First let me start this out with a heart to heart: I love all of my friends and followers, and those friends I’ve made through this election cycle are amazing. I hope that we all understand that sometimes we’re not going to agree, and that’s okay. I’m not going to change my opinion to make you happy, and I don’t expect the same in return. That said, what I have to say today might not sit well with everyone, but it’s my opinion, so I’m writing it up and throwing it out there for you guys to read.
Last week I wrote a post (read here) addressing Republicans who agree to support Trump, and I noted – multiple times – that such behavior is unacceptable. I addressed the following to those who agree to support the presumptive nominee:
Every word we said about you as we knocked on doors, spoke with our family, and campaigned for you at the fairs, rallies, and workplaces – heck, for many our own family Christmas – has become nothing but a joke. Not only is it a slap in the face, it’s revolting to know that those you abandoned us for – the angry ilks of the Trump brigades – were probably too busy sewing their white hoods and robes to even care that you existed when you were still running under the conservative principles we have been left to defend in your stead.
He is everything we promised others you weren’t. He embodies every stereotype we’ve fought to prove wrong. If you align with him, you not only pimp yourself out as just another politician, but you weaken the credibility of those like myself who vouched for you.
We voted for you because we thought you were strong enough to stand for our principles even if it meant you’d be standing alone. You’ve let us down….
You have a choice: You can stand with the (R) in your title, emptying it of all meaning, or you can stand with the convictions that once made that (R) a source of pride. You can form an alliance with a party label, or with those of us who embody and practice the principles you espouse. This is not your average election, and this is not your average below par candidate, this is a man who stands in opposition to everything you – and your constituents – should stand against.
My humble following was overjoyed.
Then yesterday this happened:
Marco Rubio doesn’t like nearly anything about Donald Trump, but “he’ll support the nominee.”
The Florida senator — who ruled himself out as a possible Trump running mate — told CNN’s Jake Tapper Tuesday that he stands by all of his criticism of Trump, but he will support his party’s nominee because he signed a pledge.
“I’ve signed a pledge that said I’d support the Republican nominee, and I intend to continue to do that,” Rubio said.
Tuesday, the Florida senator repeatedly said he’d support Trump (though he kept referring to him as “the nominee” instead of by his name). But when Tapper pressed him if on whether he’d actually vote for Trump, Rubio didn’t answer explicitly.
“I’m not voting for Hillary Clinton. I’m not throwing away my vote,” Rubio responded.
I actually loved most of Rubio’s interview, but when I made a tweet suggesting that I wish Rubio would have made a better choice in regards to “supporting the nominee,” many of my followers changed their tune.
I was bombarded with quite a number of accusations from people who agreed with me LAST WEEK when I called out everyone else. So, I’m going to break down some of their replies and I’ll explain myself without the character limit of Twitter.
“You were never a real Rubio supporter.”
What a pathetic and lazy argument. You can look at my previous posts and see that since he announced his candidacy, I have been nothing but a cheerleader for Marco Rubio. I still believe, wholeheartedly, that he is the best man for the job. Many bloggers and journalists have abandoned Rubio for the flavor of the week, I have been dedicated to his candidacy – unwavering, you might say – from the beginning. Someone who truly believes in you expects a lot from you. I truly believe in Marco, so my expectations are high. I don’t agree with him on every policy, but there hasn’t been anything even close to a deal breaker. However, agreeing to support the nominee if it’s Trump is not good enough for me, and I won’t apologize for having standards – especially to an individual who behaves like a 5 year-old and storms off the playground.
“I trust every word that man says, and every strategic move he makes. There’s something wrong with you. Unfollowing.”
Holy crap, guys. If you’re ready to delete/block anyone who critiques Rubio, we’re definitely not on the same page. Rubio is a man, not a god, and while I deeply respect him, it’s okay to point out if he’s doing something wrong. I will always stand for principles over party and politicians. If your first response is to lose your mind if someone says, “I wish Rubio would have….” you probably need a sedative. If you find yourself seeing no fault in a man, you’re probably in a cult.
Name a president and I can find a fault – even Reagan. It doesn’t mean they weren’t a good president, it means they were human. In recent years, the concept of the American Hero has become detrimental to the electoral process, because some are convinced that these men are born perfect, remain perfect, and maintain a perfect political career. If we’re not careful, we begin to mold our principles around a candidate, as opposed to molding our expectations in a candidate around our principles.
“If he goes against the pledge he could lose delegates!”
Hey, this person might be on to something. From what I understand, the pledge being kept has a lot to do with delegates. That being said, I do question this reasoning simply because Trump has blatantly broken the pledge many times over, so many of his own delegates should be released.
However, I’ll play along and say that it’s because of the delegates. That’s why I said, last night, that I’d hold real criticism until after the convention. BUT… that was blown out of the water somewhere around the 5th or 6th time I was called a traitor.
(To those who nicely disagreed, of course I’m not talking about you in this post. I can handle disagreement.)
With the delegates in mind, if Rubio still agrees to vote for Trump AFTER the convention, I’m going to call him out. Harshly. I can still believe that he is the best man for the job, and realize that his choice to support Trump with a vote is a horrible choice on his part, both for his career and conservative principles.
“He is a man of his word, and he’s keeping his word by voting for the nominee!”
Oh, this is fun. Let’s create a few examples.
So you’re driving along on a road trip and stop for dinner where you meet a kind gentleman looking for a ride home. He says, “I sure would like to make it home for Christmas…” and after listening to his touching story and learning of his hopeful destination you say, “Join me! I promise I’ll get you home.” Then somewhere along the way he reveals to you that the family you’re bringing him to was under Witness Protection after he threatened them, and as a bonus he intends to butcher said family when he arrives. “You’re insane!” you cry, “I’m not taking you there!” He looks at you astonished, “But you promised… Are you a man of your word?”
Want another example?
Okay… So a group of forward thinkers once pledged their loyalty to King George III and their mother country. Then one day, British parliament was all like, “Here, deal with these punitive laws,” and the group of forward thinkers were like, “Screw your Intolerable Acts!” And the British Parliament was all like, “But you pledged your loyalty!” But the forward thinkers decided to instead break their pledge and forever change the course of history.
Still want another example?
Okay, so this guy runs for President in your party and you promise to support him if he’s the nominee. After you make such a promise, he reveals that he’d bully troops into committing war crimes, start an arms race, use our nuclear arsenal as a game of leverage, just print more money to “solve” the debt, start a trade war, abandon our allies, trash the Constitution, and destroy millions of lives through mass deportation; all of which could lead to a large body count. You say, “But I’m a man of my word, so I’ll support him.“
Three years later we’re in a world war, our military men have blood on their hands, nuclear arms are rampant, families are broken and desperate because jobs are scarce and inflation is suffocating the economy, our allies have suffered, and we’re restocking toe tags because our rushed deportation efforts left hundreds dead. As you stand in the rubble, taking in the fallout, you gently mutter to the desperate crowd, “But I stuck by my word, guys…“
In short: Feed your “man of his word” rubbish to someone who cares. Because…
Sometimes it is necessary for a man of morals and integrity to break his word.
Those who kept their vow to support Hitler are remembered as monsters for refusing to break their vow when he started mass executing innocent human beings. If a woman vows “to death do us part,” but finds her husband abusing her children, she must break her vow. If a doctor makes a promise to be at his sons soccer game, but suddenly finds himself running to the aid of a child hit by a vehicle, he must break his promise. The examples are endless.
More times than not, breaking a promise is not morally relevant, but sometimes keeping a promise fails to be morally permissible. Promises, as a general rule, require exceptions. Moral arguments, however, do not survive if we allow exceptions.
“America was built on ideas — equality of opportunity, freedom of speech, the rule of law — that Donald Trump’s campaign has been tearing down, mocking or abusing,” Rubio’s message said. “Truth is, we have to stop him — not just for our party, but for our country.”
If Republican politicians believe Trump to be the danger they openly admitted that he is, they have a moral obligation to deny Trump his vote. That goes for every Republican. Example: See Jeb Bush and Lindsey Graham (didn’t think I’d ever say that).
I’d also add that there’s another oath all of these elected officials took that is in conflict with any pledge to support Donald Trump:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”
“At least he’s not endorsing like Perry did!”
You’re right. This isn’t a game of all or nothing, and what Perry did is reprehensible. However, that doesn’t make Rubio’s position acceptable. If my brother steals someone’s car, and I steal the pie out of someone’s window, my brother’s crime may be worse and deserving of a harsher punishment, but we both did something wrong.
I mean, I’m happier because I have pie, but I still did something wrong.
Perry’s endorsement makes me ill, Rubio’s “I’ll honor the pledge” merely gives me a headache.
“He’s trying to help down ticket candidates.”
No offense to my wonderful friends who say this, but that’s a cop out. Rubio can help and support down ticket candidates while still acknowledging that Trump is a danger to our country and shouldn’t receive his vote.
In four years, the public is going to ask the following questions – among many others – to candidates who voted for Trump against their principles and, quite honestly, I don’t know how any of these people will answer them.
– So you agreed to vote for someone who you didn’t think should have the nuclear codes because you wanted to help down ticket candidates? What’s more important to you, principles or party?
– You said that you disagreed with Trump, but still voted for him. I guess you didn’t disagree with him as much as you said you did?
– You were adamantly against Trump, even going so far as to say that he was “dangerous,” or a “cancer.” Was that a lie? And if it wasn’t a lie, how can we trust you when you voted for someone that you yourself admitted was a danger?
– Before the Convention, Trump threatened to cause an unprecedented global financial crisis, yet you still chose to vote for him over a third party? With that in mind, can you be trusted?
Do you know what questions we should want?
– Were you just bitter about losing?
“Oh, I was bitter. I was bitter that the majority of Americans were given the choice of two Democrats that they didn’t want in the first place, and that’s why I refused to vote for such damaging policies. The majorities were not represented, they were bullied into choosing between two dangerous ideologies. It was a false choice.”
– You broke your word, how can we trust you?
“When I made a promise to support the nominee we had yet to hear just how horribly dangerous his policies were. If I had to break my pledge to protect our men and women in the military, the innocent children of immigrants, our allies who depend on us, and every American that would suffer under a global financial crisis, then that was exactly what I needed to do and, quite frankly, I haven’t regretted it for a single moment.”
Standing for principle is always the right choice, and it’s also easier to explain.
“It’s not YOUR career on the line!”
If he’s not willing to lose his career for the sake of country, then he doesn’t deserve the power that has been bestowed upon him in the first place. We’re not talking about the local clerk who found some inconsistencies in the books, or the guy who doesn’t talk about the cockroach issue at the restaurant where he works. We’re talking about the entire country being put in jeopardy, our children’s futures, and the future of a movement that freed slaves, championed equality, and once had a rich history of siding with the innocent.
Thankfully, I believe Rubio to be a man of integrity and not simply another opportunist politician. I believe he would willingly lose his job to do what is right, but I also think that right now he is desperately trying to be a man of his word by abiding by the pledge when now is the time to disregard said pledge.
“You’re just being a purist!”
A “purist” is “a person who insists on absolute adherence to traditional rules and structures.” For example, a purist would be someone who sees Mitt Romney running, but doesn’t like a specific minor policy, and refuses to vote due to such a minor issue. A purist would be someone who would refuse to vote for Rubio because of the Gang of Eight. A purist would refuse to vote for Jeb Bush because they don’t like his support of Common Core. A purist would refuse to vote for Lindsey Graham because talk radio said that he’s the devil.
However, taking issue with someone for giving their support, or vote, to a dictator-light is not being a “purist.” It’s like when the people throw around the word “establishment” without knowing what it means.
Now, with all of that out of the way, I still love Rubio. I believe wholeheartedly that he was/is the best choice. I merely pointed out the fact that I didn’t appreciate his cryptic message. After being attacked for that, I felt the need to lay out my position in case the convention comes and goes without Rubio changing his stance.
Rubio can fix all of this by saying that he won’t vote for Trump after the convention.
The question: Will he?
Those in the #NeverTrump movement must be unwavering, they must stand by their principles regardless of what everyone else is doing, otherwise they will fail. The party may very well die with Trump and his revolting narrative, but the death of the conservative movement will be on the shoulders of those who could have made a stand for the principles they espouse, but chose instead to begrudgingly cast their vote and become a sycophant for a dangerous individual.
I’ll end this by posting a thought provoking note from my friend, Daniel Windham:
My #NeverTrump Bumper Sticker
A lot can, and has, been said about the state of American politics in the past few weeks. The problem with 99% of the discussion is it’s a dumpster fire with asbestos sprinkled on top. The current standard for “bravery” as set by pundits and political leaders is saying “Hey Mr. Trump maybe we can’t be best friends, but it’s totally cool if you need me to stop I’ll just step in this corner and be quiet”. You’d think Speaker Ryan was the new Captain America by his tepid disapproval of Donald John Trump, certified lunatic. He’s not.
This brings me to my bumper sticker. At the outset of the #NeverTrump movement, Sen. Marco Rubio was hawking #NeverTrump merch like an old crazy white man at a Trump rally. I took this as a sign. An omen. A literal & physical manifestation of the idea. I ordered two bumper stickers with the now infamous hashtag. They never showed up. Neither did the #NeverTrump movement among our so called “leaders”.
I have tons of respect for Katie Packer and Tim Miller’s group. The “Quotes” ad seemed like the best warning shot the GOP could have received. They ignored it like a Kardashian ignores price tags. The GOP went full steam ahead on the Trump Train- straight off a cliff, into a volcano filled with Zika virus.
Let’s talk about the pledge. It’s ridiculous and stupid and not worth discussing. The idea you’d support someone who advocated war crimes, insults the disabled, hates women, and would destroy America because you signed a worthless piece of paper is LUDICROUS. It’s not even worth debating. It’s delusional to say- “Rubio is keeping his word”. Grow up. He’s making a political choice and we all know why. The pledge is a bullet Ted Cruz will shoot at Rubio in 2020 and he wants it taken out of the chamber. I understand this choice, I also 100% disapprove.
Here’s how to react when someone asks the question:
Host: “Do you support Donald Trump as the nominee of the Republican Party?”
Politician: “I’d rather be eaten by a velociraptor with rabies live on television than support that sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot” – Credit to Dolly Parton on 9 to 5
Here’s my outlook on the future of the conservative movement “leadership”. I no longer have faith it will show up when it really counts. I’m reminded of that every day when I see an empty space where I was going to put my #NeverTrump bumper sticker. It never showed up.
If we don’t demand that they “show up,” we might as well sit back and allow Donald Trump’s venomous narrative to infect everything we stand for.
*Featured Image by rarehistoricalphotos.com