But what surprises me is that they want the Republican Party to win no matter what the party stands for, even if the party flirts with white supremacy and proto-fascism. I held out the hope—now, I see, hopelessly deluded and naïve—that politicians understood that there is a line you don’t cross; there comes a point at which principle really does come before party; that the good of the nation should come before partisanship; and that when your party starts to go off the deep end, you jump ship.
I thought, because of the #NeverTrump movement and the Shermanesque denunciations of Trump throughout the primary campaign—like Perry’s—that the party understood Trump’s nomination was such a line. I thought they perceived the existential threat his ideas pose to limited government and to the American ideals of a free and open society. Certainly, many people now endorsing Trump said exactly that, and I took them at their word.
Some people now getting on the Trump train argue Trump can change his tone, learn, adapt, act more presidential. This is Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus’ approach. First, no, Trump can’t and won’t “act presidential.” Second, if you have a candidate who needs to work at “acting” presidential, you’re doing it wrong.
Candidates shouldn’t have to “act” presidential; you should elect them because they are presidential.