“You go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time,” said Donald Rumsfeld in 2004.
Republicans like House Speaker Paul Ryan, Sen. John McCain, and the rest of those who simply can’t support Donald Trump, or who do so only halfway, don’t seem to get, or don’t seem to want to acknowledge, that this election is a binary choice between Trump and Hillary Clinton.
We will have one or the other as president. Republicans who don’t vote for either and try to keep their consciences pristine are handing half a vote to Hillary. They helped her by not doing what they would normally do, voting Republican. So how does that feel on their conscience, helping elect Clinton for four and — most probably — eight years?
Trump is the army you have. This is the choice. There is no escaping.
Republicans who don’t support Trump should vote for Clinton. Make a choice. One is better for the country, one is worse. If you opt out and write in your grandmother because voting for Trump or Clinton makes you personally uncomfortable, then you are putting yourself above the interests of the country.
Our service members in uniform go risk their lives every day for causes and presidents they do not necessarily support. They don’t choose to fight World War II for Roosevelt, or not to fight at all, if they are assigned to fight in Iraq for Barack Obama. They go all out and fight to win, even if it hurts their feelings.
Is it too much to ask of Republican political and thought leaders that they make a decision about what will benefit the country, instead of what benefits themselves?
Paul Ryan is the worst of these. He now won’t campaign for Trump, even though as the highest ranking Republican that’s his job. But he still will vote for him. Ryan wants it both ways.
Well, make a choice. If Trump makes you too queasy, vote for Hillary. And if you can’t fulfill your duties in actively backing the man Republican voters installed as their nominee, then step down as Speaker.
Mr. Ryan, Republican thought and political leaders, or even you, dear reader: I fully understand if you are not comfortable with Trump. But if you think he’s worse than Hillary, by all means, do the honorable thing and vote for her.
If not, get off your high horse and, like our fighting men and women, go to war with the army you have.