Over the past week, Donald Trump’s campaign imploded. It was an astonishing scene in American politics.
Across America, staunch Republicans struggled to make sense of the dissonance between their presidential candidate and their political party. National leaders and down-ballot candidates grappled with issues like loyalty to a cause, a philosophy — and a country.
Here in Westport, the soul-searching was no less intense. It prompted one longtime and well-known Republican to write this email to “06880”:
Like many people I know, I am endeavoring to find a way to remain loyal to the Republican party, while not supporting Donald Trump.
I think Westport Republicans are having a very soul-searching and difficult time. We can’t imagine voting for Hillary Clinton — someone many of us hate — unless perhaps we are convinced of the personal responsibility to put country before party.
I can’t imagine good people like our selectmen, commission members and legislators want to vote for Trump the person. But they might vote for Trump the Republican (and ignore the consequences).
This is very dangerous.
We (they) have to acknowledge the philosophical problem of being Republican, and wanting to be loyal — without putting our country in danger.
Here are 2 philosophical problems my Westport Republican friends and neighbors might be struggling with:
- Is it possible to remain loyal to a party, and not support or vote for the nominee?
- Does loyalty to country supersede loyalty to party?
But I’m terrified that loyal Republicans will just down-ballot vote, or write someone in – possibly leading Trump to win.
My God. We can’t let this happen.
I appreciate this email tremendously — and sympathize with the Republican writer’s quandary.
I’d like to hear what “06880” readers think — particularly Republicans. I realize this is a fraught, even toxic, topic.
So I ask that commenters address ONLY the bulleted questions raised above (or closely related issues). Any off-topic comments will be deleted. Please keep this discussion civil! Thank you. — Dan Woog