“I’m a countryless citizen:” Mark Sanford, who opposes Trump and his party


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Mark Sanford Not the first Republican to pay a political price against former US President Donald Trump. However, he is unique in publishing memoirs that link his decisions to the lessons learned from extramarital negotiations and his attempts to hide them.

Sanford, who was the Governor of South Carolina when he flew to Argentina with a woman who was not his wife in 2009, told staff that he was hiking the Appalachian Trail. Falsehood was rapidly exposed, Made a ridiculous headline And he finished his 20-year marriage.

The story is frankly told in Sanford’s book “Two Roads Diverged,” published on August 24th. The book shows how Christian conservative personal and political journeys have followed his conscience and opposed his beloved Republican Party. Moral surrender to Trump.

“If I wanted to discuss trust and where the party would go from here, I thought I had to be clean and say,’Hey, I’m not trying to hide anything.'” The 61-year-old explains. A phone call from my home in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. “We all got things, but this is mine. How this went down. What happened. But this gave me a keen appreciation for the truth. The reason is.”

Sanford, wife Jenny with him Maria Beren Chapur, An Argentine journalist I met seven years ago. This led to marriage counseling, and in May 2009 Jenny requested a separation trial. “A month later, I chose the path that caused immense pain to all of us,” Sanford wrote.

On June 18, he flew to Buenos Aires, admitting it was the “most bizarre plan” to find a solution. He thought that if he could try Beren’s “country club lifestyle” in Buenos Aires, it was in conflict with himself and would “fall in love and regain my life.” ..

In other words, TV presenter Jay Leno, What the hell was he thinking? “I fell in love,” says Sanford, honestly disarmament. “I love you deeply. I don’t know if we will make all the most rational decisions when we are in love head-on.

When leaving the office on the weekend, Sanford told a staff member that Jenny should call and say, “I’m hiking the Appalachian Trail.” But within hours, political adversaries demanded that he know where he was.

Speculation has grown about the governor’s mysterious disappearance. Finally, at 10.05 pm on Monday, a member of his staff issued a statement saying that Sanford would haunt his grave. Appalachian trail hike.. “

Governor Sanford was actually with Beren in Pampas, a wide open grassland in Argentina. He knew the game was over when his office called him later that night.

“You know your world is over, you just don’t know what it looks like,” he recalls. “You go to your execution, you just don’t know its shape. It’s miserable loneliness and hopelessness. How did I come here? What do I do? What do I do? Can you? Nothing. Go back and reap the results where you are.

Republican presidential candidate Mark Sanford, Governor of South Carolina, stopped the campaign in October 2019 in Auckland, Pennsylvania.

Republican presidential candidate Mark Sanford, Governor of South Carolina, stopped the campaign in October 2019 in Auckland, Pennsylvania. Photo: Steph Chambers / AP

Sanford returns home Random press conference, Apology and confession: “I was dishonest to my wife … with my dear dear friend from Argentina.” His lies about the Appalachian Trail ending On a late-night TV show. He faced a call for resignation and five different investigations. The impeachment article was eventually dropped, but he was accused.

Jenny has applied for a divorce. The most difficult conversation of all was with their four sons. Sanford and Belem were engaged just to discontinue it two years later. Throughout the episode, he began to reassess his life and values ​​and seek redemption.

“It completely changed my view of judgment,” Sanford recalls. “In my previous life, you were reading the newspaper, idiot, Moron, wondering what he was thinking, what she was thinking. Now it seems to be there. But I go for the grace of God. “

Despite all this, Sanford ended his term in 2011 and was taken over by Nikki Haley, who returned to politics two years later. Get a seat In the House of Representatives vacated by Tim Scott, who moved to the Senate. He was reelected twice, but in 2018 he wrote that his second chance “stopped badly.”

Reason: Trump.

“In a cosmic sense, God, is this just a cruel joke? I’ve had a pretty humble journey since 2009. Needless to say, within the Republicans, I strongly disappointed them. There were people who felt …

“And fast-forwarding comes a man who anthropomorphizes God and the situation, and all the opposition I thought others were trying to teach me after 2009. And this man runs for president. And he gets a nomination, then he becomes president. “

Sanford is by no means a liberal hero. He was a hard-line conservative and financial hawk. When he was governor, the Confederate flag was flying on the grounds of the South Carolina State House, but he still opposes the removal of the Confederate statue (“The concept of cleansing history is me.” Seems to be a big mistake. “).

Still, he was watching in horror after Trump took control of the Republican Party in 2016 and politicians bowed in front of this bully who sacrificed their principles and gave him a sense of strength. “After all, what is politics, that is, power.”

Remember he found himself very uncomfortable? “Everything,” he simply says. “I thought it was important to have a lack of humility, a lack of acceptance of conservative ideals, a lack of a Socratic approach, a belief in the idea itself, at least from the left or right, a lack of belief in the institution. It was. Our founding fathers were stationed. The idea that the media could be the enemy of the nation.

Mark Sanford on the left gives his victory speech after regaining his old parliamentary seat in the first district of the state on May 7, 2013 in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

Mark Sanford on the left gives his victory speech after regaining his old parliamentary seat in the first district of the state on May 7, 2013 in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Photo: Rainier Ehrhardt / AP

“Everything was very contrary to the idea of ​​a pluralistic society and a system of checks and balances. It’s like this guy would be a great dictator, but that’s not what the American system is.”

He adds: “Be careful. I wasn’t alone at the time. NS Freedom CaucusI was attending, basically I opposed him at first for what they said, but then they all turned over, except for the following people: Justin Amash I have a lot of respect for him. “

Amash left home.With Bob Coker Jeff flake I left the Senate. Liz Cheney has lost her position in House leadership. What they all have in common is that they are Republican never trampers and heretics who oppose the dominant religion. Sanford followed the same fate.

“It’s getting more and more lonely,” he says. “I remember having a pretty enthusiastic conversation with my major donor. His claim is that the man is far from perfect, but he is the Republican president and has only one quarterback. It’s your role to support quarterbacks. My point is, no, it’s my role to support the ideas and ideals that the party has endorsed that they are supposed to actually support quarterbacks as well. It was that.

Three years ago, Sanford was beaten by a Trump-supporting candidate in a Republican primary. (President tweeted: “He prefers Argentina”). As he says, it was a result that struck “fear” on other Republicans in Congress and helped them line up. But he has no regrets.

“It was a big spiritual night. Four sons were with me and then we went to this place called Cook Out, which is a cheap burger place. We went until 3am We stayed there and talked about life and politics, and their investments. That’s all they knew so far, and everything they grew up with.

“To boys, or now young men, they all told Dad, if you need to go out, this is definitely the way to go out.”

So who did Sanford vote for in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections? He prefers to off-record his answers, except that he can easily guess who he didn’t vote for. Trump’s four-year presidency met his expectations and culminated in a “different world.” Riot at US Capitol On January 6, and he proved such a turn-off for suburban women fearing they might be lost to the Republicans for a generation.

After seven months, is he seeing signs that Trump’s grip is loose and the heat may break?He points to the example of his friend, fellow South Carolina Lindsey Graham, He initially blamed Trump, but is now a senator who is his regular golf companion. “We started together in Congress, and he is a very different school for these kinds of things and adapts where he needs to adapt to retain power.

“But I used him as a canary in a coal mine, and the fact that he doubled, tripled, and quadrupled in Trump speaks for itself. Whether you like him or not, he He has a good political nose for his base. He is familiar with South Carolina and reading tea leaves should not be dismissed. “

Sanford wants to remarry someday – “I don’t want to face life alone” – and then Halfway presidential primary For Trump in 2019, “If there was a man who never said, that would be me,” but I don’t think there is another political resurgence. For now, like any other anti-Trump Republican, he finds himself wandering in the wilderness.

“I’m a countryless citizen. I’m a shy conservative in the Jeffersonian sense, and now if you believe in those ideals, you certainly won’t find it in the Republicans, and It is even lost in the recent exercise itself because there is no exercise. “