Redefining the Republican Party

by | Jun 10, 2016 | Editor's Blog, National Politics, Presidential race | 21 comments

Republicans in North Carolina are all lining up behind Donald Trump. Pat McCrory’s on board. So are nine of the ten GOP House members. Only Walter Jones is holding out. Richard Burr’s supporting him and Thom Tillis says any Republican who is not supporting Trump is a RINO.

Think about that statement for a minute. Trump is a guy with no principles and certainly not a conservative. He supports single-payer health care and Planned Parenthood. GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan called Trump’s recent comment about a judge “racist.” His whole campaign is about promoting Trump, not a platform or agenda. National Review, the conservative magazine founded by William F. Buckley, has refused to support him.

If anybody not supporting Donald Trump is a Republican in Name Only, then what, exactly, is a Republican? By Tillis’ definition, a Republican is somebody who puts his support behind a person, not a set of ideals. And if that support means embracing a morally-challenged narcissistic, egomaniac with a limited understanding of government, then Donald Trump has redefined the Party of Lincoln in his own image. Tillis, McCrory, Richard Hudson and the rest of the gang have decided to put party before country.

And Republicans know that. This week, I’ve spent hours on the phone talking to educated, pragmatic Republicans. They can’t stand Hillary Clinton, but most won’t vote for Donald Trump. As one said, “I’ve got a choice between two people with limited morals. Hillary’s wrong on almost every issue, but she’s competent. Trump is not.”

The Republican base will almost certainly stick with Donald Trump, but thoughtful people with less allegiance to the Republican Party won’t. Educated conservatives will look for other choices. Maybe they’ll vote Libertarian. Maybe they’ll write somebody in. Maybe they’ll just take a pass altogether and either stay home or vote down ballot only. Who knows, but if, as Thom Tillis implies, supporting Donald Trump defines being Republican, then being Republican doesn’t mean much these days.


  1. Norma Munn

    I generally don’t castigate folks who vote differently from me, but after Trump’s comments implying (three times) that President Obama was somehow happy that an apparent ISIS supporter murdered 49 people and injured 53 others, I honestly think anyone (including Sen. Tillis) who agrees with him or votes for him is either delusional or worse. Those comments suggest that Pres.Obama is a traitor. Yes, the remarks are disguised a bit, but any US citizen favoring ISIS is supporting a group that wants to destroy this country and is betraying this country. We may not consider them legally traitors (I am not a lawyer, so don’t know the legal basis for treason), but we certainly regard those who side with enemies of this country as betraying us, which is traitorous behavior. I realize the racism so evident against Pres. Obama from day one has led some people to call him unAmerican, but either Trump is an idiot, a racist, or completely without integrity — willing to say or do anything that will gain him attention and perhaps the presidency. Those elected officials who follow him can no longer claim to be any different as far as I am concerned.

  2. JC Honeycutt

    I wouldn’t have thought my opinion of Thom Tillis could go any lower, but obviously I was too optimistic. My mother was a Republican, but she wasn’t a damned fool–a status which apparently has now become a requirement to be accepted into the GOP. If there was a way that Trump could become President ONLY of the people who support him, that would be a just reward for their fawning acceptance of the worst politician since Joe McCarthy. I’d ask Tillis if he has any sense of decency, but I think that ship has already sailed–and sunk.

  3. Dale White

    For what it’s worth, Thomas, Republicans in North Carolina are not ALL lining up behind Donald Trump.

    • Thomas Mills

      Maybe not all of the Republicans, but almost all of the elected ones in North Carolina are.

      • Ebrun

        For the GOP, it’s “all hands on deck” or go down with the ship.

        • Ebrun

          A long time ago, D.g.? What century are you talking about? Last time I checked, the GOP controlled all three branches of government in NC and the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, a substantial majority of Governors’ offices and the majority of state legislatures. That ship is carrying a lot of valuable cargo.

  4. Ebrun

    The Republican PARTY is a political organization made up of millions of individual American citizens, most of whom are also voters. The leaders of the party can try to influence the votes of party members and independents wishing to participate in a choice of Republican candidates, but they obviously can’t dictate the results of primary election. (And there are no GOP “super delegates” to dilute or modify the decisions of the Republican rank and file.)

    So party leader have a clear and simple choice. They can endorse and support the choice of their rank and file voters or they can step down from their leadership positions (or perhaps be forced out by those who do support the voters choice).

    It seems that GOP leaders like Ryan, Burr, Tills et al believe that the Republican Party is still the best vehicle to pursue a conservative political agenda even if the voters’ choice to lead the Party in 2016 is not their preferred choice. As a movement conservative and GOP activist, the GOP is still the best choice to pursue my political values. Trump was not my favorite GOP candidate, but others who share my values did not share my preference.

    Somany conservatives will continue to support the principles for which the Party has stood for in contemporary times. Even if he wins the Presidency, which I believe is unlikely, Trump will be constrained to adapt to the Party’s conservative policies and principles or be totally devoid of any essential political support. Liberals like Mr. Mills and others who assail GOP leaders for supporting Trump (now that he has gained the nomination), are pressing specious charges designed to ensure a partisan advantage for the Democrat Party.

    Yes, some longtime Republicans will refuse to back the Party’s Presidential ticket in 2016 and that is their fundamental right. But opting out in 2016 will play right into the hands of their political opponents. Those who remain a loyal member will retain some influence over the Party’s future direction. Those who opt out will be irrelevant, at least for the immediate future.

    • Ebrun

      Don’t be so naive, Bobby. Liberals on this blog have no qualms about lying when they feel the need to engage in personal attacks against Republicans.

    • Ebrun

      “Ebrun, Absolutely brilliant observation.” Gee, thanks D.g., but it really wasn’t meant to be all that incisive. It’s just that sometimes it’s better to reduce ideas to their lowest common denominator to help folks with limited understanding comprehend basic concepts. It your case, such an approach obviously helps.

  5. Norma Munn

    Generally agree with the posting, but if races for state and federal are as close as some appear likely to be, not voting or writing in a name, or even voting for a third party candidate, will almost certainly have Trump winning the state and most of the GOP candidates staying where they are. If folks don’t want some of these guys, even if they are registered Republicans, then they best have the courage of their convictions and vote Democrat in this election. I don’t expect it given what I see from the GOP elected officials toadying to Trump even after his clearly racist remarks about Judge Curiel. Remarks which undercut one of the most basic principals of our Constitution, i.e., that we have three independent branches of government. Trump actually threatened that if were elected president, he in his executive capacity would bring a civil lawsuit against Judge Curiel.

  6. Smartysmom

    Yup, too bad the dems can’t manage some sort of party discipline or we’d be way ahead of the game. Just look at the supreme court justice recent election. If all the dem votes had gone to one person we’d have ourselves a democrat on the supreme court. Thanks to democratic party incompetence, the republicans win again.

    • Allison

      This Supreme Court primary was confusing, but it was a PRIMARY. Both Edmundson and Morgan will be on the ballot in November and we CAN have a progressive majority back in the NC Supreme Court.

      • Bobbie

        It’s Edmunds.

    • Frank McGuirt

      Hey, that was a PRIMARY, not the election. Now we have a Democrat nominated, November will decide who gets the seat. Please urge all to vote for Moore.

      • Bobbie

        There isn’t a Moore (its Morgan)

    • A. D. Reed

      I hope Smarty knows more than his mom.

      Judge Michael Morgan will be on the ballot against Robert Edmunds in November, and at that point “all the dem votes” WILL go to one person and we’ll have ourselves a Democrat — but far more important, an honorable, competent, impartial, nonpartisan justice — on the state Supreme Court.

      There’s no “democratic party incompetence,” just an open nonpartisan primary in which four people chose to run. And the two top vote-getters will face each other in the fall.

      Not hard to understand, if you think about it.

      • Smartysmom

        Actually, Smartysmom knows nothing except what she reads in the newspapers (and what a idiot the believe them, to save you saying it). Anyhow the way the local paper reported it, Edmund won, Morgan and the other democrats “lost”. The supreme court is supposed to be a non-partisan race, or am I misinformed about that too? So why was it even on the primary ballot????? and/or what determines who will be on the ballot in the fall. Obviously, now I am really confused.

    • Barbara dantonio

      Guess again. Judge Mike Morgan will be occupying a seat on the NC Supreme court in January 2017. Clearly the Integrity of justice Edmunds must be addressed. Colluding with the GOP legislature to allow the retention seat to be passed shows me he does not know his NC law. Then jumping to claim the retention seat, seriously, what kind of integrity is that. Thank you Sabra Faires for stepping up and filing the lawsuit that made it possible for the June 7th Primary. Do not underestimate the competition, you do not know who is on Judge Mike Morgan’s team.

      • Bobbie

        Barbara, you just do not have your facts straight… Justice Edmunds is a man of GREAT integrity and your false accusation that he colluded with the GOP is factually incorrect. Additionally, he recused himself from the decision when it came to his courtroom … wouldn’t you agree that he showed integrity? Let’s not use this forum to spread lies.

  7. David

    Saying that “anyone who doesn’t support the Republican nominee is a RINO” is the perfect, defining statement of who Thom Tillis is. It says, on a personal level, you don’t need to have any personal convictions or standards – just follow the Party. Tillis and his partner, Richard Burr have lived out this mantra every pitiful day that they have been in Washington. In a larger sense, this is precisely what is wrong in American politics today. Both sides blindly following their party lines with woefully too few men and women of courage willing to cross party lines to do what is right to keep the country moving forward.

    • Someone from Main Street

      Honestly, the GOP and NCGOP seems more and more like the Soviets back in the day. Fans of centralized government, arresting anyone who speaks out against party leaders, lying excessively to news media – wondering if they’ll initiate gulags any time soon…

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