Reasons for intended actions can be as important as the actions. Consider Rep. Glenn Thompson’s and Sen. Pat Toomey’s explanations about their stance on Trump.
In the debate held here in State College, Thompson said he switched to support Donald Trump because Republicans indicated they preferred Trump. This preference for in-group loyalty over a concerted analysis of a candidate is disappointing and disturbing.
Thompson’s reason reveals a lack of consideration for the likelihood that a Trump presidency will show little respect for women — half of the people Thompson is sworn to serve, and shows hyper-partisan ideological positioning over independent thought. This is found in Thompson’s positions on many topics including opposition to background checks on gun purchases.
In contrast, Toomey indicates he is facing a dilemma. This dilemma reflects a classic ethical question, “Do the ends justify the means?” The “ends” he specifies are electing a Republican president who would support two specific Republican policies. The “means” he indicates are electing a “flawed” candidate presumably because Trump brags about sexual harassment, insults minorities and is an inept politician, preferring to be a bully and a whiner.
Toomey has not endorsed Trump but neither has he explicitly opposed him. Toomey needs to think beyond particular policies and instead consider the consequences of implicitly condoning Trump’s behaviors and bravado that foreshadow harm to U.S. citizens and to international relations.
I urge others to oppose Thompson and Toomey, who seem willing to condone and tolerate Trump’s bullying. Please vote for Kerith Strano Taylor and Katie McGinty, who stand up for all citizens.
Janet K. Swim, Boalsburg