Never Trump (From A Republican Girl's Point Of View)

The Republican party is leaving me behind.

Ronald Reagan famously said that the he didn’t leave the Democratic party, the Democratic party left him.

The implication here is of course that Reagan’s beliefs didn’t change, but that the Democrats drifted so far left that they left him behind.

Eighteen-year-old Megan voted Republican because she was raised to ― raised to believe in limited government, individual responsibility, a strong military, the sanctity of life, and religious liberty. When I was 18, I couldn’t necessarily put that into words, but one Political Theory degree and three years working in D.C. later, I know what I think.

However, I am increasingly starting to believe that, even if the majority of Republicans say that they too believe those things, we aren’t always on the same page.

I am not saying they’re wrong. Hey, when you’re in charge, you get to define the terms.

But I guess that’s just the Republican party leaving me behind.

They left me when they cheered louder for guns than for religious liberty.

They left me when they allowed pundits like Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh to guide national conversations with inflammatory rhetoric.

They left me when they nominated Donald Trump.

I echo many wise people when I say party loyalty does have its limits. I will never vote for Trump. And frankly I am baffled that he won a nomination from a party that purports to believe so many things Trump doesn’t stand for.

[The Republican party] left me when they cheered louder for guns than for religious liberty. ... They left me when they nominated Donald Trump.

Behind his tough guy and strong military blather, Trump has advocated virtually an isolationist position on the world stage. He wants to abandon our responsibilities to NATO, ignore our allies, and withdraw from major trade agreements. He shows little understanding of world events, and he has no comprehensible foreign policy and no cohesive plan to use the military abroad.

Trump also has no respect for other human beings, let alone the sanctity of life. He has argued for an inhumane immigration policy, torture, killing foreign innocents, and repeatedly mocks and disrespects people who do not follow his narrative, from women, to Mexicans, to POWs, to disabled reporters. Being pro-life doesn’t stop at the womb, and it’s debatable whether he can even call himself pro-life there. Tangentially, he cannot rationally be considered a champion for traditional values, when he himself has bragged about his dalliances with women and even posed on the cover of Playboy.

Fundamentally, Trump has no respect for religious liberty, unless you are a Christian... I think. Honestly, it’s hard to tell because every time he mentions Christian things, it comes across as pandering  (“Two Corinthians” anyone?). Regardless, his apparent application of religious freedom is ironic and self destructive because religious liberty must be granted to ALL religions for ANY religion to benefit. Otherwise, whoever is in power gets to determine the religious flavor of the day, to the detriment of other religions. Religious liberty for one religion is not religious liberty. It is an established religion.

For a party that has continually questioned the Christianity of President Obama, Republicans are easily duped. I personally find more reprehensible a candidate who uses my religion to manipulate me than someone who just does his own thing.

Perhaps most importantly, Trump is untrustworthy. Aside from my reasons above, I have no reason to believe a single word Trump says. He is opportunistic, both with his use of religion and his claimed conservatism. He cannot discuss any sort of political philosophy intelligently, doesn’t read, and shows disdain for anyone who questions him.

He preys on fear. He is petty, dramatic, and a bully. I do not understand how the same people who call Obama arrogant, Hillary a liar, and the Black Lives Matter movement hateful can at the same time support a man whose public appearances are dripping with hate, falsehoods and narcissism.

I can already hear the objections, the pleading to vote for Trump because he is our nation’s only hope against “Lying Hillary.” “We can’t let Hillary nominate Supreme Court Justices.” “He is the lesser of two evils.” “This election is critical to our nation’s future.”

Let me stop you right there. For my entire voting life, I have been told every election that THIS election is the most important of my lifetime and my allegiance is demanded to vote down the party ticket, regardless of the candidate.

We, as Americans and Republicans, cannot afford to have a President Trump. A vote for him is not a vote for lesser evil. It is still a vote for something evil.

For most of my life, I obliged. And further, I was suspicious of third party voters, of voters whose morals were “too pure” to vote for McCain and Romney. And I joined in the chorus of moderates who somewhat blamed them for Obama’s victories.

But for the first time, I understand where they are coming from. True, I think they drew the line in the sand way too early; but now I am with them at that line.  

We, as Americans and Republicans, cannot afford to have a President Trump. A vote for him is not a vote for lesser evil. It is still a vote for something evil.

Perhaps if we had tried a long time ago actually to do the right thing, to nominate and elect the right candidates, instead of voting only to “defeat the Democrats,” we wouldn’t be in this mess.

There is more to our party than defeating Democrats... at least there should be. Otherwise our party doesn’t deserve to exist any longer. We owe it to ourselves, our country, and future generations to offer something better.

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