Bill Kaplan: Conservative Liz Cheney: Don’t vote for Trump

The column below reflects the views of the author, and these opinions are neither endorsed nor supported by WisOpinion.com.

Madison born Liz Cheney, former Wyoming GOP U.S. representative, is crisscrossing the nation with a blunt message: “I will do everything I can to make sure (Trump) is never anywhere near the Oval Office again.” Conservative Cheney is no liberal. However, despite sharp policy differences with Biden, she is openly advising voters to reelect Biden. Cheney is clear that a vote for a third party candidate is a vote for Trump. Cheney also said: A Trump win in 2024 means “living in a nation that’s unrecognizable, and the danger is so grave that, for the first time in my life, I will be working with every fiber of my body against the Republican nominee for president.”

Wisconsin constitutional Republicans, including former Governor Tommy Thompson, former U.S. Representatives Tom Petri, Reid Ribble, Paul Ryan and Jim Sensenbrenner, should heed Cheney’s admonition: “At this moment we’re confronting a domestic threat that we have never faced before – and that is a former president who is attempting to unravel the foundations of our constitutional republic. … Republicans cannot both be loyal to Donald Trump and loyal to the Constitution.”

Some may think that Cheney is engaging in hyperbole when she calls January 6, 2021 a “coup” that tried to overturn the 2020 presidential election or that the U.S. is “sleepwalking toward dictatorship.” Please listen to Trump: “Then, I have an Article II (Constitution), where I have the right to do whatever I want as president.” Or when Trump recently said he would be a “dictator” only on “Day 1.” More ominously, Trump suggested: “Now if I don’t get elected it’s going to be a bloodbath … .” And, every time Trump is indicted or found liable he threatens “potential death and destruction” or “terrible things are going to happen.”

Trump faces federal and state indictments for multiple efforts, including in Wisconsin, to unlawfully overturn his loss to Biden in 2020. Moreover, Trump has been found liable in civil proceedings that he “sexually abused and defamed E. Jean Carroll” and for “falsely inflating the value of assets … to secure better terms from lenders and insurers” (Washington Post). The courts have fined Trump over $500 million.

Importantly, the U.S. military recognizes the danger that Trump presents. The Joint Chiefs of Staff on January 12, 2021 said: “The violent riot in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021 was a direct assault on the U.S. Congress, the Capitol building, and our constitutional process. … We support and defend the Constitution. Any act to disrupt the constitutional process is not only against our traditions, values and oath; it is against the law.” A rebuke to election deniers and Trump supporters such as Wisconsin GOP Senator Ron Johnson and Wisconsin GOP Representatives Scott Fitzgerald, Tom Tiffany and Derrick Van Orden.

Retiring Wisconsin GOP Representative Mike Gallagher, disaffected Wisconsin Republicans, including supporters of Nikki Haley and western Wisconsin Obama to Trump Republicans, should heed Cheney: “Trump abused his supporters’ trust.” Trump always runs on Trump first and America last.

-Kaplan wrote a guest column from Washington, D.C., for the Wisconsin State Journal from 1995 – 2009.

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