Carly Fiorina Proves a Point
I have a question for all the old Ted Cruz supporters from the 2016 primaries who have since chosen to support Donald Trump. I mean the real Cruz supporters, not just the many who now claim he was their first choice, in order to convince us that their “Trump is God” boxer shorts were the result of an honest, objective reassessment of all the good things Trump has done, “in spite of his many flaws” — of which they seem not to be able to name even one, and for your naming of which they would wish the death of your first-born child.
In any case, speaking now to those actual Cruz supporters from the primaries who later became Trump supporters, I have this question: What do you think of Carly Fiorina?
As I recall, many Cruz supporters were inclined to feel sympathetic toward her when Trump publicly ridiculed her face early in the process. And they were proud of her pluck when she stood on a debate stage and chopped the ungentlemanly Trump off at the knees for his lack of decency and respect — for his lack of proper manhood, for that is what ungentlemanliness used to entail, back before being a hissing sissy became “the new tough” among so-called grassroots Republicans. And then, when Cruz cleverly chose her as his running mate as a means of solidifying his viability as Hillary Clinton’s opponent — Fiorina made her name early in the primaries as the anti-Hillary candidate — Cruz supporters, whatever their reservations about her deep political principles, had to appreciate her courage. For at the moment of truth, when Republicans were being forced to pick sides in the final weeks of the primaries, and when it was clear the GOP establishment was one hundred percent in the tank for Trump, Fiorina was the former candidate — the only one of that large group — who came out unqualifiedly on the side of Cruz.
Today, courtesy of Right Scoop — the site that itself drifted from enthusiastic Cruz supporters to pathetic Trump apologists — I see that Carly Fiorina has made a public statement, on Twitter naturally, about Trump and his supporters. Right Scoop oddly (fear?) interprets the statement as a prelude to announcing a primary challenge to Trump. In any case, her statement serves as a kind of litmus test for Republican voters, since their responses to it will easily distinguish the cultists (first-generation or late-coming) from those decent people simply trying to figure out how to make their way through the current political mire.
Here, in its entirety, is her ten-part statement:
In this country, we pledge allegiance to the flag, not the president. We swear fidelity to the Constitution, not the party. Our flag is a symbol of “one nation… indivisible… with liberty and justice for all.”
Our Constitution is the document that protects those liberties and delivers that justice.
When we pledge allegiance, we reaffirm our citizenship in a nation founded on ideas and ideals – not ethnicity, race, religion or origin.
When we swear to “protect and defend” the Constitution, we promise to uphold the rights, the laws and the institutions that define and govern our nation.
When did so many Republicans decide that we should also pledge allegiance to The Party and swear fidelity to President Trump? I have been called “disloyal” because I am critical of Trump.
I am not alone. Many others have been intimidated into silence or compelled to defend the indefensible.
It is not a citizen’s role to be a “loyal fan” of one side or the other. We have no obligation to follow party orthodoxy, whatever it is. When we silence our voices, we relinquish our power as citizen leaders to shape the nation.
We abdicate our responsibility to help create a “more perfect union.” And in this country, the citizen, not the President, is sovereign.
Every elected official, including the President, is there to serve the citizenry, not the other way around. It is not a citizen’s job to “be loyal”; it is the official’s job to earn our loyalty. And when they cannot, we vote them out of office.
As citizens it is both our responsibility and our right to hold elected officials accountable: for their words, their actions and the consequences of both.
Here is my honest first-blush reaction to that statement, read carefully from start to finish:
- There is not one single point in that statement that I could take issue with at all, as a matter of principle. That is to say, I can’t disagree with anything there.
- Fiorina is sick and tired of being called a Democrat, a RINO, a traitor, and a Hillary supporter, merely because she disapproves of much of what Trump does and says, and has been willing to express that disapproval publicly.
- Fiorina knows her statement is going to bring on exactly the kind of moronic cultishness and vitriolic hatred — “traitor,” “Democrat,” “deep state,” “ugly face” — that she is referring to. In other words, she is intentionally baiting the idiots to make them identify themselves. And she is doing it in the perfect way, namely by saying absolutely nothing a single conservative or traditional Republican could possibly disagree with, but framing it as a critique of Trump’s supporters, so that in attacking her, they directly prove her point that these people have lost their way, and that the GOP has gone all in for anti-constitutional thuggery.
- My final observation is the one that ought to irk those former Cruz supporters the most: With this statement, Fiorina proves herself to be a much bigger man than Cruz, in the end — ready to put her future and her reputation on the line for principle, as Cruz used to pretend to be willing to do, but regarding which he has since revealed himself to be a fraudulent self-promoter and sycophant for power, just like all the rest.
As I mentioned, Right Scoop, back in 2016, was one of the last and most forceful websites to hold the line in Trump skepticism, and was in fact calibrated to court the pro-Cruz holdouts, which included most of the regular reader-commenters. Things have drifted a long way toward the progressive end of the spectrum since then, however, since for most people, even those who seem outwardly the most principled, fitting in with the crowd — having a “team” — turns out to be a more powerful impulse than the constitutional principles that used to hold the Tea Party types together. So it is with amusement, and not an ounce of surprise, that I scroll down the page to the reader comments on the article linked above, and search out precisely the familiar old names from the pre-surrender days at Right Scoop. (All emphasis in the following comments added.)
First, from my old pal K-Bob, the moderator who banned me from the site, we have this doozy:
Nice projection by Fiorina.
I’ve never heard a single Trump fan say anything about “loyalty” to the man. Not even the ones who can be legitimately called Trumpsters.
Because she didn’t make a big enough fool of herself last time? No one wants what she’s selling. I really don’t get what they don’t understand about that? If Trump beat you before… the people chose, and he’s done better than detractors like myself expected… Trump is fine… why mess with it, unless you really like what the Democrats would do with our economy and society… the only reason to run against Trump is to usher in Socialism… I can’t imagine she thinks that’s a good idea so she should just stop.
She needs to wait until 2024 or 2028. I wish these RINOs would give it a rest. They bring nothing to the table.
It’s fine to criticize the president when he legitimately deserves it, but not to the point where it helps the Democrats. There’s worse things out there than Trump.
My oh my what a whiner she is. She is a democrat and doesn’t even know it. Just another self-righteous nevertrumper.
She sounds a bit triggered. Blah, blah, blah….speech. No thanks
To summarize: If you don’t support Trump, you are being disloyal to him and to the Republican Party, because refusing to support Trump as the Republican nominee equals voting for the Democratic socialists. Remember when so-called conservatives used to writhe in anger at the GOP establishment’s con game, “If you don’t support our choice, you are effectively supporting the Democrats”? Now that’s all those same so-called conservatives have got as a point of attack against anyone and everyone who dares to criticize their orange idol, the progressive GOP establishment’s unanimous and handpicked choice, Mitch McConnell’s puppet.
As I said, Fiorina was baiting Trump supporters with her comments, and they are apparently taking the bait. They are implicitly declaring themselves cultists and tribalists who lack an ounce of circumspection or attachment to principle. This is all about Trump for them, always Trump, and nothing but Trump.
And I don’t believe she is running for president at all, but if she did, it would be the ultimate call-out — to her old pal Ted, who would have to swallow his entire face in smarmy avoidance of the litany of good points she just made here, since every word of it hangs like a moral albatross around the neck of the senator from Texas.