OPUS Mag

Far from timid • Caveat Lector

I'm A Republican & Can't Vote Trump

I'm A Republican & Can't Vote Trump

When I thank Donald Trump, it is with the utmost sarcasm and disgust. All my life, I have considered myself a republican (despite my great disdain for this basic labeling of political beliefs based on a two-party system; also, in full disclosure: I voted for President Obama’s re-election in 2012) and I have been proud of it. Donald Trump has done nothing but wither away that pride, and replace it with great disappointment and introspection.

Unfortunately, nowadays when you hear that somebody is a republican, you automatically assume that they are probably (at least to some extent) a bigot, hate minorities, hate the poor, hate women, and want to oppress anybody that isn’t a large corporation. I assure you, I couldn’t be further from any of those things.

When the republican nomination seemed to become a lock for Trump, and Bernie lost major ground to Hillary, I began slowly talking myself into the idea of casting my vote for Trump in November, but every day he worked harder and harder to lose my vote.

When he talked about gathering up all the Muslims and forcing them to identify themselves in order to “make our country safer,” I simply shook my head and said “that’s a crazy suggestion, but I was born an American citizen and there’s not much he could do to me, this is just empty banter and I will not let it bother me.”

When I saw the way his family stood by his side and worked with him every step of the way, I threw my fist in the air in celebration as this was confirmation that he was a family man, and the republican ideology of “family values” was one that I took great pride in. Then I saw all the disgusting ways in which he verbally attacked women, and I couldn’t help but question what kind of man he is. Then I heard the tapes of the disgusting things he said he does/did to women, and I was repulsed. Then I saw all the confessions from women of his past that were coming forward with stories of his actions, and it was becoming harder and harder to even attempt to shrug it off as just your averaging smearing of a candidate’s character, and accepting it as reality.

As if that wasn’t enough, he was also on record talking about a 10-year old girl and saying he’d probably be dating her in 10 years, which really made me wonder what kind of “strong family values” kind of man Trump actually is.

Another major draw to the Republican Party, for me, in the past has been this idea of smaller government and more of a laissez-faire approach to business regulation. It was no secret to me that many of the wealthiest people in this country used the tax codes to their advantage, but it was always something that people would do in the shadows and just accept as a way of getting things done. Not Donald, nope. Donald got on national television and bragged that not paying taxes made him smarter.

I come from the school of men like Andrew Carnegie and The Gospel of Wealth; this is to say that I believe those with great resources have an obligation to give back and do for others.

Where did Trump stand on the matter? Well, allegations broke out of him using money from his charitable foundation to settle lawsuits from his for-profit businesses.

Yet another point along which I’ve generally aligned myself with the GOP is the 2nd Amendment. I will one day, hopefully soon, put out an entire article explaining my thoughts and feelings on the 2A and gun rights. In the meantime, I’d like to acknowledge that there are two major groups here: your average person who believes in checks and balances (me!), and the people who take things too far. I’m sure you can already guess which group was most vocal in their support Trump, and that was yet another major turn off. We, gun owners, are a very peaceful group who don’t want any problems with anybody; some of us are hobbyists, and some of us just want to protect our loved ones and ourselves from danger. Trump essentially said at a rally of his that the 2nd amendment advocates could find a way to deal with Hillary; and it wasn’t really ambiguous what he meant, and it wasn’t at all something that any sensible person would condone.

I could continue to go further into detail about all of the reasons with which I have considered myself a republican in the past, but at this point I feel like I have begun to paint a theme of how Trump has taken everything republicans like myself stand for and bastardized it. He portrayed himself as an anti-establishment guy, but he’s actually dealt with many of those same establishment guys all his life and is no different than them. He claims he’s bold and a leader, but he’s brash and conceited. If “the Bears are who we thought they were” then Donald is “who he said he wasn’t.”

Donald Trump has not made America great again, nor do I feel like that is something he is capable of. If anything, Donald Trump has made America hate again. I do not for one second believe that this recent surge of hatred across the country was invented by Trump, but I cannot deny that he and his supporters have decided that it is acceptable once more to openly project that hatred, and have considered it some great triumph of theirs.

I would also like to plead with the members of the GOP to sit down and ask themselves who we truly are, and who we would like to be moving forward. Cast aside the evils of the hateful people who have bastardized our once great party, remember your roots (Abe Lincoln was a Republican), and let’s move forward as a party of the people for the betterment of our society.

Also, I wanted to be explicitly clear that my views on Trump are not an endorsement of Hillary Clinton or any of the other presidential candidates. I view voting as an important civic duty, but cannot find a presidential candidate worth voting for. With that in mind, I will be headed to the polls on Nov. 8th, and will be writing in the name of a man whom I feel would make a terrific politician, and hopefully one day he will consider politics, that man is none other than: Shawn Corey Carter.

Just remember that there is so much more at stake and up for election this November, so get out to the polls and cast your ballot; your voice matters.

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