him last year.

Like Stormy (allegedly), my vote for Trump was a transaction.  I wanted my candidate to win and change the country’s direction.  Nothing more.   And thanks to Trump’s aggressive first year agenda, that transactional vote has paid off in my wallet and in the markets for now.

Come to think of it, in this era of #MeToo, I stand with Stormy.  I’m more like her than I realized.  I got paid for my transaction with Trump, too.  Unlike Stormy, I got to keep my clothes on and I can still look my preacher in the eye.  Everybody wins.