Sunday, January 10, 2016

The party of Trump is not my GOP

With only a few months to go before the Republican Party starts casting actual votes for the presidential nomination, the field is still wide open.  There are eight (mostly) serious candidates left in the hunt- Bush, Carson, Christie, Cruz, Fiorina, Rand, Rubio and Trump.  Of these, I can fully support and get behind all but one of them- Donald Trump.  As an elected official with the GOP (co-chair of Steele County in southern Minnesota) if Trump is the nominee I will be honor bound to resign my position if Trump is the GOP nominee.  My reasons for this are simple: first, Donald Trump is not presidential, second, he would be bad for down ticket races, and third, he is not in fact a conservative.

Much has been made about Donald Trump's frontal assault on political correctness.  While I and millions of other Americans appreciate Trump's willingness to not shy away from saying what liberals tell us is verboten, the fact is that Trump is politically incorrect not because he is pushing back against liberals but because he just doesn't have a filter on his speech.  Trump simply says whatever is to his benefit to say, no matter the consequences. While this is politically satisfying, it is a terrible trait for a man who would be leading the US diplomatic effort around the world, and who would be need to pursuade Congress to legislate his plans.  Trump does not persuade anyone- he uses fear and power to force his position.

Even a successful Trump presidential run would be problematic for the down ticket races.  Minnesota doesn't have any statewide races in 2016, but nonetheless Trump's inflammatory rhetoric would be the yardstick by which every GOP candidates for Congress and state legislature would be judged.  Trump as GOP candidate makes him the de facto leader of the party, which would open every Republican candidate to answer for Trump's every comment during the campaign.  "Speaker Daudt, do you agree with your presidential candidate's plan to halt all immigration from Muslim countries?"  These are the type of questions that the party doesn't want to hear.

But the biggest criteria in which Trump fails is that he is not actually a conservative.  As I have proudly told local supporters, I am a conservative first and Republican second.  That means my conservative principles come before my GOP affiliation.  Trump is in no way a conservative, having donated to liberals (such as Hillary Clinton) and having espoused liberal ideas (eminent domain and amnesty when it suited him).  Trump is an opportunist, willing to support whatever position that advances his short term interests.  Even were he to be elected, he would be the bane of the GOP when he shifted positions on conservative ideology.

Donald Trump is a chameleon, who has no allegiance to any belief other than profit, and he would be true to that belief as a president.  His lip service to conservative principles is just that-lip service.  Trump as president would sell out any conservative position as it suited his mood, and the GOP would be pressured to follow suit.

If Donald Trump is the GOP nominee for president, I would have to step down from my elected position in the local party, because I couldn't recommend him to others.  I can't say whether or not I would vote for him, though I suspect I would not.  I would still work on behalf of local GOP candidates, but as an individual rather than as a party official.  I've had several instances in the last few years where I have had to hold my nose to vote for a Republican candidate (i.e. CD1) but I can't hold my nose and vote for the leader of my party,  I would hope that a Trump candidacy would be short lived, but were he to win I would have to look to another party to represent me.

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