‘Embrace the Suck’: It’s Time to Bridge What Divides the GOP

 

There’s nothing more zealous than a convert, goes the old saying. Conversions are deeply transformative. Converts more deeply embrace and evangelize their new faith, whether in religion or politics.

It doesn’t just happen with party switchers. Sometimes, someone wakes up and is politically charged when teacher unions keep schools shut down, or they read the homework assignments their kids bring home in utter horror. Or being unable to find infant formula at the grocery store for a newborn. Paying $5 per gallon of gas might do it, too.

I’ve had conversions. I was raised a southern populist Democrat from rural Oklahoma who once volunteered for former US Senator Fred Harris’ (D-OK) presidential campaign in 1976 while attending college. I voted for Jimmy Carter that fall. My first conversion happened in early 1977 when I raced upstairs to my apartment’s mailbox to open my first paycheck stub for my first job out of college and was shocked to find out what was being withheld in payroll taxes. I began to ask where my money was being spent. I didn’t like the answers. I voted for Ronald Reagan and Republicans for House, Senate, and everything else beginning in 1980. I’ve never looked back.

I later worked full-time to help elect dozens of GOP House members and Senators. I would later be nominated in 1995 as Secretary of the US Senate by Majority Leader Robert Dole, who I voted against for Vice President in 1976. Some journey.

I left the GOP for a year, registering as an Independent in Pennsylvania when Donald Trump became the presumptive nominee in 2016. His emergence offended my sensibilities. I held my nose and voted for him in 2016 anyway because I knew Hillary Clinton was worse and didn’t want to throw away my vote. I had my personal experiences with the Clinton machine some 10 years earlier as the nominee to a GOP seat on the Federal Election Commission. I’ve seen government power abused firsthand. I feared that the abuse would return in spades.

I enthusiastically embraced Trump in 2020 after three historic Supreme Court nominations and other successful policies. I didn’t have to agree with everything he said or did. I still don’t.

Former US Senator and DNC chair Fred Harris (D-OK) and wife LaDonna during his 1976 candidacy for President. He finished third in the Iowa caucuses. He dropped out after a drubbing in New Hampshire. His campaign book that year was entitled “The New Populism.”

My latest “conversion,” more of an epiphany, was caused by two events in 2018. The Senate confirmation battle over now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh – not even my first choice for the job – and pathetic propaganda news reporting over the October “migrant caravan” that placed me square in cancel culture’s sites.

I lost a few friends over my Trump support and sympathies. I lost a few more when my angst over January 6th wasn’t acceptable to many. I cast a skeptical eye at some of the initial reporting, some of which was later proven false. I dared not to call it an “insurrection.” I still don’t because it wasn’t.

As a convert, I know both sides of the GOP divide intimately. There has always been conflict between “establishment” and “populist” Republicans, many of whom used to be Democrats like me. It goes back to Reagan v. Bush in 1980 and perhaps even Ford v. Reagan in 1976. Even Goldwater v. Rockefeller/Romney and everyone else in 1964, and Eisenhower v. Taft in 1952. That’s some history. It’s been brewing for a while. It’s more style than substance, but it boiled over with the emergence of Donald Trump. But as friends and allies, we can disagree but shouldn’t be divided over political differences.

The conflict was evident as many populist voters stayed home when hedge fund manager Mitt Romney was the nominee in 2012. On Election Day 2012, my wife and I knocked on some 300 doors for Romney to turn out GOP voters in Lancaster County, PA, a deep red enclave. The lack of enthusiasm for “Pierre Delecto” was palpable. I ignored the warning flags. I still thought Romney was sure to win. Oops. Obama handily won Pennsylvania and the presidency.

In 2016 and later in 2020, establishment and elitist Republicans, from George W. Bush to many of my friends, eschewed support for Trump. Some even proclaimed their support for Hillary Clinton or, later, Joe Biden over “mean tweets,” offensive comments, and perceptions of chaos, narcissism, and erratic unpredictability. For others, Joe Biden was better for their lobbying business (how Washington works). It wasn’t fashionable to be for Trump inside Washington’s I-495 Beltway, and not profitable enough for others.

Look where that has taken us. We traded mean tweets from “orange man bad” for the Afghanistan debacle, historic inflation levels, and a double-digit drop in the stock market. The value of the dollar and our 401(k)s are shrinking faster than inflation is going up. At least my home value has gone up, but where would I move if I were to sell it?

It’s a mistake to attribute too much “credit” or “blame” to Donald Trump since he’s more a symptom than a cause. But the truth is that the “Trump era” conveniently exposes, if not defines, the division that plagues the GOP and the broader culture. But as a recent trip to France during their presidential election confirmed, it’s also a global phenomenon. Rural versus urban. Working-class giletes jaunes versus the Parisian technocrats and managers. Nationalists versus globalists. The privileged versus the disenfranchised. That’s not all on Trump.

By the way, France had plenty of infant formula on their shelves. I saw it for myself. So does Canada, I’m told. The infant formula shortage is a crisis of the Biden Administration’s own making.

The Giletes Jaunes – Yellow Vests – protest cost of living issues and against globalism in France.

This divide continues to play out across the US in political campaigns at all levels, from the attorney general’s race in Texas to Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial nomination, where “Ultra MAGA” candidate Doug Mastriano powered his way to a 44 percent win over 8 other candidates, none of whom were close. It is both cultural and political. Many in Pennsylvania’s business and political establishment, at least those aligned with the GOP, are apoplectic over retired Army Colonel and current St. Senator Mastriano’s nomination.

After writing about Mastriano’s win in a blog post – I supported another candidate – I outlined how he could win. It’s a narrow path, but it’s winnable given the solid anti-Biden, anti-Democratic political climate. It’s the kind of post a loyal Republican makes even if his candidate loses.

I posted it on my Facebook page. A friend, former lobbyist, and an ex-county GOP chair, whom I greatly respect, quickly disagreed. I seriously doubt that he read my post. “Sorry to disagree. I think he’s (Mastriano’s) done. As (a former) County Republican Chairman and involved in Pennsylvania campaigns for over fifty years, I have never seen a worse state of affairs—bad candidate, united opposition, dysfunctional GOP—and all at a time when we could take that office. I’d rather concentrate on holding the Senate seat.” Hugh Scott, call your office.

Doug Mastriano

That was illustrative, and I’ve heard it elsewhere from other Republican professionals. I espoused it myself briefly in 2016 when Trump decimated my preferred candidates, from Rick Santorum to Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz when Pennsylvania’s primary finally rolled around. I could not imagine a candidate like Trump heading my party. I heard it again in 2020 when friends and former GOP members of Congress like Charlie Dent (R-PA) endorsed Joe Biden over Donald Trump. They pick up their marbles and go home when they don’t get their way. Or worse, they grift like the discredited Lincoln Project, which donned blue jerseys and took cash from Democratic funders to trash GOP candidates. And they made serious money.

Trump supporters and your average, everyday Republicans who don’t don suits and ties and aren’t part of the Washington culture or employ lobbyists traipsing around Gucci Gulch have noticed. And Republicans can’t win without them.

Establishment GOP types take populist votes for granted when their preferred candidates are nominated and wonder why populist voters stay home in large numbers. But when a populist candidate wins a primary, establishment types pick up their single malt scotches, hide their checkbooks, and head to the Metropolitan Club or Union League to lament the deplorable rubes who have taken over their party. They abandon party nominees who offend their sensibilities. Even if they can win.

This is how you get a Joe Biden. How is that working out?

Ronald Reagan was an exception. You may have been for George H. W. Bush in 1980 (I was), or perhaps Howard Baker or even Robert Dole. Your candidate lost, but Reagan exuded sunny optimism with class. He was a terrific communicator, a genuine unifier, and downright impressive. He knew how to bring you into his tent. I doubt even Reagan could do that today, but I wish he were around to try. Or someone like him.

The question is, whose party is it? And if it is a big tent, is there a way to bridge the divide?

Mastriano, whom I’ve never met, is at least saying all the right things post-primary about unifying the party. I outlined several other steps he needs to run a more attractive and inclusive campaign as the “happy warrior” for conservative change on issues that matter to everyday Pennsylvanians. He has some missionary work with suburban and other voters bothered by some of his careless pronouncements on election integrity and “J6” affiliations. But those are fixable in an environment where Republicans have a 9-point lead or more on the generic ballot test. Other issues focus voters’ minds, from infant formula and other shortages to $5 per gallon gasoline and raging inflation.

It’s smart politics to help Mastriano this fall. A rising tide lifts all boats. At least the ones that haven’t had too many holes shot through the hull, especially the starboard side.

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  1. DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax)
    @DonG

    All things in good measure.  It is possible to have too much corporate concentration.  

    • #1
  2. Nohaaj Coolidge
    Nohaaj
    @Nohaaj

    I sense you wrote this splendid post just to be able to sneak in that last sentence.  

    We still don’t know who will win the nomination for PA Senate seat. As of this AM, there was less than a 1000 votes separating the two, and a mandatory recount will be necessary.  It does seem like Oz will prevail.  If he does, I hope he acts like he promised and campaigned; as a conservative.  But his history from decades of TV revealed a different man than he campaigned as.  

    As the chair of the PA Republican committee told us: after the primaries, whoever is our nominee, even if they stink, that will be our guy, and he will be vastly better than any Democrat.  

    Let’s hope that is the case.

    The obvious exceptions to that rule are Mitt and Liz.  

    Let us hope Oz, if he wins both the nomination and subsequently the Senate seat, isn’t another. 

    • #2
  3. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    I guess it’s ok to call it a “bridge.” If I read right, however, your acquaintance won’t be voting for or supporting Mastriano. (Maybe “leaving the island?”)

    It’s been obvious since 2008 that the Republican party would have to be emptied of comfortable leftists before any progress could be made against the left and our decline. If the Republic is to be restored, the first task is to scour the Republican Party. The loss of people whose values are antithetical to Republican government ought to be celebrated.

    • #3
  4. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    I will NOT clap.

    • #4
  5. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Barfly (View Comment):

    I guess it’s ok to call it a “bridge.” If I read right, however, your acquaintance won’t be voting for or supporting Mastriano. (Maybe “leaving the island?”)

    It’s been obvious since 2008 that the Republican party would have to be emptied of comfortable leftists before any progress could be made against the left and our decline. If the Republic is to be restored, the first task is to scour the Republican Party. The loss of people whose values are antithetical to Republican government ought to be celebrated.

    And replace them with registered Democrats who hadn’t yet realized that they don’t want to be Democrats any more.

    • #5
  6. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    Gilets. One “e”. 

    • #6
  7. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    I generally agree with this.  Any R is better than any D.   I appreciate the call for the “establishment” to get with the program.  It does seem they always call for the grass roots to accept the squishy moderate when they win the primary and then work against the grass roots when the conservative firebrand wins.  The door has to swing both ways.  I would add though one other type of Republican we should vote against even if that means electing a D that would be the turncoat sellouts, i.e. Liz Chaney and Adam Kinzinger, the court jester republicans have to be purged.   It is a matter of good party hygiene. 

    • #7
  8. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Raxxalan (View Comment):
    Any R is better than any D. 

    As I tell people, I’m a yellow-dog Republican through and through.  I don’t have to like a candidate to vote for him (John McCain in 2008), but it is preferrable . . .

    • #8
  9. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    Stad (View Comment):

    Raxxalan (View Comment):
    Any R is better than any D.

    As I tell people, I’m a yellow-dog Republican through and through. I don’t have to like a candidate to vote for him (John McCain in 2008), but it is preferrable . . .

    This wasn’t always the case but right now the D’s need to lose and lose badly.  If that happens maybe it will break the fever.  Once we have a break on the worst excesses of the current administration we can look at cleaning our own house but we have to get the D’s to the point where they are wondering the wilderness trying to figure out where they went wrong.

    • #9
  10. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Kelly, thanks for this post.  My experience was similar to yours, I think.  I strongly disliked Trump initially, during the primaries.  I consciously decided not to say “never,” and gave him a chance to make his case during the general election campaign.  He was sufficiently convincing that, like you, I voted for him in 2016, albeit reluctantly at the time.

    He outperformed my expectations, and I became a solid supporter of President Trump quite promptly.

    How do we bring about this reconciliation that you propose?  My own impression is that the anti-Trump folks need to apologize, essentially.  I did so.  You did so in this post, saying that your initial, negative impression of Trump turned out to be incorrect, and that he accomplished many good things.

    I have the sense that hatred of Trump affects perceptions of many things.  Trump-haters bought into the Russia Collusion hoax, and the first impeachment over that innocuous phone call with Zelensky, and the second impeachment over the so-called insurrection on January 6.  People do tend to double down, it seems.  This is probably because it is difficult to admit that one was wrong.

    It is also difficult to forgive someone who doesn’t admit that he was wrong.

    • #10
  11. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    Kelly D Johnston: Politics is a numbers game. He or she with the most votes wins. And governs. My favorite candidates don’t always win, but I have learned to embrace my party’s nominee whenever possible. It doesn’t mean that I embrace everything they say or do.

    I’m delighted you learned this in time for 2020.

    I was a Cruz supporter in the 2016 primary.  Trump just had too much baggage as a former Democrat for me to trust.  But he was pitching what I wanted, and I sucked it up for the 2016 general.  In precisely the same way country club Republicans insisted we do in 2008 and 2012.

    I worry about Oz for exactly the reason I worried about Trump back then–much lefty baggage.  I’m not a Pennsylvanian, so my opinion doesn’t count, but if I could, I would vote for Oz in the general if he wins the recount.  Oz winning the primary means a bunch of PA republicans saw enough to take the chance against his background.  That means something.

    • #11
  12. Gary Robbins Member
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Kelly, thanks for this post. My experience was similar to yours, I think. I strongly disliked Trump initially, during the primaries. I consciously decided not to say “never,” and gave him a chance to make his case during the general election campaign. He was sufficiently convincing that, like you, I voted for him in 2016, albeit reluctantly at the time.

    He outperformed my expectations, and I became a solid supporter of President Trump quite promptly.

    How do we bring about this reconciliation that you propose? My own impression is that the anti-Trump folks need to apologize, essentially. I did so. You did so in this post, saying that your initial, negative impression of Trump turned out to be incorrect, and that he accomplished many good things.

    I have the sense that hatred of Trump affects perceptions of many things. Trump-haters bought into the Russia Collusion hoax, and the first impeachment over that innocuous phone call with Zelensky, and the second impeachment over the so-called insurrection on January 6. People do tend to double down, it seems. This is probably because it is difficult to admit that one was wrong.

    It is also difficult to forgive someone who doesn’t admit that he was wrong.

    Jerry, if your goal is reconciliation, demanding an apology is usually a poor first step.

    I did what I did because I felt and believed it to be right.  

    After reading William Barr’s book, I realized that the Russian Collusion was waaaaay overblown, and promptly admitted it.  But that wasn’t an apology.  

    I respectfully suggest that you edit out the word “apology” if you want to be more successful with reconciliation.

    • #12
  13. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Kelly, thanks for this post. My experience was similar to yours, I think. I strongly disliked Trump initially, during the primaries. I consciously decided not to say “never,” and gave him a chance to make his case during the general election campaign. He was sufficiently convincing that, like you, I voted for him in 2016, albeit reluctantly at the time.

    He outperformed my expectations, and I became a solid supporter of President Trump quite promptly.

    How do we bring about this reconciliation that you propose? My own impression is that the anti-Trump folks need to apologize, essentially. I did so. You did so in this post, saying that your initial, negative impression of Trump turned out to be incorrect, and that he accomplished many good things.

    I have the sense that hatred of Trump affects perceptions of many things. Trump-haters bought into the Russia Collusion hoax, and the first impeachment over that innocuous phone call with Zelensky, and the second impeachment over the so-called insurrection on January 6. People do tend to double down, it seems. This is probably because it is difficult to admit that one was wrong.

    It is also difficult to forgive someone who doesn’t admit that he was wrong.

    Jerry, if your goal is reconciliation, demanding an apology is usually a poor first step.

    I did what I did because I felt and believed it to be right.

    After reading William Barr’s book, I realized that the Russian Collusion was waaaaay overblown, and promptly admitted it. But that wasn’t an apology.

    I respectfully suggest that you edit out the word “apology” if you want to be more successful with reconciliation.

    An apology would be preferable to self-mutilation, wouldn’t it? 

    • #13
  14. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Kelly, thanks for this post. My experience was similar to yours, I think. I strongly disliked Trump initially, during the primaries. I consciously decided not to say “never,” and gave him a chance to make his case during the general election campaign. He was sufficiently convincing that, like you, I voted for him in 2016, albeit reluctantly at the time.

    He outperformed my expectations, and I became a solid supporter of President Trump quite promptly.

    How do we bring about this reconciliation that you propose? My own impression is that the anti-Trump folks need to apologize, essentially. I did so. You did so in this post, saying that your initial, negative impression of Trump turned out to be incorrect, and that he accomplished many good things.

    I have the sense that hatred of Trump affects perceptions of many things. Trump-haters bought into the Russia Collusion hoax, and the first impeachment over that innocuous phone call with Zelensky, and the second impeachment over the so-called insurrection on January 6. People do tend to double down, it seems. This is probably because it is difficult to admit that one was wrong.

    It is also difficult to forgive someone who doesn’t admit that he was wrong.

    Jerry, if your goal is reconciliation, demanding an apology is usually a poor first step.

    I did what I did because I felt and believed it to be right.

    After reading William Barr’s book, I realized that the Russian Collusion was waaaaay overblown, and promptly admitted it. But that wasn’t an apology.

    I respectfully suggest that you edit out the word “apology” if you want to be more successful with reconciliation.

    I don’t think anyone is obligated to vote for a candidate that, in their gut, they don’t think should hold the political office they seek.  You can talk about loyalty to the Republican party if you want.  But the David Duke example in the OP is a good illustration that just because a candidate has an “R” next to his name doesn’t mean that everyone is going to vote for that candidate out of party loyalty.  

    • #14
  15. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Kelly, thanks for this post. My experience was similar to yours, I think. I strongly disliked Trump initially, during the primaries. I consciously decided not to say “never,” and gave him a chance to make his case during the general election campaign. He was sufficiently convincing that, like you, I voted for him in 2016, albeit reluctantly at the time.

    He outperformed my expectations, and I became a solid supporter of President Trump quite promptly.

    How do we bring about this reconciliation that you propose? My own impression is that the anti-Trump folks need to apologize, essentially. I did so. You did so in this post, saying that your initial, negative impression of Trump turned out to be incorrect, and that he accomplished many good things.

    I have the sense that hatred of Trump affects perceptions of many things. Trump-haters bought into the Russia Collusion hoax, and the first impeachment over that innocuous phone call with Zelensky, and the second impeachment over the so-called insurrection on January 6. People do tend to double down, it seems. This is probably because it is difficult to admit that one was wrong.

    It is also difficult to forgive someone who doesn’t admit that he was wrong.

    Jerry, if your goal is reconciliation, demanding an apology is usually a poor first step.

    I did what I did because I felt and believed it to be right.

    After reading William Barr’s book, I realized that the Russian Collusion was waaaaay overblown, and promptly admitted it. But that wasn’t an apology.

    I respectfully suggest that you edit out the word “apology” if you want to be more successful with reconciliation.

    Gary, I don’t think that I’m going to accept your suggestion.

    Do you still feel and believe that what you did in the past — opposing Trump, supporting and voting for Democrats — was right?  I understand that you thought that it was right at the time.  Do you still think so?

    If not, then it seems to me that reconciliation should begin with an admission of error.  If not, then I don’t think that reconciliation is feasible.

    I’m not looking for groveling.  I’m looking for an admission of error.  In the absence of such an admission, why should I I believe that a NeverTrumper is going to behave any differently next time?  Their behavior, from my perspective, seemed like a stab in the back.

    • #15
  16. DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Kelly, thanks for this post. My experience was similar to yours, I think. I strongly disliked Trump initially, during the primaries. I consciously decided not to say “never,” and gave him a chance to make his case during the general election campaign. He was sufficiently convincing that, like you, I voted for him in 2016, albeit reluctantly at the time.

    He outperformed my expectations, and I became a solid supporter of President Trump quite promptly.

    How do we bring about this reconciliation that you propose? My own impression is that the anti-Trump folks need to apologize, essentially. I did so. You did so in this post, saying that your initial, negative impression of Trump turned out to be incorrect, and that he accomplished many good things.

    I have the sense that hatred of Trump affects perceptions of many things. Trump-haters bought into the Russia Collusion hoax, and the first impeachment over that innocuous phone call with Zelensky, and the second impeachment over the so-called insurrection on January 6. People do tend to double down, it seems. This is probably because it is difficult to admit that one was wrong.

    It is also difficult to forgive someone who doesn’t admit that he was wrong.

    Jerry, if your goal is reconciliation, demanding an apology is usually a poor first step.

    I did what I did because I felt and believed it to be right.

    After reading William Barr’s book, I realized that the Russian Collusion was waaaaay overblown, and promptly admitted it. But that wasn’t an apology.

    I respectfully suggest that you edit out the word “apology” if you want to be more successful with reconciliation.

    This you?

     

    • #16
  17. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    It is also difficult to forgive someone who doesn’t admit that he was wrong.

    I would say impossible.  At least until they do admit it.  And maybe not even then, depending on how much damage they did first.

    • #17
  18. DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    It is also difficult to forgive someone who doesn’t admit that he was wrong.

    I would say impossible. At least until they do admit it. And maybe not even then, depending on how much damage they did first.

    Not impossible at all. It’s just that pride frequently gets in the way. Withholding forgiveness doesn’t punish them; it punishes you. Forgiveness, even if they don’t admit their wrong, is freeing. Demanding an apology indicates that the forgiveness is conditional, and not really forgiveness as much as it is putting yourself above others.

    Do it.

    • #18
  19. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic … (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    It is also difficult to forgive someone who doesn’t admit that he was wrong.

    I would say impossible. At least until they do admit it. And maybe not even then, depending on how much damage they did first.

    Not impossible at all. It’s just that pride frequently gets in the way. Withholding forgiveness doesn’t punish them; it punishes you. Forgiveness, even if they don’t admit their wrong, is freeing. Demanding an apology indicates that the forgiveness is conditional, and not really forgiveness as much as it is putting yourself above others.

    Do it.

    At the very least, then, forgive if you want, but then keep them out of your life.

    • #19
  20. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    kedavis (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic … (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    It is also difficult to forgive someone who doesn’t admit that he was wrong.

    I would say impossible. At least until they do admit it. And maybe not even then, depending on how much damage they did first.

    Not impossible at all. It’s just that pride frequently gets in the way. Withholding forgiveness doesn’t punish them; it punishes you. Forgiveness, even if they don’t admit their wrong, is freeing. Demanding an apology indicates that the forgiveness is conditional, and not really forgiveness as much as it is putting yourself above others.

    Do it.

    At the very least, then, forgive if you want, but then keep them out of your life.

    The problem isn’t forgiving.  It is should you trust them again?  In this as with most political cases it really doesn’t matter much.  I would never vote for a prominent NT person.  I don’t tend to pay as much attention to someone who was NT, because I don’t trust their judgement anymore.   An apology might change that.  It would at least prove that they have enough self awareness to acknowledge they were wrong about the risks of their course of action (embracing the Ds). 

    • #20
  21. DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Raxxalan (View Comment):
    I would never vote for a prominent NT person.  I don’t tend to pay as much attention to someone who was NT, because I don’t trust their judgement anymore.

    Just remember who stood up on that GOP debate stage vowing to support whoever got the nomination, and then immediately breaking that vow when the nominee was chosen.

    You might not have liked President Trump’s answer, but he was the only one who was honest.

    • #21
  22. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic … (View Comment):

    Raxxalan (View Comment):
    I would never vote for a prominent NT person. I don’t tend to pay as much attention to someone who was NT, because I don’t trust their judgement anymore.

    Just remember who stood up on that GOP debate stage vowing to support whoever got the nomination, and then immediately breaking that vow when the nominee was chosen.

    You might not have liked President Trump’s answer, but he was the only one who was honest.

    Ted Cruz was pretty anti-Trump after Trump won the nomination but before he was elected.  Admittedly he has some personal problems with Trump and hard feelings from the campaign I think were understandable.  I also think he didn’t cover himself in glory at the 2016 Republican Convention. 

    After Trump was elected Ted worked with him to get things done.  He campaigned with him and was an ally to Trump.  I don’t know if he apologized publicly or not but he put aside any personal differences and helped get an agenda that was broadly conservative passed.   I can support Cruz.  Romney was critical then cozied up to Trump to try to become Secretary of State.  Basically kept his mouth shut to get elected to the senate.  Then move against Trump in two impeachments one of which was a sham.  I couldn’t support Romney.  

    In the end I think Trump was a good president and I wish he had won reelection because I don’t think we would be here if he had.  I also think he shot himself in the foot a lot, and I have never seen someone who alienates people who work for him quite as much as Trump does.

     

    • #22
  23. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    A lot of the comments here just strike a weird tone with me with words and phrases like “apology,” “forgiveness,” and “stab in the back.”  Might some of you be taking things a little too personally?  We’re not talking about your spouse cheating on you.  We’re talking about people who have the same general political viewpoint who disagree on how worthy a particular politician is.  Is it so hard to say, “We may never agree on Donald Trump, but that divide doesn’t have to carry over to everything else?”

    • #23
  24. DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Raxxalan (View Comment):
    and I have never seen someone who alienates people who work for him quite as much as Trump does.

    Some who work for him and with him speak very highly of him. Others don’t, and you can never quite tell whose ego is the problem. It really is a mixed bag. But I guess we’re all like that.

    • #24
  25. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Raxxalan (View Comment):
    Then move against Trump in two impeachments one both of which was a were shams.  I couldn’t support Romney.  

    There you go.

    • #25
  26. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    A lot of the comments here just strike a weird tone with me with words and phrases like “apology,” “forgiveness,” and “stab in the back.” Might some of you be taking things a little too personally? We’re not talking about your spouse cheating on you. We’re talking about people who have the same general political viewpoint who disagree on how worthy a particular politician is. Is it so hard to say, “We may never agree on Donald Trump, but that divide doesn’t have to carry over to everything else?”

    Except they don’t limit it to just Trump himself.  They extend it to anyone they view as “Trumpy” or even just didn’t vote for impeachment, either or both times.

    • #26
  27. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    It is also difficult to forgive someone who doesn’t admit that he was wrong.

    I would say impossible. At least until they do admit it. And maybe not even then, depending on how much damage they did first.

    I would say immoral. Asking for repentance without a hope of forgiveness is cruelty, but forgiveness before repentance is weakness that encourages stupidity and evil.

    • #27
  28. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Barfly (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    It is also difficult to forgive someone who doesn’t admit that he was wrong.

    I would say impossible. At least until they do admit it. And maybe not even then, depending on how much damage they did first.

    I would say immoral. Asking for repentance without a hope of forgiveness is cruelty, but forgiveness before repentance is weakness that encourages stupidity and evil.

    That’s a valid perspective too.

    • #28
  29. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    A lot of the comments here just strike a weird tone with me with words and phrases like “apology,” “forgiveness,” and “stab in the back.” Might some of you be taking things a little too personally? We’re not talking about your spouse cheating on you. We’re talking about people who have the same general political viewpoint who disagree on how worthy a particular politician is. Is it so hard to say, “We may never agree on Donald Trump, but that divide doesn’t have to carry over to everything else?”

    The divide was over way way way more than Trump. I don’t so much feel like they stabbed me in the back as much as I’m with Raxx on questioning their judgement and thinking they lack way more integrity than they think Trump lacks. And if they think Trump’s lack of integrity and boorishness disqualified him, then I have no problems judging them by their own standards… and I find them lacking.

    Admitting wrongness shows a bit of integrity and better judgement and gaining of wisdom.

    • #29
  30. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    A lot of the comments here just strike a weird tone with me with words and phrases like “apology,” “forgiveness,” and “stab in the back.” Might some of you be taking things a little too personally? We’re not talking about your spouse cheating on you. We’re talking about people who have the same general political viewpoint who disagree on how worthy a particular politician is. Is it so hard to say, “We may never agree on Donald Trump, but that divide doesn’t have to carry over to everything else?”

    I don’t think anyone feels we have to exclude everyone who questioned DJT’s suitability for office. But I do think that anyone who’d vote for FJB is someone I’ll never turn my back on, not for one second.

    There’s a saying in law enforcement circles that I’ll paraphrase here. Once they’ve gone there, the safe bet is they’ll do it again.

    • #30
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