THE TWELVE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS DONALD TRUMP HAS TAUGHT ME (Thing No. 4):
That reasonable people who love America should never vote for any Republican.
This has always been a personal rule of mine but I never faulted a friend for voting his/her conscience if it led them to the Republican column on the ballot. That was important for me in the town where I live because I am surrounded by some of the kindest most generous and gentle people you would ever meet. And around seventy per cent of them habitually vote for Republicans. And I do treasure their friendship. Well, some of them.
Most people vote for Republicans because they truly believe in limited government, private sector solutions, and any of several elements of conservative religious or social policy.
I hope they are able to resurrect a party that can help them make their vision of America real. My hope is partly grounded in my assessment that a Democratic Party without opposition will not be as wise in its governance as one which is constantly pushed to prove itself to voters in the marketplace of ideas.
But, as far as I am concerned, that marketplace has been so corrupted by dishonest vendors that only one party remains capable of governing in the year 2021.
The Republican Party has slipped slowly, but ever so surely, over the last fifty years into a morass of issues that have yielded us Donald Trump. Personally, I saw this coming in 1980 with the election of an actor of somewhat limited ability to the presidency.
He acted constantly against unions and what has since come to be known as the deep state. He broke the union movement with his mass firing of federal air traffic controllers. Not an activist by nature, my sense of what was happening to our country in the early 1980s led me to join a protest line for the first and only time I ever hit the streets to voice my opinion.
I became a member of CWA and joined other PATCO sympathizers and demonstrated at the fence outside Houston’s Intercontinental Airport (now Bush). I joined the protest because I saw the firing of the air traffic controllers as an assault on the right of workers to organize. It is not a right you find in the constitution. It was won the hard way through the confrontation of employer abuses with the righteous demands of workers. It was no trivial matter.
Reagan’s election also caused me to change my career path. I was planning a career in government public service but by 1982, with the president ridiculing public sector employees whenever he thought he could make the crowd laugh, I resigned my state job and joined the nonprofit sector.
And I never voted for another Republican, not that I had voted for a Republican before. But now it set a course from which I have never strayed. And I would tell any friend and my LJ brothers and sisters: Never vote for any Republican. Their interests eventually yielded Donald Trump’s presidency. The people who call themselves Republicans have a lot of soul-searching to do. I wish them success. We need an effective two-party system. I offer them my thoughts and prayers – but never my votes.