Joe Walsh, the right-wing radio host who used to be a House representative from Illinois, said he was running for the Republican nomination for president to challenge Donald Trump and Trumpism… but after receiving just 1% of the primary votes in Iowa, he’s dropping out.
He claims this is because the Republican Party has become a cult:
I’m suspending my campaign, but our fight against the Cult of Trump is just getting started. I’m committed to doing everything I can to defeat Trump and his enablers this November. I can’t do it alone. Join me at https://t.co/d40HA9h2Kz.
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) February 7, 2020
Walsh told CNN: “Nobody can beat him. It’s Trump’s party, John. It’s not a party — it’s a cult. He can’t be beaten in the Republican primary, so there’s no reason for me, or any candidate really, to be in there. The party has become a cult.” He said that he would do his “level best” to stop Trump by helping to elect “any Democrat” who wins the nomination, even if that Democrat is a socialist.
Truth be told, none of this is a surprise. Joe Walsh hardly represents a meaningful change from Trumpism, so #NeverTrumpers have no good reason to support him. If he wanted to make a real difference, he’d run as an independent candidate and siphon off votes from Trump in swing states on Election Day. Instead, he got publicity by running a campaign that was never going to gain any traction.
If that’s not part of his plan, then he misses a huge reality of our politics: In this country, you have to belong to one major party or the other in order to be taken seriously in any given election. If running as a Republican is a no-go, and you’re not actively supporting a Democrat, you may as well be screaming into a void.