Cutting off our noses

Donald Trump in Tulsa 1/20/2016. Photo by Greg Duke, Tulsa Today

Donald Trump in Tulsa. Photo by Greg Duke, Tulsa Today

It is a fait accompli; Donald Trump will be the GOP nominee for President.

Here in Oklahoma, Sen. Ted Cruz received the most votes and Sen. Marco Rubio made a strong showing.  Mr. Trump had (and has) a dedicated following, but he lacks overt support among a significant portion of this state’s Republican voters and he retains a large and vocal group of Republican activists who are openly antagonistic to him.

It’s only been a short time since Cruz and Gov. John Kasich suspended their campaigns and healing takes time.

Trump Supporters. Photo by David Arnett, Tulsa Today

Trump Supporters. Photo by David Arnett, Tulsa Today

Some who adopted the moniker of “Never Trump” are calling for Republicans to vote Democrat or to evade the polling places altogether in November.  Clearly, voting Democrat against Trump is an act of self-destructive retribution.  It deserves little further consideration.

Perhaps those siren songs will diminish over time, or they might grow as we approach Election Day.

Trump fans and many Republican leaders are claiming that simply not voting is an effective vote (or half vote) for Hillary Clinton.  As the Presidential race consists of 50 state races, such a proclamation is ignorance gone to seed.  However, not voting this November, and encouraging others to skip the Presidential election, may be far more damaging than the cumulative non-votes for President would be.

OKGOPlogoSunsetIt’s rather simple. In Oklahoma voters will reject Hillary Clinton and a majority will vote for whoever the Republican is.  This might change in future elections, (I hope it doesn’t) but it will stand in 2016 in part because in our state Hillary is hated.

Not voting, in Oklahoma, will not harm Trump and will not help Clinton. The same 7 Presidential Electors will cast their ballots for the Republican in any case.

In this state the November election is not about the Presidency!

The Republican Party is not simply an organization dedicated to the pursuit of the White House.  There are many fine conservative Republican candidates for offices at every level (Congress to County Commission) who need the voter turnout to be high.  There are far too many voters who will not vote if they are not excited about the top of the ticket.  We can’t correct the level of ignorance such an attitude represents in the time allotted.

Vote2016aThere are a number of well-informed voters who will vote down ticket and wish to leave the presidential race blank.  I will not condemn, nor work to change those conscientious objectors in my state.  A person who will skip the top of the ticket and vote down ticket in Oklahoma will not be doing any harm if they do so quietly.

The great problem is for them to proclaim from the rooftops their dissatisfaction with our presumptive nominee.  Every one of us has circle of influence.  That circle tends to be large among those who want it large.  Republicans who openly proclaim their intent against voting for President are working for the defeat of great conservative Republicans for Congress, statewide office, our state legislature and our county offices.

I wish it weren’t true.  I wish that it was common knowledge among voters that local government has a greater impact on their daily lives than does the occupant of the White House.

I wish voters would eagerly talk among themselves about how important it is to have a constitutional Sheriff in their county, how vital it is to keep conservatives in our state legislature and how critical it is to have a Congress that would represent us and hold the line on the size and scope of the federal government.

I don’t get many wishes fulfilled these days.

We must work with what is.  We must accept the reality that the press will beat the dead horse of a presidential election while ignoring the fact that the Congress is actually more important.  We also must accept that the press will not report on any local race which is less than salacious.

VoterMy humble exhortation is as follows. If you are a Republican in Oklahoma and you don’t feel you can vote for our nominee for President, please keep it to yourself and your exact family.  On the other hand, if you are a Republican in Oklahoma and you wish to persuade others to vote for our presidential nominee please use techniques which center on the virtues of our nominee and the vices of the Democrat.  Please withhold yourself from harsh language or guilt oriented motivations.

In all cases, please encourage voters to vote Republican in general and for your favorite conservative Republican candidates in specific.


Richard Engle

Richard Engle

About the author: Richard Engle is a candidate for Republican National Committeeman in Oklahoma. He is the author of the popular novel, “The Last American President.” Richard has over 30 years of grassroots activism and was twice elected to his local city council. Richard initiated the Oklahoma GOP’s Red to the Roots effort to recruit and elect Republicans to local office. Richard, and his wife, Denise live in central Oklahoma. Richard may be contacted by phone at 405.640.9219 or email at

Editor’s Note: Since 1996 Tulsa Today has welcomed diverse opinion – including some with which we strongly disagree. In the spirit of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and the U.S. Constitution, submissions for publication are welcome at

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