President Donald Trump’s three Republican primary challengers took the fight to him and their party in an op-ed criticizing the GOP for canceling primaries to prevent them from offering voters a choice other than Trump for the 2020 nomination.
Former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld joined former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) and former Governor Mark Sanford to write a column for the Washington Post passionately arguing for the party to hold a primary and let voters decide if they really want Trump to be the nominee.
Thus far, several Republican states have canceled their primaries to prevent any of the trio from competing against Trump, thus rejecting democratic values and moving closer to authoritarianism, which the three men pointed out.
But first, they took on Trump and his un-American behavior:
“A president always defines his or her party, and today the Republican Party has taken a wrong turn, led by a serial self-promoter who has abandoned the bedrock principles of the GOP,” they co-wrote. “In the Trump era, personal responsibility, fiscal sanity and rule of law have been overtaken by a preference for alienating our allies while embracing terrorists and dictators, attacking the free press and pitting everyday Americans against one another.”
Then they went after the Republican Party:
“Republicans have long held primaries and caucuses to bring out the best our party has to offer,” they continued. “Our political system assumes an incumbent president will make his case in front of voters to prove that he or she deserves to be nominated for a second term. But now, the Republican parties of four states — Arizona, Kansas, Nevada and South Carolina — have canceled their nominating contests. By this design, the incumbent will be crowned winner of these states’ primary delegates. What does this say about the Republican Party? If a party stands for nothing but reelection, it indeed stands for nothing.”
All three have come to the realization that Trump is dangerous to the nation, the Constitution, and our place on the international stage.
The three challengers also played to Trump’s ego by calling him out for being weak because he’s scared of competing against them in a Republican primary.
“Our next nominee must compete in the marketplace of ideas, values and leadership,” they wrote. “Each of us believes we can best lead the party. So does the incumbent. Let us each take our case to the public. The saying ‘may the best man win’ is a quintessential value that the Republican Party must honor if we are to command the respect of the American people. Cowards run from fights. Warriors stand and fight for what they believe. The United States respects warriors. Only the weak fear competition.”
But they saved their final blow for the party for turning their nomination process into something out of an authoritarian nation.
“Do Republicans really want to be the party with a nominating process that more resembles Russia or China than our American tradition?” they asked in conclusion. “In the United States, citizens choose their leaders. The primary nomination process is the only opportunity for Republicans to have a voice in deciding who will represent our party. Let those voices be heard.”
If the Republican Party really thinks Trump is the strongest candidate, let him prove it.
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