Take the Trump/Wiener Test

Here’s what mystifies me about my Republican brothers and sisters: I was lying in bed imagining a scenario wherein the coming election was actually between Anthony Wiener and Mitt Romney. On matters of policy, I probably agree with Wiener 75% of the time and Romney 8% of the time. I wrote many highly critical things about Romney in 2012 and thought he’d be a disaster as president, basically a corporatist oligarch who would have rolled back every cultural advance we’d fought for, and sold off everything else to the highest bidder. But if those two candidates were running today, I would almost certainly vote for Romney if it meant blocking Wiener from office. Anthony Wiener has proven himself to be spectacularly unfit to govern, a hypocrite and serial liar with genuine psychological problems and self-destructive sexual obsessions. Despite the fact that a Wiener presidency, even with his personal flaws, would have positive effects on climate change, immigration reform, Supreme Court nominations, and many other issues I care deeply about, I could never support him. In fact, I would advocate loudly against him if Democrats were cynically sweeping aside his transgressions just to retain power, and would consider it a matter of country over party to vote against my own self-interest.

The word "patriotism" is thrown around so blithely now, it no longer means anything. Or does it?

The word “patriotism” is thrown around so blithely now, it no longer means anything. Or does it?

 

So my question is, why don’t Republicans, even ones who clearly loathe Trump but still intend to vote for him, feel the same way? If you take every despicable aspect of Anthony Wiener’s sexting and subsequent denials and overall personality and compare them to Trump’s sexual predation, not to mention the dozens of other deeply immoral, unethical, and genuinely unbalanced things he has said or done, there is no comparison as to who’s more unfit. Therefore, I’m asking anyone considering a vote for Donald Trump to take The Wiener Test. No, you don’t have to dump a bucket of cold water over your head, just project yourself four years into the future, at the end of the most disastrous presidency since Andrew Johnson, and ask two questions: “Did I do anything to stop this?” and “How horrible does a person have to repeatedly demonstrate themselves to be before I admit that party doctrine no longer matters?”

 

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Sean Beaudoin

About Sean Beaudoin

Sean Beaudoin (@seanbeaudoin) is the author of five novels, including The Infects and Wise Young Fool. His new short story collection, Welcome Thieves, is just out with Algonquin Books.
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