With the Iowa Caucuses less than a month away, one thing is certain – the still-on-top Donald Trump will continue to dominate media coverage, playing directly into the Democrats’ collective hand.
Clearly, Trump has tapped into anger felt by voters throughout the country, anger towards government institutions, our economy, and 7 years of President Obama.
Yet some anger should be directed at the candidate who exists solely to exploit the genuine anxiety voters feel, without offering credible solutions to the problems that have made so many angry, instead appealing only to our worst instincts.
Because of Trump’s perversion of conservatism, along with the devastating impact he would have if nominated, I cannot support Donald Trump were he to win the Republican nomination.
As the GOP battles over what – or who – defines conservatism, it should be easy to define what doesn’t: angry populism, cheap sloganeering and bombast.
Credit Trump for this: when confronted with tough questions or bad poll numbers, he knows what to do: cynically create yet another outrage du jour taking the media's focus away from Trump's lack of knowledge or substance on the challenges facing America onto much more comfortable ground, the six-month running Mad Libs of calculated shocking comments – attacking minorities, a candidate’s face, a reporter's disability or even bathroom breaks. As every Trump interview shows, the Emperor not only does not have any clothes; he does not have any answers.
And while shocked, entertained or both, we all may be, with actual voting set to occur, it is time to state the obvious:
A supporter and donor to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, a candidate who has called for single payer universal healthcare, and flippantly confuses their position on abortion is no conservative and has no business being the stalwart of the Republican Party. Nominating him could cause an existential danger for the party.
Similarly, a candidate whose rhetoric has rightfully drawn comparison to extremist candidates in foreign countries, including Marine Le Pen in France, and earned criticism from our staunchest allies, while gaining praise from worldwide menace Vladimir Putin, and who cannot name military advisors other than those he watches on television, is dangerous to the United States and the world at a time when the world is at risk.
Donald Trump as the Republican nominee would be catastrophic for Republican hopes to win the White House and maintain control of the Senate and would damage the party and the conservative cause for years to come. His having the legitimacy that comes with the nomination of a major political party would cause greater instability throughout the world at a time when the world looks to America for leadership that is serious and sober.
As a longtime conservative Republican campaign and Congressional aide, and former official of the Republican National Committee, not voting for the Republican nominee is an unimaginable scenario. But for the sake of my party and indeed, my country, while I will certainly vote for some Republican in November, if Trump is the nominee, I cannot vote for my party’s nominee.
Cynics like to say America gets the politicians it deserves. If Republicans nominate Trump, that cliché may actually be true.
As a loyal and proud conservative Republican, I cannot help make that happen by voting for a Trump-led ticket in 2016.