Yesterday, our fearless leader here set off quite the firestorm by declaring his intentions to vote for Trump in 2020. Apparently, a lot of people are angry. You can add me to those who are “disappointed.”
I get the anger. Being “Never Trump” has been a lonely existence for us these last few years. I remember how many of my friends boldly declared in 2016 that they would never vote for Trump either. It was quite disheartening to watch them capitulate one by one. They ran off and abandoned me like the kids on the playground in “A Christmas Story” left poor Flick with his tongue stuck to the flagpole. But a few of us stayed true. One of the worst parts of Trumpification was watching our supposed conservative leaders suddenly reverse course on everything they ever said. Deficits? Not a problem anymore. Gay marriage? Law of the land now. Moral turpitude? Hey, as long as we get our tax cuts, we’re good. Black is white. Night is day. We have always been at war with Eastasia. If Obama had contemplated declaring a national emergency to secure funding for something after Republicans in Congress had voted it down, someone’s head over at Fox News would have LITERALLY exploded.
That’s why Erick has been so important to us. He took a stand and he stayed with it. In spite of the threats. The literal death threats and harassment. In spite of the loss of income. And he’s been one of the few who have been honest in his evaluation of Trump, praising the good, criticizing the bad. That has been so rare for the last 2 years. The winning formula for political commentary is to either be “All Hail Trump!” 24/7 or being in a constant state of resistance where everything he ever does is bad.
I’m grateful for Erick for giving me the chance to write here. And maybe this will at least calm some of those who are angry. Dissent will still be tolerated here. Some of us disagree with him on this subject. And we’re still welcome (otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this now.)
One reason I disagree with Erick’s decision to declare his future Trump vote is that it’s decidedly premature. What if Ted Cruz decided to primary Trump? You’ve already declared for Trump. Maybe there were principled conservatives weighing a run who have now decided “Well, Erickson’s finally gone over to the dark side, so why bother.”
I doubt Elizabeth Warren is right that Trump “won’t even be free” in 2020 for the same reason I thought the crowds chanting “Lock her up!” were delusional. I seriously doubt Trump will ever see the inside of a prison cell. But the Mueller probe is still ongoing and the Democrats are printing out subpoenas by the truckload. Who knows what they’re going to uncover in the next 20 months and what damage it will cause?
There’s also a good possibility that Trump may declare victory and go home. This whole campaign was just a cheap publicity stunt to get him publicity and totally spun out of control when people took him seriously (but not literally.) Winning has damaged the Trump brand. You don’t find Ivanka’s purses at Nordstroms any more and you can’t buy Trump ties at Macy’s. They had to change the names on a load of hotel properties because nobody wants to stay at a Trump Hotel anymore. Two terms as president might leave him bankrupt. He’ll never be allowed to hobnob with Hollywood celebrities again. Sure, the rallies are great. Throngs of adoring fans chanting his name. But this presidential thing is actual work. Does he really want to keep doing it for 6 more years? Especially since he never wanted the actual job in the first place?
I will give Trump credit for one thing: One of my biggest reservations about him was that he would not keep his promises to conservatives. But he has – so far. The judicial appointments, moving the Israeli embassy to Jerusalem, deregulation. All good things.
I realistically only wanted three things our of any Republican presidency: conservative judges, Obamacare repealed, and Planned Parenthood defunded. So far, I’m only one for three with Trump. If he had put some actual work into it, he might could have gotten the Obamacare repeal. But Republicans never thought he’d actually win and never put together a workable replacement plan so the repeal failed. Same thing with the wall. Trump had an opportunity to trade the DACA kids for wall funding months ago and he said no. The tax cut was a corporate giveaway that didn’t do enough to help the middle class. And now that people are filing their taxes and seeing smaller refunds, many Americans are convinced that they’ve been swindled. Republicans should have been ahead on messaging but they weren’t. So, the one actual piece of legislation that was passed in 2 years is now increasingly unpopular. I’d expecting repealing it to be #1 on the Democratic bucket list once they get back in power.
And there’s just been so much bad. The tariffs. Alienating our allies. The TWEETING. My God, why hasn’t somebody who cares about this man smashed his phone before now? Every single time he does something for conservatives to cheer, he’s back on Twitter either walking it back or insulting someone and THAT becomes the next news cycle.
He’s surrounded himself with the worst possible people. We wouldn’t have a Mueller probe if he hadn’t hired lowlifes like Steve Bannon and Corey Lewandowski. He’s given press credentials to the Gateway Pundit. He’s emboldened the racists. He’s destroyed the good people (Jeff Sessions, Rudy Giuliani, Chris Christie) who stuck with him.
Bottom line: the man is morally and mentally unfit to be president. That has not changed. That is not ever going to change.
And what is the long term effect of the Trumpification of the Republican party going to be? A woman commented on my piece yesterday that she will NEVER vote for Republicans again, nor will her two sons. If the party collapses, what becomes of America?
I said before that I was in a small minority of Never Trumpers. Actually, the majority of Americans agreed with me in 2016 that neither Hillary Clinton OR Donald Trump was fit to be president. That’s why most of them didn’t vote at all.
For anyone that chose to vote for Trump, I get it. It was a choice between him and Hillary and you thought the alternative was just too horrible to contemplate. But if you thought a President Hillary was bad, how much worse is a President Warren going to be? Normally, when a party loses as badly as the Democrats did in 2016, it moves back to the center. That’s what they did after the Reagan era. Instead, Democrats are moving even further to the left. We keep saying “All they have to do to win is not be crazy and they can’t do it.” Well, they might not even have to do that. They might just have to not be Trump.
The one big selling point among Trump supporters was always “He FIGHTS!” But the other side has decided to fight back even harder. Americans deliberately voted to put Nancy Pelosi back in the Speaker’s chair specifically to counter Trump. Instead of slowing our slide to the left, we may have hastened it. Heck, the only thing keeping us from an Alexandrea Occasio-Cortez presidential run in 2020 is that age limit imposed by the Constitution.
What if instead of repealing Obamacare we end up with Medicare for all? What if a majority of Americans decide that Socialism is a more appealing alternative than Trumpism? What if our former allies decide they can no longer depend on US and turn to Putin? What will it profiteth us to gain the Supreme Court if we lose every single state legislature? Repealing Roe V Wade will mean nothing if states stampede to legalize infanticide like New York just did.
Then what will we be left with?
The Tea Party is dead. Apparently, all of those angry people marching in the streets only cared about taxes and deficits while Obama was president. The left has a legitimate point in questioning what they were really angry about.
A political party can never be just about one man. But that is what the Republican party has become. Loyalty to the president trumps (pun intended) every other consideration. I get Erick’s point about being engaged. But personally, I just couldn’t find a way to do that. I had planned on running for chair of my county party – until Trump won. After that, I realized that not only could I not help lead a party when I didn’t support that party’s president, I also no longer had the stomach for it. I quit attending party functions because it was hard for me to resist the urge to punch someone in the face. I’ve lost a lot of friends because of this.
It wasn’t always this way. Remember when Bush nominated Harriet Myers and conservatives rebelled? He backed down. That is no longer acceptable. If Trump does something, the party must support him no matter how outrageous it is. And when he changes his mind next week, we’re all just supposed to pretend that he never actually said what he’s on tape saying.
I have some liberal friend who are still speaking to me at this point. They look at this party and this president and ask “How can you support THIS? By staying silent, you’re responsible. For all of it.” They make a valid point.
Someone made the analogy that by supporting Trump, evangelical Christians have hired their own Goliath. That’s a really good analogy. But apparently these Christians took the wrong lesson from the David vs. Goliath story. The Philistines didn’t prevail by finding the biggest, meanest fighter in the land. They lost. The truth is that there is only One Man that we can depend on for our salvation, and that man is not Donald Trump.
One way or another, Trump will be gone. In 2 years (or less) or 6 years, he will no longer be president. After that, there may not be enough Chlorox in the world the scrub the orange Cheetoh stains off the Republican party. Or enough people still left to help out with the cleanup.