Trump was never my choice this election cycle.
In the beginning, I threw my support behind Governor Scott Walker. He possesses proven leadership and experience in Wisconsin, and does not care whether the voters like him. Unfortunately, he was out of the presidential race after 71 days. Next, I supported Senator Marco Rubio. Admittedly, he has much to learn as a young, rising, GOP star. However, I shared his detailed vision for America and his unapologetic attitude. He is a force.
When it became clear that Senator Ted Cruz was out and businessman Donald Trump would be the nominee, I did not shift my support to him and never would. On election day, I will head to the polls like millions of Americans and vote for president, members of Congress, and judges. I will not darken the oval next to Trump’s name.
The GOP of 2016 has turned into a playground bully much like the nominee it chose. Dissent is ridiculed, personal beliefs mocked, principles maligned. Individuals and publications are told to “get in line!”, for how dare we not become mindless robots and bow to popular opinion.
The National Review needs to get in line with the rest of the Republicans. How dare they trash the frontrunner @realDonaldTrump!
— Jeanine Pirro (@JudgeJeanine) January 22, 2016
The lessons of the past year and a half can be summed up this way for me: never be afraid to stand against the majority.
Unfortunately, in this election year, Donald Trump and his ilk are the majority in the GOP. He may not be liked by everyone who supported him in the primaries, but he won. I dislike that truth as much as anyone in the minority, #NeverTrump camp, but it remains.
If there’s anything popular kids don’t like it’s a handful of people who plant their feet, stare them down, and refuse to fold. Do it anyway.
Somehow on the Right side of the aisle, there has become no room for diversity of thought. That’s funny, because we usually chide the Left for the same ideological intolerance. Conservative intellectualism has been traded for “Killary” and “Obummer” memes, and we are commanded to not just nod our approval, but join in.
We demand better.
I’ve never been one to nervously question whether I should stand on a soapbox and shout my beliefs. The passion I feel for what I know to be right propels me to the platform. This has been true regardless of whether there are people standing beside me or not.
The political waters in the days, weeks, and months ahead will certainly be choppy for America as a whole and individuals alike. This only serves to reinforce that principled conservatism must stand as a fortification against weak groupthink, no matter which side it comes from.
We are not beholden to the GOP. We do not owe our allegiance to them. The party has proven itself more enamored with winning than winning well. That is a major problem.
On election day and beyond, forget your reservations about standing opposite of the majority and opposing their views. Keep your feet firmly planted, and point to what they lack.
Declare your dissent.