This post is by John Schroeder, and represents his views only.
So yesterday’s mail brought with it something that no longer allows me to postpone a difficult decision. – my California primary mail-in ballot. This morning, Hugh read a Charles Murray piece that contained these words:
We Establishmentarians, therefore, should all go on the record about our view of Donald Trump.
I guess if I write on a blog like this I qualify as a ” Establishmentarian,” but I have to say I have never thought of myself in such terms. Regardless, I cannot put it off any longer, I have to make a decision, and Murray argues convincingly that I should announce it publicly. Fortunately I do not yet have to decide what to do in November; I just have to decide what to do in the California primary, and that is all I am willing to do at this point. November is a long way off; a lot can happen between now and then and I am more than happy to wait and see what transpires before making that decision.
As far as the California primary goes, I am going to vote for one of the names on the ballot that is not Trump and that has not endorsed Trump – most likely John Kasich, though Ted Cruz remains a possibility. I have a few days.
I acknowledge that Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee. But as that nominee I think there is a lot of room for improvement. In point of fact, were not the presumptive Democrat nominee an awful candidate in her own right, I think the fall would be a foregone conclusion. Therefore, it is my intention to send a message to Mr. Trump that he has a lot of work to do to 1) unite the Republican party, and 2) become a candidate good enough to win the general election. I sincerely hope that many, many California Republicans will join me in sending that message.
As a Christian I believe in salvation, redemption and reconciliation. Such is my deepest wish, and prayer, for Donald Trump and the Republican party. I do not think it necessary to belabor all the problems with the Trump candidacy. Murray listed and linked a good list in his piece. But there is one area where I will part company with Murray. He ended his previously linked piece with these words:
And contemplate this fact about history: We have had presidents whose competence once in office was better than we could have anticipated. Truman, for example. We have had presidents whose characters were subsequently revealed to be worse than they had seemed during the campaign. Kennedy, for example. We have never had a president whose character proved to be more admirable once he was in office than it had appeared during the campaign. What you see on your television screen every day from Donald Trump the candidate is the best that you can expect from Donald Trump the president. “Hillary is even worse” doesn’t cut it.
Murray may be right that historical precedent does not exist, but that does not mean it is not possible. I have witnessed too many turnarounds – professional, political, and personal – in my life to rule out improvement of the Trump candidacy.
But any such turnaround begins with Trump himself. The remaining primary votes are the best tool at our disposal to convince Trump of the need for improvement, and I intend to use mine for that very purpose.