I am a registered Democrat, although a disloyal Democrat because I vote for the best person, not the party.
The “best” person is often a Democrat, but not always.
In the last two local general elections, I did not vote for Jim Kenney for mayor, nor Larry Krasner for D.A. Neither represented my moderate, centrist views.
In the last national election, I voted for neither Joe Biden nor Donald J. Trump, because neither represented most of my views. So I voted for the Libertarian candidate.
I guess I am actually an Independent, but for me to have a voice in Philadelphia elections I must vote in the Democratic primary, because the Democratic primary winner almost always wins the general election.
I would like to vote for a winner, but that is not of primary importance to me. I satisfy myself by helping shape a field of the best candidates.
Which is why I just made a small — single digits — donation to Republican presidential candidate Will Hurd.
To help get him on the stage for the Aug. 23rd Republican debate. (To qualify to participate, candidates must get at least 1% in three high-quality national polls or a mix of national and early-state polls, between July 1 and Aug. 21, and a minimum of 40,000 donors, with 200 in 20 or more states.)
That’s a mouthful.
I want to get him on the stage because he is a moderate Republican, he was bipartisan while serving in congress, and a clandestine CIA agent before that.
He has the balls to attack Trump head-on, as Chris Christie has already done. The well-known Christie has already qualified for the debate.
The other GOP candidates are pussyfooting (thanks to Theodore Roosevelt for popularizing the colorful term) around, fearful that a direct attack on the much-indicted former president will cost them support among the Stepford Wives who think The Donald walks on water.
They are probably right. It may hurt them.
Back in 1955, while he was a U.S. senator, John F. Kennedy published “Profiles in Courage,” a series of mini-biographies on eight senators who had withstood pressure and stood on principle, even at the risk of their careers.
Most of the GOP field would qualify for inclusion in “Profiles in Cowardice.”
They know he commands a wide swarth of the Republican base, although the party does worse each year Trump leads it.
I understand the affection for Trump, the bull in the china shop, who crashed the norms, took names — and called names — and kicked PC in the ass. A lot of it was really refreshing. He scratched an itch with people who felt the elites despised them.
Hillary Clinton called them Deplorables, and that helped seal her loss.
The elite media was aghast, didn’t get it at all.
Trump said, in their minds, crazy things, just nuts, and often came across as racist. Not to mention boorish, sexist, and thin-skinned.
The one journalist who seemed to get it was (and is) Salena Zito, who wrote that the media takes Trump literally, but not seriously, while his supporters take him seriously but not literally.
In a post-mortem months after Trump’s 2016 victory, The New York Times admitted it had missed what was connecting half of America’s voters with the reality star and real estate magnate. And the Times still doesn’t get it.
Hurd does, and knows how to fight it.
I did not vote for Trump in 2016 or 2020, and I will not vote for him in 2024, should he be the nominee.
It isn’t that I suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome, as some really shallow thinkers have said. Despite a few policies of his I liked — the border, Operation Warp Speed, Space Force, Abrahamic Accords — on balance he has less than average intelligence. He is a self-centered, vindictive narcissist who should be kept from the reins of government.
Hurd would be one of the voices on that stage, should Trump decide to attend, who would go after Trump hammer and tongs.
Will Trump show up?
Conventional political wisdom dictates that when you are ahead, you duck debates if you can.
It is disgusting and cowardly, but that’s not what would bother Trump.
His ego is so large, the idea of mixing it up with his critics — even the mild ones like Ron DeSantis and Vivek Ramaswamy — is so appealing he may find it impossible to pass.
I want Hurd on that stage and, as a disloyal Democrat, I am willing to spend $5 to help make it happen.