Why is Ronald Reagan the center of a write-in campaign in 2016? Even though President Reagan has been dead since June 5, 2004, the San Diego Union-Tribune urged its readers to write-in Ronald Reagan rather than vote for Donald Trump in California’s primary election on Tuesday.
Traditionally, southern California, especially San Diego and Orange counties, skews conservative, while northern California tends to be more liberal. San Diego has long been considered a Republican stronghold. However, the Union-Tribune found itself unable to endorse the presumptive Republican candidate, Donald Trump.
“This editorial board is torn about advising our Republican readers. We can’t endorse Trump for reasons we’ve documented repeatedly: belligerence, casual cruelty, incoherence on policy issues. We can’t recommend voters don’t vote at all because that’s a waste, and we can’t suggest voting for another candidate because it accomplishes nothing.”
California, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Montana have their primary elections on Tuesday, June 7. North Dakota has its Democratic caucus the same day. When the election process started, the Republican Party had 17 candidates: senators, governors, experienced politicians. Now, all have dropped out except for Donald Trump, a businessman and reality TV star currently involved in a messy court case as to whether or not his Trump University was a legitimate school or nothing but a scam.
Trump University taught students the one skill Trump himself is best known for: how to lie about what you're worth https://t.co/yxlSffdCxA
— The Daily Edge (@TheDailyEdge) June 4, 2016
The San Diego Union-Tribune could have recommended that local voters write-in John Kasich, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, or one of the other Republican candidates who dropped out. They still have pledged delegates, after all. The Union-Tribune could have recommended that voters support Bernie Sanders or Hillary Rodham Clinton, or suggested they investigate the merits of Libertarian Gary Johnson or Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein.
Instead, the Union-Tribune advised their Republican readers to send a message to Donald Trump.
“He doesn’t deserve the party’s mandate. If you are voting in the GOP primary Tuesday, write in Ronald Reagan for president. Maybe Trump will get the message.”
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While the Union-Tribune praised “all three Bushes, Mitt Romney, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, George Will and Charles Krauthammer” for not supporting Donald Trump, the Washington Post criticized Speaker of the House Paul Ryan for capitulating “to ugliness” by endorsing Trump.
“It was a sad day for the speaker, for his party and for all Americans who hoped that some Republican leaders would have the fortitude to put principle over partisanship, job security, or the forlorn fantasy that Mr. Trump will advance a traditional GOP agenda.”
Why were the San Diego Union-Tribune and the Washington Post opposed to endorsing Donald Trump, a man many Americans regard as a potential national savior?
The Union-Tribune called Trump “unfit to lead the free world.” They compared Reagan, the Great Communicator, to Trump, calling him the Great Excommunicator. They accused him of demagoguery.
“Today, the principles of the party of Ronald Reagan are as relevant as ever: a stable border, a strong military, and economic policy focused on low taxes, less bureaucracy, and limited regulation. Those are not the principles of Trump, who promises to build a border wall, recommends torture and killing terrorists’ families, and speculates about reneging on our debts. What would happen to Reagan’s party in the hands of Trump? What would happen to San Diego?”
The Washington Post accused Trump of building a campaign based on “lies, bigotry, insults, fearmongering, and unreason.”
“Judging by his wild swings of position over the years, Mr. Trump does not believe in much of anything. The convictions that he does hold — against free trade and U.S. leadership abroad, for dividing the nation by religion and ethnicity — are antithetical to the principles Mr. Ryan has said guide him.”
Most political pundits are watching the California and New Jersey primaries for the Democratic race. Unless Bernie Sanders does exceptionally well on Tuesday, the Inquisitr predicted, Hillary Rodham Clinton will win the Democratic nomination. The Republican nomination seems a fait accompli at this point.
Will writing-in Ronald Reagan’s name send Donald Trump a message, or is it a meaningless gesture? If it does send a message, will Donald Trump listen?
[Photo by Michael Evans/Getty Images]