Sunday, August 7, 2022

Thursday's primaries clearly show that the Republican Party is the Party of Trump. I have some soul searching to do.

by Rod Williams, August 7, 2020- I had been anticipating the recent primaries across the country to see if Trump's grip on the Republican party was still strong.  It appears it is.  I wish it were not, but it appears it is.  

Trump did some padding of his wins by picking some incumbents who were expected to sail to easy wins anyway.  He made some endorsements in noncompetitive races days just days ahead of the primaries. This increases his look of invincibility but he also won some races where it was Trump that made the difference. There really is no other way to spin it: Trump’s candidates won GOP primaries at an impressive rate. 

While some of Trump's wins were Republicans who simply avoided making the 2020 election an issue, some of Trump's wins were candidates who made the claim that the 2020 election was stolen and the targeted incumbent denied the election was stolen.

In Michigan, Trump scored a big win with the primary defeat of Rep. Peter Meijer who was one of the ten House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for inciting the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Trump supported John Gibbs who won. Gibbs repeated Trump’s lies about a stolen 2020 election claiming it was "rigged," and a result of "massive voter fraud. He was also a conspiracy theorist who promoted tales involving Hillary Clinton and satanic rituals (1) (2). 

Trump also scored another Michigan win in his support of Tudor Dixon in the Republican primary for governor. She beat out four other primary contenders. She is a conservative commentator and former online news host who claims the 2020 election was stolen. (3)

Trump also claimed victory in Missouri’s GOP Senate primary, where state Attorney General Eric Schmitt came out on top in the race to succeed retiring Republican Sen. Roy Blunt.

Trump won big in Arizona when former news broadcaster Kari Lake won the GOP primary for Arizona governor. She has been an outspoken election denier, conspiracy theorist and bombastic personality, She once said on a Twitter post, “The Media is the Enemy of the People. And frankly — the right hand of the Devil.(4).” She has also spread weird theories about Covid-19.

Trump also had an Arizona win with Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters who won the nomination.  Masters once used a quote by Nazi official Herman Goering to argue against U.S. intervention in foreign conflicts. He also once reportedly compared a hotel chain’s decision not to host a speech by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to the Holocaust. (5) (6).

Other big Trump wins were Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania and J.D. Vance in Ohio.  For a detailed look at where Trump won and lost, see this article in Politico, and this one in The New York Times.

It should be noted that Trump had some help for his candidates from an unexpected source. Democrat-aligned PACs poured millions of dollars into campaigns to support Trump-backed candidates (7) (8). This cynical ploy was based on an assumption that Trump-backed candidates would be easier to beat in a general election. One would think that would be so.  If campaigning on the lie that the 2020 election was not enough to lose them votes, then favorably quoting Nazis and theorizing that Hillary Clinton engaged in satanic rituals should cause a candidate to lose votes.  I wouldn't bet on it.  Just look at Marjorie Taylor Green. One can not get much nuttier than MTG and yet she easily won her most recent reelection and she is so respected that the Wilson County Party chose her as their keynote speaker at their annual fundraising dinner. Democrats may have just helped put in office in critical positions, people determined to destroy American democracy.

Given Trump's victory in Thursday's primary, I have some soul searching to do. I was hoping Trump would fade away and the Republican Party would return to sanity.  It has not happened yet. I definitely will not continue to support the Republican Party if Trump is the 2024 nominee.  I am not ready to jump ship yet, however.  I am going to stay engaged and work for the nomination of anybody-but-Trump. At a time in my life when I could greatly increase my financial support for the Republican Party, I am going to curtail my support. If the only way we can win the House and the Senate is by supporting nutjob candidates who want to subvert our democracy, I do not think winning is worth it.  I do not want to help elect people to the office of governor in some of these states who would be inclined to help Trump steal a 2024 election. So, I will not be contributing to the  Republican Governors Association. I am going to be more judicious about all of my giving to Republicans. If I think any of my financial contributions would help elect Trumpinistas, I am not making that contribution. 


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