A friend of mine, the other day, reminded me of the Blues and Greens. For those of you not familiar with them, after the fall of Rome, the remaining eastern half of the Roman Empire around Constantinople developed into factional mob rule. There was the church and there was sports. The sports teams were divided into blues, greens, reds and whites. They controlled the city. Charity, food, jobs, even policing, etc., were arranged based on support for teams.
Over time the Reds and Whites were absorbed into the Blues and Greens. In 532 AD, such was the strength of the fans of the Blues and the fans of the Greens, they united and nearly overthrew Emperor Justinian. That was also the beginning of their decline.
You’d like to think that the Blues and Greens stood for something. You’d like to think they had public policy ideas or competing views on taxation or imperial rule or charitable distributions. But you’d be wrong. They were just loyalties to sports teams, nothing more and nothing less. It was tribalism without principle. Love for nation was trumped by love for either the Blues or the Greens, neither of which stood for anything more than players on a field. As my friend noted, men were willing to die for their teams and organize great spectacles to celebrate their teams. But they were just teams and nothing more.
Back after the GOP defeat in 2006, lots of conservatives declared they were no longer water carriers for the GOP. The party, our party, stood for nothing, and we wanted it to stand for something. It should be more than just the Blues or the Greens.
Fast forward to 2016. I just have to be sad for people I know and respect who can neither be sad nor show a sense of shame for joining the Trump bandwagon, which is just a Blue or a Green, standing really for nothing more now than one’s chosen team.
On television, I see people I know and respect beclowning themselves. They parrot now the same talking points they used to defend Mitt Romney in 2012 against polls. They play up victimhood that the press and world are out to get us. On Fox, more than once I have been called a traitor merely for not embracing Donald Trump — and the people saying it are good, decent people. To not embrace Trump is allegedly to embrace Hillary. They have descended to binary equations to justify their own compromises.
Like the Duke of Norfolk to Thomas More, they just want the rest of us to go along, too, so they themselves do not look so bad in selling out or justifying their embrace of what they know to be a losing campaign with far-reaching consequences, all of which are bad.
My heart aches for so many of them. They know Trump will not win. They know his campaign and subsequent loss will have a long-lasting impact on the party, if it survives at all. But by force of habit and position they do what they do. Some do it for loyalty and some do it for money and all for “not Clinton.”
I just cannot carry water for Trump. He is unfit for office, immoral and shallow. I still believe in the Republican Party that believes character counts and the rule of law means something. Cheeto Jesus is now the Republican nominee. That means, at least until November, I am not a member of either political party. The country should come ahead of the Blues or the Greens, but neither party has nominated a candidate fit for office.
Erick Erickson is a Fox News contributor and radio talk show host in Atlanta.