AN OPEN LETTER TO THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN
PREFACE TO WEBSITE VISITORS: I am not an argumentative or confrontational person by nature. Probably to a fault, I seek to accommodate viewpoints other than mine and to learn from others. But I do pay attention to history, and to current events. Something scary is happening in our country. I think it needs to be addressed. I sent this letter to the RNC today. If you want to tell the Republicans at the highest levels what you think, you can do so by e-mailing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chairman Priebus and colleagues:
Please listen to me. I am a Conservative independent who has voted Republican in every presidential election since 1984. I’m well-educated, a student of U.S. history; evangelical Christian by faith. I have been very private about my political views until very recently. Beyond voting, I’ve been silent. This campaign has stirred me to act.
The political hero of my lifetime is Jack Kemp, an effective Conservative whose lifelong commitment against racism and for a society based on equal opportunity, is unassailable by any critic who knows his political and life story.
I am no friend of Progressivism. My biggest policy concerns are for limited Federal government, championing the Bill of Rights, equal opportunity, eliminating the national debt, and peace through strength. I want us to “defeat ISIS.” I do not believe Hillary Clinton will make a good president, and I hope to vote against her. But for that to occur, I need a credible, reasonable alternative candidate.
I have little interest in political correctness. I will unapologetically call “radical Islamic terrorism” what it is. But I will also draw the line at a religious litmus test that denies Muslims the ability to legally emigrate to the U.S. merely because they are Muslims.
I am now beginning to consider what had been unthinkable to me: should Donald Trump run against Hillary Clinton, in the absence of an alternative with a real chance to win I may vote for Clinton because the harm Mr. Trump will do to our republic will be more difficult to repair than the harm Mrs. Clinton will cause.
Every day that passes with no GOP refusal to repudiate Mr. Trump and disqualify him from carrying the party’s banner into the general election, is destroying the party’s credibility among principled Conservatives.
I urge that the GOP immediately separate itself from the candidacy of Donald Trump. Mr. Trump continues to demonstrate that he is not only unfit to be a head of state, but also that he represents a clear and present danger to the foundation upon which our republic is based.
I’m aware of the arguments you could make against my ask. Please read my response to a few of those, so you will understand that I, and millions like me, are really asking you to behave like patriots in the tradition of Washington, Jefferson, and Monroe:
1. You might say that to deny Mr. Trump a chance to earn the Republican nomination, would be to deny the voice of the people. I disagree. There is nothing in the law to prevent Mr. Trump to run on an independent ticket. Let him be true to his word to finance his own campaign from outside the GOP. The Republican Party has no duty to accept any and all comers. “Freedom of voluntary association” means the GOP has freedom to exclude those whose political views are deemed to be outside the boundaries of the Republican platform. This leads to my next point.
2. You might say that if the GOP more narrowly defines what is and is not acceptable within the party, it will exclude potential support for the party. I disagree. It is actually an opportunity to clarify to all Americans, the party’s focus, if in fact the GOP still has a focus on particular ideas. Americans are not just votes to be counted; many of us want to support principled leaders.
3. You might argue that party rules have no mechanism to pull the party’s support from Mr. Trump. I disagree. I never told my kids not to beat up the family dog; I didn’t have to. The kids always knew that would be wrong on the face of it. Mr. Trump’s intolerant remarks toward POWs, Muslims, women, Mexicans, the disabled, and others for whom he has little regard, spark divisiveness and hatred. We saw this in Chicago last night, March 11; I fear it is only the beginning. Mr. Trump has been beating up the family dog. The Republican Party need not tolerate this, even if there was no specific rule against it beforehand.
4. You might not believe that Mr. Trump represents a threat to the very fabric of our nation. I disagree. Assuming that you are familiar with his words, actions, and history, I do not need to tell you the ways in which he has positioned himself in direct opposition to American ideals that have given so many citizens over the last 240 years unparalleled opportunities to express our dissent, while still pursuing and achieving our dreams. When a candidate asks his mass of supporters to stand and raise their hands in a vow of support; when dissenting voices at his rallies are physically removed and the candidate expresses intolerance of dissenting voices and cheers on his security forces; I am reminded of a certain Austrian man who was allowed to rise to ascendency in Germany during the late 1920s and 1930s.
5. You might think that Mr. Trump has re-made himself, or can be re-made, into a true Conservative. I disagree. An examination of Mr. Trump’s life over his 69 years, is a large enough sample size for anyone who pays attention, to know who he really is. I was privileged to speak with Jack Kemp, and to serve my country in the military for eight years under Ronald Reagan. Mr. Trump is not, and will never be, even remotely comparable to either of these men.
In conclusion, I ask that the RNC and the Republican Party immediately, for its own good and the good of the nation, separate itself from the presidential candidacy of Mr. Donald Trump. The stakes are high; the survival of the GOP and a potential lurch of our nation into darkness for years to come, hangs in the balance. Now is the time for men and women of good conscience, to act.