Some Republicans tend to portray a primary challenge against Donald Trump as an unpatriotic and disloyal exercise. However, in a time when Republicanism has been stretched beyond recognition, to maintain productive competition in our de facto two-party system, we need a presidential choice that embodies the highest ideals of the Republican Party and this country. And that choice is Bill Weld.
After promising early years in private law practice and federal politics, Weld first rose to prominence as the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts under Ronald Reagan starting in 1981. He distinguished himself by his crusade against the kind of government malfeasance and blatant fraud that Republicans often decry. In all, under Weld’s stalwart leadership and honorable direction, his office was able to secure a staggering 109 convictions out of 111 public corruption cases. And rightly recognizing Weld’s firm and competent commitment to justice, in 1986 the Reagan administration would go on to tap him to oversee all federal investigations as the head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
When Weld became governor of Massachusetts in 1991, the state was in fiscal and economic malaise from years of Democratic mismanagement. He seized on the challenge, cutting the state government's excessive spending while simultaneously slashing taxes for the good people of Massachusetts. In an age when current federal policy is expected to add $1.7 trillion over the next decade to the already skyrocketing $22 trillion debt, putting pressure on essential spending like infrastructure and R&D, it would be refreshing to have a candidate who has promised fiscal reform and actually delivered.
Weld accomplished all this progress in a Democratic state with a 3 to 1 Democratic advantage in the state legislature, speaking to his ability to work with the opposing party and avoid gridlock — a skill sorely lacking in today’s federal government. Moreover, his working relationship with Democrats did not come at the cost of compromise. According to John Stimpson, one of Weld’s aides at the time, his policy victories included a who's who of key Republican priorities, such as payroll reduction, balancing the budget and regulatory reform.
It is not only here that Weld has proven his Republican credentials. He is a tried-and-true free trader. Moreover, he understands that comprehensive immigration reform is critical so that the United States can remain a dynamic economy that produces high-paying jobs. In addition, his foreign policy views are well-thought out and within the political mainstream.
In the long list of meaningless labels, the recurring criticism that you typically hear about Weld is that he is a liberal “New England Republican.” He believes a woman’s right to bodily autonomy includes access to abortion. Furthermore, he was an advocate for equal justice under the law for LGBTQ+ Americans before it was fashionable to do so. Instead of contemptible moderation, we should see these views through the prism of the same consistent principle expressed throughout his political career — that government has no place interfering in the private lives of citizens.
However, perhaps Weld’s most attractive quality is his respectful demeanor and unquestionable intelligence. He has a command of the issues that fills you with confidence and peace of mind. Further yet, his deep commitment to constitutional institutions and democratic norms challenges you to recommit to the nation’s values.
Much has changed over the last three years, but Weld isn’t one of them. When most politics appear to be dominated by strategic positioning, he has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to moral conscience, and at the end of the day, isn’t that what you want most from a president? If you want a fresh change to the sort of presidents we have had recently, the answer is clearly Bill Weld.