I'm a Traitor for Opposing Trump?

Call me an idiot, call me whatever, but never call me a traitor.  I will not let that claim go unanswered.  Here's something about me none of you knows.

After visiting friends in New Jersey, I boarded a plane early on a September morning, not knowing that my life would be forever changed by what would happen that day.  I slept for most of the flight but was awakened first by the plane's sudden movements.  Banking hard to the right, then again, banking hard to the right.  The captain came over the intercom, saying we were going to be grounded in Kansas City.  A woman on the flight called her husband to tell him she was going to be late.  He informed her that two planes out of Boston had been hijacked and crashed into the World Trade Center.  My stomach lurched as she relayed the information to us.  The world was about to change forever.

I deplaned to witness the second tower collapse, the dust and debris enveloping the lower half of Manhattan.  Strangers updated us as we walked through the concourse.  The Pentagon had been hit by a plane.  Another plane had crash-landed in western Pennsylvania.

It turns out that United 93 took off from the same airport my plane took off from: Newark, N.J.  Some kind people took me in and let me spend the night in their home.  I watched updates and President Bush's speech from the Oval Office.

The next day, while riding a Greyhound home to Utah, I felt a rush of fear I'd never felt before.  That fear soon turned to anger.  I hated feeling out of control.  I wanted to fight back.  It was then I decided to join the Army.

I arrived home the night of September 13.  I went to take the ASVAB the next day.  I formally joined the Army a week later, deciding to serve in the active Army instead of the National Guard.

The Army oath of enlistment states: "I, Layne Hansen, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.  So help me God."

Nowhere in that oath does it say I will swear allegiance to a man.  Personally, I have always lived by this oath.  I have been and will always be loyal to my country.  I will pledge allegiance to the flag and the country it represents, but I will never pledge allegiance to a man, especially one as detestable as Donald Trump – a man who has already begun to lurch to the left, which is what we said he would do.

This has nothing to do with loyalty to the GOP, either.  I left the party years ago.  However, I have never given up my classical liberal views of politics.  I would love to see the GOP gain a strong ideology, as I wrote on this site not long ago.  A year and a half ago I called for John Boehner's removal as House speaker

I am not holding my breath.  I agree that the party needed a kick in rear to help it see that it needs a foundation of principles, but nominating the likes of Donald Trump is the worst of a lot of bad options.

Trump is already lurching to the left, and there is no telling where he'll end up on any given position.  I have little doubt that his "wall" proposal (which is not his idea, but something he's made his followers believe) will be "negotiable" and will soon be off his platform altogether.

These are all moot points, because Trump has very little chance of actually winning.  If you thought the liberal media was in the tank for Obama in 2008 and 2012, you're in for a rude awakening.

The irony is, the liberal media has an ally in Trump.  However, they cannot stand him and will do everything they can to make sure he is defeated.  Large swaths of the conservative media are also against him, which will make it impossible for him to rally the Republican base – something you need to nearly maximize to have a chance to win.

I return to Trump's followers, deliberately using this word instead of supporters.  Their allegiance to the man is unbreakable, no matter how far he goes to the left in the coming months.  We #NeverTrump people have been trying to tell you for months that this guy is a con man, a snake oil salesman, a shyster.  You haven't listened, and now look at where we are.  We have the worst nominee in the Republican Party's history, and that's saying something!

My goal from now until November will be to elect a conservative, even if only moderately so.  I'm constantly told by members of the Trump cult that I should take a gamble.  I will not do so.  Call me a traitor if you want, but I am a traitor only to your dear leader.  I have never been, and will never be, a traitor to my country.

Layne Hansen is a Ph.D. student in American politics.  He can be reached for comment at layne.d.hansen@gmail.com.