It’s been said before. I’m saying it again. And there will be cause to say it several times again before the year is out. Opposing Donald Trump is not the same thing as supporting Hillary Clinton.
Sean Hannity took to the air Wednesday to claim the opposite, saying that Republicans who continue to criticize the Republican nominee for president are “sabotaging” his campaign and “effectively supporting” Hillary Clinton. This is more than specious political rhetoric. It’s immoral garbage for which Hannity should be broadly condemned.
First, how is acknowledging a candidate’s vile behavior, unprincipled positions, and unforced errors “sabotaging” his campaign? The way Hannity talks, you’d think Trump had been framed. You’d think that Trump never actually did or said any of the things which have triggered critical response. But of course, he did. It is Trump, and Trump alone, who bears full responsibility for the state of his campaign. You can’t have it both ways. Either Trump controls his own words and actions, and therefore bears total responsibility for them, or he’s an incompetent automaton who therefore cannot ably serve as president.
Along with deflecting Trump’s responsibility for the state of the campaign, Hannity offers a premise of extortion. You better get behind Trump, the bloviating commentator threatens, or you’re going to be held responsible for the consequences. This is classic protection-racket stuff. If you don’t pay up (with loyal political support), we can’t be held responsible for the consequences (which we will directly cause).
It was the Sean Hannitys of the world who decided to forward a candidate for the Republican nomination who could not earn support and therefore was not viable. That’s not on the rest of us. That’s on them. Each voter’s conscience is his alone. No single vote belongs to a particular candidate or party. In the context of a free society, sole responsibility to appeal to each voter’s conscience lies with the candidate. Indeed, outside those who cast their vote for Hillary, no other human being will bear greater responsibility for her victory than Donald Trump. Second place will go to the likes of Sean Hannity. These thuggish threats of extortion will only further isolate of an already isolated campaign.