Maine Senator Susan Collins will not be voting for Donald Trump, and she wants everyone to know about it. In a column for the Washington Post, Collins said the decision to abandon Trump was a difficult one for a “lifelong Republican” such as herself.
“But,” she wrote, “Donald Trump does not reflect historical Republican values nor the inclusive approach to governing that is critical to healing the divisions in our country.”
Okay, so we’ll give you the first one: Trump is not cut from the same mold as your standard Republican. The second comment is highly debatable, but let’s go ahead and give you that one, too. The question that then stands out is the one we’ve been asking since Trump clinched the nomination: How is Hillary Clinton any better? Is she “inclusive”? Does she reflect the values of the Republican Party? Collins appears to be another one of many conservatives who don’t understand there are only two viable candidates from which to choose.
“My conclusion about Mr. Trump’s unsuitability for office is based on his disregard for the precept of treating others with respect, an idea that should transcend politics,” Collins wrote (before floating away on a cloud of fairy dust).
It would be lovely to spend a few moments in Collins’ world, where TREATING OTHERS WITH RESPECT is a core tenet of American politics. It must be a wonderful, magical place.
Granted, Trump is a little more up front about his disrespect than others, but isn’t that refreshing in a way? Isn’t it nice to know how a person really feels about you? Isn’t it a little…pathetic…that we’ve come to prefer the plastic veneer of civility to what’s real? There is not a single doubt in the world that Susan Collins has said worse things than Donald Trump at various times in her life. And the same goes for almost everyone else. These people have confused their high-minded conceptions of themselves with the truth.
But given all that, we’re still back to that pesky question: If not Trump, then who?
And at this stage in the game, there’s only one answer. Collins makes a point to mention that she’s not supporting either candidate, but that’s a frivolous distinction to make. This November, we will elect one or the other. By taking a vote away from the one, you’re essentially giving one to the other. By not admitting that, you’ve turned yourself into a liar.
Or, to put it another way: Just shut up already.