I can’t say I have lost any close friends due to my lack of support for Donald Trump. Many of my friends agree with me about his candidacy. There have been professional relationships that have been frayed and arguments with some friends over Trump but nothing serious. There are however, deep divisions among some people, particularly with organizations, elected officials, party people and others who have jumped aboard the Trump Train after years of telling others he was an unacceptable member of the Republican Party.
Leon touched on some of this in a post about pro-life groups you have to read. The Susan B. Anthony List went from declaring Donald Trump “unacceptable” in January to publishing screeds in National Review attacking people who say Gary Johnson might be a better choice for pro-life voters. It was all a cover for SBA List’s newfound love for “pro-life” Trump.
It has been seen with politicians. Rick Perry launched one of the most full throated attacks on Donald Trump in 2015, declaring him to be a “cancer on conservatism” and a “carnival barking act” who would send the GOP to its “grave.” Perry went from saying that to leaving open the possibility of being Trump’s vice presidential candidate and slamming Ted Cruz for not backing Trump.
Marco Rubio (who I supported in the primary) said the future of the Republican Party cannot be entrusted to a “con man.” He called Trump a “fraud” and tweeted with the hashtag #NeverTrump saying Trump “cannot be our nominee.” Rubio too, boarded the Trump Train. He boarded more like a hobo sneaking aboard the caboose but he is there nonetheless.
The Hill has detailed more on all of this:
A few months ago, Matt Schlapp, the former White House political director under President George W. Bush, walked into a cocktail party and tried to join a conversation with Republican consultants he has known for years.
“The conversation quickly ended,” Schlapp, the chairman of the nation’s oldest conservative grassroots organization, told The Hill in a recent interview. “Everyone looked down at their expensive loafers.”
“I hadn’t had that happen to me in a professional setting before,” he added. “It’s one of those moments when you wonder, ‘Hey, do I have something on my face?’”
Schlapp’s decision to support Donald Trump for president has cost him friends in Washington’s elite Republican circles. Invitations he would normally receive no longer arrive. The vibe he says he’s getting is: “You’re out of the club.”
To this I said, “That’s just too damned bad.”
The problem I really have with people who did their complete 180’s and became Trump supporters is not so much their support of Trump as it is their projection on to others of this supposed desire we have for Hillary Clinton to win the election. Matt Schlapp’s wife, Mercedes, attempted that with RedState co-founder and friend Erick Erickson:
— Mercedes Schlapp (@mercedesschlapp) June 1, 2016
It was immediately followed with the other sprinkling of horse poop they’re famous for. The, “If you don’t vote GOP or stay home, it’s a vote for Hillary” ridiculousness. You would think intelligent people would figure out that no vote for Trump or abstaining is a wash and is not actionable on behalf of Hillary Clinton.
Trump cannot close the deal with some people and that is on him for obvious reasons. For so many of us, the future of the GOP and the country is more important than lining up with the party for “unity.”
Further down in The Hill article, it gets to an absolutely laughable assertion from Georgia Senator David Perdue (who I supported in his race against Michelle Nunn):
Sen. David Perdue, among the most full-throated Trump supporters on Capitol Hill, says the positive reactions he gets in his home state of Georgia are unrecognizable from what he hears inside the Beltway.
Perdue hasn’t lost any Washington friendships over Trump — mainly because he was never close to many of the Trump rejecters in the first place.
He believes many veteran Republicans in D.C. can’t relate to political outsiders, “therefore, anybody who’s in the Republican caucus here that’s pulling for Trump is a little bit seen as askew,” Perdue said. “And the reason is, he’s not of Washington.”
Senator, please. You’re right that he’s not of Washington in a sense. He’s a Manhattan liberal who has spent more time over the last year attacking Republicans and sounding like a Democrat when he’s not busy demagoguing immigrants. The notion these beliefs about Trump are limited to inside the beltway hacks is poppycock. If you’d like Senator, perhaps when you’re back in Georgia, you and I can get together with a bunch of people who feel about Trump the same way I do and we’ll discuss why he’s a lousy choice to lead the nation.
If a person’s moral backbone is so weak, it the best they can do is say, “Trump is the nominee, therefore I must support him,” then how can they possibly be trusted to engage in any kind of important political battle down the road? If they roll over and play dead for a con-man who has never expressed a conservative thought in his life, plays footsie with Russian thugs and speaks more of what “he alone” will do rather rather than upholding constitutional principles, what good are they?