Top 5 This Week

Related Posts

Opinion: Donald Trump won the Republican primary in Colorado. Inconceivable!

Yes, I have to admit it, I’m shocked, shocked … I say shocked, that after 8 years of former President Donald Trump being a weekly, if not daily, part of our national conversation, he has won Colorado’s primary. I sure wish it would have been in another party, in another state, as it simply is embarrassing.

Or, as Vizzini famously kept saying in The Princess Bride — “Inconceivable!”

Sure, it’s been clear for months, if not years, that a strong majority (perhaps supermajority?) of Republicans nationally still love the man for whatever combination of reasons, but I didn’t think a majority of Republicans in Colorado would support him again.

Former President Trump lost the 2020 election and then began an improbable and unconstitutional scheme to simply declare himself president and sort out the details later while he remained as president. This scheme lasted two months until ending late in the evening on January 6, 2021. Yet Republicans in Colorado and across the nation voted for this same man to be their nominee to be re-elected as president! Inconceivable.

Our thanks should go to Senator Norma Anderson, Chris Castilian, Denver Post Columnist Krista Kafter, and others for having the Colorado and United States Supreme Courts and American citizens think through these important issues.

The court decided 9-0 that removing candidates from the ballot was not a state judge determination but left for Congress. That likely is the best decision, although combined with the presidential immunity case soon to be decided could lead to dreadful outcomes. The good news is that now we get to decide with our vote this November, and most people across the political spectrum are decent and just. We know what we saw after the last election.

Have you met many regular Republicans in Colorado? Most all are thoughtful, kind, normal, hardworking Americans. You’ve seen them at church, at the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, Veterans and other organizations, sporting teams, bars and restaurants, raising their families and caring about where they live. Good people. Yet, so far a majority of rank and file Republicans have consciously and deliberately thrown their lot in with a man that is nothing like them. We’ll be talking for generations about how this happened. The good news is that there is more time for more Republicans and other citizens to weigh in before the November elections.

In Colorado, primary day results were even more inconceivable as anyone registered to vote without a declared party received two ballots. Unless that unaffiliated voter just really wanted to send a message of support for President Biden, the only ballot worthy of casting was for the former President, Nikki Haley, or as a protest vote.

Did rank-and-file Republicans really go all in with the former President? Here are some numbers for us to consider: 62.3% of Colorado’s 3,785,594 active registered voters didn’t vote. It wasn’t hard to vote; they each received their ballot in the mail to their residence, and the voting only required filling in one bubble and signing and dating the envelope, mailing or dropping it off several weeks prior to the election. They simply choose not to care at this stage of the election cycle, likely for a variety of rational and poor decisions alike.

If you’re reading this opinion, unless you’re a felon, almost without an exception … you voted.

So how much support did Donald Trump receive in Colorado? Among Republican ballots cast he received 63.1%. That’s an impressive supermajority. It’s the reason I can’t even consider rejoining the Republican Party I so loyally served for 32 years. If interested, here is my longer rationale:
For comparison Joe Biden received 82.7% on the Democratic ballot.

Of all Democrat and Republican ballots cast, Trump received 37.6% of the vote, and among all active registered voters, he received 14.1%. Don’t mean to minimize the former President’s support, it’s a solid base of fervent fans, but most citizens have not yet voted. When they do, Trump will certainly lose Colorado in November; however, he may just win the presidency again with the Electoral College.

So where do we go from here for the next 8 months? It depends on whether you wish to rant and rave, protest and chant, virtue signal, and post and comment on social media while bothering your family and friends, or if you’d like to be effective and change the course of the election.

Most people do not wish to change other minds; they simply want to be liked within their own tribe and will discuss enough to be an accepted leader, persuader, or group member of their various subgroups. Most likely cannot change their behavior even if they want to. You know these people. They are across the political spectrum in your own family, work and in your associations and neighborhood. They likely can’t change.

Few wish to be effective. I suggest it be you.

Stop arguing with strangers on the interweb. In 2024 it is possible that you’re arguing with a bot anyway.

It is inconceivable for me to vote for Trump – don’t waste our time trying (btw – this is a classic old-school campaign trick – simply waste the time of people that could be effective if they knew better but are fooled into simply wasting their time). But like Vizzini, that word does not mean what you think it means. Something may be inconceivable only until it is grasped.

For example, it is conceivable that I might lodge a protest vote for a lesser-known candidate who is neither Trump nor Biden. I personally know dozens of people who will likely let others decide the election. I also know hundreds of folks whose only political engagement is voting in the general election every two and often only every four years. They don’t watch or read much news, and they are not all bent out of shape over the latest gaffe from Biden or outrage from Trump.

Go listen to them. About 5 percent to 10 percent of us are persuadable, and the rest have already made up their mind. Listen to the persuadable. Don’t present your case and argue; just listen and contribute when appropriate. You’ll learn a ton, and your chance at being an effective citizen persuader will be exponentially more effective.

Many, maybe even most, will end up voting against your position. That’s OK; there will be another election. America is strong, you can make it stronger by being strong, thoughtful and kind yourself.

Make a real difference for the people and our country that you care about.

Conceivable. Please be that citizen.

John Brackney is a former elected official, Army Officer, lifelong Coloradan, and business leader. He hosts a weekly discussion on contemporary public policy with U.S. History Professor Stephen Tootle on Facebook live and posted on Youtube and Spotify. Contact him at

Sign up for Sound Off to get a weekly roundup of our columns, editorials and more.

To send a letter to the editor about this article, submit online or check out our guidelines for how to submit by email or mail.

Popular Articles