So this is an interesting dilemma? Â The usual haters of Chairman John Whitbeck and RPV are backing him on the recent Politico story that talks about the state party instituting a loyalty oath, with the apparent support of Ken Cuccinelli. Â The focus of this idea is Donald Trump, who has refused to say he would endorse whoever the eventual nominee is. Â This looks to be a way to end around Trump out of possibly appearing on the state primary ballot. Â This is a hilarious turn of events as primary supporters argued that their method of nomination was the best way to build a big tent so everyone could participate. Â Now they are using a loyalty oath to do the exact opposite, something that could have been solved with a convention. Â Oh well, water under the bridge.
This also isnâ€™t the first time a loyalty oath has been floated by RPV. Â In the winter of 2011-2012 this came up and I blogged about it a couple of times on my old site. Â What I said back then still applies today, we shouldn’t have to pledge loyalty to the party, the party should pledge loyalty to us. Â The only oaths I’ve made in my life are to God and my wife, and I honestly don’t plan on expanding that much more. Â Letting the state party decide who is a Republican and who isnâ€™t is a bad idea. Â If you donâ€™t like Donald Trump, get off your butt and organize your friends and neighbors around the candidate you support. Â Shutting out him and, more importantly, his supporters is a dangerous precedent that can be used against anyone in the future.
The way to defeat Donald Trump is not with attacks and exclusion but with kindness. Â His supporters are real, their issues are real, and they are not raging racists. Â And if you want to play that raging racist card, letâ€™s think back about how some of our past GOP presidents have acted (Reagan kicking his campaign off in Philadelphia, MS and George W. Bushâ€™s campaign in South Carolina against McCain, for starters). Â I canâ€™t say I can ever foresee myself voting for Trump but I want to make sure his supporters remain in the party and part of that big tent the establishment of our party have claimed they want so badly. Â Attacking Trump and disenfranchising his supporters shrinks the party, shrinks our energy, and exposes primary supporters as hypocrites. Â You want the party inclusionary, but only with your people. Creating party policy and precedent out of spite or anger at one person you donâ€™t like is not how a party should be run.
Lastly, I want to address Trumpâ€™s reasoning itself. Â He isnâ€™t willing to support whoever the GOP nominee is and instead of working to make sure that happens, we are trying to put a gun to his head. Â I understand and respect those who say if you want the party and itâ€™s infrastructure to work for you, you should be willing to work the same for whoever the nominee is. Â But Trumpâ€™s views on supporting the eventual nominee are held by more Republicans than the party probably wants to admit. Â Attempting to keep him off the ballot through a loyalty oath, or whatever it is, will only further prove Trumps point and makes it more likely many conservatives will sit this one out, especially if a Jeb or Kasich is the nominee. Â The partyâ€™s handling of Trump has been all wrong. Â The party both state and federal needs to embrace his campaign and treat them fairly, do everything possible to reach out and accommodate. Â If he then still bolts for a third party run, so be it, but then the GOP will have a the moral high ground to make a real appeal to his supporters that the GOP remains the conservative alternative they want. Â Â Our goal shouldnâ€™t be to keep Trump in the party, it should be to keep his supporters in the party. Â His followers are very loyal and we must remember everything you do to him you are doing it to roughly 30% of the party now (whatever his numbers are).
We need to play nice, let everyone in the pool, and trust our own voters to choose wisely. Â If the GOP chooses Donald Trump in Virginia in a primary, then Iâ€™m sorry, youâ€™ve lost the battle. Â Want to stop Trump? Â Do it at the ballot box, donâ€™t game the system, because you will be doing a lot of damage to the base of our party that is supporting him. Â I know you hate it, I know you donâ€™t like it, but his support is real and his supporters should be respected. Â