For me, the time to make a decision about the election has arrived sooner than most. My absentee ballot arrived in the mail today and as a life-long Republican I could not bring myself to vote for my party’s nominee for President. I voted against Donald Trump and I am ashamed of my party for having nominated him for the office of Presidency.
When reading about the history of the Republican Party there is a lot to be proud of and inspired by. The Republican Party literally saved America from itself by freeing the slaves and healing the wounds of a nation devastated by a civil war. The first elected African Americans to Congress were Republican. Women voted Republican en mass in the first presidential election after the passage of the 19th Amendment. Martin Luther King Jr. was an Eisenhower Republican. The Civil Rights Act passed because a higher percentage of Republicans voted for the act than did the Democrats. When Democrats got America bogged down in Vietnam, it took a Republican to get our country out while saving America’s geopolitical positions. The first serious female presidential candidate was a Republican. Republicans were the party to deliver the deathblow to the Soviet Union—ending the Cold War without firing a shot. The first openly gay presidential candidate was a Republican. These are all parts of history that make the Republican Party such a wonderful and important party for the promise and idea of America.
Donald Trump’s campaign has gone against many of those traditional Republican values. His campaign has been one of demeaning Muslims, Hispanics, women, and war heroes. His foreign policy centerpiece is building a wall that can be seen from space—not tearing down walls. His political positions and words inspire bigotry and hate. His policies increase the chance of nuclear proliferation and would likely start international trade wars. The Trump/Pence ticket has the least amount of national security experience than any major ticket in modern history. The list of Republican national security advisers and experts who have refused to back Trump because of his policies and world view is extensive and long. No living President, Republican or Democrat, Conservative or otherwise, supports Trump. Donald Trump is not wise, he is inexperienced for the job of Commander in Chief, and he is frequently unhinged. The nomination of Donald Trump has been and is a catastrophe for the Republican Party.
Many of my fellow Republicans have left the party after the nomination of Trump. I do not blame them, but I do believe they are wrong to leave. Even though I am ashamed my party nominated Trump, it is important to remember the great history of the GOP and its many accomplishments. Currently, there are many leaders who serve the Republican Party well. And, looking to the future, there are many great GOP candidates who will serve their communities, states, and the country with great distinction. Even though my vote is against my party’s nominee for President this cycle, it would be wrong to give up on or leave my party—the Party of Lincoln, the Party of Reagan—because I realize my values are Republican and not Donald Trump’s. For those who are torn between Donald Trump and being a Republican, my message is this: You are not alone.