Saturday, May 28, 2016

What I Wish Republicans Would Say ...

I suppose I will be baffled until the evening of November 8.

How anyone, let alone Republicans in elected office, can willingly cast a vote for Donald Trump is beyond my comprehension.

And I can comprehend a lot.

Senator Rubio is the latest in a string of politicians who have denounced Trump in no uncertain terms only to pivot 180 degrees and work to elect him.

As President Obama would say: Really?

During the New Hampshire primary, Governor Christie said that Trump was unfit to be president of the United States.

In embarrassingly short order, Christie became a shill. Anything for a sliver of limelight, eh, governor? Even if the price you pay is all of what remained of your credibility?

I admire Senator Sasse for refusing to fall in line behind a man who's been called a "con man" and a "fraud" and a "liar." And a litany of other terms. I'm sure you've seen them everywhere. If not, check out my Twitter feed.

Sasse is a Republican and an evangelical Christian. We don't have a lot in common. But we share a belief that Trump should never be the leader of the free world.

I admire Governor Romney – now; I didn't admire him when he accepted Trump's endorsement in 2012 – for likewise refusing to get on board. He helped create this mess but at least he's refusing to participate in its spread.

I (tentatively) admire Speaker Ryan for not immediately flocking to Trump's back side. (See: Christie.) I don't suppose he can withhold his support forever but that would be nice to see.

This is what I wish Republicans would say:

We apologize. We've ruined the party. We never took the long view. For decades, we've been opportunists. And we've lied. We've driven people apart instead of bringing them together. We've promised you changes we knew we couldn't deliver. We've created policy we knew would favor the few. We've stayed silent when we should have spoken out. But now that we're here, at this place in American history, we have to say 'No more.' We have to put country over party. No, we do not like Hillary Clinton but we cannot allow Donald Trump to become the leader of the free world. To do so would be reckless, the height of irresponsibility. We know better. We all know better. Vote for Gary Johnson if you're so inclined. Yes, he will split the Republican vote and we will lose the election but we have to concede this loss. And yes, if Hillary wins, she will likely win a second term. But we have done grave damage to our party and even eight years might not be enough time to right all of our wrongs. Our total obstruction of President Obama was wrong. We inflicted great harm on our country. We must vacate our opposition and begin to work with Democrats again. And we know that that will anger you further. And you have no reason to trust us but you'll see: compromise will lead to solutions that will benefit us all.