Opinion: Donald Trump’s Van Drew Folly
As a huge fan of President Trump and his policies – which have created jobs, empowered families and made our communities safer – it’s disappointing to see him act in a way that empowers the swamp, even in a small way.
The swamp is a collection of insider elites – some posing actual dangers to our republic, and some who just serve as obstructionists to real progress. In New Jersey, where the Republican Party has struggled for relevance for decades, it’s desperation leading the way. Since the party sold out to the fraud-reformer Chris Christie, who vilified state and union workers – including cops and firefighters – it has failed to present a coherent and strong message to voters about actually fixing what’s broken in Trenton.
Now some are grabbing the scraps off the table, as turncoat Jeff Van Drew switched parties for the sole reason of saving his job. I was a supporter of Van Drew’s common-sense position against impeachment, when he had the courage to speak out as a Democrat. His becoming a Republican has nothing to do with issues. This was a simple opportunistic move designed to save his seat.
He’s a liberal Democrat at his core, a huge supporter of Planned Parenthood, a backer of a federal $15 minimum wage. He voted against Trump’s emergency declaration to extend and support sections of the southern border wall and he supported Nancy Pelosi for speaker. These are just a few among many issues that separate him from Trump and most Republican voters.
The challenge is that when the GOP accepts turncoats who want the party to protect them from the voters, the party fails to live up to its mission of being a true opposition to the majority that is ruining our state. Van Drew may have lost re-election as a Democrat... but so what? Have we devolved into a status in our country where the only thing that matters is do anything to enrich and empower yourself? Has politics become only an exercise in self preservation and promotion? What happened to public service? What happened to integrity?
The people who were really let down and betrayed by Van Drew's actions – and Trump's enabling – are the blue-collar, traditional working- and middle-class Democrats. They are losing their party to the radicals who are eager to speak out against America at every turn. They are losing their party to the "Trifecta of Disaster" in Trenton.
Van Drew offered some hope that the Democratic Party had some normal members left. Van Drew's ship-jumping is an act of pure personal ambition. If he had discussed the issues in a way that Ronald Reagan discussed the "Democratic party leaving him," this would be a different story. Van Drew panicked and turned to the president for help in a time of desperation to hold onto the job. Looks like there was a quid-pro-quo all along ... just nothing to do with Ukraine (thinking people knew that was ridiculous from go).
The quid-pro-quo was between Trump and Van Drew. Vote against impeachment, betray the Democratic voters who put you in office and pledge your friendship to the president and all this can be yours. Now we have Trump barging into a local contest, deciding for the Republican primary voters who should speak for them. All this to payback a political deal? This is offensive to anyone who has worked hard to elevate thoughtful discussion and dialogue about really ending the rule of the insider-elites picking winners and bullying voters.
Van Drew is no more a Republican than Steve Sweeney or Phil Murphy, for that matter. And his vote against impeachment was irrelevant to boot. Hopefully, real Republicans will see through this charade and vote for someone other than Van Drew in the primary. We'll see how it plays out.