Ron, I’m Not a Pretend Republican

Hi, Ron

I was a little surprised to see your Facebook post last night, and frankly, I was a bit upset. I figured I’d respond this morning after I had a chance to think things through, but I see you’ve blocked me, so I thought I would respond here.

We go back a ways in the Republican Party. I’m a past vice chairman of my county party, have worked on many campaigns, both local and statewide, and was awarded our party’s Volunteer Award last year. You are currently the Georgia GOP’s 80,000 and under counties chairman, and before that, the Second Vice Chairman. You’ve donated a lot of time as the chairman of the Georgia GOP Veterans Committee. I’ve spent much of the last six years working with our College Republicans and Young Republicans, trying to grow the party by getting them more involved.

This week, Donald Trump became the presumptive candidate to challenge Hillary Clinton for the presidency in November. His victory exposed a divided party. I don’t want to get into specifics, but there are plenty of Republicans who are unsure that a first time candidate with a history of moderate to liberal political leanings is the right person to lead our great nation. There are others who, after supporting one of the losing candidates, are still in shock, a pretty common reaction when your candidate loses.

And that brings me back to your Facebook post. In it, you tell anyone who is not fully committed to vote for Donald Trump in the fall that they aren’t real Republicans. You don’t show any interest in finding out their concerns about him, and indeed insult their intelligence by calling them idiots. This is not the way to win friends and influence people. And, may I remind you that millennials use Facebook and other social media to get their news. They will hear your message loud and clear. And they might just decide that the Republican Party doesn’t want them, and they should look elsewhere.

Donald Trump is at the top of the GOP ticket, but there are many down ballot races that will be contested in November, from Georgia senator to county commissioner and school board seats, and everything in between. If people don’t show up at the polls because they don’t like the top of the ticket, they won’t vote for the down ballot races either. Your thoughtless insistence that one isn’t a real Republican unless they are immediately willing to fully support Donald Trump will discourage GOP leaning voters from participating in the November election. Your comments may drive away many of our College Republicans and Young Republicans who were planning to go on express trips this fall to go door to door for down-ballot Republicans in seriously contested races.

Here’s some advice, for what it’s worth. First, give everyone some time. No one is voting in the presidential race until early voting begins in October. Second, think long term. If we drive out everyone who is not 100% faithful to our controversial candidate, we will be a much smaller party. Finally, let’s not base our campaign for the presidency on fear and loathing. Instead of telling voters to vote GOP because Hillary is going to be awful, tell them how their vote for Republicans will benefit them and their children.

Oh, and what about me? Last July, I was asked on Facebook, “Question of the day: Suppose Trump wins the nomination, do you vote for him over Hillary?” My friend and I had a long conversation, and came to no firm conclusion. As summer stretched into fall, and then to winter, I thought every so often about that conversation. Trump would make what seemed to me to be an absurd promise, like banning all Muslims from entering the country, and I thought about that conversation. Trump began to win primaries, and I began to realize In would have to take the “vote for Trump or Hillary” question more seriously.

Tuesday evening, I messaged my friend:

“And so here we are, Trump is the nominee. And at this point, I can’t vote for him.”

“I’m extremely sad at this point,” he said. “My options for president are a woman who has voted for partial birth abortion and a man who has promised war crimes.”

Will I eventually decide to vote for Donald Trump? I still don’t know. It’s a long way until November. Sadly, though, I won’t be able to talk about the issue with Ron Johnson. Not only did he say he wasn’t going to listen to my opinion, but he blocked me.

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Saltycracker
Saltycracker

Let’s hope Trump and Ryan sit down, pour a cup of decaf and have an adult conversation on the issues. Quickly.

Will Durant
Will Durant

My testimony: My best friend, a will-help-you-get-rid-of-the-body best friend, not a facebook friend, is, a hardshell Democrat. There, I’ve said it. I have voted for Republicans 98% of the time going all the way back to Bo Callaway. The 2%? Occasionally the Republicans have run a crook or three. No, not Nixon, I voted for him both times. I have abstained from voting for the President once before and it appears likely will again, as I couldn’t vote for a second term for Cheney, nor could I vote for Mr. Heinz. So yes Ron, I have SINNNNNED! And I wouldn’t… Read more »

David C
David C

Now, I’m a solid Democrat. But if I were a Republican and cared about preserving conservative governance, I’d vote for Hillary over Trump. In a heartbeat. Say he gets in power, do you have any confidence he wouldn’t be a disaster for the party worse than 2nd term Bush? You’re talking about empowering a guy who mixes total ignorance with dangerous impulsiveness, who is utterly unfit for the office he seeks. Even if you agree with him on policy (such as it is) do you have any reason to believe he wouldn’t be a total disaster as an executive or… Read more »

xdog
xdog

Jon, if you’re surprised by Mr. Johnson’s post I have to ask where you’ve been the past 20 years or so? I don’t belong to any party but his attitude is one I’ve heard a lot from goper officials both grand and petit at least since Bill Clinton won office. To me Johnson sounds some combination of mean, stupid, and close-minded. Maybe he was just having a bad day but he should know that’s not how you grow the party. Saltycracker, I fully expect to read reports of ‘productive meetings’ between Trump and Ryan in the next few days where… Read more »

David C
David C

On 2018, I’d say a bad President can overcome a lousy midterm map. After all, that same map is the seats that were up in 2006. Democrats entered that election needing to gain 6 seats to win a majority despite already holding 17 seats in that cycle to the Republicans’ 15. As part of that, they were defending seats in solidly Red States Nebraska and North Dakota. (Also West Virginia, but that was still Robert Byrd and so an easy hold.) They won the six seats they needed to swing it. Of those six seats gained, one was a deep… Read more »

TheManUndertheBridge
TheManUndertheBridge

Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it.

Unfortunately, those who do learn from history are condemned to repeat it because others do NOT learn….

https://youtu.be/LiG0AE8zdTU

John Konop
John Konop

Barry Goldwater was the father of the conservative movement that led to president Reagan. I am confused, your point is you are against the conservative movement, so do not vote for Trump? This is why this anti Trump movement led by Erick Erickson and Romney failed, the message made no sense. Washington Times: The father of American conservatism ……….A half-century ago, Sen. Barry Goldwater strode to the podium of the Republican National Convention in San Francisco to accept his party’s presidential nomination He declared, “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vise.” Let me remind you further: “Moderation in… Read more »

Raleigh
Raleigh

Well Jon, Never in a million years did I think Trump would pull this off. I said early in the race that his star would fade and a more establishment Republican would be the nominee. I greatly underestimated the anger out there. I knew some of it was there. Now that I look back and reflect this anger has been building since G H W Bush was elected. I walked away from the Republican Party during G W’s term. That’s OK I don’t have a party any more that wants people like me, fiscally very conservative but somewhat socially liberal.… Read more »

TheManUndertheBridge
TheManUndertheBridge

Jon, Thank you for your eloquence and understanding of the relevance this Democratic ad has today. I picked up on this piece up as a result of researching how the Dems plan to spend $91M to beat Trump. We will need to weather attack ads that will claim Trump hates women, Brown/Black and is a xenophobe. The GOP has certain immutable Party positions that are speciously staked as conservative and are hated by many women. While I understand and respect these positions, these are not necessarily the same positions that Trump offers. This ONE single point is going to be… Read more »

Sally Forth
Sally Forth

Amen, Jon. In the wise words of the Rolling Stones, you can’t always get what you want. A choice between two great people isn’t always possible, so sometimes it truly is choosing the lesser of two evils.

gcp
gcp

There are four groups of Republicans in this election cycle. One group, approximately 35%, worship Trumpet. The love him because he is an outsider and a “businessman.” Issues and policies are unimportant to this crowd. All they know is that he “will make America great again.” These folks are difficult or often impossible to dialogue with. The second group, approximately 50%, will vote Trumpet because he is the Republican nominee and he is not Hilly. These folks are mostly rational individuals. The third group and fourth group, approximately 15% total, consists of those that won’t vote for the pseudo Republican… Read more »

John Konop
John Konop

GCP, I saw an interesting poll that showed Trump has a 58% to 42% advantage over Hillary on the economy in the rust belt. Which puts places like Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Virginia in play ie people tend to vote pocket book at the end of the day. In a national poll it is basically a tie on this issue. Trump could win this, but not win popular vote. If Trump takes a few traditional rust belt states that are blue, it changes the math. Also the other wild card is terrorism, bubble busting pre election and Middle East getting… Read more »

gcp
gcp

Its still early but Republicans should be concerned. WSB has it Trump 42.3 Clinton 41.4 and 15.6 undecided in Georgia.

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/279119-poll-trump-clinton-in-statistical-tie-in-georgia

John Konop
John Konop

gcp,

I agree that this is why, this could be very interesting race. The issues make for strange alliances…..

ScottNAtlanta
ScottNAtlanta

I dont know what poll you are looking at, but I’ve seen nothing remotely resembling your numbers. What I HAVE seen is a piece in the Cook Political Report that states that in the rustbelt states, if Trump got every white voter Romney got and every other white voter registered on top of it, it STILL would not even come close to helping him win any of those states. He wont win those states. He wont win the election. He wont change his over the top rhetoric which is fine for base voters in a primary but repulses most other… Read more »

rickday
rickday

“Sometimes”….

if only…

TheManUndertheBridge
TheManUndertheBridge

The ISIS horror show is not stupid. I do not think any major attacks will occur before November 4, it would cinch the deal for Trump.

Saltycracker
Saltycracker

Never under estimate the GOP leadership’s ability to loose direction and shoot themselves in the foot. If they can’t control their family member they’d rather have a devious amoral sociopath quietly stealing the silverware at the party.

I’d take my chances with Trump appointees in the government before letting the looters in.

rickday
rickday

So when ISIS moves to kill, Trump benefits.

Because the fear in the herd runs deep?

What a fascinating comment!

Noway2016
Noway2016

And your comment added what?? Trolling early this am..:

Noway2016
Noway2016

Let Ryan and the Bush’s continue to act like children. Plays right into Trump’s anti-establishment message. “Throw me into that their briar patch…” Votes for Trump roll in for him in November by the truckload. How long you figure the Repub bigwigs can hold their breath and stomp their feet?

ScottNAtlanta
ScottNAtlanta

I find it odd that the GOP still refuses to accept the message of Trump. For years conservatives elected republicans who in turn promptly proceeded to screw them once they got to DC, that goes for the TP know nothings too. What Trump proves is people will not be buying the republican brand of tax cuts for the top, hysterics about debt they could care less about which is also a symptom but not the root cause. His message to the party is that for years they have been intellectually vacant on policy that helps lower and middle class voters,… Read more »

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

“while some people will overlook a signal only dogs can hear, people are repulsed by the megaphone” +1.

Saltycracker
Saltycracker

“As an aside, anyone who would vote for a republican at all costs isnt a very intelligent person anyway, and is surely in denial….”

Almost correct But let’s be inclusive.
Blind party allegiance ? number one by a long, long way:

“I don’t care what she did or will do for herself, she is a Democrat”