Admittedly I don’t have a huge number of Republican friends, but I have some. If you are one, this is what I have to say: You are a good person. My hunch is that you probably did not vote for Trump but for a third party candidate. Much of what he said and his personality was as disturbing to you as it was to me and most Democrats and many Independents. But now that he is president-elect, you are having second thoughts. After all, he was elected fairly even though he did not win the popular vote. Besides he could move more to the center. He could soften his position on immigration and on free trade. He could move toward the Republican ideals of smaller government, reduced spending and balanced budgets. Let’s give him a chance. Paul Ryan is supporting him and Lindsay Graham is mellowing a bit as well. You think that he might actually be ok.
Not so fast. All indications as judged by his early appointments show he is moving in the direction of what I call the Dark Side. Think again about what he said he was going to do during the campaign and what it appears he actually will try to do and ask yourself, is this the kind of person who represents my values and is this the kind of country I want to live in.
This is what he has told us he is going to do:
- Build a wall, which few experts think makes any sense.
- Deport at least six million undocumented immigrants, many of them who have lived here for years and many who are allowed to work because they came here as children and are part of the American Dream Act.
- Curtail open trade by imposing 35-45% tariffs on Mexican and Chinese imports, which would result in higher prices and probably cause a global recession.
- Appoint a climate change denier as head of the EPA, get out of the Paris climate accord, kill all of Obama’s environmental initiatives and drastically shrink the EPA.
- Get out of the Iran nuclear deal.
- Put through massive tax cuts for the rich with no off setting budget cuts.
- Ignore the need for deficit neutral budgets and entitlement reform.
- Build massive infrastructure projects, with no dollars to pay for them.
- Cozy up with Putin and pull back from NATO.
- Put a ban on Muslims entering the country and institute surveillance at mosques.
My question to you is this: which of these initiatives (and many others) do you agree with. How do they square with your traditional Republican values of small government and responsible spending? How do they gibe with your human values of kindness and mercy and fairness? My hope is that you support few if any of these initiatives. Trump is not a Republican. He is a populist with the temperament of a strongman, who if he gets his way would move the country in a very dangerous direction.
So what should you do? You should not support these un-Republican initiatives and let your elected officials know this. Republicans now hold the majorities in both the House and the Senate and will continue to do so. Republicans are the first line of defense. Responsible Republicans should put the brakes on Trump’s actions which could lead to disaster. Democrats will join the fight. If Trump does in fact move forward on his Dark Agenda, the country and the planet Earth are in deep trouble. What will you tell your grandchildren you did to keep the worst from happening? Never have the stakes been higher.