I don’t have a picture of a time machine, but I do have this really cool picture of a real live magic lantern. We can pretend it’s a time machine.
So, let’s do it. Imagine the magic lantern is shining its magic light on us and we’re magically back in the fall of 2012. Mitt Romney is the Republican presidential candidate.
Oops. Forgot to mention this funky device is actually a time AND space machine. We’re back in the fall of 2012 in another universe where Donald Trump is the Democratic presidential candidate.
The scenario is not that far-fetched. Before Trump became obsessed with Obama’s birth certificate, he was a Democrat. And he’s been a member of an obscure third party as well. He’s not a long term Republican.
So Romney vs. Trump…
Blerg. This is a choice that leaves 2012 ME rather bummed. Because I don’t like Romney.
For starters, I’ve been hearing people call him bad names like draft dodger for quite a while now. And I’ve been hearing wild rumors, like he is a cultist and wants to impose his beliefs on the whole country. And don’t get me started on the tabloid headlines and pictures!
Mainly, though, I don’t share his perspective. I feel nauseated when I hear him talk. I’m against most of his policies
For these and all sorts of other reasons, I would never pick him to be president.
But still, I have to choose. Because I’m an adult and that’s what adults do.
So, 2012 Alternate Universe ME, who is it?
Romney? Or Trump?
It’s really not a difficult decision.
Whether it’s 2012 or 2016, I’m going to vote for the person who doesn’t brag about sexual assault. The person who can focus long enough to show he has critical thinking skills. The person who doesn’t admire Russian despots. The person who doesn’t refer to immigrants as thieves and rapists. The person who contributed at least some tax money to support our armed forces, schools, police and social safety net programs. The person who doesn’t have a track record of thumbing his nose at our common values. The person who doesn’t promise to throw his opponent in jail when he’s elected or suggest his followers shoot her.
I’m going to vote for the person who isn’t going to destroy our country.
In 2012, I would have done what I could to ensure that Romney beat Trump. That’s kind of a no brainer, in my opinion. I have a 20-year-old son and I don’t want him called up because of a Twitter storm. I have a 12-year-old daughter and I don’t want her to grow up hearing from the President that her body is not hers to control.
In this hypothetical 2012 election, I would have supported Romney even though I would have hated every single second of it. The process might have made me feel sick at times. BUT I would have sucked it up and done it anyway because that’s what adults do.
I’m grateful that there are adults among the Republicans of 2016. I know that publicly supporting a person who is 1.) a Democrat and 2.) a Clinton is not an easy thing for them to do.
Amazingly, all of these Republicans have declared for Clinton–John Warner, Christine Todd Whitman, Michael Bloomberg, Richard Armitage, Brent Scowcroft, Hank Paulson, Gen. Michael Hayden, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Gregg, Meg Whitman and gobs more.
Does anyone think they’re doing it because it makes them feel good?
Does anyone believe that The Arizona Republic, a conservative paper now facing death threats and dropped subscriptions, endorsed a Democrat for the first time for their own benefit? What about the Columbus Dispatch? Or the Dallas Morning News?
Does anyone believe that no major US publication has endorsed Trump because all of them—including the Republican publications—like Clinton so much?
I’m grateful the adults above realize that now is the time to call out the danger we are all facing, which is the destruction of our democracy, our ideals, and possibly our physical existence. I’m grateful they have found the words to express this danger clearly.
Consider this excerpt from The Arizona Republic’s editorial board:
Trump’s inability to control himself or be controlled by others represents a real threat to our national security.…The president commands our nuclear arsenal. Trump can’t command his own rhetoric.
Were he to become president, his casual remarks — such as saying he wouldn’t defend NATO partners from invasion — could have devastating consequences.
Or this from a letter from former GOP National Security Officials:
Trump has “demonstrated repeatedly that he has little understanding” of the nation’s “vital national interests, its complex diplomatic challenges, its indispensable alliances and the (nation’s) democratic values.” Moreover, “Mr. Trump has shown no interest in educating himself.”
This list could go on and on. Last week, 110 Republican leaders denounced Trump. That, to me, is heartening and inspiring. Most of all, it’s admirable.
What I’ve found unspeakably disheartening is the seemingly inexplicable support of Trump by evangelical church leaders. I have lived in the Bible belt most of my life and even grew up in a Southern Baptist church. The way I was taught Christian teachings, Donald Trump represents the opposite of almost all of them. Plus, he’s been in cheesy Playboy videos!! And yet, as of October 11, this group remains one of his last strongholds of support.
According to Franklin Graham’s Twitter remarks, people should vote for Trump because of the Supreme Court. I don’t believe Graham is naïve enough to believe Trump is likely to honor a promise. I hope he doesn’t believe Trump exhibits wisdom. His attachment to Trump made no sense at all until I read several articles including this one from the right-leaning Real Clear Politics:
“The Rev. Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association might have seemed an unusual political ally for the brash mogul from New York — but in April 2011, Graham began to publicly express support for the celebrity businessman.” Not long after, “Trump used his foundation to send $100,000 to Graham’s association — one of the largest donations the foundation would make to any group that year.”
Is it just me, or does this story sound familiar?
Even though I’m not an evangelical, I feel disillusioned and sad for the positive aspects of the culture that I knew as a child. That’s why I’m grateful that there are a few voices willing to defy the leadership and speak out.
Russell Moore writes in the Washington Post that a younger generation of evangelicals is unwilling to play the game.
“The 30-year-old evangelical pastor down the street from you would rather die than hand over his church directory to a politician or turn his church service into a political rally….Finding new ways of engaging our fellow citizens and forming collaborative majorities for public action are now the urgent priority of evangelicals who wish not to concede the public space, in our name, to heretics and hucksters and influence-peddlers.”
Please don’t laugh at my time machine!
After all, impossible things sometimes happen.
I never believed Trump would win the Republican nomination. I still can’t believe that 40 percent of White Americans remain committed to voting for him. And, last I checked, the de facto leader of evangelical Christians is all for him, which is something that would have been inconceivable a few years ago.
All this proves, to me at least, that anything can happen. That’s why I’m sincerely thankful to all the Republicans out there who are choosing to be adults right now and work to make sure a nightmare does not come true.
I recognize how hard this is. I know it may be the first time many people have not voted for the Republican ticket, and that in itself is traumatic, even if they write in or vote third party.
It’s not an easy thing to do. But then, few things about being an adult are.