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Like many others here, I have been resigned to a Trump candidacy from the moment Senator Ted Cruz dropped out of the race. I saw nothing particularly positive in that prospect, but I found it unquestionably preferable to any of the remaining alternatives. So, I chose to support Trump. Under the circumstances, it was the only defensible choice.
Subsequently, House Speaker Paul Ryan stepped up and confirmed his role as spokesman for conservative Republicans. Furthermore, he convinced me that he would use the influence of his office, as well as his formidable personal influence, to lead Congress and work with a President Trump to move the country in a positive direction. Ryan would collaborate with Trump as an ally on issues in which their goals align. Equally importantly, he would negotiate workable differences, as well as reign in Trump’s most extreme impulses.
But now that Trump has named Governor Mike Pence as his running mate, I’m beginning to see this candidacy in a genuinely positive light. One year ago, who among us would have objected to putting, at the top of the ticket, a conservative governor with proven leadership ability in Congress? The Trump phenomenon disallowed that (as we are all painfully aware), but now Trump has given us just such a man, albeit at the bottom of the ticket. At this point, I’ll take it. We’d be foolish to turn-up our noses at this development. Governor Pence possesses the political experience, conservative nature, and personal attributes that Trump lacks. To some degree, Pence can potentially neutralize much of what is objectionable about Trump the man.
A Trump/Pence White House combined with a Ryan-led Congress has real potential for moving the country in a positive direction. Perhaps it’s time for thoughtful #NeverTrumpers to re-assess the situation given these latest developments. Can’t we agree that the Trump candidacy is, at the very least, marginally less intolerable now? Can’t we agree that a Trump/Pence ticket is colossally superior to the Democrat alternative, and that a protest vote for a fringe candidate would be counterproductive? If you think not, then just how superior to the Democrat alternative would you require the Trump option to be? At what point does a protest vote become merely an exercise in moral preening?
I recognize that Trump the person is still Trump the person, but we’re not electing an emperor. An administration staffed with solid Republicans simply must be preferable to the Clinton cabal. It’s time for NeverTrumpers to rally around the true conservative on the ticket, and raise his stature within the Trump campaign and within the party.