"Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government." Thomas Jefferson

Reflections of an Anti-Trump GOP Delegate

Melanie Sturm | @ThinkAgainUSA Read Comments - 22
Publish Date: 
Sat, 11/05/2016


It’s been a rough last few months, and I’m not just referring to the alarming presidential contest between the two most egomaniacal, morally-compromised and disliked candidates in electoral history. 


Perhaps it’s divine intervention that I’ve been intermittently away from my column to care for, mourn and deal with the affairs of my Mom, who passed away before I attended the Republican National Convention as a Colorado delegate.


A staunch critic of GOP elites, I ran to be a delegate (at my Mom’s urging) because I wanted to help select a presidential nominee who’d unite the “Party of Lincoln” around its bedrock principle – the democratic self-government of a free people.


My pre-convention column argued for allowing delegates to vote their conscience – for Donald Trump or whomever – yielding the strongest nominee to oppose Clinton whose Espionage Act violations and cover-up make her the most brazenly dishonest presidential candidate since Nixon. Her election would advance the banana-republic notion that the powerful are above the law.


The column elicited severe rebukes, the most scolding from Trump supporters. While Clinton backers played the “liar” card, Trumpsters told me to Think Again, grow up and get over my “high falutin ideals.” I was called airhead, globalist and RINO, and my columns were bashed for being “so formulaic they’re almost unreadable.”


In Cleveland, I was among the troublemakers who protested the RNC’s Mao-like suppression of dissent regarding the party rules, which had produced the weakest presidential nominee in modern GOP history. I left dispirited, feeling like a Republican in name only. Now with Election Day nearing, my swing state’s mail-in ballot awaits my vote for president, the most gut wrenching of my life.


As expected, the election has been an ugly slugfest punctuated by predictable surprises – leaks about Trump’s taxes and the 11-year-old video of his grotesque predatory boasting, and WikiLeaks disclosures revealing Clinton Inc. corruption. The biggest shocker is that each party nominated the one candidate the other could beat.


Meanwhile, a real electoral bombshell hit: Obamacare premiums are skyrocketing nationwide as consumers, providers and more insurers desert the law that’s hurting those who can least afford it. It’s a debacle foreseen by critics, though not their media “fact-checkers.”  


In steamrolling his signature policy reform, President Obama relied on “the stupidity of the American voter,” as Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber notoriously boasted, getting away with false claims including: premiums would decline; illegal immigrants wouldn’t get subsidies; not one dime will be added to the deficit; and “if you like your plan, you can keep it.”


In an illuminating New York Times interview, White House aid Ben Rhodes (whose brother is President of CBS News) boasted similarly, describing the manipulative tactics used to sell Obama/Clinton foreign policies, including the unpopular Iran nuclear deal, which guarantees the mullahs will eventually get their nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles.


Describing the White House spin machine, Rhodes bragged, “We created an echo chamber” of “prominent Washington reporters and columnists” to “carry our message effectively…saying things that validated what we had given them to say.” Hence, “warmonger” was the smear assigned to Iran deal critics.


Here’s the undemocratic playbook used to short-circuit the honest debate on which national consensus depends: make false claims, spin the media, co-opt the bureaucracy to evade laws/break rules, stonewall investigations, smear adversaries, and label self-inflicted controversies “phony scandals” until the truth becomes any story that sticks.  


Consequently, no one’s ever held accountable for the resulting wreckage: unaffordable health insurance, dying vets, terrorist attacks, sanctuary city tragedies, IRS harassment, and murdered U.S. diplomats and border guards. Not surprisingly, only 19 percent of Americans say they trust the government most of the time, down from 73 percent in 1958, according to Pew Research Center.


That’s because Washington is so politicized, even institutions charged with equal enforcement of laws have been sullied. Dueling media accounts of the FBI probes into Clinton’s national security-imperiling violations and the Clinton Foundation’s pay-for-play practices reflect the smoldering rift between disgruntled FBI agents and their higher-ups at the Bureau and Justice Department.


Filmmaker Michael Moore described Trump as a Molotov cocktail thrown at the self-dealing ruling-class system. Clinton, who preaches redistribution of wealth while living like a monarch off her public office, personifies the politically corrupt status quo. Worse then her sense of entitlement and lying is her quarter-century of behaving as if laws are for the little people, not the echo chamber’s aristocracy.


Unfortunately, inside the echo chamber the aristocrats can’t hear the Molotov cocktail-hurling legions outside. Though I shudder at the thought of President Trump, and worry about his authoritarian inclinations, I’m rooting for the little people to burn down the chamber. 


Think Again – At the risk of sounding formulaic, might the introduction of an aggressive pathogen like Trump provoke a healthy antibody reaction, helping restore the checks and balances necessary for the democratic self-government of a free people?

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Thank God you have seen the

Thank God you have seen the light! Your closing paragraph is why so many are voting for Trump, even if they have to hold their nose.

Melanie, how DARE you think

Melanie, how DARE you think for yourself? (But thank you for doing so.) I notice the one of the commentators who took exception to your analysis and conclusions, did as it seems so many have done this during this election - instead of stating the attributes of their favored candidate (perhaps because they can't identify very many), they attack the other as incompetant, unworthy, dishonest, etc. Too bad we can't find a candidate that supporters can say something positive about.

As for the establishment you write about -- I cant understand why Bernie Sanders, when taking on the Democratic establishment, was surprised that the establishment did what it needed to do to protect its power. Why was he surprised that the DNC scheduled his/Hillary's debates where people wouldn't see them? That the quintessential Democratic insider Donna Brazille, fed Hillary questions ahead of the debate with Bernie? That the DNC emails reveal their strategy to undermine him? That the NYTimes and most other 'established' media promoted Hillary at Bernie's expense? People like power, and people in power (the 'establishment') they will attack, by any means, fair or otherwise, anyone who challenges it. First Bernie, now Donald.

Those who control the 'establishment' have always told 'the people' that they are doing it for them; usually the people believe them. How dare you suggest people think for themselves?

The problem remains Melanie.

The problem remains Melanie. You still don't get it. Mr. Trump is not a politician. His fingerprints are on nothing in the political arena in DC or anywhere as an insider. Where are yours? I'm quite confident they're located somewhere.

The reason Mr. Trump is exactly where he is, is primarily because others like you who have a political career and penumbra have allowed the DC establishment of both parties to supercede your responsibilities to the people you claim to represent.

Both parties (Republicans, specifically) were asked to oppose Obama and Democrats. In 2010, the Democrats lost over 700 seats across America. In 2012 and 2014, they lost over 300 more down-ticket. And Republicans who have gotten there over the past six years apparently did nothing or were persuaded and intimidated into doing nothing for their own constituents. This is where we are now, two days before a presidential election.

You only have yourself and others to blame for Donald Trump being the Republican candidate because you chose to do nothing and not carry out the mandates you were given by your own voters. Calling Mr. Trump names and adding Hillary Clinton to that isn't an answer and it certainly shouldn't be yours. You're quite fortunate I'm not a Colorado resident or voter.

Terrific column, Melanie, and

Terrific column, Melanie, and not just because I agree with your conclusion.

At some point in a civilization's decline, the establishments become corrupted. The people at that time must decide whether to legitimize the corruption of their establishments, and thereby hasten the decline of their civilization, or burn down the establishments in order to rebuild new and honest ones with which they might reinvigorate their civilzation. We're at that time of choice.

Is that smoke I smell?

Nothing "formulaic" here:

Nothing "formulaic" here: just well-informed, well-considered thoughts and feelings.

Mr. Trump must be our choice

Mr. Trump must be our choice only to keep a corrupt and lying Clinton out of our government forever. The reality is that Mr. Trump was chosen by Republican voters.

Didn’t read that column from

Didn’t read that column from before the convention, but from this one, “airhead, globalist, RINO and formulaic writing” sounds just about right. Seems to me you’ve EARNED them all.

I always find your columns in

I always find your columns in the Aspen Times to be a good read. Even though I would very often be sitting on the opposite side of the political aisle from you, I find your words to be very thoughtful.

Regarding this year’s Presidential election: May God help us all.

Smile Fierce !!!

Thank you for today's

Thank you for today's column.

Your "think again" tagline reminds me of a question my oldest daughter
asked me when she was in kindergarten: "Why is it that when you're
looking for something, it's always in the last place you look?" The
answer, of course, is that once you've found what you're looking for,
you stop looking. This is a good habit when one is hunting for a
misplaced set of key or a phone, it's very bad intellectually: how often
is it that we, all of us, stop looking once we've found the answer we're
looking for - the one that pleases us? It's hard to keep looking even
after we've found the pleasing answer; yet it's necessary, if one wishes
to find the answer that is not just pleasing, but true.

With regard to the election, while Trump was not my top choice, or even
in my top 10,000, there is one thing I can say for him that I find
encouraging: if elected, he will be scrutinized thoroughly by Congress,
the bureaucracy, and the media. If Clinton is elected, she most
certainly will not be. Given that checks and balances are necessary to
republican government, I think that even though Trump is a lout, he
clearly is the better choice. At least, that is how I see it.

As Melanie makes clear in

As Melanie makes clear in this column by comparing boasts, Trump´s rough-hewn talk is in no way comparable to the outright and open corruption of Obama/Hillary. Anyone who thinks so is insane, disgusting, and lives a fantasy land.


That´s right, it would have been out by now. Hillary's is still coming out!

I am truly tired of the fainting couch GOP. Trump fights and has campaigned in the muck. And this is the thanks he gets.

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