I’m an uncommitted delegate to the #WAGOP Convention in Spokane and I have a problem.

I’m uncommitted because I believe that party unity is the strongest factor in determining outcomes of national elections. The weight of its importance and the process of understanding and weighing of the considerations involved was one of my greatest takeaways from being a “Bernie Bro” nearly a decade ago.

I happen to believe that “Mr. Sensational” Semi Bird will be the first Republican Governor of Washington State in this Millenium. I will do everything within my power to make that happen. This causes a conundrum for me personally.

Mr. Bird carries a compelling delegate lead heading into April and I am fully expecting him to win the endorsement of the Washington State GOP a month from today. Also, he’s wisely choosing to stay in his own lane with respect to the national goings on. It is my sincere desire for me to have things stay that way.

I’m certain that in the last 24 hours his campaign has been flooded with phone calls from around the nation concerning his position on the former President. He’s done a great job to stay away from that so far, and I appreciate him for it.

The only question in my mind now is how WA GOP deals with what many people call the “Trump Problem” or the “black hole” problem that columnist Danny Westneat described so diligently in a recent Seattle Times article.

Former President Trump is the 900 lb guerilla in this race but he’s also the elephant in the room for all conservatives. When Trump was elected the media decided to call him the “accidental president” – was it really accidental, or was that happening just an inevitable part of what people like to call the matrix?

Former President Donald Trump made a big impact on my law school journey. I listened to his “Art of the Deal” during the Summer of 2021 – also widely known as “the summer of the mandate”. Incredible, I thought. The man must be a genius!

However, as both Washingtonians, and as Americans, we owe no loyalty to the man. Our loyalty is to our brothers. Our loyalty is to our friends and families. Our loyalty is to the Constitution, the Office of the President, and the history behind our founding documents. First and foremost, we owe it to ourselves to introduce checks and balances against individuals wielding so much power, so early on in our election cycle given what’s at stake this year.

The list of individuals betrayed by the man called Mr. Donald Trump is long and sickening. We could start the list with America’s Mayor, General Michael Flynn, Mike Lindell, all of the people who stood up for election integrity on January 6th who are still in jails – what has Mr. Donald Trump done for any of them since taking the stage on the Sixth of January, Two Thousand and Twenty Four? What the heck was actually going on, on that day? It’s still hard for me to wrap my head around.

Yet, he still demands loyalty. In truth, what do any of us owe him? What did any of us have to do with all of that?

I’m proposing that this time around we do something different. Mr. Ramaswamy carried only 7,000 votes here in Washington State, but with some coordination, that should be more than enough to send a delegate or two to Milwaukee.

Personally, I think Mr. Ramaswamy carries the party message of constitutional conservatism better than Mr. Trump – who’s hasty remarks concerning an inevitable “bloodbath” second civil war, were crass, uncalculated and inappropriate for the President that Republicans expect to take office in January of 2025.

These comments stirred a row within me, certainly because despite it being understood that his intention is to speak to hypothetical domestic events if we are to revisit the “election interference/fraud” debacle, the intended consequences of his words for the issue I hold dearest to my heart – would mean that the conditions to negotiate a lasting peace between the brotherly nations of Russia and Ukraine, that many people have worked so hard on for all the years since this conflict began, just to create the basic conditions for meaningful negotiations, could all come for naught if this man came to be the future President of the United States, particularly if he continues to conduct himself in the manner in which he chooses to conduct himself today.

So, I’m suggesting that at minimum we do what we can to wrap the expected candidate up in four rolls of aluminum foil and do something different, something unexpected, and something that the world may remember us all by. The convention in Milwaukee will be historic. The convention in Spokane will be historic too.

So, let’s think about it together. Who would you rather?

Mr. George Artem is an America’s Future Spring 2024 Writing Fellow and is a delegate to the Washington State GOP Convention in Spokane. Mr. Artem came to the United States as a child from the former Soviet Union and fondly recalls peaceful summers visiting the Crimean Peninsula, Odessa and Kiev.

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