I’m not usually big on advertising my political affiliation, if only because I’ve met a lot of people who have immediately used it against me. Viewing someone as a lesser person, or an ignorant person, based on their political party… Well, that’s just not okay. Most of the people around me in my life are Democrats, and I love them all the same. More importantly, I respect them.
Respect. A concept I always believed to be the foundation of both political parties. While we may not always go forth during election season with it, it’s at least something we keep in the base of our platform. At least, it was, until very recently.
There’s an underlying issue in the GOP that I feel can no longer go unaddressed. To the men and women in charge of this party, we have a problem. We have to do something drastic if we hope to continue, not just in this election, but in general. If we do nothing, we will implode on ourselves and will lose everything we have stood for since 1854.
Technically, we have a few problems. A few problems that ultimately combine to make one giant problem, large enough to tear our party apart. Ultimately, our party is failing us. You are failing us.
Donald Trump is not fit to be President of the United States. I understand that many members of our party feel the same way toward Hillary Clinton, and I respect their opinion. However, Hillary is not our candidate. Hillary is, simply put, the Democrat’s problem. Let them worry about whether or not she is fit, because right now, we’ve got our own issue at hand.
The way he talks about women, regardless of his history with them, is absolutely disgusting. The things he says in general are pretty terrible. Most importantly, the individuals at the forefront of our party are saying things in support of him that are so beyond tolerable, and it’s going to ruin everything we have so far. To say that his words were “made when he was a Democrat” implies that he has since changed for the better by becoming a Republican. This mindset, that Republicans are better or somehow less ignorant than Democrats, is an issue. It says that we are right and they are wrong, which is exactly the kind of mindset that has created such a chasm of chaos between the parties that we are now unable to accomplish anything, regardless of the party who is “in power” in Congress.
To say that Donald Trump’s “arrogance is exactly what people are looking for” to send to Washington, D.C. is absurd. The idea that an arrogant man, with little to no respect for the people he deals with as President of the United States, is a “fix” or “solution” to the White House insinuates that the power of the Executive Branch is much stronger than it is. What’s truly wrong with our government cannot be fixed by an arrogant man with a lack of manners or a filter. It can only be fixed by a shift in priority, something I’ve been hoping we can accomplish for years now.
Each year, I get a survey from you, asking me what issues I think are important for the Republican party to stay strong on. Each year, I tell you the same things. Fight for gun control legislation that will protect our right to bear arms, but doesn’t allow a man who has been targeted by the FBI more than once to purchase a gun and shoot up a night club. Fight for the lives of unborn children, but don’t forget to talk about the options available to women who do not wish to become parents, both before and after conception. (Thank you, Gov. Pence, for saying that being pro-life requires you to be pro-adoption, because that sort of thing isn’t said nearly enough.) And for the love of all things ‘Murican, stop worrying about how to stop the LGBTQ community from gaining any ground whatsoever. Love is love is love is love, so let them get married. Because that’s a battle you’re going to lose, either way, and it’s not up to you to decide if it’s a sin or not. (Pssst… That’s God’s job! He’s pretty good at it, too.)
We had plenty of other alternatives. We had candidates who were running on the moderate side of the platform, and we ignored them. You fed into the Trump/Cruz drama, constantly setting them at center stage in Republican debates and focusing on their childish drama as opposed to the individuals who deserved more time to prove why they were a better candidate. You did this to us, and all because you can’t stand the idea of giving an inch to gain a mile.
Sometimes, conversations are hard. Sometimes, we have to say “I get where you’re coming from, and I understand that this is important to you. So let’s see if we can make things a little bit better for both of us.” Sometimes, you have to lay down the sword and shield with every intention of finding an outcome that is both sustainable and logical. Sometimes, you just have to concede on points your opponent is sticking to, but you often gain so much more in return.
The desire to win has become the driving force of our party, regardless of what it costs us.
Instead of saying “my way or the highway,” let’s just open the door to conversation. You don’t have to convert a Democrat to win the war. Have conversations, respectful and productive, and see what we can accomplish.
So to the men and women who lead this party, I’m begging you, please take a step back and consider the cost. Consider what we have to lose by working together (nothing) instead of focusing on winning at all costs (everything.) Do it for yourselves, but more importantly, for us. The next generation of Republicans who would like to have a chance to hold our heads high as we step into your shoes someday and continue the traditions of our party.