I find it little ironic that the same concept behind the fall of Hitler, (2 front war) is in our time aiding to the rise of Trump as a potential nominee. It is conceptually simple, split the enemy and you can win.
Whatever the cause, this political season my first preference was Ben Carson. In fact as I listened to his suspension speech he gave on Friday at the CPAC, a part of me still hoped that in a convention he would come back in and win. However as it became clear that Ben would not get the nomination, the practical side of me felt to support Rubio and as my wife and I had observed him; his words, conduct and depth of his feeling, we both felt spiritual promptings the he was a man worthy of our support. Accordingly, I sent an EMAIL to the Kansas Republican Party offering to stand and speak for Marco at our County Caucus. The enthusiasm grew, that is until the week before the caucus was to take place. That was when Rubio changed his tactic and went on the attack.
At first I enjoyed that Rubio was finally dishing back to Trump what he had been dishing out for months. It was sort of like cheering in the movies, when the bully finally gets his just retribution. But then came the off colored Rubio remark and it was like the wind left my sails. Nina and I discussed, watched and re-watched the comment, watched and re-watched Rubio’s responses to the press about it, all trying to determine if he truly intended it.
While the verdict is still split among our children, we felt like he had indeed intended to cause the innuendo. We understand that given the human nature in all the candidates, it is likely that behind the scenes they have their own jokes, foul language, etc., but still, when character is the main power behind your vote, character flaws can really cause one to question.
Then the Caucus was upon us. I received the stickers, poster boards, talking points, and letter from the Rubio campaign. Nina and I had to decide what to do and how. We were not willing to compromise our own characters. After much prayer and thought and more review of the press clips, I felt that Rubio, had truly recognized the error of his act, but had not had the political will to admit it openly. So I sent this email to his campaign:
Just a note to pass on to Marco.
We are caucusing for him today and I will stand in Geary County to support him....but it is with much less enthusiasm than in the past. The hands innuendo was crude and beneath Marco. We feel he needs to simply admit it, say he is sorry, and move on. Many conservatives have sensitivities to moral compromise and do not want a candidate whose religious convictions seem easily set aside.
On the other hand, we understand grace and slip ups, and the power of repentance and moving on. Accessing that shows strength!
Having sent the EMAIL and with the scene from Amazing Grace floating in my head (..I know that I am a great sinner and Christ is a great Savior) I felt like I could still recommend him, judging his sorrow to be real, and feeling strongly that neither Kaisich nor Cruz were genuine (Trump was never a consideration). However, at Nina’s urging I also determined to do a caveat at the speech, and point out that we did not support Rubio’s error. Thus we loaded up and headed to the Caucus.
As we entered the building with our Rubio signs, and stickers, a sweet lady from Puerto Rico greeted us. She was one of the volunteers and I knew immediate she spoke Spanish, so I started to speak with her and she told me in Spanish that Rubio was "her man". As we spoke I felt the spirit and at last had peace about our decision.
Inside we met the organizer and drew lots. I was to speak third. I was told there was also a young African American man running for State Senate who was a Rubio supporter and that he wanted to speak for him also, so I told him I would yield ½ of the time to him. I thought then how emblematic of Rubio it all was, that HE would have supporters from three distinct race groups at what was really a very homogeneous caucus.
Ted Cruz supporters got the first shot at it. A young woman, looking to be of college age, got up and read Cruz’s talking points. She did well and her presentation reminded me of Cruz, (to the point, but leaving one questioning the sincerity behind it). She yielded some of her time to another man who stood up and started to go on about how Ted was Born to an American Mother, and so was a citizen, even though it happened in Canada, but that Marco was not born to a citizen mother and even though was born in Florida he could not be President. That seemed ironic, that a Trump hater would employ the same tactics on Macro, which Trump employed on Ted.
Next up were the Trump supporters. The first one was nice enough, but he went on and on with spotty and illogical comparisons between the rise of Reagan and the rise of Donald Trump? Then a few others rose to speak for one minute each, and there was the anger. At the end I remember thinking of the Andy Griffith episode, where Barney quips “I’m just a hick deputy, in a hick town working for a hick sheriff.” Enough Said. I am not sure if a few of them were actually glaring at me, or if it was my imagination, but it was freaky.
My turn was next. Purposely not using the talking points, I rose and gave my disclaimer, then pointed out the three main reasons we still supported Rubio. I spoke of the deep sincerity of his beliefs, unsurpassed knowledge of Islam and world issues, and his electability over Hillary. Then I yielded time to the other supporter. He gave a classic establishment talk, using the talking points.
Last up, the Kaisich supporter was an older gentleman who spoke softly and slowly and we both thought….just like Kaisich, kind of boring.
When it was over, hindsight kicked in I felt regret that I had not articulated what I should have said, what I really felt......... what I feel now!
Marco Rubio’s action was an example of a moral and good man, who had a momentary slip into the profane. It was NOT the case of an immoral man letting some of his true character slip out.
That is when I realized that in spite of the blunder, Marco and Donald are two opposites. I saw the wisdom of watching our words, deeds and actions, to insure that anger does not allow us to descend into the mud, to wallow with those who live there daily. I only hope that Trump supporters will finally figure it out!