Giving Hillary hell is one thing. She deserves all the hell she can be given. And I suppose some words of support for Trump were mandatory. But the movement Donald Trump leads is a movement based on fear, ignorance, hatred, and intolerance. The crazies of the Alt-Right- the Nazis, the Klan, the nativists and their ilk- are the heart and core of Donald Trump's support. The movement he leads is not a movement my senator should praise. Yes, it feeds on legitimate anger. But it does so by appealing to the very worst in us.
I was truly disappointed to hear a person I admired and for whose election I worked praise the movement Trump started- a movement that is the exact opposite of everything the Republican party and the United States have always stood for. Suddenly I'm not sure that Joni was one of those Iowans I was so proud of this morning, who walked out when those running the convention cheated and lied, denying the delegates who wanted a roll call on the rules adoption their rights and almost blasphemously using the chant "USA!" to silence them.
The implication, of course, was clear: if you're not a fan of Donald Trump, you don't love America.
Senator Ernst, that's a chant I would join you in under almost any circumstances. But not tonight. Not in the context of a convention in which its meaning has been turned inside-out and when it has been used to stifle dissent and help make a mockery of fair play.
Suddenly, I'm not so sure I want to go to the polls in November. I've lost my taste for voting for the Republicans down the ticket as I leave the presidential line blank or vote for a third-party candidate. I'd originally planned to simply stay home on Election Day, making it the first in the 45 years that I've been old enough to vote that I'd stayed home instead. But I changed my mind when I heard that the Iowa delegation had walked out in protest against the steamroller tactics used to get the Rules Committee report adopted. Now I'm not sure which side Joni was on- that of the bullied, or the bullies.
Suddenly, my new identity as a registered independent is feeling a great deal more comfortable. I cannot be a member of Donald Trump's Republican party, and it pains me that Joni Ernst apparently is so comfortable with being one. And the sad thing is that after November when Donald Trump is just a bad memory it will be hard for me to forget having listened to Joni Ernst not merely duly endorsing the party's nominee, but praising the evil the Trump movement stands for. It makes it harder for me to think that I'll ever be a Republican again.