With Republican office-holders abandoning their support of GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump, Massachusetts residents can be proud that our Governor, Charlie Baker, was among the very first prominent Republicans (he was number four, according to a recent article in the New York Times) to state on the record that he would not support Trump for President.
The governor made his announcement shortly after his own preferred choice among the large GOP field, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, withdrew his candidacy last February. Although Christie endorsed Trump, Charlie Baker did not follow suit and unequivocally said he never would vote for Donald Trump.
It often is said that politics makes for strange bedfellows. All of us tend to aggregate around those whose views we support — which often means we follow the lead of our fellow party-members. Our late, long-time Publisher, Andrew P. Quigley (who was a former mayor and state senator in a political career that spanned more than 40 years), succinctly summed up this example of group-think, “The guy may be an idiot, but at least he’s our idiot.”
However, there are times when the good of the country rises above the interests of one’s party — and in the case of Donald Trump, Charlie Baker clearly understood the necessity of to take that moral imperative when he announced without hesitation his decision that he never could vote for Donald Trump.
John F. Kennedy, before he became President, wrote a book entitled, Profiles in Courage (we would note that Mr. Quigley was a confidante of JFK) in which Kennedy presented a series of vignettes about political figures from American history who placed the good of the country above their own political fortunes.
Charlie Baker has taken a good amount of grief from Donald Trump and his supporters (in Massachusetts, Trump garnered almost 50 percent of the vote in the GOP primary) for his firm position against the un-American pronouncements that have characterized the Trump campaign from its outset.
We take this opportunity to applaud Charlie Baker’s principled stand and to recognize it as a modern-day profile in courage. We know we join with the vast majority of citizens in Massachusetts in proclaiming unequivocally that we are proud to have him as the Governor of our state in these unprecedentedly divisive times.