Without a stage full of fellow candidates with which to hide his lack of depth, substance, and intelligence behind a barrage of middle school insults, Trump is left standing alone. A shallow man lacking in self-control and thoughtful logic, implosion could only be imminent. Like a terribly behaved child left to their own devises, the mask is being inched back every day on what a depraved, racist, ego driven maniac he is. Those of us who have been paying attention and put our principles before party have seen him for exactly who he was long ago.
While others who put more value into their “careers” (an ironic term for a “public servant”) hopelessly chose to ignore the obviously repugnant side of Trump that dripped from his persona like an infected leper, and disgustingly endorsed his candidacy, naively declaring that they could influence or change him once in office.
Routinely these last few weeks, I’ve gotten berated for being solidly on the same page with Bill Kristol as a #NeverTrumper. A man who I’ve often admired and agreed with, such as his key strategy role in defeating the Clinton healthcare debacle of ‘93, just as often as I’ve vehemently disagreed with him on various and sundry issues.
But such Venn-diagrams are a normal part of the game of politics and my response is easily, I’d rather share a page with Bill Kristol than a page with the former Grand Wizard of the KKK, David Duke- and even more importantly, Vladimir Putin and a North Korean state-endorsed paper now singing the praises of Donald J Trump.
On the other hand, I’ve had many genuine conversations with and private message from average voters to elected officials or party people, who are privately at war with their decision of what to do with this presidential election. Voters who have been (up to this point) rightly conditioned to always vote with the party are now questioning everything they have been taught versus everything that they believe.
Nevertheless, a beast of this nature can only be ignored for so long until it grows into a raging infection that also leaves those affiliated with him at risk. Endorsements and support leave those handing them over to Trump wreaking of the stench that comes from dying principles.
And as was inevitable, we have reached a day of reckoning. Decision time. Principles are being weighed against political careers and the results will create leaders or lechers.
The days of shirking the responsibilities that are a part of the mantle of conservatism that one declares precious to one’s soul are over. The clock of cowardice is running out and it’s time to stand up and be counted. Those of us who are #nevertrump have been carrying the water for a long time now. We’ve taken the bullets and watched those weaker than us cave to the peer pressure of the populist political avalanches.
It’s easy to take a stand when one is surrounded by an audience who largely agrees with you. It’s easy when you are standing against the Democrats. But, that’s not courage. Real courage is taking a stand when you know you may be standing alone.
Real leaders are defined in moments like this. They don’t stay quiet and watch the bullets fly, noticing their friends taking hits, while they pretend to be too preoccupied with other things to comment as they consider just quietly slithering in a booth to vote 3rd party or write in a name.
The day of reckoning is here. I am asking everyone—from individuals with little to no influence, to those who hold key positions as elected officials and party roles: Where do you stand?
I have a message for Speaker Paul Ryan: “I understand you’ve no doubt been under great political pressure. And yet, I can see how torn you are to be associated with a man like Trump, who shares none of your values and is an embarrassment to your party. You are not responsible for the choices of those who voted for Trump and you are not obligated to share in the same devastating decision process. You are not just leader of the Republican Party as Speaker of the House. You are the leader of both parties, the People’s House. Your loyalty belongs to your country.
If I were you, I’d offer to relinquish my title and go down in history as a rare breed of leadership who puts their soul over powerful party position.
Courage is contagious. Inspire other leaders in the party to regain their dignity and reclaim their convictions.”
This election is like none other. It will go down in the history books as a race for two destructive, ego-driven, and dangerous candidates. For those of us who left our blood, sweat, and tears on the battlefield during the primary to stop Trump and deliver a candidate worthy of taking down a Hillary presidency—the race is over and we won’t be contributing to either of these great debacles.
The question for each of you remains…. Which side of history do you want to be on?