Arizona Republican Party Chairman Jonathan Lines, in an email, ordered the state’s elected Republican officials to “stand with” President Donald Trump. And that it is “non-negotiable.”
As the only Arizona Republican in the U.S. Senate, Martha McSally appears to be his target. Plus, the senator is up for reelection in 2020.
As did other state party chairmen, Chairman Lines took issue with newly elected Utah Sen. Mitt Romney’s recent, Trump-critical, essay. Romney, who had stumped for McSally, wrote that Trump had not “risen to the mantle of the office.”
He continued, “I do not intend to comment on every tweet or fault. But I will speak out against significant statements or actions that are divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, dishonest or destructive to democratic institutions” in an apparent echo of the late Senator John McCain.
Lines wrote that Romney’s essay was “very critical of our President, and Republicans rightly have criticized both his words, and the fact that he used the pages of the Washington Post, one of the most anti-Trump newspapers in the country, to deliver them.”
He continued, “One of the things I’ve always loved about our party is that we are a big tent. We have room for everyone. That’s why, as your Chairman, I’ve done my best to welcome as many different viewpoints and coalitions as possible into our party… However, while we are accepting of different viewpoints, it is essential that we stay true to our conservative values. And it is non-negotiable that we stand with our President.”
Even though I am not a Republican, I can speak to values common to all Americans. And one of these is to question authority. We must question all of our elected representatives, and expect them to question those above them in the political foodchain. Only by doing so can we make our politicians put their constituents above themselves.