Today’s Wall Street Journal features an article titled “Romney’s Lonely Challenge to Trump.” As the headline suggests, it’s about how Mitt Romney, the Republican standard bearer during the 2012 presidential campaign, is taking a path that others fear to tread. Romney is making no bones about it: he detests Donald Trump and fears that he if he becomes president he will be a danger to us all.
Romney describes Trump’s attacks on him as “constant and brutal.” But, Romney adds, he has no qualms about taking him on, though he stands nearly alone in vocal opposition. When asked why he is willing to be risk being relentlessly ridiculed by Trump – a few days ago Donald described Mitt as walking “like a penguin” – Romney says, “I wanted my grandkids to see that I simply couldn’t ignore what Mr. Trump was saying and doing, which revealed a character and temperament unfit for the leader of the free world.”
I have considerable admiration for what Romney is doing. He does not, however, go far enough. He does not lead.
It’s one thing to take a stand. It’s quite another to take a stand and to rouse others to join your cause. We know full well that Mitt Romney is not alone. Large numbers of Republicans strongly agree with his opinion of Trump. But for whatever constellation of reasons – fear, greed, and the pressure to conform high among them – they are staying silent or even, in large numbers, falling into line.
If Romney continues to speak out in opposition to Trump, he will do the nation a favor. But if he fails to find followers, a leader he will not be.