I posted an article from Politico on Facebook yesterday. The article said the NRA was facing member backlash from their endorsement of Donald Trump on Friday. I noted that I thought Politico was stretching to find NRA members who were opposed to the Trump endorsement. I compared it to finding people at the Annual Meeting who were in favor of universal background checks. You would find them if you looked hard. I went on to add that Politico was a part of the mainstream press whose job it seems is to get Hillary elected even if she does treat them like something she found on the bottom of her shoes.
I thought what I said was fairly uncontroversial.
I was wrong.
I have lost track of how many comments and replies pro and con the Trump endorsement that I have received. Some of the comments have up to 50 replies to them. Much of it is back and forth between people who oppose the endorsement and those who thought the NRA right to do the endorsement. To get a true feel for it you need to read the comment and then the back and forth replies.
The comments on both sides of the argument have come from people within the gun culture whom I respect for their devotion to the Second Amendment. Given that, I do see that the endorsement of Trump was more controversial than I thought.
My take on why the NRA-ILA and NRA-PVF made the endorsement now is that it was pragmatic politics. The NRA is nothing if not a practitioner of realpolik. The pragmatic consideration is that an early endorsement at a time when it would get lots of media attention cements the NRA as one of the inner circle of organizations who will have the ear of a President Trump. It is already a given that the NRA will have no seat at the table under a President Clinton. She has already declared us as one of her prime enemies.
The NRA could have waited to make the endorsement later in the campaign season but they would have risked that endorsement getting lost among other endorsements. Moreover, as some have suggested, they could have just foregone an endorsement of Trump as they have done with some past Republican nominees. Given Trump’s past pro-gun control comments, they could have been excused for going this route. That said, 2016 Trump is very pro-gun, has made very pro-gun statements throughout the campaign, and has very pro-2A positions posted on his website. It could be posited that the NRA endorsement is a reward for coming over the from the dark side.
As I said above, I do see the endorsement of Trump as being more controversial than I thought. However, pragmatically, I don’t see that the NRA had any other choice than to do what they did.