As noted in a previous post, Donald Trump appears to be in serious trouble in Utah. Adding to Trump's problems is an op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune by David Irvine (pictured at right), the former chairman of the Davis County Republican Party and a former Republican member of the Utah House of Representatives, which sets out why Irvine, a life-long Republican, will vote for Hillary Clinton on November 8, 2016. While I applaud the Republicans now fleeing the GOP and/or Trump, the sad reality is that, if they had resisted the GOP's cynical embrace of racism, homophobia, anti-immigrant animus, homophobia, and other forms of misogyny, the party base and overall atmosphere that made Trump's nomination possible would never have occurred. Perhaps, better late than never is about all that can be said for these Republicans who for far too long closed their eyes and held their noses. Here are op-ed highlights:
I spent the past few weeks tramping through the ruins of lost empires. There's a Planet of the Apes surrealism to ancient Corinth, and it's hard not to see parallels between the Delian League and NATO. Delos, Ephesus and Mycenae are the rubble of once-powerful civilizations. . . . It's impossible to survey the deserted landscapes and not ponder the causes of decline and collapse. . . . .Americans like to think we are exceptional, but that's a fraught assumption.An airport layover in Dusseldorf left me with some time to kill. There were a couple of women sitting nearby reading German newspapers, which prompted me to ask them what they thought about the American election and Donald Trump. Their responses were carefully measured, but here's the gist: "Why would your country elect such a dangerous person — not just such a danger for you, but such a danger for the rest of us?" "He's just not a serious person; he doesn't seem to know much about the rest of the world." "He is a crazy man."
I've been an active Republican for all of my adult life. That this venerable political party, once home to visionary thinkers and leaders, could hand its presidential nomination to Trump, who seems not to know how much he doesn't know and could not care less, is unfathomable to me. It is unfortunate that so many of those who claim to be leaders of the congressional and presidential wings of the Republican Party have long since made their Faustian bargains and are actively endorsing a totally self-centered know-nothing who behaves like the caricature of a banana-republic dictator.
There's a point where this failure to withdraw an endorsement becomes a self-indicting embrace of a demagogue's values.
Trump is riding astride the Four Horsemen of Calumny he has resurrected from an earlier and equally dismal Republican playbook: Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry and Smear. Then-Sen. Margaret Chase Smith, R-Maine, coined the phrase on June 1, 1950, as the first in the Senate to oppose Sen. Joe McCarthy. Smith's "Declaration of Conscience" laid out four fundamental American values that McCarthyism and now Trumpism seek to trample: (1) the right to criticize, (2) the right to hold unpopular beliefs, (3) the right to protest and (4) the right of independent thought.
Some retired military flag officers, for whom I have high regard, contacted me about endorsing Hillary Clinton, which I've agreed to do. There's irony here, because 98 percent of them are either Republicans or unaffiliated voters. That they feel so strongly about this election says a lot.
We see this as a matter of high stakes when it comes to national security and which candidate has the temperament to make critical decisions about war and peace. Trump revels in being a bull in a china shop, but that mentality scares seasoned national security hands to death.
Elections are always gambles; candidates are rarely perfect. . . . Most Utahns loathe Trump, for admirable reasons. Yet we live a political reality that unless Hillary Clinton gets more electoral votes, Trump and his tweeting fingers will be moving into the White House, where the nuclear codes also reside. There have been Utah voices urging Utahns to either not vote or vote for a third-party candidate — on "principle" — but it's really a binary choice.
It's entirely possible that this election could turn on Utah's electoral votes. Recognizing that reality, every Clinton vote is crucially important. A non-vote or a Johnson vote is a vote for Trump.
I totally agree with the last sentence. Trump must be stopped.