Long before It became popular to criticize then candidate Donald Trump at the end of the 2016 election, I had decided I was not going to vote for President Trump in that election. I made this decision for a couple of reasons.
First, as someone who was born and raised in the south and has lived all of my life in the south, President Trump’s New York personality and bravado rubs me the wrong way. I understand that is one of the main traits that the President’s supporters like about him, but I do not. Secondly, long before the Access Hollywood tapes ever came out President Trump’s track record on the way he treated women and talked about women was less than stellar. The comments that really turned me off towards him as somebody to take seriously were the comments that he made about the physical attractiveness about his daughters. To me, that kind of commentary was just creepy. When you couple those things together with the fact that I’ve vehemently disagreed with his trade policies and proposals, and the fact that I live in the state of Alabama and I knew that Donald Trump was going to win my state regardless if I voted for him or not, there was very little for me to lose by casting my vote against Donald Trump.
However, that was not the case with Congressman Bradley Byrne. He had everything to lose by coming out and criticizing Donald Trump’s comments about women. First, he was in the midst of his own reelection battle for the US House of Representatives. Because Byrne’s district was the district that launched President Trump’s campaign into the stratosphere of stadium-style campaign rallies, the backlash from the voters in his district could have been swift and decisive. Also, coming out against President Trump in the 2016 election was going to stay with him the rest of his political career, regardless if that included just staying in the House of Representatives for the rest of his career or trying for a higher office, like he is now. Yet he showed the courage necessary That he felt it was important to be a moral leader of his family and his community.
Running attack ads against Bradley Byrne criticizing his decision to criticize President Trump’s comments and asking him to step aside as the standard bearer for the party like Coach Tommy Tuberville and his campaign have done is just unfair and wrong. When considering the political capital that he burned at the time (as well as the future political capital that might have been available to him in future elections), it becomes clear that kudos are due to Congressman Byrne for standing up for what he believed was right. He had the political courage that we say we want out of our leaders to do the right thing regardless of the political cost and showed this courage to the people that most needed to see him stand up for his principles (the women in his life including his wife and his kids), regardless of the political cost.
While I certainly agree with President Trump that Jeff Sessions should have told him that there was a strong likelihood that the Justice Department ethics rules were going to require him to recuse himself from the Russian interference investigation, Sessions did do the right thing. He did the right thing both morally and ethically by recusing himself. Attacking Jeff Sessions for abandoning the President is morally questionable. If following the rule of law and the procedures of the Justice Department is abandoning the president, then so be it. America is a nation of laws. America is a nation of rules. Those laws and those rules apply to everyone from the immigrant trying to cross the border illegally to the president of the United States.
I am in the enviable position that I like all three of the top three candidates in the Republican primary for the US Senate seat from Alabama and could vote for any of them. What I don’t like is the mudslinging attacks that this campaign has brought forth over and over again. In this last week running up to primary day, it’s time that the candidates and the Republican primary for the US Senate seat from Alabama refocus their campaigns on the issues and the problems facing the voters of Alabama. They need to speak to the voters of Alabama about what they would do to make their lives better. They need to stop this negative campaigning and get to work for the people of Alabama.