By V. Susan Hutchinson.
In May 2004, the Baltimore Sun wrote an article about Lindsey Graham, the newly elected Senator from South Carolina. George W. Bush was president and there was a Senate investigation into the abuse at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad by US military personnel.
The article promotes Graham as a man who had an independent streak and was sort of a rebel in the Republican party. He challenged Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld by asking if he could be bipartisan in carrying out his duties. He disagreed with Vice President Dick Cheney when he said the Senate committee needed to leave Rumsfeld alone and stated, “We have an independent duty to look at this.” He also said when “big systems” get out of control you have to fight and take a risk.
Lindsey Graham once believed in fighting for what is right and investigating to get to the truth, regardless of what anyone in the executive branch of the government might say.
And now one of the three most important “systems” in our country, the Executive branch of the U.S. government, is out of control and Lindsey Graham fully supports it.
Now a Die-Hard Trump Supporter
When Graham’s friend Sen. John McCain, a man who vehemently opposed all things Trump, died last year, he wept and said “America and Freedom have lost one of her greatest champions.” A true statement to be sure.
And then he switched his allegiance to McCain’s arch enemy, Donald J. Trump.
What happened to make him the unrepentant sycophant to Trump that he is today? You can track his history of vilifying Trump in 2015 to his now complete support of him by looking at his Twitter account. The question is why would he so completely compromise his principles?
Perhaps his early stance as a “rebel” was not all that sincere. Maybe he was waiting for the right moment to show his true colors.
Sen. Strom Thurmond was a force in the Senate for 48 years and best known for his record-breaking filibuster against the Civil Rights Act in 1957. Perhaps Graham needed to find a way to make a name for himself as soon as possible as he had big shoes to fill. Did he do whatever it took to stand out from the rest of the GOP Senate crowd, even if it made him look like a moderate?
Although Graham ran against Trump in the 2016 Republican presidential primary and was sharply critical of him, after Trump was elected, Graham largely changed his tune. While he was sometimes critical of the new president, it was decided that the GOP needed to come together as a purely partisan group with little or no dissension in the ranks, especially after the midterm elections of 2018.
Graham wasn’t all in until his friend, McCain was no longer there as the voice of reason in the Senate and now, he and the rest of the GOP flagrantly ignores the wishes of the majority of the American people. He does all this while bowing down to the will of this would-be dictator, Trump, who expects complete loyalty.
Follower, Not a Leader
In his early days as a Senator, Graham did just enough to make himself stand out, but once the GOP really started to try to assert its power in 2018, Graham rapidly starting moving to the side of the majority.
And now he is fully supporting the outrageous behavior of Donald Trump, who is a strong personality, but also not a leader; a man who only wants what is in his best interests, caring nothing about the will of the majority or what is best for the American people. Graham pays homage to a man who thinks that a wall is the answer to keeping people he hates from entering the United States, and a man who wants to abuse his office and bypass the Constitution to get what he wants just because he told his followers he would get it done.
What does Lindsey Graham say about all this?
To every Republican, if you don’t stand behind this president, we’re not going to stand behind you, when it comes to the wall… This is the defining moment of his presidency. It’s not just about a wall, it’s about him being treated different than every other president.”
These are not the words of a leader, they are the words of a man who has sold his soul to the devil.
And the devil’s name is Donald Trump.