An election-eve appeal to Goldwater-Reagan-Kemp Republicans. Please share.
You’ve spent years arguing for a free-trade, free-market agenda as a key to hope, growth, and opportunity.
You’ve spent years seeing Hillary Clinton as an implacable opponent of that agenda. And you want to stop her from becoming President.
But you’re not going to stop her from becoming President.
The question you face is: will you cast a losing vote that you’re going to be ashamed of? One that betrays your ideals, in the service of a man who either doesn’t understand them or spits on them or both?
Reagan said “The freer the flow of world trade, the stronger the tides of human progress and peace among nations.” He didn’t look forward to self-destructive trade wars.
He said that accepting an election loss and the peaceful transition of power shows the world that “we are a united people pledged to maintaining a political system which guarantees individual liberty,” and praised our tradition of it as a “nothing less than a miracle” in the world’s eyes. He didn’t dabble in the idea of destroying that tradition.
“If we love our country, we should also love our countrymen.”
“We need protection for people who are in this country and who have not become citizens.”
“I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and who have lived here even though sometime back they may have entered illegally.”
He wanted to “make the border something other than a locale for a nine-foot fence” and maintained that “Latinos are Republicans; they just don’t know it yet.” He didn’t want to drive them away from the party for a generation.
“I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it, and see it still.” Harmony, peace, commerce, people of all kinds, and the doors are open: Ronald Reagan’s dream is Donald Trump’s nightmare.
As if he saw the fate of 2016 Republicans from Paul Ryan to Ted Cruz, Reagan warned about the temptation to “go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last -but eat you he will.”
He spoke for a Republicanism that called for walls to be torn down, not built up.
I don’t think that a Reagan Republican can feel anything but shame in voting for Donald Trump. Reagan always said that he didn’t leave the Democratic Party; it left him. This year the Republican Party has left you. You don’t want to strengthen the forces that took it away.
Now, I think the right call for a #NeverClinton Reagan Republican who has spent years believing in that open-trade, free-market agenda of hope, growth, an opportunity is to vote for longtime Republicans turned Libertarians Gary Johnson and Bill Weld, to keep a flicker of that vision alive for the next time around. “I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism,” Reagan said, after all. But I can see a case for Evan McMullin. If you can’t bring yourself to either of those, not voting, or doing as people like John Kasich and John McCain have done and writing in your favorite current Republican could both be defended. You’ve probably already thought about one of these, sometime this year, but you may have abandoned the idea in favor of a “realistic” option of stopping Clinton.
And casting a losing vote for Donald Trump only serves to put your stamp of approval on what he’s made of the Republican Party. The better he does tomorrow, the harder it will be to retake the party from him the day after. You will have, in the truest sense, wasted your vote; you’ll have signed up for a cause you don’t believe in, to no good effect. Don’t do it.
Think hard about what Donald Trump stands for.
In your heart, you know he’s wrong.