So, all six major Republican candidates to become Utah’s governor: Jon Huntsman, Spencer Cox, Jeff Burningham, Amy Winder Newton, Greg Hughes and Thomas Wright, support President Trump’s stewardship and reelection.
This means they are fine with:
1. Supporting a criminal to occupy our highest office.
Even before the criminality for which he was impeached, the Mueller report laid out his criminality. As nearly 1,000 former federal prosecutors wrote following the report’s publication: “We are former federal prosecutors. We served under both Republican and Democratic administrations at different levels of the federal system: as line attorneys, supervisors, special prosecutors, United States Attorneys, and senior officials at the Department of Justice. The offices in which we served were small, medium, and large; urban, suburban, and rural; and located in all parts of our country.
“Each of us believes that the conduct of President Trump described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report would, in the case of any other person not covered by the Office of Legal Counsel policy against indicting a sitting President, result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice.”
2. Supporting a sexual predator to occupy our highest office. As Trump himself has said, ““You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait…And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the p---y. You can do anything.”
More contemporaneously, more than 20 women have accused Trump of sexual impropriety, including E. Jean Carroll, who accuses him of raping her. Her lawyers have submitted a request for a Trump DNA sample to compare with a man’s DNA left on the sleeve of the coat she was wearing during the incident. One imagines an innocent man so accused would promptly and gladly comply. Team Trump is pushing back on the request. Why might that be?
3. Supporting a racist to occupy our highest office. These are direct Trump quotes that are racist on their face: “They [Mexico] are not our friend, believe me …They’re [Mexican immigrants] bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
“Sadly, the overwhelming amount of violent crime in our major cities is committed by blacks and hispanics-a tough subject-must be discussed.”
“"Why do we want all these people from ‘s---hole countries’ coming here?"
“When [Sen. Dick] Durbin got to Haiti, Trump began to ask why we want people from Haiti and more Africans in the U.S. and added that the U.S. should get more people from countries like Norway.”
4. Supporting an admirer of despots, in preference to U.S. intelligence agencies, to occupy our highest office.
Per the FBI, CIA and NSA, “We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump.”
Per Trump, ““Every time he [Vladimir Putin] sees me he says I didn't do that, and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it.”
5. Supporting a serial liar to occupy our highest office. Must this fact be defended? According to professional fact checkers, Trump has made more than 10,000 false or misleading claims since taking office.
Cox excuses Trump by saying, “Trump would recapture the presidency and win in Utah, even if he sometimes rubs people the wrong way.
“His style of politics is not the Utah Republican style of politics,” Cox said. “We just have to understand and accept that.”
We do? None of the qualities noted here are issues merely of “style” (a common claim of Trump defenders). They are crimes and behaviors completely incompatible with the trust and responsibility the United States commander in chief must uphold. What’s more, additional shocking accounts of Trump’s behavior are virtually certain to become public over the coming months.
It is shameful that these six gubernatorial candidates are all in with a man so manifestly unfit to hold the office of United States president. When, with the benefit of hindsight, history records this disgraceful episode, these defender of the indefensible will be shown to be the amoral cowards/coveters of power for power’s sake that they truly are.
Thomas M. Walker is a native Utahn and, other than teaching skiing part-time, retired. He is an avid follower of politics, occasional writer and enthusiastic devotee of Utah’s incomparable natural wonders. He is fortunate to share a beautiful home with his beautiful wife and sweet (if prone to barking) chihuahua.