My May 2016 Open Letter To The Republican Party.
I sounded the alarm early posting this on May 6, 2016 on Facebook. I was not yet posting on Medium. It discusses my Republican Party “identity crisis.” I repost it here now though it obviously failed to convince enough fellow Republicans to follow me.
Dear Republican Party
I am having an identity crisis. For over four decades, for longer than my entire adult life, I have identified myself as a Republican, and done so proudly. I first voted Republican for President in 1976 when I voted for Ford over Carter. I have voted for Reagan twice, both Bushes twice, for McCain and for Romney. This year, for the first time in my life I will not vote for a Republican for President.
If Donald Trump’s absurd to the point of being surreal conspiracy theorist cult lies about everything from Obama’s birth certificate, advance knowledge of 9/11 by President Bush, vaccines causing autism, and Ted Cruz’s father being involved in the JFK assassination, doesn’t disqualify him for being mentally unhinged, then certainly his racist tweets from white supremacists (combined with his hesitancy to condemn the KKK), his vulgar comments about women, his mocking of a man’s handicap, establish him as nothing more than a demagogue pandering to the worst biases and hate among us. His most recent racist attacks on a Federal judge risk undermining the independence of our judiciary, and are part of a long pattern evidencing racism. This is a man whose own rise was through hateful belittlement of others, that was often maliciously false, yet he seeks to undermine the protections we all have under the First Amendment so he can sue others for having the audacity to say bad things about him. It is shameful that the Republican Party would nominate such a man, I will certainly not participate in electing him to the highest office in the land.
I will not place myself in the position of having to explain to my wonderful daughters how I could vote for a man that says such vulgar and demeaning things about women. Nor will I put myself in the impossible to defend position of explaining to my handicapped friends why I voted for a man who would grotesquely mock a handicapped man and then lie about it. Voting against Trump is a given for me.
However, my self conflict goes much deeper than just not voting for this one man, and this goes to that identify crisis. I find myself asking whether I can continue to regard myself as a member of a party that would nominate such a vile troll as Donald Trump to be President of the United States. I simply have no desire to identify myself with people who could collectively elevate such an unstable hate mongering demagogue to their highest position. I really don’t want be part of any “club” that would do that.
As I struggle with this identity crisis, I have made one determination on how I will vote this November. Every vote I cast, for every candidate at every level, shall be subject to the simple test of character evident in the candidacy of Donald Trump. I will vote against any candidate, for any office, who supports Donald Trump. I call upon all rational Republicans with a conscience to do the same.
I remember Ronald Reagan explaining his own departure from the Democratic Party by saying “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party, it left me.” I now find myself feeling much the same way about the Republican Party.