Sunday, August 14, 2016

Colorado GOP must come clean about Trump support

I love many, many varied aspects of Colorado, from its status as a healthy outdoor-oriented state to its innovative spirit and its leadership in the artisan craft beer and spirit revolution. Colorado's fierce independent and libertarian streak creates for some interesting politics, and that is a positive when it comes to some legislation, but it's certainly a drag when we get to education funding. That said, Colorado is also a hotbed for education innovation, and I am truly impressed with the private sector support of groups committed to excellence and opportunity for all students. And, of course, Colorado has solidified its status as a true Purple State when it comes to the major political parties. As a moderate independent - with the standard mantra of "fiscally conservative, but socially conscious" - I am pleased to live in a place where people comfortably split their ballot between the two parties, and where the Gary Johnson/Bill Weld Libertarian ticket could actually make a big splash. 

However, a line in the sand has been drawn for Colorado Republicans, and it is squarely focused on their connection to Donald Trump. The GOP Presidential nominee is a breaking point for millions of voters nationwide, both Republicans and independents, and they will place judgment on the words and actions of statewide candidates. Basically, it goes like this:  Donald Trump is a crass, unsophisticated, bigoted, misogynistic, egotistical, rash, unpredicatible, ignorant, and inexperienced individual who is historically and uniquely unqualified to serve in the world's most powerful position. Opposing him and his candidacy should not require a second thought. This decision has nothing to do with his opponent, and it should not be made via caveats about party or the Supreme Court or really anything else. As Dave Perrry of the Aurora Sentinel so astutely notes, history will judge Colorado candidates on where they placed allegiance.

The moment of truth, and I do mean truth, for Colorado Republican elected officials is now as they must either unequivocally denounce the catastrophic candidacy of Donald Trump or suffer the inevitable consequences. In the minds of rational, thinking Americans, conservative and liberal, Democrat and Republican and none of the above, Trump is an unparalleled political abomination in the history of the United States. As his critics from the left, center and the right have pointed out, and as anybody in their right mind can plainly see, Trump is uninformed, unintelligent, unprincipled, unpredictable, unrepentant and unable to exert even a modicum of self control over his anger or his ego.
Simply put, we cannot and should not have any respect or support for a candidate who will not disavow Donald Trump and pledge to not support his candidacy. Rep. Mike Coffman and Sen. Cory Gardner and all other candidates must publicly take a position that they do not support or desire Donald Trump to occupy the Oval Office and inherit the legacy of Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan. If these candidates will not refuse to vote for or endorse Trump, then they are explicity stating that they endorse him and want him to be the President of the United States. It's not about the lesser of two evils. It's not about partisan platforms. It's not about his opponent. It's about whether these leaders feel that Donald Trump should be President.

If they do, they will inherit and deserve all the shame associated with Trump.

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