It’s no secret that President Trump hasn’t made a lot of friends in Washington. This includes many in his own party. Within the past week, he has drawn the ire of former President George W. Bush and former Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney, both of whom said they would not support his reelection. Likewise, former Secretary of State Colin Powell has stated his intentions to vote for Joe Biden and Trump’s own former Secretary of Defense James Mattis released a statement excoriating President Trump’s leadership of the military.
Other Republican leaders have remained mum about their intentions for the upcoming election or otherwise indicated that voting against Trump was definitely a possibility. Among these are Trump’s one-time primary rival Jeb Bush, Trump’s former Chief of Staff John Kelly, two former House Speakers Paul Ryan and John Boehner, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Senator Susan Collins of Maine.
There is a wide range of reasoning among these names for not supporting Trump. Some of the more prominent is his insufficient (according to them) response to the Coronavirus, his handling of the recent riots (which continue to happen in Democratic controlled states and cities and are being perpetrated by people who most certainly will vote Democrat come November), his leadership of the military, and his abrasive personality.
The fact is, for those who want to oppose President Trump, there are many reasons to pick from. These can be policy issues or personality issues. However, I suspect that in many of these cases there may be a third issue at work.
I’ve said before that if a person is a Republican who opposes Trump on policy, the logical solution is not to turn to Joe Biden. Joe Biden is opposed to the lower taxes, reduced regulation, greater state and local autonomy, and prolife issues that many Republicans purport to believe. Additionally, if a Republican opposes Trump’s troop drawdowns in the middle-east and they think Biden is the answer, then they must have been asleep during the Obama administration when he and his former boss advocated and enacted similar policies.
If a Republican opposes Trump because of his personality and they think Biden is the answer, they are, again, wrong. Biden is quick tempered and quick to insult voters while on the campaign trail. Biden now has a history of sexual assault allegations and a trail of photographs showing him making women uncomfortable through physical contact that lends credibility to these allegations. He also has yet to offer a satisfactory answer for his apparent mental deterioration that the country sees every single time he gets in front of a camera.
Many have stated that they think Trump is violating the constitution. But the fact is, that argument can be levelled against all Presidents in one way or another. It would be more accurate for those advancing this criticism to say, “He’s violating the constitution in ways I don’t approve of.”
If Bush, Romney, Powell, or any other Republican opposes Trump for these reasons, then the logical step would be to find a third-party candidate and support him. They could have voiced their support for Justin Amash when he flirted with running a few weeks ago. Can you imagine how such an endorsement from a former President or former Presidential candidate or someone of Powell’s stature could have changed things? It might have brought about a different decision on Amash’s behalf and the race we’re currently looking at would have had a far different dynamic.
No, I think Romney and Bush have a different motive in mind. They’re not defending America, the constitution, the Presidency, or their pet policies. Like I said, if they were trying to defend those things then supporting Biden is not the logical conclusion. What these folks are defending is the entrenched Washington system that Trump has been attacking since he came down the escalator at Trump tower.
I remember that day. I was sitting on the sofa with my wife watching him make his announcement. Yes, he attacked Obama. Yes, he attacked Hillary Clinton. But he also attacked Republicans. He attacked the trade deals supported by both parties. He attacked the relationship with China that both parties had developed. He attacked what he labelled as incompetence from both parties for the last several decades.
While Trump’s rhetoric is irresponsible and inflammatory, it is the target of his attacks that has aroused these actions and announcements. It was his aim at the Washington system that has made him these enemies. And the beneficiary is Joe Biden because, as the old saying goes, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.