Every Election Can Not Be Referendum On Trump

The right needs to vote the issues because of or in spite of Trump

I am going to vote in the Georgia runoff elections today. I have gone to public forums, heard the candidates speak, seen their ads and done my own research. To be quite honest, the last thing I care about is who President Trump endorsed. Yet as I am reading the coverage that is out there, popular opinion seems to be that the GOP runoff for Governor is a referendum on the President because he endorsed one of the candidates.

With the current state of coalition on the right, those of us who oppose socialism, identity politics, the increasingly intolerant left and a much bigger federal footprint need to be clear. Local and state elections are just that. We should be looking at the candidate who most closely represents our values and pull the lever.

To preserve majorities in the House and Senate, we must do this in very large numbers in November. And we need to ignore the voices telling us we must vote Democrat to oppose Trump. It's simply not true.

If you view my social media history, I was clearly #NeverTrump through November of 2016 and openly admit I voted for a 3rd Party candidate. In retrospect, I am no more embarrassed by President Trump than the candidate I did vote for, so I view 2016 as a wash. Determined to deal with the reality of a Trump presidency to the best of my ability, I chose to look at the actions of his administration as objectively as I could and support what I could agree with and criticize what I don't.

I am happy with the action taken on taxes, the individual mandate repeal, the judiciary appointments, leaving the Iran Deal and the Paris Climate Accords and the majority of activities in the immigration arena. I like the majority of the administration appointees and am particularly fond of Nikki Haley, General Mattis and Mick Mulvaney. I think trade wars are exceptionally risky, worry tariffs are going to backfire in a big way and wince at some of the pandering to dictators. There's more, but you get it. I agree with the administration on some stuff and don't really like other stuff. It's sort of like every other administration ever in that regard.

And maybe I'm off base, but I think the majority of the coalition on the right, with the exception of the most shrill MAGA supporters, view politics the same way. We have a long tradition of debating ideas and while our unity in opposing much of the Obama agenda was remarkable, I was never under the impression the solutions offered by the various groups within the coalition were lock step.

So, how do I go in to 2018? The same way I have gone into every other election. I look at the candidates running, their history and their position on issues I care about. Then I pick the one that is the best match for my world view. If we can't get the Trump skeptical or opposition on the right to do the same thing without feeling like voting for a GOP or Trump endorsed candidate is somehow validating Trump in a holistic way, the coalition may be further divided.

So I am going to vote in the runoff today and my sole focus is to select the candidates to represent the GOP in and for Georgia that I feel will do the best job if elected. In November I will go and pull the lever for whichever candidate most closely represents my policy preferences and values. We need to encourage every member of the right minded coalition to do the same.

In some cases it will be because of Trump and that is fine. In others it will be in spite of Trump and that is necessary.

Comments
No. 1-15
Swan
Swan

@wolverinesfan99: I couldn't agree more! Growing racism within the Republican party is one of the main reasons I left that party. They even nominated a prominent racist (Corey Stewart) as their Senatorial candidate in my home state. I no longer want anything to do with a party that would nominate a Jew-hating white supremacist for the Senate, rejecting two good, upstanding, moral Republicans who were also on the ballot. You are right - values are forever. And if, as the GOP does, you consider your party to be the only remaining guardians and conservators of Christian values within our culture, then your party itself forsakes those values, you have become personally responsible for the death of those values within our culture. I only supported the Republican party because of its values, and now that it has abandoned them, there is no basis on which to support them any longer. There IS no "better party" - both parties are the same.

Like @Onlylivingboy, I will once again consider voting Republican once they purge the party of Trumpism (along with all the racism that entails). There are a few exceptions to that statement. If I lived in Nebraska, I'd vote for Ben Sasse. And there are a handful of other Republicans who have evidenced a moral backbone, who, if they were on the ballot in my state, would get my vote. But such Republicans are rare these days.

Swan
Swan

Since Congress is the first check to the president's power, and the president is not currently on the ballot but many members of Congress are, every Congressional race has rightly become a referendum on the president. Most of the Congressional majority (with some obvious exceptions) are not standing up to the president when he is dangerously wrong. They are refusing to utilize the Constitutional power they already have to do so. They are not willing to take such a potentially risky stance. This means they do not need to be sent back to Congress so they can continue to surrender their power and let the president get away with anything he wants (as they also did under Obama). Any belief that they will stand up for other unpopular right stances is based on an assumption that they possess courage they have already demonstrated they do not have.

Just because GOP members of Congress SAY they share our values doesn't mean they are willing to act on those values. In myriad cases, their actions have denied their supposed stances - on Obamacare, on abortion, on the national debt, on Russia, on so many other things. They said if we just gave them the Congressional majority, they'd repeal Obamacare, they'd defund Planned Parenthood, they'd cut the national debt, they'd stand up to threats to our country (instead of trying to pretend like the threats didn't exist, like Obama did), etc. They have not done these things. I won't vote for people who claim to hold my views, if they have already demonstrated that they won't act on those views once in Congress. What's the point? The net result will be just about the same, on those particular issues, if Democrats get elected, as it would have been if they hadn't been elected.

Also, there is much reason to believe that Trump is compromised to Putin and that this is the reason he won't even allow Pompeo to reveal his secret foreign policy agreements he made with Russia. (Foreign policy agreements should not be hidden from Congress, who can pass legislation to circumvent terrible agreements - but Pompeo won't even reveal most of Trump's agreements to CONGRESS!) Therefore I believe Trump should be impeached, for the sake of national security. So I will vote in such a way so as to bring about his impeachment. Pence may be the sort of guy who crumbles under pressure, like many politicians, but there is clear evidence that he truly is pro-life and honors Christian values (which I want in a politician), and there is no reason to believe that he would sell America down the river to save his own ego (like Trump is currently doing).

Republicans don't have to like my stance; I don't care - I'm not a Republican anyway. But there are a lot of us political independents who feel this way. Since independents decide elections, both parties should take seriously what we think. But I doubt they will.

Conscience should always supersede party loyalty. However your conscience leads you to vote, vote. And I will do the same. That may mean we vote differently from each other, but as long as we follow our own consciences, we are each doing right.

cynicalnerd
cynicalnerd

Why not take the TEA party stance and fight for the GOP candidates who support your values (like being against Trump) over the ones that don't instead of pulling a Cartman (Screw you guys, I'm going home!)?

Onlylivingboy
Onlylivingboy

I will vote for Democrats and independents. I'll consider voting GOP again if and when it rids itself of Trump and every craven simpering coward that covered for him.

cynicalnerd
cynicalnerd

Personally, so long as the 'Trumpy' candidates avoid that bordello owner's or Paul Nehlen's territory-- I'm not particularly fussed with them gaining seats at the expense of the McConnell-Kasich wing of the party even though I would prefer the Cruz wing become the overwhelming majority.