It is the Sunday before the 2016 elections and the Presidential race has tightened. For decades I have been a Republican. But having been raised in a home where Mom is a Democrat and Dad was a Republican, I’ve never hesitated to cross party lines when I felt a Democrat would better serve the interests of the United States.
I am also an evangelical Christian, a group that is more divided in 2016 than we have been since the rise of the Moral Majority. Many Christians have abandoned their previous Republican leanings because of the clear moral turpitude of the Republican candidate.
As we close in on decision day, many Republicans are calling for those of us who have not supported Trump or the Tea Party to “come home”.
Donald Trump is a racist who thinks that an American of Mexican-descent cannot be a fair judge in a trial. He has been sued for practicing discrimination in housing. He wants to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico. He claims this is to keep out the Mexican killers and rapists. You know who he means, right? The kind of immigrants that he had work on his Florida projects and then when he stiffed them he threatened to turn them in to the immigration authorities if they complained.
Donald Trump does not believe in freedom of religion. He believes all Muslims should be banned from entering the United States.
Donald Trump objectifies women. Worse than that he has bragged about sexually assaulting women. Words caught on tape that lead credence to the many women who have accused him of inappropriate sexual behavior. His advice to his daughter, should she be sexually harassed on the job? He said she should be the one to leave. If they followed his advice all of the women who work at Fox News and claim to have been sexually harassed by Roger Ailes, all of those women should have had to leave Fox News and leave the next female intern on her own to deal with the likes of Ailes. Normally, when faced with a misogynist, one would turn to the electorate and ask if this is the way you want your daughter to be viewed. Donald referred to his own daughter in a Howard Stern interview as a nice “piece of ____”.
Donald Trump has no history of any compassion toward the poor. No history of service to the community of any kind. According to a Washington Post article, since 2008 he has no history of every having made $1 of charitable donations – let alone the millions he has lied about giving. This past May he was pressured into making good on the $1 million donation to veterans families he had promised but up until then reneged on. There is a “charity” in his name. He used their funds to buy a picture of himself and get himself out of legal hot water. Think of it as a charity for needy billionaires.
Donald Trump claims that he will put a strict constructionist on the Supreme Court and protect our Second Amendment gun rights. Yet, he says that he may not accept the results of the election. He jokes about Second Amendment people taking care of Clinton if she wins. You might think he was joking about assassinating his rival. But he has offered to pay the legal bills for people who act out violently at his rallies against those who protest against him. Apparently, we need to skip the First Amendment and focus only on the second one. He has repeatedly said that he will lock Clinton up if he wins, a practice characteristic of evil dictators, not a democratic republic.
He claims that he will protect the lives of the unborn although in his pre-political life he was pro-abortion. Protecting the unborn is part of a respect for all lives – male and female, every race, every religion, every economic group. There is no evidence of that context in Trump’s position. Every church of any size to which I have belonged has supported a service where women can go to have unwanted babies with their health care taken care of, assistance in putting the baby up for adoption if that is the mother’s choice, even a place to stay if they lack family support. I have never heard a word from Donald about how he would serve mothers who are faced with unwanted pregnancies.
The same compassion that wants to protect our defenseless unborn inspires the church to build hospitals, medical clinics and schools in underserved American neighborhoods and countries around the world. Its the compassion that moves so many local churches to sponsor immigrants, like those from Syria. My kind of pro-Life candidate would be running on a compassion platform.
Republicans are being told to come home.
In my home and the home in which I was raised, we shared Martin Luther King Jr’s dream of a world where people will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. Racism is abhorrent to common decency and to a faith that believes we are all created in God’s image and created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights. As a white boy dating a black girl back in 1970, you know what upset my big sister? That I was dating one of her friends and any misbehavior on my part might jeopardize their friendship! That was my home.
I am a Baptist. We feel very strongly about freedom of religion and the separation of Church and State. Part of that is because our movement grew out persecution against those who held our beliefs. That is my home.
Our family motto could well have been, “If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” My mother is brilliant. In fact, I have only met one other person that came across to me as having a similar IQ. Even my grandparents’ generation, while maintaining traditional gender roles, did not belittle an opinion because it happened to be the opinion of a woman. Everyone has a voice and their voice is heard and given equal weight. The Long men do not talk about women as a number between 1 and 10 or as a nice “piece of ____”. Pull that crap and you will literally have your mouth cleaned out with a piece of soap.
I believe that an elected official should be a public servant. People without a history of private service have no place in public office. People who mock our soldiers for becoming prisoners of war or mothers of fallen soldiers have no place in public office. They do not grasp the concept of service. (I don’t know why I say “people”. In my whole life, Donald Trump is the only person I have heard stoop so low.)
In my house we were taught, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything. Beginning with the primaries, Donald Trump has brought nasty political speech to an historically low coarseness.
As a long-standing Republican, I want a Supreme Court justice who will protect the constitution, not just the Second Amendment, but the whole thing. The whole point of the court is to not cherry pick what they think are the “good parts” but protect the Constitution as it was written and the laws that have been passed in keeping with constitutional requirements. One cannot just go around encouraging violence against dissenters and locking up political rivals – not if one respects our constitution.
The Republican party of Lincoln, Reagan, and the Bushes is not the party of today’s basket of Tea Party obstructionists and alt-right bigots. When I hear these our-party-right-or-wrong folks telling me to come home to the Republican Party, I’m reminded of a story I heard decades ago. An older farmer and his wife were riding along in their pickup truck. His wife said, “Remember when we were young and so in love that you couldn’t slip a piece of paper between us when we were out riding in our pickup?” He looked back at her and said, “I ain’t moved.”
Republicans, if you want to restore your party to what it was. If you want to make the Republican Party great again. There is only one thing you can do. Vote for anyone but Donald Trump.