Donald Trump is the Sh*t Sandwich I Won’t Eat

The following is the opinion of Red Maryland Editor-in-Chief Brian Griffiths. It is not the official editorial position of Red Maryland.

I registered to vote in 1998. I registered to vote as a Republican when few of my peers were doing so. I registered as a Republican because I liked smaller government, I liked the second amendment, and I thought taxes were too high. I proudly went to the polls and voted for Ellen Sauerbrey in that General Election, and I’ve been a Republican ever since. I spent four years as Maryland Young Republicans Chairman. Four years on the Maryland Republican Party Executive Board. Five years on the Young Republican National Federation, including three as a National Officer.

During that time, I’ve voted for and supported some candidates that I was proud to support. I’ve voted for and supported some candidates that I was not at all enthusiastic about. I’ve voted for candidates that were bad candidates. Every time I’ve done so, it’s because I was supporting the best candidate for the job. While I have actively criticized Republican candidates during a primary election, I have not once said that I would not for a Republican candidate in a General Election.

Donald Trump is the bridge too far.

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Unfortunately, we’ve seen a lot of “conservatives” who are supporting Trump in this primary process. You have to use the air quotes around conservative because no conservative could possibly support Trump with the issue positions that he has, to say nothing about some of the people he has surrounded himself with, the things that they have done, and the absolutely bonkers elements that are flocking to his campaign. The fact that we are reading stories about David Duke saying that Donald Trump will “Make Hitler Great Again” should give pause to any right-thinking individual. But that hasn’t stopped people with alleged conservative or libertarian views from flocking to Trump.

Collins Bailey was the champion of the liberty wing of the party during the 2013 and 2014 State Party Conventions. He’s a Trumpkin.

Jim Rutledge ran for the U.S. Senate as a liberty-minded conservative. During his Senate campaign, this is how he described his ideological convictions:

Who is your political lodestar? What shapes your ideological background?

John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, and Ronald Reagan.

The preservation of human dignity and individual liberty is the first and principle duty of any legitimate government. This unalterable truth was established by the divine Creator who is the architect of the universe and the author of law. The foundational idea is that we are a free people governed by law and not ruled by powerful men and women. Therefore, I reject and condemn the social and economic controls being thrust upon the citizens of America by an all powerful and centralized federal government. With few exceptions, local and state governments serve the people far better than the bloated federal bureaucracy.

But despite what he said in 2010, Jim Rutledge is now a Trumpkin.

As a matter of fact, here’s a list of all known active political Trump enablers in Maryland.

A lot of the people supporting Trump are people who want to “burn the establishment down.” Of course, that’s a completely illogical fallacy. Red Maryland has often been on the other side of the establishment. However, the “establishment” so much as it is, is far more conservative than it has ever been before, both nationally and in Maryland. The voting element that wants to stick to the “establishment” for not being conservative enough is instead lining up behind the most anti-conservative, anti-liberty, anti-Republican candidate the Republican Party has ever seen.

The anti-establishment element supporting Trump is going to be awfully surprised when Trump sells them down the river and humiliates them just like he has done to Chris Christie since his endorsement. They’re going to be even more surprised when a good chunk of the establishment falls in line behind Trump because that’s what they do. Our friend Joe Cluster, Executive Director of the State Party, is very conservative himself. But he has publicly talked about Trump being the presumptive nominee and is preparing to get the state party to support him. I don’t think for a second that Trump is Joe’s preferred candidate, but it’s his job to support the nominee and that’s what he’s going to do.

For Republican officials and for Republican employees, they are going to have a choice to make. Some made the choice early. David Wissing was on the Howard County Republican Central Committee until he resigned last December when he publicly said that he would not support Donald Trump if he were the nominee. Many employees and Central Committee members across the country are going to have this choice. They are going to either have to support Trump, or they are going to have to leave their positions. This is a rational expectation from party officials.

However, most of us are not party officials and we are not bound by such restrictions on our movement and our decision making. Most Republican voters would identify as conservatives. And many of these conservatives are Republicans for the sake of convenience because it is the party that best represents their views. When the party no longer starts to represent their views, that bond of loyalty is diminished and the voter may move on. Just look at the conservative migration out of the Democratic Party in the 1960’s to see what that can do to a party, both regionally and nationally.

For me personally, it comes down to values and morality. Yes, I’ve been a Republican for 18 years, many of those years active in party leadership. However, I’m a conservative before a Republican. Always have been. Now, I’m also a Catholic before I’m a conservative. So you have to look at Donald Trump from the perspective of a Catholic conservative. And look at the things that Trump supports:

  • Trump supports continued federal funding of Planned Parenthood;
  • Trump continues to court racists and anti-semites into his movement;
  • Trump supports the seizure of property through eminent domain for private, not public use;
  • Trump supports controls on the sale and ownership of automatic weapons;
  • Trump supports universal healthcare in the style of the failed British National Health Service;
  • Trump supports confiscatory taxes on the moderately wealthy;
  • Trump supports ridiculously high tariffs that would increase the cost of goods for consumers;
  • Trump speaks glowingly of anti-liberty totalitarians like Putin and Stalin.

That’s not something that I can sign up for.

In a spin of irony, many of the Trumpkins are now trying to demand loyalty of Republicans to support Trump if he is the Republican nominee solely because he’s the Republican nominee. It’s ironic because many of these same pro-liberty types refused to show such loyalty to other Republican candidates, even though many of these Republican candidates (Bush, McCain, Romney, etc) had issue platforms and positions within the accepted ballpark of conservative values. There is not a single position that Trump holds that can be classified as conservative. In fact, Trump’s main position in the election is that he is for winning and against somebody else winning. Beyond that, he will say or do anything to get elected, regardless of its morality.

Some Trumpkins are saying that not voting for Trump is a vote for Hillary. That is actually, of course, not true. It’s a false choice because there will be more than two candidates running in this election. There will be multiple parties, including potentially a third-party conservative challenge from an actual conservative challenger, if Trump is the nominee.

As Leon Wolf writes so eloquently at Red State:

I have never not voted for the Republican nominee for President since I turned 18 in the long ago. If it happens for the first time in 2016, and Hillary gets elected, it won’t be my fault. It will be Trump’s. He’s the one who failed to earn my vote. And Trump never did anything for me such that I owe it to him anyway.

To put it I different way, I tend to think of the choice a bit differently. I think that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are both shit sandwiches. Sure, they may vary in toppings like the difference between ketchup and mustard, but at the end of the day you’re still eating a shit sandwich.

When I got vote on Election Day, I know that I have to do what is best for my family, for my country, and what is most consistent with my conservative principles and my religious beliefs. I’m not going to vote for a candidate that supports totalitarianism. I’m not going to vote for a candidate that supports abortion. I’m not going to vote for candidate that’s going to make me have to go to confession immediately there after.

There is no morally justifiable reason to vote for Donald Trump. And I’ll never do it. Donald Trump is the Shit Sandwich I Won’t Eat.

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