“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, but lose his soul?”

— Mark 8:36

What does it profit us as a country to gain “conservative” judicial nominees if we have a president who wants us to hate one another for his sake?

Or, what does it profit us as a country if we have a president who claims to be anti-abortion but takes no action to help the cause? Or if we have a president who poses for photo ops with tyrants and dictators, praising them without end? Or if we have a president who obscures the very idea of what is true?

It profits us nothing. We will have sold the soul of our country for a few cheap judicial appointments.

“But Gorsuch,” or “But Kavanaugh,” arguments have proved to be nothing but a Potemkin village, an argument that appears legitimate but is nothing more than a flimsy facade.

Those who hold on to such an argument see the United States with record debt, a failing economy, corrupt leadership, and they ignore it, hiding behind their painted cardboard walls of “But Gorsuch.”

In several cases, both Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh reached decisions that go against what is considered conservative by many, including a case involving Donald Trump’s tax returns. If Trump’s own judicial nominees cannot side with him, what is the “conservative” judicial nominee argument for keeping Trump in office?

As Americans, we will have countless future presidencies where we will have the luxury of debating policy. Today, we cannot focus on policy because we must be worried about Trump’s latest controversy.

Instead of holding substantive discussions on the best way to defend against COVID-19, the president led us into a useless culture war over masks.

Instead of offering a unifying hand amid this year’s race riots, we got “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” and defending vigilante shooters.

Instead of being a force for good in the world, our president cowers while Russian President Vladimir Putin poisons dissidents and tries ruining our elections.

The corruption, lies and chaos can stop whenever we want them to. The time for calm, steady leadership is now. Chaos and destruction may be interesting in an action movie, but it is no way to lead a country.

As more cases come to the Supreme Court, Americans can expect Trump’s judicial nominees to continue to exercise independence from the president and conservative commentators. Those who hold on to Trump’s Supreme Court, or lower court nominations as a reason to support him, willfully overlook the illegal and unconstitutional actions by the president, including the suggestion that the election be delayed.

May we not sell the soul of our country for a few cheap judicial appointments at the hands of a morally corrupt president, willing to break the Constitution for his own gain.

Bryant Holloway | Stand Up Republic

Bryant Holloway, Provo, is a program associate for the pro-democracy organization Stand Up Republic.