I Want to Stay a Conservative Republican

I Want to Stay a Conservative Republican

© David Burton 2022

Gun Control Legislation is Fraud

     I am unashamedly a middle-of-the-road Conservative. I have been a middle-of-the-road Republican. BUT, I have voted for Democratic candidates when I have deemed it appropriate, e.g., I voted for Hilary Clinton in 2016 and Joe Biden in 2020, quite simply because I was - and still am - totally opposed to the individual who was opposing them, i.e., Donald Trump. I held my nose and voted for what I perceived as the lesser of two evils. There was - and to this day, there still is – no way I could support Donald Trump and what he represents!

     The mid-term elections of 2022 are fast approaching as are the elections of 2024. In these choices I would like to support and vote for a conservative Republican agenda and Republican candidates who espouse conservative values and policies. BUT, as long as the Republican party and Republican candidates kowtow to Donald Trump and what he stands for, I will continue to oppose the Republican party and its candidates. I will instead vote for the opposing candidates and – if deemed appropriate – financially support those candidates.

     I have opposed Donald Trump for what he is and what he stands for. Trump and his followers have refused to adjust or tone down their obnoxious attitude and behavior. In Trump’s case, this has been despite sage advice from his inner circle. He threw presidential dignity and decorum to the wind and responded like an adolescent to every slight, real or imagined, no matter how insignificant. He gave his enemies – and me - the tools to do him in. And Trump was still doing it when he said that former Attorney General William Barr, whom he once praised, and then attacked and fired, “sucked” as attorney general. What world leaders openly talk that way?
     Barr, incidentally, came closer to pinning Trump’s personality down better than anyone else in his book One Damn Thing After Another. In it, Barr wrote of meeting with him in the Oval Office in the summer 2019 and telling him: ”Mr. President, you are like a bull in a bullring. Your enemies know how exactly to provoke you. They are controlling you. They wave a red flag, and you go charging full tilt at them. Then someone waves another red flag and you go charging off in that direction. Pretty soon you’ll be standing in the middle of the ring, sweating and exhausted, and the matador will walk over and put a sword through you.” And that is exactly what happened.[1]

     “While he was on the campaign trail during the primary season in early 2016, Donald Trump uttered these memorable words, ‘I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.
     “Although Trump later said he was only joking, his comment revealed his deep understanding of his base of supporters . . . {It also shows that both} Donald Trump and his supporters could care less about the Constitution and the democratic norms that have prevailed since the founding of our country.
     “Some pundits suggest that Trump is not to blame for the distrust of government that is evident among his base, many of whom believe in Q-Anon and all sorts of nutty conspiracy theories.
     “But every anti-democratic movement needs a leader who is willing to break the norms in order to thwart the democratic process and rule of law. There is not one leading GOP politician who, had he been President and lost re-election, would have done what Trump attempted to do to overturn the election, culminating in the events of January 6. [Emphasis mine]
     “{There was another politician who had similar contempt for the democratic process in his country. He and his violent followers came to power in what was then a democratic Germany on 30 January 1933.}
     “In view of the apathy among Trump’s base of support to the revelations of the House January 6 Committee hearings, the updated corollary to Trump’s 2016 campaign comment is this: ‘I could stand in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue and urge a violent riot at the Capitol and I wouldn’t lose voters.’ “ (Ref. 2)

     Most Americans – myself included - loved Trump’s policies and we still do. But we just don’t like Donald Trump.
     To the Republican Party, I say that we are not going back to 2020 and that Donald Trump lost the election. To win in 2024, Republican candidates and the Party leadership had better start talking about what is troubling the American people, and what is troubling them now is not what happened in 2020.
     If Republicans and Conservatives are to win in 2024, they had better start talking about the damage Biden has done to the poor and middle class with his soaring gasoline prices and rampant inflation. Tell the folks how the country once became energy independent by drilling - only to have Biden destroy what had been accomplished under Republican leadership and to then go begging the Saudis and Venezuela for oil.
     Talk about inflation and the soaring prices for food, and how families are forced to choose between a full tank and a full stomach.
     Talk about completing construction of the wall that Biden stopped, thereby opening up the country to the flood of illegal immigrants, as well as to hordes of criminals, terrorists and mules bringing in the fentanyl that is killing young Americans.
     Talk about going after leftist-funded district attorneys whose pro-criminal policies have bought crime and chaos to the once great cities of the country.[1]

     Former President Donald Trump has hinted for some time that he may announce a third bid for the White House, while many Republicans – myself included - have expressed horror at the thought of another run from Trump in 2024. According to reports from The New York Times and The Associated Press, Trump is eager to announce his candidacy even though many Republicans feel at odds with the idea.
     There’s some evidence that many Republican voters are trying to “slow-walk” away from Donald Trump. In my case it’s a very “fast-walk” away from the Donald!
     In the wake of the Housel hearings on the January 6 Capitol protests, many voters are "concerned" with whether Trump could pull off an election victory in 2024.
     Trump’s approval among Republican primary voters has been “somewhat diminished". "Trump was the least popular president in American history until Joe Biden."
     Hopefully, there will be a number of Republicans in 2024 who cannot only unite the party but would govern with strong, conservative policies.
     A Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released in late June of 2022 showed that 61% of voters who were surveyed said Trump should not run for office again, citing his role in division among Americans, his role in the January 6 Capitol protests, and his unpredictable and offensive behavior.[3]

     Still, in spite of Donald Trump and extreme right conservatives, I want to remain a conservative Republican, ala the conservatism and Republican party ideals of Ronald Reagan.

     The prospect of an imminent “Red Wave” coming in the November 2022 midterm elections has been widely reported, as the Democrats have been in self-destruct mode since before President Joe Biden was even sworn into office at start of 2021.
     Among other unforced errors, Biden and the Democrats have destroyed our economy and irrevocably damaged our national security by opening our borders, One need not look any further than the devastating surge we’re seen in skyrocketing gasoline prices for evidence of the Democrats’ complete implosion. As a result, and coming as no surprise to anyone other than Democrats themselves, Americans are vocally rejecting the Democrats’ socialist, climate alarmist, and racist agenda. In virtually every demographic that is tracked – including a remarkable renunciation of their policies from Hispanics, traditionally one of the most loyally Democratic groups in the country – it appears that Americans are abandoning Democrats in droves.
     Therefore, the opportunity for Republicans to sweep to power in Congress in 2022 has never been more likely, and the same could be said for the presidency in 2024. As a nominal conservative Republican supporter, I look forward to election wins in 2022 and 2024. It’s there for the taking by the Republican Party. So, here are 5 items the GOP should apply to their election and governing strategies:

1. Tell the truth, don’t over-promise, and deliver on the promises you make.

     Most Americans aren’t stupid. In the lead-up to the 2020 election, Joe Biden made outrageous promises he was never going to be able to keep, including his pledge to “shut down” the COVID pandemic. There are probably 30% of Americans who would shrug off Biden’s ridiculousness and vote for a rock provided it had a “D” next to its name on the ballot. But the other 70% remember broken promises. They understand when they’ve been conned by a clown like Joe Biden.
     Whatever promises you make, ensure they’re realistic. For instance, “We will fix inflation by cutting back on government spending, increasing the supply of crude oil and other everyday items, and getting Americans off the dole and back to work in order to fix the labor crisis.”

2. Don’t shy away from Ronald Reagan style conservativism, embrace it.

     Simply stated, conservatism works. While President Biden ran as a moderate, he operated as a typical leftist, which is why the country is in shambles. Conservative policies, on the other hand, have been effective every time they have been tried.
     Call out the fact that government is not the solution to everyone’s problem. It is often government itself that is the problem. We need fewer regulations on corporations, not more. We need fewer Americans sitting on the labor sidelines. We need less government spending at virtually every level of government: federal, state, and local. And we need government to understand its true role and to not seize our God-given rights at the slightest sign of adversity.

3. Focus on the economy and national security

     Democrats are clearly going to attempt to hold onto power by pumping up their campaign trail narrative about the January 6th insurrection. And while that issue is clearly important to many Americans, there are other important priorities, like our safety as a county.
     Republicans need to offer straightforward, sensible solutions to America’s problems. Reduce federal spending, secure our border, and achieve peace through strength on the international stage.

4. Don’t shy away from social issues when they come up.

     Voters are going to be much more concerned about their vanishing 401K accounts and the thousands of illegal immigrants who are pouring over our border than they will be about transgender rights and so-called social equity. Republicans need to concentrate their energy in that direction. But when Democrats start hollering about indoctrinating children with LGBTQ ideology, don’t be quiet.
     Men are men and women are women. That’s not a controversial or hateful statement, and most Americans recognize that reality.

5. Punch back at Democrats and their media when attacked.

     If a Democrat calls a Republican or a proposed policy ‘racist,’ call them out directly on their own racism such as their insistence on playing identity politics. When they call you a transphobe, point out that there are only two genders, and to assert otherwise isn’t just irrational, it’s not helping those who truly suffer from Gender Dysphoria; and it’s also disrespectful to true members of each gender. When they call you “mean-spirited and greedy” for advocating for cuts in social welfare spending, point out that true greed is the Democrats’ obsession with taking Americans’ money through taxation. And giving poor folks government handouts isn’t compassionate, but enabling them to take care of themselves is.[4]

     Increasingly upset by President Donald Trump’s “appalling” behavior, his cozy relationships with dictators, the national debt and his abhorrent behavior relative to the January 6th insurrection, I could never support Trump nor a political party that backed him. I was also appalled by the ex-President’s retaliation against impeachment witness Lieut. Colonel Alexander Vindman, who retired in July 2020 after Trump fired him from the National Security Council in February of that year.
     Since 2015, pockets of Republicans bemoaned Trump’s Twitter antics, his divisive rhetoric and key elements of his platform, from the Muslim travel ban to his trade tariffs to his family-separation policy at the U.S.-Mexico border.
     Trump transformed the GOP into a cult of personality rooted in economic nationalism and racial division. And while I am part of an anti-Trump faction that wants to return to the conservative ideology that reigned for decades before Trump, many Republicans believe that Trump changed the party for the better. I heartily disagree! The “Never Trump” groups among Conservatives and Republicans give me hope that there are many out there who want to go back and save the Republican Party and the Conservative movement. It’s allowed me to come back and say that ”I want to stay a Conservative Republican![5]

     Perhaps Republican Representative from Wyoming, Liz Cheney, said it best. She had a message for her fellow Republicans during a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, California in June of 2022: It’s either the Constitution or former President Donald Trump — pick one.
     “The reality that we face today as Republicans as we think about the choice in front of us, we have to choose, because Republicans cannot both be loyal to Donald Trump and loyal to the Constitution,” Cheney said. She characterized Trump’s failed attempt to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power in January of 2021 as inconsistent with democracy.
     “Donald Trump attempted to overturn the presidential election. He attempted to stay in office and prevent the peaceful transfer of presidential power,” Cheney said. She further stated: “I’m a conservative Republican and I believe deeply in the policies of limited government, of low taxes, of a strong national defense.”[6] So do I!

     While darkness has enveloped much of American politics since Donald Trump descended his escalator to announce a bid for the presidency, one bright spot has offered some hope that decency would yet prevail in politics and the public square: the work of so-called “Never Trump” Republicans.
     Faced with a candidate and president plainly unfit for office, these men and women - many of them rock-ribbed conservatives who found a natural, welcoming home in the GOP before 2016 - decided that no single political issue mattered as much as preventing America from becoming the play-thing of a narcissistic, would-be authoritarian. Consequently, they committed themselves to defeating Trump, even if that meant installing in power Democrats with whom they profoundly disagreed on a range of issues.
     The last straw was the succumbing of the Republican Party to Trump’s Big Lie about the 2020 election. It just swamped everything else. As “Never Trump” Republicans and Conservatives, we asked ourselves and our like-thinking compatriots, how could people support this man? Didn’t they see his indecency? His narcissism? His opportunism and idiocy and ethical unfitness for office? It didn’t matter if you agreed with his proposals to cut off immigration or stand up to China or protect gun rights. We argued that policy was secondary. The candidacy and administration of Donald Trump were freighted with an imperative to preserve the fundamentals of republican self-government, and nothing else mattered. We knew that civic virtue counted most in a properly functioning system of self-government. How could we and any real defender of American democracy allow an unfit man to gain election to a position of public trust?
     Unfortunately, there will always exist selfish people like Donald Trump who seek to advance their own interests without regard to civic decency and who will try to convince us that right and wrong don’t really matter. And there will be those who, for reasons of tribalism or political expediency or cravenness, adopt this lie.[7]

     I have been a conservative and a Republican most of my adult all my life. I have done so because I have viewed the Republican party as a party of fiscal conservatism and social moderation. BUT I do not support what has happened to the Republican party since Donald Trump became President of the United States and the leader of the Republican party. To its everlasting detriment, the Republican party has now become the "Trump party".
     When Trump said he was running for president in 2015, I began to become disenchanted with him for saying that Senator John McCain was a loser and not a hero because he was shot down in Vietnam and spent more than 5 years as a prisoner of war. Trump also said he didn’t like losers and McCain was a loser. This, coming from someone who dodged the draft and never spent one single day in the service of America’s military!
     McCain was a pilot flying an A-4 light attack fighter-bomber when his plane was downed over North Vietnam. McCain was a true hero as were the thousands of American airmen shot down over Europe during World War II or the thousands of men captured on Corregidor and Bataan. None of these men were “losers and suckers.”
     As president, Trump far exceeded my worst expectations. As his term in office neared its end, he made it clear he would not accept the results if he lost. In this one instance – unfortunately – he proved true to his word! More often, the man has proven to be a pathological liar. Donald Trump can never be believed.[8]

     The tide may be turning. A growing number of Republicans are openly cheering for a competitive primary field in 2024 and encouraging candidates to jump into the race, as some in the GOP get increasingly anxious about the idea of Donald Trump becoming their presidential nominee again - especially amid damning revelations about his actions during the January 6, 2021, insurrection.
     Representative Dan Crenshaw, a member of the conservative Republican Study Committee, said that the party has a "lot of good options" and he hopes "they all jump in" to the race. Senate Minority Whip John Thune told CNN that there will be "other attractive" Republican candidates in 2024 besides Trump, echoing recent comments from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Representative Dusty Johnson, a South Dakota Republican and member of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, said he thought it would be healthy for the GOP to have a debate about who should be their next standard-bearer.
     As of late summer 2022, while Trump still maintained more support among Republicans than any other would-be challenger, there were growing fears inside the GOP about Trump's potential legal woes and political baggage. There was particular concern in GOP circles about the criminal investigation out of the Fulton County District Attorney's office, which was probing the plot by Trump and his allies to appoint false electors in Georgia in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election results.
     "I won't be supporting Donald Trump for president or anything else," said Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, a leading anti-Trump voice in the GOP who voted to convict Trump in both of his impeachment trials. "I think he's hurt our party and I think he continues to do so."
     As the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection publicly revealed damaging details about Trump's role in the Capitol attack, the former President began to weigh an early White House bid. But even with the threat of Trump running again, a number of Republicans began to explore potential presidential bids and meet with donors. Some of them did not rule out directly challenging Trump for the nomination.
     Representative Austin Scott, a Georgia Republican and member of the Republican Study Committee (RSC), told CNN he thought it would be "great" to see multiple candidates compete for the party nomination. Representative Dan Newhouse of Washington, one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for inciting the insurrection, agreed, saying they ought to see "who has all the best ideas."[9]

     Written above are some of the reasons that I have for refusing to have anything to do with Donald Trump and what he stands for. Trump is most definitely not a Conservative nor a Republican that I could ever support. YES, I do support many of the conservative policies that Trump has advocated. BUT Trump, the person, and what Trump stands for, are abhorrent in my view! Donald Trump does not represent the Conservative Republican that I want to be nor that I would ever support!

  1. Stick a fork in 2020 election — time for Trump to talk about today, Peter Lucas, Boston Herald: Pge 7,
    16 June 2022.
  2. REMEMBER WHAT TRUMP SAID . . . ., Winthrop Sun Transcript: Pge 10, 16 June 2022.
  3. Trump considering early 2024 announcement amid opposition from other Republicans: reports, Kyle Morris,
    FOX NEWS, 2 July 2022.
  4. Five Things The GOP Must Do To Win In November And Stay In Power, P. F. Whalen,
    The Blue State Conservative, 28 June 2022.
  5. Revenge of the Never Trumpers: Meet the Republican Dissidents Fighting to Push Donald Trump Out of Office, Tesa Berenson and Alana Abramson, Time, 23 July 2020.
  6. Liz Cheney to Republicans: Choose between the Constitution or Trump, D. Hunter Schwarz, Deseret News,
    30 June 2022.
  7. GOP begins to look for new 2024 candidates amid fears over Trump, Melanie Zanona and Manu Raju, cnn.com,
    24 July 2022.
  8. I'm a lifelong Republican. I will not vote to re-elect Donald Trump, Robert B. Yudin, northjersey.com,
    16 September 2020.
  9. GOP begins to look for new 2024 candidates amid fears over Trump, Melanie Zanona and Manu Raju, cnn.com,
    24 July 2022.

  1 September 2022 {Article 543; Politics_76}    
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