To the Editor:
I grew up a Republican and remained a Republican for much of my life. I am now a registered Independent. I am a veteran having served in Vietnam. And today I am very concerned for the future of our country should Donald Trump be elected in 2024. His first term provided a reflection of his governing philosophy. He has demonstrated no respect for our constitution, for our democracy, for our allies, or for the institutions which hold our democracy together.
During his first term he:
• Valued the relationship with dictators of Russia, China, and North Korea over our democratic NATO allies
• In Helsinki he trusted the word of Putin over that of our intelligence agencies when asked of the involvement of the Russians in our 2016 election.
• Passed a tax bill to the benefit of the rich and large corporations which provided only marginal benefit to average taxpayers.
• Poorly managed the COVID pandemic telling in a recorded conversation with reporter Bob Woodward how serious the virus was but in public telling people not to be concerned.
• He has undermined the credibility of our governmental institutions attacking the work of the FBI and the CIA.
• While he claims to support our military and its veterans, he repeatedly dismissed the contributions of veterans and people who gave the ultimate in the service of our country.
• When John McCain was terminally ill, he requested that Trump not attend his funeral.
• Following the 2020 election he refused to accept the results falsely claiming election fraud. He lost the popular vote by over 7 million votes. He refused to accept the results of the election even after 60+ court cases found no fraud.
• Faith and confidence in fair elections is a pillar of our democracy. With his attacks on the election process and refusing to accept results he undermined the confidence of voters in our election process.
• Instigated the January 6 Washington demonstration which lead to the attack on our Capital while congress was in joint session to vote on certification of the 2020 election. This was an attempt to overthrow our election process and to remain in office.
• He refused to accept a peaceful transition of power and refused to attend the inauguration of President Biden, a long-held tradition.
John F. Kelly, retired four star Marine general and former Trump chief of staff, stated, “What’s going on in the country that a single person thinks this guy would still be a good president when he’s said the things he’s said and done the things he’s done. It is beyond my comprehension he has the support he has.”
With a record such as this I find it difficult to understand the blind support many Republicans have for Trump when there are other Republican candidates who better reflect the values and traditions of the Republican party and the values on which our country was built. His campaign speeches demonstrate a total disrespect for the values on which our country was founded saying if elected his administration will be based on “retribution” of those who opposed him or did not support him referring to them as “vermin”.
For the survival of our democracy the MAGA community must make an unemotional examination of the person, Donald Trump, his record, and the fact he now faces indictment in New York, Washington D.C., Georgia, and Florida. Any other person with his record running for the presidency would no longer be a viable candidate. In 2024 if Trump is on the ballot, it will be a choice between his promised autocracy or a candidate who supports our constitution and democracy.
My question, how can people who believe in the values of our country for which many fought and died, support this man for president?
Village of Sanibel