Election season is here. Our future leader battles it out on the debate stages and in the town hall events across America while our favorite political pundits speak their minds on cable television and on the editorial boards of newspapers. While I do love politics, I almost exclusively try to keep myself from blogging about it with the exception of a stated interest. With that said, this will be the exception because it’s an exception worth making.
First off, it is important to note that I am a registered Republican. I donate money to the Republican National Committee every year and even make small contributions to political candidates. While I am a Republican, that does not make me crazy. I believe in market solutions and common sense social reforms. I believe that we should protect our country from domestic and international threats. That is what it fundamentally means to be a Republican and what the GOP was founded on. Unfortunately, extremist influencers in the party have pushed us further to the right to the point that where we are instructed to hate gay people and same-sex marriage. We claim that our country is founded on “Judeo-Christian values” while our constitution says otherwise. We are instructed to deny facts and claim that global warming doesn’t exist, despite the insurmountable evidence from 99% of the scientific community.
Those are not my beliefs. The Republican party was founded on the principle of keeping government small, yet we insist on dictating what women can do with their bodies. I believe that a woman should have the right to have an abortion. I believe in marriage equality. I believe without a shadow of a doubt that global warming exists and that we, mankind, are to blame. Based on my beliefs, most would call me a “RINO“. But the sheer fact that we have such a label for conservatives who aren’t as conservative as the rest of the party just goes to show how broken my party is.
Flash forward to today: March 3, 2016. With the first Super Tuesday behind us, it has become abundantly clear that my party will nominate Donald J. Trump as our candidate. On the other side of the aisle, all signs point to Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic Party nominee. When my time comes to cast my ballot in the general election, I will vote for a democrat. Yes, I am a Republican voting for Hillary Clinton.
Source: Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images
My reasons are quite simple. I am not a bigot or a racist. I am not a xenophobe. I do not want to pull 11 million illegal immigrants out of their homes nor do I want to block Muslims from entering the country. Most recently though, I know for a fact what “white supremacy” is and I know what the agenda of the KKK is – I took a middle school history class. I do not stand for an organization that lynched thousands of African Americans.
None of us took Donald Trump seriously when he first announced he was running. The political pundits, myself included, all said that he wouldn’t make it through the summer. He wouldn’t make it through the fall. He wouldn’t make it past Iowa. But here we are, Donald Trump has 319 of the 1,237 delegates necessary for the nomination. With the alarm bells ringing and with no sight of stopping, I’ve come to realize that I must vote for Hillary Clinton in the general election if Trump is the nominee.
Am I disappointed that I must vote for a democrat? No. Am I disappointed that I am leaving the Republican Party? No. My party has left me and chosen to support a man who claims to “Make America Great Again”. I will still consider myself a Republican and a conservative because I know what my party was founded on. Call me a RINO. Call me an Obama Republican. Attach whatever label you wish. My only hope is that others wake up, listen to the canaries in the coal mine, and think about if a Trump America is an America that they want to live in.