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viewpoint

Trump delenda est

| Wednesday, November 2, 2016

In the wake of Trump’s taped admission of sexual assault, a smoldering rebellion burst into flame. Many Republican senators, governors, congresswomen, congressmen and Senate nominees withdrew their endorsements and called for Donald Trump to step down, while many more unequivocally condemned him for his remarks.

However, many Democrats and “Never Trump” Republicans have been quick to ask the obvious question. Were these 18 Republican senators who have called for Trump to step down truly ignorant of the nature of this candidate?   When Trump demonized an entire faith and proposed blatantly unconstitutional restrictions on Muslim immigration, why did they stand by him? When Trump frequently and repeatedly dismissed his political opponents and critics with sexism and racism, did they hear him? Were they silent when Trump courted the alt-right, abandoned any commitment to shrinking the size of government, rejected Republican arguments for religious liberty, promised to garnish the wages of Mexicans working the United States and threatened a trade war with China?

They were terrified of Trump and his voters, of the Republican National Committee and its power to imperil their funding, committee spots, and re-election chances.  As the east coast went to bed, Senator Mike Lee called upon Donald Trump to step down as the Republican nominee. Yet the true call to action that Republicans heard was: be not afraid. As the most conservative senator in the nation finished his remarks, many Republicans — who lacked the courage to lead a conservative revival — showed at least the courage to follow Lee.

There are many who recognize the gravity of Trump’s crimes, denounce his sexism, racism and Islamophobia, and reject the majority of his policies both foreign and domestic, yet insist that all conservatives must unite behind Trump to defeat Hillary Clinton. They correctly note that RNC Chair Reince Priebus and Paul Ryan are unwilling to start the uncertain and dangerous process of forcing out a nominee, while Donald Trump has no intention of stepping down himself.

Since Republican leadership lacks the courage of Senator Lee, I would advise Republicans to unite behind Evan McMullin. While Trump supports the religious liberty of neither Christians nor Muslims, Evan McMullin reaches out to the social conservatives and Muslims Trump has abandoned. McMullin promises to show compassion to refugees and strength to Russia. McMullin respects our veterans after years of military service, understands America’s security challenges from his years in the Central Intelligence Agency and is ready to sign conservative legislation from the congressmen and congresswomen he advised as the House GOP Policy Director.

Republicans must not allow Trump to remake the party in his own image: marginalizing social issues, spending cuts and reduced federal authority in favor of a restrictive immigration policy, protectionism and a confused and immoral foreign policy. Religious leaders must not sacrifice their credibility before their congregations, young voters, women and minorities by embracing Donald Trump. I commend those who have retracted their former statements. Before we imperil unprecedented conservative power at the state level, lose our majorities in the House and Senate, damage the credibility of our conservative organizations and taint our future presidential candidates, we must consider an alternative. I urge my fellow conservatives to vote their conscience. I urge them to vote for Evan McMullin.

 

Tom Olohan
Class of 2016
Nov. 1

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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