While my sadness is great this morning at the loss of a candidate that I would be proud to vote for as opposed to a belligerent braggart who demands my vote out of fear of his opponent, I am beyond proud of David French for even considering a run. He demonstrated his wisdom and modesty (both a rarity these days) by noting that it would take someone far better funded and better connected than him to actually pull off a successful third party bid.
I also don’t begrudge his prayerful decision to spare his family any more antagonism. The social media hell that he and his wife have been through the past week has been nothing short of staggering and appalling.
Within hours of his consideration being leaked, Trump’s Nazis tweeted photo-shopped pictures of his youngest daughter in a gas chamber. A so-called “journalist” from Politico questioned his marriage.
The drumbeat would only have gotten louder because the main stream media has already selected our choices for 2016: “dammit – how dare you bring forth an interloper?” Radio talkers already in the tank for Trump were pooh-poohing consideration of a third party run by a true conservative as merely an attempt by the nefarious “Stablishmen” to derail the Great and Glorious man of “We The People” (retch).
Pundits who decried the fact that David French was not a household name and therefore unsuitable to run seemed to prefer celebrity (or infamy) to a man with solid principles entertaining the idea of running for the greatest office in the world – not to be a spoiler, but to actually try to win. Someone who was honestly willing to put himself in harm’s way in Iraq was again willing to put himself and his family in harm’s way by pursuing the presidency.
If there was a presidential campaign that should have been smothered in its infancy, it was Trump’s, not French’s. That the press showed that it easily could have derailed the train-wreck that is Trump and chose not to is perhaps the most telling part of this saga.
David French ran the social media gauntlet with aplomb and, if nothing else, by allowing his name to be considered, his potential candidacy demonstrated once and for all the division that the conservative movement faces. That there were voices who were willing to back a serial adulterer, a liar, a con artist, a supporter of Planned Parenthood, a gun grabber, an advocate for Canadian style socialized medicine, a misogynist and a racist over a man who is the very epitome of the very conservative values they supposedly espouse has been a defining moment.
One of David’s friends shared Bonnie Tyler’s lyrics:
“Where have all the good men gone
And where are all the gods?
Where’s the street-wise Hercules
To fight the rising odds?
Isn’t there a white knight upon a fiery steed?
I need a hero.
He’s gotta be strong
And he’s gotta be fast
And he’s gotta be fresh from the fight
I need a hero
He’s gotta be sure
And it’s gotta be soon
And he’s gotta be larger than life
I need a hero”
David French, in that shining, all too brief moment, solidified his status as a hero to me for all time. I and other like minded conservatives owe him a debt of gratitude.
Perhaps America gets the politicians she deserves. From the demagoguery I witnessed on social media this past week, I wonder if America deserves a good man like him at all.
I hope that Mr. French will emerge as an even stronger voice in the NeverTrump movement. I hope that another equally principled challenger to the pretender’s claimed throne will emerge.
But even if it means that someday I’ll be sitting all alone with my crumpled and tattered “NeverTrump!” banner, I’ve found another hero.
Godspeed Mr. French.
And, thank you. From the bottom of my heart – thank you.