The question Democrat candidates should ask Republican opponents this fall: Do you support Donald Trump?
The 2016 presidential campaign has certainly been unique, especially when it comes to the Republican effort.
As a Democrat, each day you shake your head, think you have seen the Republican presidential campaign sink to it is lowest level and then something else happens on the Republican campaign trail to cause you to shake your head again.
Many words have been used to describe Donald Trump’s campaign including entertaining, scary, harmful, insensitive, vindictive, authoritarian, mean spirited, negative, direct, blunt and certainly not politically correct.
In my opinion, if Trump is the Republican nominee for president at the Republican National Convention July 18-21 in Cleveland, Ohio, and it looks like he will be at this stage, Democrat candidates at every level need to look their Republican opponent in the eye and ask one question.
Do you support Donald Trump and will you vote for Donald Trump for president?
The question needs to be asked of every local and state Republican candidate on whatever public stage or platform is available – town hall, forum or debate.
Democrat politicians need to ask this question of their opponents in a public setting because the response would be a telling one. A Republican candidate might not conduct their campaign in a similar manner as Trump and might not believe in his tactics. But in my opinion supporting Donald Trump is a statement that reflects that Republican politician’s support of Trump’s conduct, positions and his overall actions.
And there is a catch 22 situation for Republican politicians. If you don’t support the Republican nominee for president, does it mean you have an issue with the Republican process and party in general?
One staunch Republican, Peter Wehner who served in the past three Republican administrations, in a recent article in Time Magazine titled ”The Party’s Over” eloquently provided a Republican political narrative if Trump is the presidential nominee.
Here is a link to the article - http://time.com/4253747/the-party-of-reagan-is-no-more/
In the Time Magazine article, Wehner wrote Trump would undo the influence of Reagan on the modern Republican Party. This would include Reagan’s influence on policies such as trade and immigration, commitment to limited government and cultural renewal and concern for justice.
Wehner goes on to write that a Trump presidency would produce a “dramatic change in tone, countenance and ethos.” The grace of Reagan would be replaced by crass and cruel insults, use of social media that would involve obsessive Twitter attacks and Trump’s vindictiveness.
Wehner goes a step further to say the party of Lincoln and Reagan would be led in part by Trump who embraces the ethics of Nietzsche.
Rarely has the answer to one question significantly and potentially defined a politician and his or her position in a campaign. But
Democrat candidates locally in Cheshire, CT and nationwide, even if it’s done just once during your campaign, need to ask your Republican opponent: If Donald Trump is the Republican nominee for president do you support Donald Trump and will you vote for Donald Trump?
Voters need to know.
Dan Nowak is chairman of the Cheshire Democratic Town Committee's Communication Relations/IT Committee, a volunteer position. He is a Cheshire Parks and Recreation Commissioner and has been a sportswriter at the New Haven Register for 36 years.