Friday, May 13, 2016

Crooked Hillary, Dodgy Donald, struggling for more than civility through it all...

There are still plenty of in-depth pieces being published across the internet that detail the problems with a Donald Trump candidacy, from the downright nastiness instituted through the primaries to the dismal poll numbers, from the innumerable comparisons with Hillary to the actual failures behind the wall talk...and so on. Here's a few of those:

Trump and Hillary…One and the Same
A Sound-Byte Candidacy in Dangerous Times
Crooked Hillary and Dodgy Donald Are Two of a Kind

So it's not surprising that many of us feel like Dr. Solomon on 3rd Rock from the Sun!
"Oh God, I hope I did the right thing?!"

In one of Erick Erickson's latest posts, detailing the discord confronting him from both Trump supporters and opponents, he says, "What I see more than anything right now, though, are conservatives deeply upset and disappointed by people now endorsing Donald Trump." Here, here.

Yet, Erickson goes further in demonstrating that though he receives attacks and threats daily for not supporting Donald Trump, he'd rather reciprocate with principle over the same sentiments of malice...
I don’t want to be like Trump supporters. I encounter very few Trump supporters who are gracious. And the ones I do encounter most often only wound up there after all their preferred candidates lost. They just want to beat Hillary Clinton. For twenty years Republicans have been programmed to beat the Clintons, who are supposed to be the devil incarnate.

I have lost friends because of my opposition to Trump. But I have no desire to write off friends who support Trump. I disagree with them, but I do understand where they are coming from. They desperately fear Hillary Clinton. They desperately want to beat her. I cannot bring myself to vote for Donald Trump because I find him temperamentally and morally unfit for the job. I could not look my children in the eyes if I had to tell them I voted for Donald Trump or for a woman who is okay with killing children.

I can’t do it. But I am sympathetic to those who will vote for Trump as a means to an end.

I am not willing to write off those who are trying now to be team players. It may make me less inclined to support them in a future race, but I just don’t have the energy to purge good people from a movement because they have always been and will always be team players.

I have a harder time with the con-men and charlatans who latched on to Team Trump early. I have a hard time with the pundits on television who have been as graceless and nasty on television as the Trump supporters on Twitter throughout the primary season. Those are the people I will be wary of in the future. It’s not a blacklist so much as confirmation that most of these people are who I always thought they were. Backing Trump in the primary just affirmed about many of them what I already thought. I will be wary of candidates who hire those people in the future.

There is, though, going to be a future. We are in uncharted territory now. Everyone is feeling their way about in the dark. I wish others, like Rick Perry and Bobby Jindal and Marco Rubio, etc. would take a strong stand against Trump. They know he is unfit for office. They have said so and I believe privately still think it. But I just can’t be mad at good men trying to be team players for the team they’ve always supported even when it hasn’t supported them back. I am disappointed in them, but have no ill will toward them. We are all trying to figure this out.

I hate to not be on the team for the first time since I started voting. I am exhausted by the daily nastiness of Trump supporters pouring into my phone lines on radio, email, and social media. I have no energy to reciprocate with that level of invective and I hope that those who, like me, are disappointed in team players will have malice toward none of them after this is over. Certainly, their jumping on the bandwagon may mean you don’t support them in the future. But I don’t think it means we should heap scorn on them or write them off.

What a frustrating time to be in politics on the right.

As a random aside in this rambling post, I commented to my producer tonight that the thing that really stands out to me about the behavior of Trump supporters is their lack of grace. If, for example, I had a change of heart on Trump in the future — not that I will — but if I did then decided to support him, I’d just get attacked by these same people as flipping because my ratings or income or something was put in jeopardy. There’d be no appreciation for the conversion. There’d be no “welcome aboard.”

It is the most bizarre cult of personality. Unless you were there in the beginning, you can never truly be a part of it. There’s no missional approach. It is just “convert or die” and conversion gets you nothing other than a twitter storm of hate for not doing it sooner. I’ve never seen anything like it. It is poisonous. So many people have embraced their leader’s own incivility. It’s like that Twilight Zone episode where the people put on masks and at midnight take them off and realize their faces have become the images on the masks. In this episode all the masks are of Donald Trump.

When this madness burns out, and it will burn out, it will be spectacular to see all the burned out lives and ruined careers in the cult. This won’t end well for most anyone. All I know for certain is that I do not want to ever get to the point in life where I behave the way these people behave and begin to justify behavior that should never be justified. Republicans said “character counts” against Bill Clinton. It should against Donald Trump too.
Just as this election cycle is far from over, so is the struggle.

Related link: Trump: Stonewaller, Shape-Shifter, Liar

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