A Call for Reflection— Election 2020 is Coming
“’Last night, I was thinking about my various visits to the White House,’ Kerr said. ‘I’ve lived a privileged life and met I think the past five presidents prior to President Trump. The first one was in 1984, and Ronald Reagan was president. He invited my mom and me, six months after my dad was killed in a terrorist attack. President Reagan and Vice President Bush invited us into the Oval Office and spent about a half-hour with us, thanking us for my dad’s service.
‘He was in education, thanking us for my dad’s commitment to trying to share American values in the Middle East, trying to promote peace in the Middle East. All I could think about last night was the contrast in what has happened over the past 35 years. There was no regard for whose side you were on, political party or anything like that. It was just, ‘You were an American.’
‘The office held such dignity and respect, both from the people who were visiting and especially from the people who sat inside it. It’s just sad that it has come crashing down, and we’re now living this. I realize the horse was out of the barn a long time ago on this, but for me personally, this was my experience with, ‘Wow, has the office sunken low.’
‘My hope is that we can find a mature unifier from either party to sit in that chair and try to restore some dignity to the Oval Office again. I think it’ll happen.’” (Letourneau, 2019)
Steve Kerr, Coach Golden State Warriors
I recently read an article entitled, “We Are Republicans, and We Want Trump Defeated,” written by George T. Conway III, Steve Schmidt, John Weaver, and Rick Wilson.
Here’s a little information on their background for reference sake: George T. Conway III is an attorney in New York. Steve Schmidt is a Republican political strategist who worked for President George W. Bush, Senator John McCain, and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. John Weaver is a Republican strategist who worked for President George H.W. Bush, Senator John McCain and Gov. John Kasich. Rick Wilson is a Republican media consultant and author of “Everything Trump Touches Dies...” (George T. Conway III, 2019)
Here's an excerpt from the article that describes what Conway, Schmidt, Weaver and Rick Wilson are aiming to accomplish:
“Patriotism and the survival of our nation in the face of the crimes, corruption and corrosive nature of Donald Trump are a higher calling than mere politics. As Americans, we must stem the damage he and his followers are doing to the rule of law, the Constitution and the American character.
That’s why we are announcing the Lincoln Project, an effort to highlight our country’s story and values, and its people’s sacrifices and obligations. This effort transcends partisanship and is dedicated to nothing less than preservation of the principles that so many have fought for, on battlefields far from home and within their own communities.
This effort asks all Americans of all places, creeds and ways of life to join in the seminal task of our generation: restoring to this nation leadership and governance that respects the rule of law, recognizes the dignity of all people and defends the Constitution and American values at home and abroad.
Over these next 11 months, our efforts will be dedicated to defeating President Trump and Trumpism at the ballot box and to elect those patriots who will hold the line. We do not undertake this task lightly, nor from ideological preference. We have been, and remain, broadly conservative (or classically liberal) in our politics and outlooks. Our many policy differences with national Democrats remain, but our shared fidelity to the Constitution dictates a common effort.
The 2020 general election, by every indication, will be about persuasion, with turnout expected to be at record highs. Our efforts are aimed at persuading enough disaffected conservatives, Republicans and Republican-leaning independents in swing states and districts to help ensure a victory in the Electoral College, and congressional majorities that don’t enable or abet Mr. Trump’s violations of the Constitution, even if that means Democratic control of the Senate and an expanded Democratic majority in the House.
The American presidency transcends the individuals who occupy the Oval Office. Their personality becomes part of our national character. Their actions become our actions, for which we all share responsibility. Their willingness to act in accordance with the law and our tradition dictate how current and future leaders will act. Their commitment to order, civility and decency are reflected in American society.
Mr. Trump fails to meet the bar for this commitment. He has neither the moral compass nor the temperament to serve. His vision is limited to what immediately faces him — the problems and risks he chronically brings upon himself and for which others, from countless contractors and companies to the American people, ultimately bear the heaviest burden.
But this president’s actions are possible only with the craven acquiescence of congressional Republicans. They have done no less than abdicate their Article I responsibilities.
Indeed, national Republicans have done far worse than simply march along to Mr. Trump’s beat. Their defense of him is imbued with an ugliness, a meanness and a willingness to attack and slander those who have shed blood for our country, who have dedicated their lives and careers to its defense and its security, and whose job is to preserve the nation’s status as a beacon of hope.
Congressional Republicans have embraced and copied Mr. Trump’s cruelty and defended and even adopted his corruption. Mr. Trump and his enablers have abandoned conservatism and longstanding Republican principles and replaced it with Trumpism, an empty faith led by a bogus prophet. In a recent survey, a majority of Republican voters reported that they consider Mr. Trump a better president than Lincoln.
Mr. Trump and his fellow travelers daily undermine the proposition we as a people have a responsibility and an obligation to continually bend the arc of history toward justice. They mock our belief in America as something more meaningful than lines on a map.
Our peril far outstrips any past differences: It has arrived at our collective doorstep, and we believe there is no other choice. We sincerely hope, but are not optimistic, that some of those Republicans charged with sitting as jurors in a likely Senate impeachment trial will do likewise.” (George T. Conway III, 2019)
As I consider this article and all of the media coverage on the impeachment, one of the questions that comes to mind is why can’t we let the President meet the due consequences of his actions and move on to a Pence presidency? Is there something I’m missing? Vice President Pence isn’t flashy, but is there an assumed ineptitude, or widely known (except to me) flaw that makes him not fit to serve as President of the United States?
As a child, I watched Gerald Ford take over the office of President on national television. President Nixon, with all of his credentials and accomplishments, was impeached and removed, and justifiably so. The nation moved forward with President Ford and from my recollection, he served the country honorably and well as it recovered from the scandal of impeachment and the resignation of its president.
I don’t see how today’s scandal is any different…other than the obvious unspoken premise that Vice President Pence couldn’t win the 2020 election. This takes me back to the question I asked previously: will any Republican do? Is there no other candidate who can espouse the conservative, fiscal and national policies that are consistent with the Republican Party’s platform?
Is the Republican Party so destitute of leadership, that it can’t find anyone among its ranks other than an impeached president with undeniable and irrefutable moral shortcomings and character flaws? SMH. SMH is a common slang abbreviation for “shaking my head,” as in disapproval, unbelief, or disgust.
The Lifeway Research that I referenced earlier “found that many evangelicals proverbially held their noses while voting for Trump, unenthusiastic about him as a candidate. For many, it was less about casting a vote for Trump and more about casting a vote against Hillary Clinton.”
The research, however, goes further into discussing a more disturbing trend with white evangelical voters that could have negative consequences in the 2020 elections:
“Seeing these votes as begrudging ballots helps contextualized the number of white evangelical voters who voted for Trump. In that way, the data is beneficial.
While the data tells one story, I’m worried about the perception of apathy among evangelicals surrounding some of the President’s actions. In some instances, it’s more than a perception of indifference—it’s outright defense. Some are dumbfounded by a level of apathy or defense for issues that seem ripe for critique from the Christian community.
It’s hard to process data that says many evangelicals were unenthusiastic about Trump as a candidate when some apathetically ignore some of his words and actions as the President.
I’m not talking about Supreme Court nominations, the economy, and other issues the study also found were important to evangelicals. I’m talking about things that Christians should hold out as important matters—like honesty, character, and integrity.
If so many evangelicals held their noses voting from Trump, then why is it so difficult for some to criticize the President when he says or does something that doesn’t align with the evangelical worldview—or embodies common human decency?
Why is it hard to call a lie a lie, even when it comes from the West Wing? Why is it, as the data shows, we’ve lowered the bar over the years on character in a political leader’s personal life?” (Richards(Jr.), 2018)
If you have read this far, what reason have you come up with for the Republican Party to continue to support the current president in 2020 versus quickly looking to another candidate in 2020?
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