Republican Elections: The Merits Don’t Matter: It’s all about Worshipping Trump

Editor, the Transcript:

Candidates for elected office are essentially applying for a job. Citizens have a responsibility to vote, so I try to pay attention to happenings with elected officials and educate myself at election time by reading about the candidates and their positions. 

I’ve always been a registered Democrat. I tend to vote for Democrats, but I vote for the candidate and not the party. Sometimes I’m more interested in the Republican primary for a certain race because I’d at least consider if not outright prefer one of the Republican primary candidates over the Democrat in the general election.

The particular race and candidates aren’t important here, but I’ve had a favorable impression of a Republican incumbent running for reelection this primary season. So I paid attention when I saw a campaign ad in The Transcript from his Republican primary opponent. The ad essentially says that a vote for the challenger means you’re for a bullet-point list of good things; a vote for his opponent, the incumbent, means you’re for bad things. There was nothing actually explaining what the incumbent has been doing wrong or what specifically the challenger would do better on these issues.

So I followed the link to the challenger’s website expecting to find details. I was shocked to see that there was not one word anywhere that expands on the ad’s bullet points or discusses the substance of any particular issue related to the office. Instead, the focus was on President Trump, being pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, and stating that our “community is under attack from the woke left.” 

Regardless of where one stands on Mr. Trump or these other issues, none of these things have anything whatsoever to do with this particular elected office or with his opponent. Indeed, in the 30-minute cordial phone conversation I had with the candidate, we agreed that the position really should be non-partisan.

So why is everything all about Trump, owning the libs, and name-calling? I later spoke with the campaign manager. To his credit, he was candid: Apparently, this is simply how you have to run a campaign to get elected as a Republican these days.

When I pressed him about the total lack of information about the actual position and merits of one candidate over the other, with or without the irrelevant Trump stuff, the best he came up with was something about budgets not allowing for copywriters and website designers.

Hogwash. First of all, I can teach my grandma how to use WordPress. Regardless, how can you run for office if you can’t articulate anything relevant to a voter?  Besides, the website has content; it just has nothing to do with the actual issues related to the job. Instead, it’s all about demonizing and branding fellow Americans like me as the enemy because we disagree on social issues like abortion and gun control and don’t share in the opinion that Mr. Trump is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

This candidate and his campaign manager/consultant seem to hold a cynical view and overall low opinion of Republican voters.  Maybe they’re right, but I sure hope they’re wrong.

Robert Braver

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