Friday, June 3, 2016

A Plea To My Republican Friends and Family Members

I understand that we differ in our politics. I understand that you may really dislike Hillary Clinton. But I beg and implore you NOT to vote for Donald Trump in the general election.

Although I voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012, I never would have asked you not to vote for McCain or Romney because as much as I disagreed with them, I at least thought they were legitimate candidates for the presidency.  Look, you don't have to vote for Clinton, you can go third party if you wish. Heck, I did that in 1996 and 2000 after being disgusted by the equivocating and conservatism lite of the Clinton-Gore administration. And I am not asking you not to vote for Republicans further down the ballot, as much as I may dislike them.

Trump is a special case. This is a man who has openly inflamed hatred against immigrants and Muslims. He has introduced notions once considered outside of the pale in our politics to the mainstream. He is instinctively authoritarian, and doesn't seem to have much interest in the First Amendment or the judiciary if those things can be used against him. He is also massively unqualified to be president, from his childish temper tantrums to his complete lack of experience in public office to his complete ignorance and lack of intellectual curiosity. He represents a danger to this country.

Although I disagree with your politics, I know you, my Republican friends and family, to be fundamentally decent people. Why give your vote to a man of such indecency? Many of you are devout Christians, but here is a man who is as opposite of Christ as you could find, from his spewing of hate to his celebration of crass materialism. If he was just a random someone who lived in your town you'd probably really dislike him, and judge him negatively for his two divorces to boot. Anything he has said about religion and "values" has been lip service, anyway. Do you really want to be played like that?

Some of you are in the business world. I've heard you complain of companies that use the justice system in frivolous lawsuits to shake you down for money, something Trump is known for.  Would you do business with someone who has such a rash of bankruptcies?  I even know one of you has had business dealings with Trump and you have spoken negatively about it in years past. Are you now going to give your vote to a man that you would not trust enough to do business with?

A lot of you are women. Are you really going to go out and give your vote to a man who has a long history of treating women with disrespect? A man who seems to regard women as some lesser form of life? I know you are strong women, why would you openly support a man who seems to have an insane hatred of strong women?

Knowing that many of you might be willing to vote for a man who appears to be against who you are as people and what you stand for, I am sad and disturbed. Just because he is the nominee of the party you vote for doesn't mean that he should automatically get your vote.  Just because the likes of Rubio and Ryan have shown themselves to be abject cowards does not mean that you ought to follow their path.

You should know, last of all, that if you do vote for this man come November, I will indeed question my assumptions of your decency, morality, and strong womanhood, so be prepared. You cannot claim to be those things and be a Trump supporter.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting. I am certainly not a Republican, but I am someone who is becoming increasingly disillusioned with American progressives, who is beginning to see left wing journalism and activism more as sanctimonious performances than attempts at social change. I am also really skeptical of the attempts to consciously change the culture in journalism and social media (I just don't think that's the way culture works or cultural change happens). And finally, I see after all of these years, I just don't belong with these people. It's not a matter of supporting different political positions, it's that I think differently, come from a completely different background, and different things matter to me. I spent more than a decade denying this. Under normal circumstances this wouldn't matter - what should matter in calling yourself a "liberal" or a "progressive" or whatever should be the positions you hold, but that's no longer the case in a highly politicized culture.

But I would never vote for Trump. I think he would piss away the last things that really are great about America. Now the sense of national good will was eroding long before he arrived on the scene, but he poured gasoline on it and lit on fire. Terrible.

James W.