I recently heard someone say she felt “politically homeless.” She didn’t feel like she fit in with any of the parties of today and that resonated with me. It summed up my own feelings perfectly.
Before 2015, I had been in a state of dissatisfaction with the Republican Party but knew I could never vote blue. I grew ever so tired of the chokehold that spineless RINOs had on the party. I had grown accustomed to the establishment types and for a while wondered when, or if, we would find a candidate who would stand up for our beliefs and energize our party again.
Then I heard Donald Trump’s campaign announcement. From his mouth, I heard him say all of the things I had said for years, but he said them as a candidate and in a much more forceful manner. The funny thing is, most of what he said he had been saying since the 1980s. His opinions on the issues weren’t considered taboo until the media and other politicians declared them to be so. That year, 16 other candidates threw their hats in the ring with him to become the nominee, but there was no doubt in my mind he would outwork them all.
I saw Trump as a fighter and, let’s be honest, we don’t see that with political figures on the Right very often. Although I liked many things about Trump, my favorite of all wasn’t anything he did against the Left. It was that he exposed the “old guard” on the right. Take your pick: Lindsey Graham, Mitt Romney, Liz Cheney, the list is truly endless. It became clear that Trump was an unwelcome outsider rejected by establishment politicians from both parties.
But it wasn’t only the career politicians who were nervous. At that time, I saw many of those close to me claiming to be hardened conservatives but squirming in fear of what Trump would say or do next. They thought he’d get us into World War III. They thought he’d tank the economy. They wished he would read the script and shut up otherwise. For every reason they despised him, I liked him. He was everything I adored. For once, we had a candidate who stood up for himself and didn’t apologize for every little thing.
So, I guess the real question here lies with those of us on the Right: Why does a brash, unapologetic candidate make so many of them nervous? I see politicians on the Left who I can admire, or at least respect, simply because they fight for what they want and they don’t apologize for it. Isn’t that the point? Believing in an issue and fighting like hell for it without regard to whether the words are cutting? Isn’t that what our founders did?
It seems that some haven’t wised up to the fact that the world of politics isn’t supposed to be about being polite. While those on the Left run wild becoming increasingly socialist, saying that men can get pregnant, and pushing overly sexualized material on first graders, those on the Right are more concerned about possibly offending someone. In these times, I am reminded of a quote by Thomas Paine: “He who dares not offend cannot be honest.”
For too long, our core values of limited government, gun rights, legal immigration, and protecting freedom of speech have been used by too many on the Right as a means to get elected and then cast aside after they win either because they are too afraid to stand firm or fear that these values are supposedly “offensive.”
For me and voters like me, the days of supporting people like that are over.
If I have learned anything from the fire that Trump lit in the patriotic hearts of many it is this: I no longer have to vote for weak candidates. The way for America First candidates has been paved and if a candidate does not put America first or wobbles on any issue clearly stated in our Constitution he or she will not get my vote. Party affiliation does not matter any longer.
As Americans, we must take our voting responsibility more seriously. We must alter the way we think about politics and voting, involve ourselves more in the voting process by becoming poll watchers or poll workers, research the candidates on the ballots much more thoroughly, and vote out career politicians who seek their own glory and greed above following the Constitution.
The battle to preserve our values can only be won by our ability to see through the deception from both sides and holding elected officials accountable.