It's time for the GOP to come home

Story highlights

  • Alice Stewart: We have two flawed candidates in this race, and I view Donald Trump as the least dangerous
  • Republicans split over Trump's candidacy are hurting the party by attacking each other, she says

Alice Stewart is a CNN Political Commentator and Republican Strategist. She served as communications director on the Ted Cruz for President campaign. The views expressed are her own.

(CNN)As the lights go out at Progressive Field, Cubs and Indians fans will forever disagree over who has the best team, even after the Cubs clinched the World Series on Wednesday night. Unfortunately, the same can be said for the Republican Party, even since Donald Trump clinched the GOP nomination. Team Trump, Team Reluctant Trump, and Team #NeverTrump are engaged in a circular firing squad that is hurting Team GOP.

It's not that I don't understand some of my colleagues' reservations. I do. After all, I was the communications director for Ted Cruz, and I can honestly say that no candidate was attacked more harshly by Trump in the GOP primary than Ted.
Alice Stewart
Back in April, for example, I had the uncomfortable task of asking Ted's father, the beloved Rev. Rafael Cruz, if he was involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. I knew the answer was no, but it was vital to confirm the facts because Donald Trump was spreading the lie -- and the press was eating up the story like a free Trump steak on primary night.
    That came on the heels of Trump re-tweeting an unflattering picture of Ted's wife, my friend Heidi Cruz. And let's not forget Trump's absurd questions about Ted's citizenship and eligibility to even run for president. And finally, there's Trump's branding of Cruz as "Lyin Ted."
    Did I think this was a professional way to take on a GOP rival? No.
    Did this educate voters on the policy contrasts between the two? No.
    Did our team appreciate being off message to respond to Trump tweets and tall tales? No.
    Am I going to vote for Trump? Yes.
    The reason: Hillary Clinton is just that bad. She will not protect our borders, she will change the face of the Supreme Court in a way that will have a devastating impact for decades, and she will not call out and take on the threat of radical Islamic terrorism. And there's also her careless disregard for classified information through setting up a private email server.
    Of course, I think Trump's comments on the "Access Hollywood" tape were disgusting, his treatment of Miss Universe was disrespectful, and he has a pattern of demeaning women. I am a Christian, conservative, Republican. As a result, critics on Twitter attribute my Trump vote to having no pride, to being a fraud and a sellout. To that I say, we have two flawed candidates in this race, and I view Trump as the least dangerous.
    The Never-Trumpers view a vote for Trump as a character bridge too far for them to cross. They pledge to "stand united to defend basic, common decency and constitutional principles." (Although they failed to stand united behind any other GOP nominee in the primary.)
    The #NeverTrump crowd criticizes those who support the GOP nominee, some going so far as to announce their support for Hillary Clinton or a write-in candidate. They have adopted the Hamilton Rule, coined in the late 1790s by Alexander Hamilton: "If we must have an enemy at the head of government, let it be one whom we can oppose, and for whom we are not responsible who will not involve our party in the disgrace of foolish and bad measures."
    In other words: "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." I don't agree, but that's their choice.
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    But the divisions are not just about Team #NeverTrump. Some members of Team Trump have attacked those who don't rally around him, dismissing Republican critics or opponents as disgusting and dangerous. Those who chose to flee the nominee have been called "wimps" and "wusses," and former GOP candidates have been attacked for going back on their pledge to support the nominee.
    This isn't good for our party and it isn't good for the country.
    This Tuesday night, as the lights go out on this campaign, one of two things will likely happen: Trump will win and Republicans will eventually fall in line, or Trump will lose and life will go on, but we will all move in different directions.
    I hold out hope for the former, because it's time for the GOP to come home. And after Wednesday night, I'm reminded that miracles do happen. After all -- the curse of the Billy Goat is over.