The Bane of the GOP
If you are enthusiastic about the candidacy of Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, then this article is not for you. If you don’t find either candidate particularly appealing, but have decided to vote for one of them because “you have no choice”, then this article is not for you. If you are a registered Republican and beside yourself at the thought of casting a vote for Donald Trump, then you might want to read this article because misery loves company.
First, you are not alone. Actually, about half of the Republican voters in this country agree with you. Second, don’t give up hope. Even though Donald Trump is our “presumptive nominee”, the convention is still a few weeks away and there is a preponderance of discord within the party.
Some interesting facts:
1. Every poll since the beginning of the primary season has shown Donald Trump losing to Hillary Clinton.
2. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have the highest unfavorable ratings of any candidates in the history of polling.
3. Three out of Four women do not support a Trump candidacy. (Incidentally, women vote more often and have more influence over votes than men)
4. Trump has very low support among minority and millennial voters.
5. The GOP field was rich with 17 candidates when the primary season began, and the most inexperienced and vacuous among them is now our nominee.
When Donald Trump announced his candidacy back in June, most of us did not take him seriously. It appeared to be just another opportunity for him to grab the spotlight, but we obviously underestimated him. My favorite analogy of the Trump phenomenon comes from Greg Gutfeld of Fox News (also anti-Trump), “Donald Trump is like the guy in high school who tries out for the lead in the school play to impress a girl, never expecting to get the part.” The problem for many of us is, now that we have him, what can we do about it? The chances for a contested convention are off the table. With Cruz and Kasich out of the race, Trump will likely get the 1237 delegates he needs pre-convention.
The only real chance we have is with a third-party candidate, and historically this has not proven a winning situation. Most recently, in 1992, Ross Perot ran as an Independent and in so doing, managed to hand the election to Bill Clinton over incumbent George H. W. Bush. This is a risky endeavor, but the conservative movement is already at risk with Donald Trump at the helm of the GOP. Don’t kid yourself, he is not a conservative. Not now, not ever. Many Republicans fear that he will set the conservative movement back fifty years, if not destroy it completely. Trump will say what he thinks the conservatives want to hear, but at heart he is more moderate to liberal Democrat.
Remember, Trump contributed financially to the campaigns of Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, to name just a few. Admittedly, he has also donated to Republicans, but more than half his donations have been to the Democratic Party, of which he was a recent member. Another fun fact, his adult children could not vote for him in this year’s New York primary, as they are still registered Democrats and New York has a closed primary. I think if an Independent could ever win, 2016 would be their best bet.
This idea of a third-party candidate is currently being researched by Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard and outspoken critic of Trump. A few days ago, he met with Mitt Romney to float the idea and get Romney’s input on the viability of it as an option to Trump. Incidentally, Mitt Romney has said that at this point, he will not vote for either Trump or Clinton. He is not alone, either. Columnist and Fox News contributor, Dr. Charles Krauthammer, said on the O’Reilly Factor this last week that he has no intention of supporting either candidate. These people are highly-respected individuals who take the business of politics very seriously, so this is truly a contentious situation. Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, publicly stated his aversion to the Trump candidacy, and incurred the wrath of a lot of colleagues within his party.
Several months back, as Trump began to rise in the polls and was believed to be a legitimate contender for the nomination, a Twitter movement known as #Never Trump emerged. If you are not familiar with Twitter, the “hashtag” identifies a certain topic or subject matter to others who follow Twitter. “Never Trump” means exactly that. These people will not ever vote for Trump under any circumstance. The Never Trump movement took off almost immediately. Media pundits and politicos have spoken derisively of those who refer to themselves as “Never Trump”, but it is a force to be reckoned with. After Cruz left the race, and Trump became the de facto nominee, the media largely quelled the movement. They were premature though; Twitter is exploding with Never Trump tweets.
A majority of the population think we can do better than Trump or Clinton. They don’t feel well represented by either candidate, and they want another option. I am part of the #Never Trump movement because I cannot bring myself to vote for a man I consider vulgar, amoral, juvenile, bombastic, insipid, dangerous and totally inept in foreign policy and government. In my opinion, Trump is the antithesis of a commander in chief.
The fact that Hillary Clinton is every bit as distasteful does not make it any more palatable to vote for him. This is not a decision I make lightly. I love my country and I feel incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to vote. I consider it both an honor and a privilege. However, implicit in this honor is following my conscience and making a decision based on my best moral judgment. I cannot do that and simultaneously vote for Donald Trump.
Nebraska Republican Senator, Ben Sasse, also an outspoken Trump critic, talks of drafting “an honest leader” to run as a third party candidate. In a lengthy Facebook post, the Senator outlined his thoughts on the Trump/Clinton candidacies, and invited open discussion among disenfranchised GOP voters for an alternative.
Will it come to fruition? Hard to say. At this point, only one thing in this crazy primary season is perfectly clear: the #Never Trump movement is alive and well.