An Open Letter to the Republican Party: Local, State, National
I have been a Republican for 40 years , ever since I voted for Gerald Ford in ’76, and witnessed, with dismay, the enthusiastic outburst within my Navy Boot Camp barracks when the Company Commander announced Jimmy Carter had won the election. (confession: I strayed once when I was stationed on the Left coast; there was something in the water!)
An American first, Conservative second, and then Republican, my loyalty lies with the United States Constitution and this great nation. I realize that the Republican Party needs to be a “wide tent” accepting many people with varied viewpoints, not just those that share my own conservative beliefs. Calling moderates “RINOs” and right-wingers “extremists” is not constructive or beneficial to the party, or America. I also don’t believe that if there was a conservative candidate that had a check mark next to every single conservative talking point, that that person should necessarily be the appropriate nominee, just as I do believe we NEED more than one party in our system; we NEED varied opinion and ideas. No one person or party is perfect and knows all at all times. A candidate with a staunch conservative record could also lack character and integrity, virtues I believe are crucial in a leader.
That being said, I have some deep concerns about the direction of the party, and I appreciate you taking the time to read and consider them. Please, do not take any of this personally.
America has taken an ideological turn to the left in recent years, and the Republican Party has been affected as well. As they say, the pendulum continues to swing. One thing that has been fairly steady in the past few decades, though, is republicans sticking with certain principles, such as those listed in the official Republican Party Platform: limited government, maximum freedoms and liberties, free enterprise, constitutional government, and restoring the American Dream. There is one candidate, if you look deeper and care about facts, that may be the polar opposite of these principles, and could tear the party, and the country apart more than has already been done. Here are some examples:
- Giving fuel to Hillary Clinton’s claim that Republicans are waging a “War on Women” is not the way to win a general election. Donald Trump’s disgusting attacks on Carly Fiorina and Megyn Kelly and others does not exemplify the values I have always associated with the Republican Party. The despicable comments he made regarding Fiorina’s looks and Kelly’s “bleeding” lady parts (you know that is what he meant) should make every republican shun him. Both of those ladies possess the character and integrity that Trump seems to lack. But those comments actually helped drive his polls up. That deeply disturbs me, and it should you, as well.
- Being captured on the battlefield and becoming a POW is not a dishonorable act. Unless your name is Bowe Bergdahl and you purposely left your post in search of comfort or alliance with the enemy, you are an American hero. John McCain was our nominee a few years back. As a conservative, I wasn’t overly-enthused about his candidacy, but I voted for him. More importantly, I recognize that his service in Vietnam as a warrior and a POW was honorable and heroic. Donald Trump only likes veterans who “weren’t captured.” Does that mean he also does not like veterans who had the audacity to be wounded? What does he think about our fallen heroes? The Republican Party that I knew valued every veteran who served honorably whether republican, democrat, or independent.
- Republicans have always been the advocates of freedom, individual liberty, and limited government. Many in the party were outraged in 2005 when the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision proclaimed that the government could take an individual’s property and hand it over to commercial enterprises if it fosters economic development. Trump wholeheartedly agreed with that decision and has even used it in his business dealings. Stealing someone’s property for another’s business venture is not a Republican value.
- For years Trump was pro-choice and even favored partial-birth abortions. Then, as he contemplated a run for president a few years ago, he suddenly had a change of heart and flipped to pro-life. Whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, was this sudden switch believable? His views on universal health care fit more in the Democratic Party instead of the GOP.
- The bankruptcies Trump’s businesses have filed over the years harmed not just his lenders. Banks and other lending institutions don’t just eat those losses, they pass them on to consumers. Us! Additionally, the banks needed bailouts, in part because of these types of business practices, and Trump supported us taxpayers paying the bill. Paying his bills. He also stiffed contractors and other hard-working Americans. If Capitalism is the “Force,” then Trump represents the “Dark Side.”
- The Donald has made the core of his campaigning a melting pot of insults, liberal solutions, personal and vicious attacks against fellow republicans, and dishonesty. Unprofessional. I wonder if he is also hiding ulterior motives and ambitions. Former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger once remarked that presidential candidate Barack Obama was a charlatan, who was deceiving the nation, and would ultimately harm it. He was right. I fear the Republicans now have a charlatan in their midst in Donald Trump.
- Trump’s widely recorded public tantrums remind me of a four-year-old than of a person that could be sitting in the Oval Office with the power to wage war and dramatically affect all of our lives.
- The damage Barack Obama has done to this country in so many ways will still be coming to light well after he is out of office. When I raised my hand to “preserve and defend” the Constitution, I meant it. I will never vote for a candidate whom I believe will harm the Constitution and this country. That includes Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump. If my preferred candidates are not nominated, I could vote for Bush, Christie, and even Kasich, but never Trump.
I uphold the former Republican values, not the ones that appear to be taking shape today. Trump talks tough on illegal immigration (something many of us are in agreement) and “promises” to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it; this “talk” does not qualify him as our nominee. We should look, instead, at his long history of comments and acts on a wide assortment of issues, and make a decision on them and not on his sudden flip flops on issues that make it appear he is more aligned with the Republican Party. Do not succumb to populism. His fellow candidate, Senator Ted Cruz, brought up Trump’s New York values. I go further and question today’s republican values. If they continue to align more with the other party I will be saddened that after forty years I must seek a divorce. I will have no part in harming this country or ignoring the Constitution. I fear Trump will not make America great again. Instead he will push it over the edge of the cliff where Barack Obama has placed it.
If you support Donald Trump my hope is that you will take a closer look at his record through the years. Please do not pick him for his rhetoric of the past few months. Thank you for reading this letter.
P.S. It interesting that former President Jimmy Carter’s favorite “republican” candidate is Donald Trump, because Trump is “malleable!”