The reason for Republicans to vote Democrat in the next presidential election is that Donald Trump is the likeliest Republican nominee. And a vote for Donald Trump is a vote for the dissolution of the Republican Party.
The two of us like to think of ourselves as progressives. But we have family who are Republicans (or, at least, distant acquaintances). So, we respect the fundamentals of a Republican capitalism: a self-reliant, debt-free republic protected by a military budget big enough to guard several dozen less ambitious democracies.
Granted, Trump already has managed to put a hole in the bottom of each of those boats, creating a society in which only billionaires can afford self-reliance; in which the republic continues to sink deeper into debt; in which the military, police and security services are given money instead of respect.
If Republican principles are to survive, Republicans must vote Democrat — for 10 reasons:
1. Trump is a racist. We’ve had other presidents who were racists but (except for Woodrow Wilson) they lived in the 19th century, which we believed to be less enlightened, more inclined than modern times (we thought) to telling women of different colors and religions to “get out” of our white America. Trump has reminded us that there are a lot of us for whom the 19th century is today.
2. Trump is a liar. We know because The Washington Post tells us so. Which we may be inclined to doubt, as our president calls WAPO “fake news.” But Trump’s lies are too big and too many for even fake news to fake. (More than 12,000 lies since he became president, and counting.)
3. Trump doesn’t pay taxes. According to an exhaustive report (in The New York Times), Trump has swindled American taxpayers out of half a billion dollars. It would take the annual tax of 55,000 citizens like us to make up the deficit from Trump’s stiffing the IRS.
4. Trump’s tax cuts are a lie (unless you are rich). The Koch Brothers received a $1.5 billion windfall from the Trump tax bill. Sheldon Adelson got $650 million. If you are an average American, you got $1,800. And that will be more than offset by the added cost of goods you will be paying because of Trump’s ridiculous trade war.
5. Trump is a Demon of Deficit Spending. Trump’s tax and spending bills project a deficit of $1 trillion next year. That’s 1 followed by 12 zeros. But not to worry. The Republicans — who hate deficits — already are talking about offsetting the deficit by cutting Medicare and Social Security benefits.
6. Trump is an abuser of women. He constantly bullies and demeans women. Women of color. White women. All women. He is credibly accused of sexually assaulting 19 women, and counting.
7. Trump hates children. He has illegally (and heartlessly) separated thousands of immigrant children from their parents. (And counting.)
8. Trump is a climate change denier. Old sea maps, when they ran out of “known world” to chart, stated simply: “Beyond here be monsters.” We’ve found the monster.
9. Trump has a despot’s opinion of the media. When he threatens the press, he threatens our democracy. And our security agencies. And our Congress. And anyone who disagrees with the One True Trump.
10. Trump continues to lie, to destroy, to corrupt the republic and what once were the moral, decent attitudes of a free people.
If re-elected, will he destroy the world? Maybe not.
Maybe just the Republican Party.
Bob Rees, Ph.D., teaches religion at Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, Calif.
Clifton Jolley, Ph.D., is president of Advent Communications, Ogden.