Original article published in The Boston Globe as an Opinion Letter available here
Jennifer C. Braceras is certainly correct when she asserts that Bill Weld has no viable path to the Republican presidential nomination next year (“Do most voters even know who Bill Weld is?” Opinion, July 8). Nobody would be surprised if he pulls small numbers of primary voters from President Trump, whose popularity in the Republican Party is apparently around 90 percent.
But Weld is hardly without a rationale for his run. He undoubtedly believes that the Republican Party should not be led by a man whose primary source of power is racism and the ability to spread hate. Running against a president who thrives only by dividing Americans and victimizing the weak in society is an honorable task. This would be true regardless of Trump’s popularity.
In a better world, and in better times, other, potentially more viable GOP presidential candidates than Weld, such as Senator Lindsey Graham or Senator Marco Rubio, might have stood up to Trump and run against him. But they, like so many other Republicans, have shown themselves to be gutless in the face of a demagogue’s popularity. While they cower, Weld has stood up, and he deserves credit, regardless of the outcome.