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GOP needs to own dissent regarding Trump candidacy

Editorial



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David Rauzi drauzi@idahocountyfreepress.com

We must disagree, in part, with our county Republican friends in their disassociation last week with Senator Crapo for his decision to rescind his endorsement of GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump.

In part, we understand their decision as unity within the GOP is critical to back this controversial Republican to success.

At the start, many considered Trump ill-suited and a non-contender to more conventional and mainstream candidates. Oh how we misread the national mood. So now, as we are a few weeks away from the ballot box, the party faces a great challenge to bring many of those heel draggers and hand-wringers on board, to convince them that greater issues are at play – Supreme Court nominees, tax policy, economy and immigration to name a few – that require their putting aside other considerations and staying the GOP course.

Essentially the plea is “Vote not so much for Trump as for the GOP, as a dropout protest vote or a third-party vote is essentially support for Democrat Hillary Clinton and all those values and policies you disagree with.”

Last week, the Idaho County Republican Central Committee pulled its physical and financial support for Senator Crapo’s re-election campaign, based on Crapo’s endorsement pull due to Trump’s recent comments concerning women (which was likely the “last straw” for Crapo). Crapo has lost the county GOP’s respect, feel he is no longer worthy of the title of Republican, and with his action – against the wishes of the Republican Party that has chosen Trump as the nominee — has relinquished his right to be associated with the party.

With respect (something so desperately needed this election year), we disagree.

Crapo could have taken the politically expedient path and stayed the course, supported Trump in some generic, party-unity jargon statement and not upset the apple cart. But instead, he made a stand for personal and moral conviction, based on causes he’s long been an advocate for. That’s a mark of strong character, as this close in the election he gains nothing politically by it; in fact, he only stands to lose votes and face party censure now and in the future by such an action.

Isn’t strength of character a Republican value? Isn’t standing for principle and moral absolutes a Republican value? These are traits of a leader, which Republicans so often lament are lacking in Washington, D.C., but yet in this instance they are somehow marks of dishonor worthy of disassociation from the party faithful.

Understanding the issues at hand, the GOP would be better served – alongside its statement stressing the need for party unity – to also demonstrate it is strong enough and diverse enough to honestly recognize what everyone already knows: that dissent and uncertainty is present within its membership. The Grand Old Party needs to own it, rather than sacrifice a conservative senator it has long-valued for short-term political gain.



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