Image from article, with caption: Hillary Clinton greets supporters in Las Vegas this month.
In a depressing election for many long-time Republicans, there are moments of inspiration and moral clarity. A steady parade of Republicans has come forward to renounce Donald Trump, and even go so far as to support Hillary Clinton. (The R4C16.org group is organized to encourage others to do precisely that.)
James K. Glassman. (Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press)
This week a notable figure, James K. Glassman, former undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs and the executive director of the George W. Bush Institute, announced his support for Clinton. Appearing on CNN he said:
I think that Donald Trump’s betraying the Republican Party, betraying our principles. You know, just now, with all this talk about — about racism, I mean, the — you know, the Republican Party was founded under Abraham Lincoln. We were responsible for the passage of the Civil Rights Bill in 1964. And, you know, I proudly served with the president who got 11 percent of the black vote, 44 percent of the Hispanic vote. No, things have taken a very, very bad turn.
And let me just say that — that it’s not just members of the so-called establishment who are — who are — who are saying that they’re not going to vote for Donald Trump. About 5 million people, based on the Quinnipiac poll, 5 million Republicans are now saying they’re voting for Hillary Clinton. So there are lots of people, normal Republicans, who can’t stomach Donald Trump and want to vote for Mrs. Clinton as a way to defeat him.
He pointed to a long list of Republicans. “I agree with the 50 foreign policy experts, people like two homeland security secretaries, two deputy secretaries of defense, who say that Donald Trump does not have the character, the values or the experience to be president of the United States,” Glassman said. “And while I don’t agree with Hillary Clinton on everything that she says, and while I certainly have some problems with this question surrounding the e-mails and so forth, I think she’d make a better president than Donald Trump and I also think that it’s the way to save the Republican Party. So I’d like to see Republicans who are on the fence get off the fence and say that they’ll vote for Hillary Clinton for president.”
It was never more clear this week as Clinton called out Trump for his racist language and associations how essential it is for Republicans to repudiate him. His defeat should not be taken for granted, and it is essential if the party is to rehabilitate itself. Clinton acknowledged, “This is not conservatism as we have known it. This is not Republicanism as we have known it.” She continued, “Every day, more Americans are standing up and saying ‘enough is enough’ – including a lot of Republicans. And I am honored to have their support.”
Unfortunately, unless more Republicans publicly and collectively rebuke Trump, the GOP will carry Trump’s taint going forward. Having nominated and supported him, the GOP may at this point be irreparably damaged. In any event, the road back for the center-right begins with shunning Trump and ensuring his defeat.
For lending his voice and stature to the #NeverTrump movement, we can say, well done, Mr. Glassman.
A Princeton PhD, was a US diplomat for over 20 years, mostly in Eastern Europe, and was promoted to the Senior Foreign Service in 1997. For the Open World Leadership Center, he speaks with
its delegates from Europe/Eurasia on the topic, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United" (http://johnbrownnotesandessays.blogspot.com/2017/03/notes-and-references-for-discussion-e.html). Affiliated with Georgetown University for over ten years, he shares ideas with students about public diplomacy.
The papers of his deceased father -- poet and diplomat John L. Brown -- are stored at Georgetown University Special Collections at the Lauinger Library. They are manuscript materials valuable to scholars interested in post-WWII U.S.-European cultural relations.
This blog is dedicated to him, Dr. John L. Brown, a remarkable linguist/humanist who wrote in the Foreign Service Journal (1964) -- years before "soft power" was ever coined -- that "The CAO [Cultural Affairs Officer] soon comes to realize that his job is really a form of love-making and that making love is never really successful unless both partners are participating."