Three Republicans Speak Up …

Yesterday, the three republican candidates challenging Donald Trump for the GOP nomination for president in 2020 — Bill Weld, Mark Sanford, and Joe Walsh — jointly penned an editorial that was published in The Washington Post.  I will share that editorial with you momentarily, but first, a few thoughts of my own.

The Republican Party has been making a concerted effort to ensure that Trump stays in office for a second term, whether by hook or by crook.  To this end, states have begun cancelling their republican primaries, for they apparently fear that if there is competition, Trump will not pass muster.  This, folks, is not … I repeat is NOT … how a democracy operates!  If a candidate cannot win on his own merit, then it becomes obvious that he or she is not qualified, is not the choice of the people.  When a state cancels a primary, that state is taking away the voice and choice of the people and can … nay, must … then be considered to be an authoritarian state.  Will we elect a president next year, or will one be shoved down our throats?

That three contenders for the same position have come together in agreement speaks volumes.  They are, in essence, saying that they stand together against the demolition of democratic principles, that they are united in their belief that elections should be fair, honest, and unfettered.  In U.S. politics today, that is almost unheard of, and I think it would behoove everyone in both parties to listen to these men.

The GOP, in throwing all their support to Trump, in ignoring or worse, stifling any and all competition, are shooting themselves in the foot.  They have virtually shot themselves in the foot and lost all credibility.  The party is on a downward spiral because of their support of an ignorant madman, but will republicans allow the central party to drag themselves down too?  It remains to be seen, but so far it seems that the cult-worship for Trump, trumps good sense, trumps democracy, trumps survival of the planet earth.

And now, the editorial by the three republican contenders

We are Trump’s Republican challengers. Canceling GOP primaries is a critical mistake.


Republican presidential candidates, from left, Joe Wash, Mark Sanford and Bill Weld. (Associated Press photos/AP photos)

By Mark Sanford, Joe Walsh and Bill Weld

September 13, 2019 at 8:30 p.m. EDT

(Mark Sanford was governor of South Carolina from 2003 to 2011. Joe Walsh represented Illinois’s 8th Congressional District in the House of Representatives from 2011 to 2013. Bill Weld was governor of Massachusetts from 1991 to 1997. All three are seeking the Republican presidential nomination.)

The three of us are running for the Republican nomination for president in a race that will inevitably highlight differences among us on matters of policy, style and background. But we are brought together not by what divides us but by what unites us: a shared conviction that the United States needs a strong center-right party guided by basic values that are rooted in the best of the American spirit.

A president always defines his or her party, and today the Republican Party has taken a wrong turn, led by a serial self-promoter who has abandoned the bedrock principles of the GOP. In the Trump era, personal responsibility, fiscal sanity and rule of law have been overtaken by a preference for alienating our allies while embracing terrorists and dictators, attacking the free press and pitting everyday Americans against one another.

No surprise, then, that the latest disgrace, courtesy of Team Trump, is an effort to eliminate any threats to the president’s political power in 2020. Republicans have long held primaries and caucuses to bring out the best our party has to offer. Our political system assumes an incumbent president will make his case in front of voters to prove that he or she deserves to be nominated for a second term. But now, the Republican parties of four states — Arizona, Kansas, Nevada and South Carolina — have canceled their nominating contests. By this design, the incumbent will be crowned winner of these states’ primary delegates. There is little confusion about who has been pushing for this outcome.

What does this say about the Republican Party? If a party stands for nothing but reelection, it indeed stands for nothing. Our next nominee must compete in the marketplace of ideas, values and leadership. Each of us believes we can best lead the party. So does the incumbent. Let us each take our case to the public. The saying “may the best man win” is a quintessential value that the Republican Party must honor if we are to command the respect of the American people. Cowards run from fights. Warriors stand and fight for what they believe. The United States respects warriors. Only the weak fear competition.

Across the aisle, the Democratic primary challengers are still engaged in a heated competition of debates, caucuses and primaries to give their voters in every corner of our country a chance to select the best nominee. Do Republicans really want to be the party with a nominating process that more resembles Russia or China than our American tradition? Under this president, the meaning of truth has been challenged as never before. Under this president, the federal deficit has topped the $1 trillion mark. Do we as Republicans accept all this as inevitable? Are we to leave it to the Democrats to make the case for principles and values that, a few years ago, every Republican would have agreed formed the foundations of our party?

It would be a critical mistake to allow the Democratic Party to dominate the national conversation during primary and caucus season. Millions of voters looking for a conservative alternative to the status quo deserve a chance to hear alternate ideas aired on the national stage. Let us argue over the best way to maximize opportunities in our communities for everyday Americans while the Democrats debate the merits of government intervention. Let us spend the next six months attempting to draw new voters to our party instead of demanding fealty to a preordained choice. If we believe our party represents the best hope for the United States’ future, let us take our message to the public and prove we are right.

Trump loyalists in the four states that have canceled their primaries and caucuses claim that President Trump will win by a landslide, and that it is therefore a waste of money to invest in holding primaries or caucuses. But since when do we use poll numbers as our basis for deciding whether to give voters an opportunity to choose their leaders, much less their presidents? Answer: We don’t.

Besides, the litigation costs these four state parties will likely be forced to take on in defending legal challenges to the cancellations will almost certainly exceed the cost of holding the primaries and caucuses themselves.

In the United States, citizens choose their leaders. The primary nomination process is the only opportunity for Republicans to have a voice in deciding who will represent our party. Let those voices be heard.

52 thoughts on “Three Republicans Speak Up …

  1. Hello Jill. I want to expand on what Jeff was saying. Are these three Republicans? Is Bernie Sanders a Democrat? He is running as one, in the Democratic party primaries. But he is not one. These three are not Republicans no matter what they call themselves. The Republican party is the party of tRump, the cult of tRump, and it is proven that the party itself is cancelling the primaries. The members of that party in congress prove daily they are the party of tRump. One group or the other needs to stop using the name Republican as right now it is two very different things. One other point. Republicans crave / demand / seek power. Democracy is a means to get it for them. If it becomes a choice between democracy and power they will choose power and kill democracy. Republicans want a one party rule like China has with their party the ruling party. Hardly something one can call patriotic in a democracy and not following the rhetoric they have about the founding fathers and the constitution they claim to adore. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not so sure I agree with you that they are not republicans. One can be a member of a group, yet not always agree with what the group says or does, yes? I’ve said before that we really shouldn’t paint republicans with such a broad brush, that there are surely some with better values, with consciences, and I still believe these three are an example of that. I actually know a republican who cannot stand Trump … granted, only one, but still. I would agree that the majority of republicans support Trump either because they are wealthy industrialists and he is helping them get wealthy, or because they are not well-educated enough to understand the harm he is doing. But, I think we still need to leave the door open for those who are willing to speak out against the atrocities Trump is committing. Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hello Jill. I understand, and I agree that former members of the Republican party should not be colored the same as the cult of tRump. My only point / question is if you are in disagreement with everything the leaders and members of a group stand for / believe in, can you be called a member of that group? The leaders and majority of members of the Republican party have defined what the name stands for, and so I would say that your friends are not Republicans but Former Republicans, or more like Republican Classic. Hugs

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, I see what you’re saying, and I agree with that. But, these three largely agree with the ideology of their group (republicans), it’s just that they mostly don’t agree with Trump and some of what the GOP is doing to pander to Trump and his ego, I think. Hugs!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re right Jill. The R Party has sold it’s soul to the con-man-in-chief. My hope is that it will eventually be the so-called final ‘nail in the coffin’ for this Party. Using anti-democratic tactics like suppressing the vote and other means of cheating reveals them for what they are. Good on these three for standing up to the idiot. I wish more prominent members of that party would do it…are you listening Kasich?….but, if it weakens him in any way…I’m all for it.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I think the Republican Party sold its soul back around 2009 when they formed the Tea Party movement to try to bring down Obama. Like you, I would love to see more of those with conscience in the party speak out. I would like to see the GOP leadership grow a pair and stand for some sort of values instead of blindly following Trump. In the long run, they are only hastening their demise, but in the short run, they may be hastening ours!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Cancelling primaries???…..(sing-song voice) 🎼 I smell desperation 🎼.
    Isn’t the correct tactic to run the primaries so that the incumbent can have a pre-nomination victory parade and give the undecided voters the idea the said person is doing ssssssooooo well how could you not vote for them?

    Liked by 3 people

  4. The people who run the GOP in these 4 states think that any fair and open primary would give a challenger the chance to shout “the emperor has no clothes”, and then prove it. In 2016, he was basically a novelty act, but now, 3 years later, his policies and actions can be weighed, measured, and found wanting. Could these new challengers possibly erode his base, that 36-40% always-Trumpers who presently think he can do no wrong? Could they affect his overall approval numbers within the party? The GOP knows they have a flawed incumbent, and the fewer opportunities he gets to prove it by flapping his gums in a televised debate with other members of his own party, the better his chances of winning in 2020 will be.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Very astute observations. Could any one of these three erode his base? Good question, and on the surface I would say only by a small percentage. One thing his base loves about him is that he is determined to undermine such things as Roe v Wade, and Obergefell v Hodges, that he has promised the religious right that this will become a “Christian” nation under him, and that he promised to get rid of “political correctness”, by which he meant he would make it okay to be a bigot. Since none of the other three would likely adopt such a platform, my instinct says they would not likely have a significant effect on his base. But … I could be wrong, and some republicans seem to be starting to tire of his antics, so who knows?

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Pingback: American politics, Australian echo | Meeka's Mind

    • I am, too! I would really love to see one of these three give Trump a run for his money! It would seem, if they feel a need to play dirty pool by canceling primaries, that they are afraid Trump might not win on his own merit. Imagine that!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Democracy is under threat. In the UK we have a governing party which is splintering leaving a nasty, self centred rump which is funded by the hedge funds and millionaires living outside of the country. But it still works for the PM as he is being painted as one of the people, fighting for the country against the system and the forces of the status quo.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Jill, I am delighted with their united voice and increasing notoriety. Both parties have canceled primaries, but not with this much opposition. Trump is calling the shots and I read his machine is at odds on efforts for other GOP down ballot candidates.

    What he is scared of is nonaffiliated former GOP voters who could vote in the primary. But, here is my strong advice to Republican leadership – you better keep your options open as you do not know what you will have to defend next week, next month or next year. You don’t even know if it is a sin or faux pas he has already committed or one he has yet to commit. As Anthony Scaramucci notes “Trump is off the rails.” Keith

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yeah, I can see canceling a primary if there is no viable competition, as is sometimes the case when the incumbent is very popular and doing a good job. But, in the case of Trump, his approval rating has not once since his first month in office hit even 50%, and he is making a mucky mess of it all, so I should think the GOP would welcome a more moderate, more intelligent, more acceptable candidate. Yes, I’m sure he’s calling the shots, but what galls me is that the GOP leadership has simply lain down and let him take over. I never liked Scaramucci, but in this case, I think he is spot on.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. These Republicans are brave to buck the trend but for their own sake they have to do it. They can lose without losing to their own party. They talk about what they want from the Republican Party to give their voters a chance to make a choice, a fair contest. This would have resounded a lot more for me if they had made mention that they wanted a fair contest with the Democrats too. An end to Gerrymandering and to depriving certain groups of people of the vote. It’s time to see what the people of America really want and for the losing group to prepare for the 2024 elections with fresh ideas. But maybe the two parties can make some bipartisan decisions about how to clear up Trump’s mess once he’s gone

    Liked by 3 people

    • I have already said this today in reply to a comment from maryplumbago on Can We Ignore the Truth?, but I would like to reiterate it here. Prove every member of your democracy is a valuable contributor with NOT JUST A RIGHT TO VOTE, but an equal opportunity to vote. In any electoral jurisdiction where gerrymandering is preventing voters from casting a ballot, find a way to transport those who want to vote to where they can vote, when they want to vote. Four buses in each jurisdiction continually moving in a circular direction would be a good system. Depending on the size of the area various systems could be put in place.
      The biggest concerns are cost and safety. Whatever the cost, it is far less than the cost of another four years of Trump.
      Safety is another matter, but I would expect some kind of pushback from Trump’s white supremicist henchmen. Is there any law against direct interference to keep voters from voting? Could such interference be used to nullify results at particular voting stations, or just to challenge the validity of such an election? You would know more about that than I would.
      But work to get every voter, dem or repug, to the polls. Make everyone feel important, and a true citizen of the United States of America, not the United States of Rich White Evangelicals.

      Liked by 5 people

      • Amen. If your party has to cheat so much to win, then your message is poor. Here in America, between Sinclair Broadcasting, Fox News, Breitbart, ALEC, et al, it is too easy to fool people and suppress the vote. As the former GOP Buncombe County, North Carolina said on camera about the voter suppressive Voter ID law, “it was designed to kick Democrats’ butts.” When a GOP legislator was asked how he felt about the gerrymandering which allowed the GOP to win 11 of 13 seats with only 50% of the vote, jr noted “if we could have figured out how to get 12 we would have.”

        Both parties lie and cheat, but it is no longer a normal distribution. With its air cover, lying and cheating abounds in the GOP. As an independent and former Republican, I don’t want cheating from either side.

        Liked by 4 people

        • But I’m hoping you do want a fair election as best you can have. I don’t know if you are in a gerrymadered area, but if you are, please consult with others who care about democracy about how best to help those who are being disenfranchised. If no one does anything then Trump and the GOP win, even if they lose. Cowboy up!

          Liked by 4 people

        • The fact that, with 3 people besides the incumbent in the running, they are canceling primaries, to me says that they are running scared, that they are not at all certain Trump can win on his own merit. Like you, I don’t want cheating at all, but you and I both know there is going to be plenty of it, in so many ways our heads will spin. Sigh.

          Liked by 1 person

      • You ask many, valid questions, rawgod. There are laws to keep people from direct interference at the polling places. In 2016, Trump claimed he would have people at the polls watching, but that was quickly nixed, for it isn’t legal. Now, there is no law that would prevent citizens from taking people to the polling places, and I love your idea about the buses. In some southern states, the GOP has tried to prevent people from transporting seniors who are in nursing homes, college kids, and the poor, by trying to pass laws about it. I wrote a couple of years ago about a case where an organization was taking seniors to the polls in a small bus, and when they arrived, they weren’t allowed off the bus to vote. It’s dirty pool, and likely not legal, but … that’s the GOP for you. But, you are right … we will all need to do our part next year to both inform and assist every person so that we can have the best turnout possible. The price of not doing so is far too high.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Well, I think it’s going to be a case of “one step at a time”. I do think all three are far more moderate than Trump, and I especially like Mark Sanford, so I believe that quite possibly they would support more fair and honest elections, an end to gerrymandering, and bipartisanship, but first they have to get on the ballot, and there is a concerted effort by Trump via the GOP to keep them off. Although the Constitution doesn’t address the issue, the principle of it seems, at least to me, to be unconstitutional. Yes, cleaning up the detritus once Trump is gone will require both sides to compromise, and methinks it will take a good decade, perhaps longer. Sigh.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Sensible, decent Americans. The last three such people within the GOP, it seems. The GOP is now the not only the party of Trump, it is also the party of Putin and is helping Vlad rebuild his vision of the old Soviet Union with America a big part of it. Way to go, Republicans. Way to go.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I’m thinking that if there are these three, surely there must be others who are just too scared to peek out from under their rock? But, overall I agree with you … way to go, Republicans … sell the whole country downriver for a bit of profit.

      Liked by 2 people

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