Sally Bradshaw lives in the small North Florida county that I grew up in. It’s an agricultural community, where many still meet for coffee in the early mornings, attend church on the regular, make casseroles when there is a death nearby, and actually attend family reunions. So it’s no surprise that a lot of the residents there vote Republican in the National elections even though a lot are registered Democrats. Holdovers from years past; What were called “Blue Dog Democrats” a couple decades ago. TIME describes them best in this article from 2009, http://content.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1913057,00.html.
Bradshaw is a Republican political consultant, who’s worked with the likes of Haley Barbour, Jeb Bush, and Mitt Romney. According to the August 2, 2016 Tallahassee Democrat, she switched her party affiliation recently from Republican to “no party affiliation”. This was done, I am certain by total coincidence, on July 21st.
Ms. Bradshaw is quoted by the Democrat as saying to CNN that “I can’t look my children in the eye and tell them I voted for Donald Trump. I can’t tell them to love their neighbor and treat others the way they wanted to be treated, and then vote for Donald Trump. I won’t do it.” She further stated, “I have worked hard to make our party a place where all would feel welcome. But Trump has taken the GOP in another direction, and too many Republicans are standing by and looking the other way.” The full article can be read here, http://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/2016/08/01/bradshaw-switches-party-wont-vote-trump/87922392/
From my interactions with others on various Social Media platforms, sofas, phone, and email exchanges, Sally Bradshaw is not alone in her disgust with Donald J. Trump. Plenty of her peers feel just as much disgust and distrust for the candidate as she does. But, it does not compare to the total disdain they feel for Hillary Clinton.
There is a movie from the 90’s, A Few Good Men, which starred Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, and Jack Nicholson. The most famous line from that movie was spoken by Nicholson from his character, Colonel Nathan Jessep: “You can’t handle the truth!”. But there was another line which always struck me more than Nicholson’s.
Lance Corporal Dawson’s line, “Unit, Corp, God, Country”, always stayed with me. When I think about the film, that is the line that most often comes to the front of my mind. This election year, has made me think of it almost daily as I read through the news.
It appears that both Democrats and Republicans have adopted this mantra. On the one side, you have the Dems asking the Sanders supporters to overlook the DNC’s role as secondary HRC campaign managers and saboteurs of the primaries, and stand with Hillary for the good of the party and the Country. And on the other side, you’ve got Republicans asking their people to ignore all of Trump’s bigotry, stupidity and outlandish theatrics, and vote for him anyway, because he’s not her.
What has transpired this election year on the Democratic side has been rather annoying but not really surprising to me. The party establishment saw Bernie Sanders as a threat and figured out a way to undermine his campaign to ensure they had what they considered their best shot at maintaining control of the White House.
What has happened on the flip side, has been downright shocking. For years, the GOP has prided itself on its foundation of conservativism and traditional family values. They have aligned themselves with the Evangelicals, become the political strong arm of the NRA, and forgotten there were any other Constitutional Amendments besides the 2nd one.
So, to see them turning their backs on everything that has made them…..well THEM for the last twenty years has been rather shocking. It has left me in disbelief, really. I never really thought I would see the day that the GOP sacrificed its own integrity and values, just to win an election.
I mean, seeing the Dems be shifty and switch up and flop around is really no strange occurrence. We tend to evolve with the times. That is not something you see the GOP do. They don’t cave. They stay the course. They’ve stuck to the fundamentals of their core values and beliefs, refusing to budge even the slightest, even in times of chaos.
In recent years, they have made an effort to be more inclusive. There are many GOP members who have championed equality for all citizens, steps to avoid climate change, educational reforms, and a more forgiving way of dealing with the more than 11 million undocumented people living illegally in our country. Many of these people fully embrace the notion of compromise and are willing to do whatever it takes to keep our country moving forward, without ignoring a past fraught with bad behavior, bad policy, bad choices, and bad leadership.
This election year has seen those members of the GOP stifled, shutdown, and pushed aside. Much like the Bernie Sanders supporters on the other side, the Trump supporters are the loudest, most aggressive, and most unforgiving. They’re angry, they’re armed, they’re alarmed, and they’re aggressive. Anything and anyone that is different from what they believe to be true and just and right, is considered an enemy of their state and a threat to a way of life they deem to be superior to any and all others. Unlike the Sanders supporters, team Trump is forming a run to the White House.
And shockingly, the power players within the GOP establishment seem to be riding right along beside the Trumpeters. They’ve seemingly given up on trying to make their party seem to actually give a damn about things and people that don’t conform to their way of thinking. Formerly loud-mouthed heads like Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Mitch McConnell et al. are suddenly mouse-quiet. While not necessarily supporting Mr. Trump, they’re not speaking out too loudly against him either. Paul Ryan and Reince Priebus are running around like chickens with their heads chopped off trying to clean up the trash that the Trump shit storm leaves behind every time he opens his mouth.
Even the average Joes, who just two weeks ago were railing away at any and every person who dared to have an opinion about police conduct because “they’ve never served” or they “weren’t a blue family”, seem to have absolutely zero problem with Donald Trump, who hasn’t served a damn thing but divorce papers, absolutely belittling and berating the parents of a Veteran KIA.
Unit, Corps, God, Country.
That lesser known line from A Few Good Men comes to my mind on a daily basis now. The GOP base seemingly desires the Presidency above all else, regardless of how they get there. It is something they’ve always accused their counterparts of doing. Sacrificing their core values, beliefs, and integrity in order to claim the White House.
Presidency, Party, God, Country. Not long ago, for the GOP, those last two, were the first two.