Typically, I reserve the first day of Fall for brainstorming my Halloween costume. Not today. This year is different. Decades from now, I won’t remember how clever my costume was…but I will remember what I did (or didn’t do) to participate in the most important election of our lifetime.
For both Trump and Clinton supporters, this election feels different. A struggle over the American identity. We can’t lose this one.
Confession: I believe Donald Trump is the most dangerous, ill-equipped Presidential nominee in generations (ever?). His win would shake my confidence in our democratic experiment.
A majority of the country agrees with me. But Trump still may win. How is that possible? Because even 10% of those who agree are thinking of voting for a 3rd party or not voting at all. The main reason: Maybe Clinton is just as bad as Trump?
Is that true? If you are genuinely undecided, where can you turn for honest information? The media is biased. Facebook feeds are pure nonsense. What information should persuade you either way?
A suggestion: Examine the criticism of both major candidates made by those who have the most to lose by criticizing them. In other words, what are their own party members saying about them? Don’t listen to their enemies, listen to those who presumably would be their friends.
Under this framework, the true difference between Trump and Clinton is clear. A staggering number of respected Republicans are risking their reputations and reversing years of tradition to publicly reject Donald Trump. The same is not true for Clinton. A sampling:
- Republican President George H.W. Bush – will be voting for Hillary Clinton — This is unprecedented. A former President voting for the opposing party’s candidate.
- Republican US Representative Chris Shays – will be voting for Hillary Clinton — “I think many Republicans know Donald Trump could cause great damage to our country and the world at large, and still plan to vote for him. But not me.”
- Republican Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson – will be voting for Hillary Clinton — “I’ll be voting for Hillary Clinton, with the hope that she can bring Americans together to do the things necessary to strengthen our economy, our environment and our place in the world. To my Republican friends: I know I’m not alone.”
- Republican National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft – will be voting for Hillary Clinton — “The Presidency requires the judgment and knowledge to make tough calls under pressure…Hillary Clinton has wisdom and experience to lead our country at this critical time.”
- Republican World Bank chief Paul Wolfowitz – will be voting for Hillary Clinton – “The only way you can be comfortable about Trump’s foreign policy is to think he doesn’t really mean anything he says.
- Republican Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez – will be voting for Hillary Clinton — “I would have preferred Jeb Bush, but I think Hillary is a great choice. I am afraid of what Donald Trump would do to this country.”
- Republican historian and writer Robert Kagan – will be voting for Hillary Clinton – “For this former Republican, and perhaps for others, the only choice will be to vote for Hillary Clinton. The party cannot be saved, but the country still can be.”
- Republican writer George Will – “Were he to be nominated, conservatives would have two tasks. One would be to help him lose 50 states—condign punishment for his comprehensive disdain for conservative essentials, including the manners and grace that should lubricate the nation’s civic life.”
- Republican Senator Lindsay Graham – “ There’ll come a time when the love of country will trump hatred of Hillary.”
- Republican Gov. Mitt Romney – “I wanted my grandkids to see that I simply couldn’t ignore what Mr. Trump was saying and doing, which revealed a character and temperament unfit for the leader of the free world.”
Those are not random names. They represent some of the most respected Republicans of the last generation (and they are just a sample). Let’s be clear: Never has a Presidential nominee faced anything remotely like this type of rejection from high corners of his own party.
This is a stark difference between the two candidates. For undecided voters it should be a big, red blinking light…Warning. Warning. This candidate it not normal.
- Based on today’s polling Donald Trump has a very real shot of becoming President of the United States.
- Trump continues to over-perform in polls where a 3rd party is present. His chance of winning increases with more 3rd party votes.
- Trump is relying on disgruntled voters to chose Johnson over Clinton.
- A Johnson vote is not wasted. It has real world consequences.
- A Trump win would only drag the Republican party further into the abyss. Returning to the party of competence, pragmatism, and classic conservatism requires a Trump loss and a party reset.
- The prudent choice in this one year, in this one line on the ballot, if you are in any sort of swing state, is a vote for Clinton.
Vote for Republicans or Libertarians in every other race this year. Vote for Republicans or Libertarians for President in future years. But this year…this office…this candidate is different. Use your vote to prevent President Trump.