Letter to the Editor: Trump Is Not a Republican

I was touched to see Reed Saunders’ recent letter to the editor. As a lifelong Republican, Mr. Saunders made the appeal for “someone” to engage in a “civil discussion” and present valid arguments to support the reelection of President Trump. Although I cannot offer him any valid arguments for reelecting this president, I would like to assuage any distress that he or other Republicans may feel in supporting Joe Biden.

Simply put, President Trump is really not a Republican. He has become a party onto himself and, in the process, has cynically cast aside long-standing goals of the Republican Party such as advancing democracy and the rule of law, supporting international alliances and standing up to autocrats around the world. 

In my view, President Trump has demonstrated that his goals and the “principles” that guide his behavior are far less noble: never admit error, never assume personal responsibility, shift blame whenever possible and focus exclusively on what is in his self-interest. In the “Party of Trump,” helping the disadvantaged and making personal sacrifices for the greater good are for “suckers.” This is not the kind of Republican my hard-working, middle-class parents taught me to appreciate.

I, too, was a moderate Republican for most of my adult life, but during the past three and a half years, I’ve been horrified by Trump’s bullying behavior, denial of science and habit of stoking fear of the “other.” Whether it’s fear of Mexicans, Muslims, China or, now, the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s all part of a callous and un-American strategy: Use hate speech to divide our country and divert attention from his incompetence and utter failure to effectively deal with our duel pandemics of racial injustice and COVID-19.

My parents passed away decades ago, but knowing how patriotic and honorable they were, I have no doubt they would be ashamed of President Trump. My hope is that Mr. Saunders and other members of his party will not feel too distressed in turning their backs on this “Republican.” He doesn’t deserve their support.

Tom Thurman

Fish Creek, Wisconsin