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GF Herald: Republican Sen. Hoeven should speak out on Donald Trump

There's little chance that Eliot Glassheim will get anywhere with his criticism of John Hoeven's coyness regarding Donald Trump.Glassheim, the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party's candidate for Senate, "has been working hard to hammer Hoeven on Do...

There’s little chance that Eliot Glassheim will get anywhere with his criticism of John Hoeven’s coyness regarding Donald Trump.
Glassheim, the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party’s candidate for Senate, “has been working hard to hammer Hoeven on Donald Trump, the GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee and a man Hoeven has said he’ll ‘support’ but not endorse,” the Herald reported Sunday.
But Glassheim’s political weakness is exactly why Hoeven should take the complaint about Trump to heart.
And act on it.
For Hoeven, Republican senator from North Dakota, has more political capital than anyone in the state. He was the nation’s most popular governor before becoming senator. In November, he’s sure to be handily re-elected to the Senate.
That means Hoeven can afford to make his feelings known when it comes to candidate Trump.
In fact, he should speak out, in our view. North Dakotans expect him to.
Even more important, the country needs him to.
That’s because the Republican Party is on the verge of nominating a candidate who is roundly disliked - ”Poll: Majority of GOP voters want someone other than Trump,” Politico.com reported last week - and who many Republicans believe to be both manifestly unqualified and temperamentally unfit to be president.
This isn’t just the Herald talking. It’s George Will, who has left the Republican Party over Trump’s pending nomination. It’s National Review, the conservative magazine, which announced its NeverTrump intentions early in the primary season and sticks with them to this day.
It’s Charles Krauthammer (of the Washington Post), Bill Kristol (of the Weekly Standard), Erick Erickson (of RedState.com) and neoconservative and military historian Max Boot, among other conservative thinkers, all of whom have said they can’t support Trump.
Or that they actively oppose Trump’s candidacy: “The risk of Trump winning, however remote, represents the biggest national security threat that the United States faces today,” Boot has written.
It’s Charles Murray, another influential conservative who was even more unequivocal in his denunciation of Trump:
“In my view, Donald Trump is unfit to be president in ways that apply to no other candidate of the two major political parties throughout American history.”
It’s David Brooks, conservative columnist at The New York Times, who ... well, here’s Brooks on the subject, as Murray also has quoted:
“Donald Trump is epically unprepared to be president. He has no realistic policies, no advisers, no capacity to learn. His vast narcissism makes him a closed fortress. He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know, and he’s uninterested in finding out. He insults the office Abraham Lincoln once occupied by running for it with less preparation than most of us would undertake to buy a sofa. ... He is a childish man running for a job that requires maturity. He is an insecure boasting little boy whose desires were somehow arrested at age 12.”
It’s Lindsay Graham, Mark Kirk, Ben Sasse, Jeff Flake and Dean Heller - Republican U.S. senators all, and likewise Americans who’ve gone on record as refusing to support Trump.
“There’ll come a time when the love of country will trump hatred of Hillary,” South Carolina’s Graham said in June, urging Republican supporters of Trump to rescind their endorsements.
And it should be John Hoeven - if he feels the same way.
If he doesn’t feel that way, then there’s no need for Hoeven to speak out. But if Hoeven agrees with the critics above - if he thinks Trump’s nomination is a potentially epic mistake - then he ought to say so. Soon, given that the Republican Convention in Cleveland starts in less than two weeks.
There comes a time when American leaders have to put politics aside and do what they think is right. This is one of those times. And if Hoeven has deep reservations about Trump, he should declare them, thus giving North Dakotans and other voters the benefit of his wisdom and long experience.
The Grand Forks Herald’s Editorial Board formed this opinion.

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