Republicans Take Note: If Donald Trump becomes the Republican nominee, I will cross party lines in order to vote against him.
The prospect of a Trump presidency is too scary to keep to the “party line.”
It saddens me to see how far we’ve come from the Reagan era.
When President Ronald Reagan stood at the Brandenburg Gate, he spoke encouraging words of liberty. Take a look:
Behind me stands a wall that encircles the free sectors of this city, part of a vast system of barriers that divides the entire continent of Europe. From the Baltic, south, those barriers cut across Germany in a gash of barbed wire, concrete, dog runs, and guardtowers.
Farther south, there may be no visible, no obvious wall. But there remain armed guards and checkpoints all the same—still a restriction on the right to travel, still an instrument to impose upon ordinary men and women the will of a totalitarian state. Yet it is here in Berlin where the wall emerges most clearly; here, cutting across your city, where the news photo and the television screen have imprinted this brutal division of a continent upon the mind of the world. Standing before the Brandenburg Gate, every man is a German, separated from his fellow men. Every man is a Berliner, forced to look upon a scar.
As long as this gate is closed, as long as this scar of a wall is permitted to stand, it is not the German question alone that remains open, but the question of freedom for all mankind. Yet I do not come here to lament. For I find in Berlin a message of hope, even in the shadow of this wall, a message of triumph.
But in the West today, we see a free world that has achieved a level of prosperity and well-being unprecedented in all human history. In the Communist world, we see failure, technological backwardness, declining standards of health, even want of the most basic kind—too little food. Even today, the Soviet Union still cannot feed itself. After these four decades, then, there stands before the entire world one great and inescapable conclusion: Freedom leads to prosperity. Freedom replaces the ancient hatreds among the nations with comity and peace. Freedom is the victor.
And now the Soviets themselves may, in a limited way, be coming to understand the importance of freedom. We hear much from Moscow about a new policy of reform and openness. Some political prisoners have been released. Certain foreign news broadcasts are no longer being jammed. Some economic enterprises have been permitted to operate with greater freedom from state control. Are these the beginnings of profound changes in the Soviet state? Or are they token gestures, intended to raise false hopes in the West, or to strengthen the Soviet system without changing it? We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace.
There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
Contrast Reagan’s famous words, words about tearing down barriers between peoples, with these words from Donald Trump:
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.
But I speak to border guards and they tell us what we’re getting. And it only makes common sense. It only makes common sense. They’re sending us not the right people.
It’s coming from more than Mexico. It’s coming from all over South and Latin America, and it’s coming probably — probably — from the Middle East. But we don’t know. Because we have no protection and we have no competence, we don’t know what’s happening. And it’s got to stop and it’s got to stop fast.
A lot of people up there can’t get jobs. They can’t get jobs, because there are no jobs, because China has our jobs and Mexico has our jobs. They all have jobs.
“I will build a great wall — and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me —and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”
We can do it for $10 billion to $12 billion, and it’s a real wall. This is a wall that’s a heck of a lot higher than the ceiling you’re looking at. This is a wall that’s going to work.
Mexico will pay for it, because they are not doing us any favors. They could stop all of this illegal trade if they wanted to immediately. Mexico will pay for the wall. It’s a small portion of the kind of money that we lose and the deficits that we have with Mexico.
Reagan talked about tearing down walls. Trump talks about building them.
I’m also struck by the contrast between how Reagan viewed the Soviet Union’s leadership and how Trump viewed the Soviet leadership. From Reagan:
And now the Soviets themselves may, in a limited way, be coming to understand the importance of freedom…Are these the beginnings of profound changes in the Soviet state? Or are they token gestures, intended to raise false hopes in the West, or to strengthen the Soviet system without changing it? We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump, in 1990, said this about these changes taking place in Russia:
Russia is out of control and the leadership knows it. That’s my problem with Gorbachev. Not a firm enough hand.
I predict he will be overthrown, because he has shown extraordinary weakness. Suddenly, for the first time ever, there are coal-miner strikes and brush fires everywhere– which will all ultimately lead to a violent revolution. Yet Gorbachev is getting credit for being a wonderful leader and we should continue giving him credit, because he’s destroying the Soviet Union. But his giving an inch is going to end up costing him and all his friends what they most cherish-their jobs.
Donald Trump believes in the value of a “firm hand” in government leadership. He believed that the “gestures” the Soviets were making toward freedom, (here described by Reagan):
We hear much from Moscow about a new policy of reform and openness. Some political prisoners have been released. Certain foreign news broadcasts are no longer being jammed. Some economic enterprises have been permitted to operate with greater freedom from state control
“strength. That shows you the power of strength. Our country is right now perceived as weak … as being spit on by the rest of the world–
Let that sink in, why don’t you?
Releasing political prisoners from prison, not jamming foreign newscasts, freedom from state control…allowing demonstrators to exercise their rights….is weak, according to Trump. It is “giving an inch.”
What kind of leadership, then, would he bring to the United States, when we have demonstrators and picketers? Would he uphold the Constitution? How will he view Freedom of the Press when he becomes President and is attacked for his policies and statements? He spoke about that at a rally in Fort Worth last Friday:
“One of the things I’m going to do if I win… I’m going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money,” Trump said during a rally in Fort Worth, Texas.
“We’re going to open up those libel laws so when The New York Times writes a hit piece, which is a total disgrace, or when the Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they’re totally protected,” he said. “We’re going to open up libel laws and we’re going to have people sue you like you’ve never got sued before.”
Intimidation tactics like these threats to “sue you like you’ve never got sued before” in an attempt to stifle First Amendment rights are an affront to what it means to be a free American. How do you define “purposely negative,” “horrible,” and “hit piece?” Based on Trump’s track record, it’s probably anything that Donald Trump THINKS is negative.
In his own words, Donald Trump is exposed for who he really is: someone who wants to build a giant wall (which could be used to keep us in as well as keeping others out) between peoples…who insults neighboring nations…who thinks government leaders need to take a “firm hand” to protesters…who thinks exercising First Amendment Rights is worthy of being sued. It’s not even about party platforms anymore — Trump’s own words are a scary look inside a proto-fascist mindset.
If he becomes the Republican nominee, I will vote against the Republican ticket, even if it means voting de facto for Hillary Clinton through a third party, because that will mean that the Republicans I believed in — the Reagan Republicans, no longer exist. The party will have been hoodwinked just as the masses were hoodwinked by Hitler, years ago.
I will exercise my right to vote in order to PREVENT what I see is a train wreck in the making. If Donald Trump ends up the face of the Republican Party, I will cross the line. Freedom itself is at stake.