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My Turn: Clinton is the only choice for Republicans

  • Hillary Clinton leaves a meeting with Senate Democrats on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 14. AP



For the Monitor
Thursday, July 21, 2016

Over 100 years ago, Edmund Burke said, “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” So here we are, good men and women, having to make a crucial decision in the upcoming presidential election.

I am a lifelong Republican. While many good Republicans have recently left the party because Donald Trump has co-opted it, I refuse to allow him to define who we are as a party. I have heard some Republicans say, “I’m going to sit this one out. What choice do I have other than to not vote?”

That would be doing nothing. I’ve looked into it and we can do something. Together, reaching across the aisle, Republicans, Democrats and independents can choose the candidate who is far better able to lead our country. That candidate is Hillary Clinton.

My decision was not easy. I did my due diligence and found there are many things that make Donald Trump unfit to be the president. The self-proclaimed billionaire wants to do away with the federal minimum wage. He proclaims himself a “Sunday church person,” but his company manipulated students of Trump University into spending their savings and maxing out their credit cards to pay for worthless “workshops.” He has spent a lifetime cashing in, stiffing thousands of subcontractors, tradesmen and other hardworking Americans.

Trump’s casinos went belly-up, leaving investors to clean up the mess, but he boasted, “The money I took out of there was incredible. … I left before it cratered.” And yet he promises, “I’m going to do for America what I did for my businesses. I’m going to make America great again.”

Trump, who never served in the military, dissed John McCain – a hero who was tortured as a prisoner of war. He failed to make promised donations to veterans groups until the press called him out on it. He has repeatedly praised the murderous dictator Saddam Hussein. He reluctantly rejected the support of KKK leader David Duke, then posted an anti-Semitic slur with symbols that first appeared on a white nationalist and anti-Semitic website. Did he apologize? No, he said he wished he hadn’t allowed it to be removed.

He has mocked the handicapped, targeted Muslims, and made racist remarks about a judge who is presiding over a case of fraud brought against Trump. His treatment of women is appalling. I do not understand how any woman, no matter her political persuasion, can stand with a man who routinely demeans women, judging them on their physical appearance rather than their intellect, character or kindness. Can you imagine working for a man who ogles over women in a professional setting, referred to pregnancy as an “inconvenience” and asserted that women seeking abortions should be punished? In Donald Trump’s America, women will not stand a chance of achieving equal pay. Paid family leave will not be a legislative priority. A woman’s right to make her own health care decisions will not be protected. Women will not be equals. What we can expect from a President Trump is fear mongering, demagoguery and dishonesty.

Politifact, a Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking project, deemed that 76 percent of Trump’s public statements are false. By contrast, they found that less than 10 percent of his statements are truthful. He has encouraged his supporters to punch protesters. He disrespects democracy, denigrating the values that make this country exceptional.

But I am not voting for Hillary simply because of Mr. Trump’s long pattern of racially and sexually charged comments and attitudes, and his unfit temperament. I am voting for Hillary because she will be a president America can be proud of. She is working to unite, not divide, our country. She wants an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. As she showed in the U.S. Senate and as secretary of state, she is a consensus builder. And if you examine her record, as I have, you know that she has fought for women and children; defended those who cannot defend themselves; and, worked to make our world a safer place. She has been tested and she has proven herself.

I implore my fellow Republicans, as well as independents and moderates, to fight the backward and contrary forces of Donald Trump. He is not of the party of Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt or Reagan. That is why many honorable Republicans have declined to support Donald Trump, including the last two Republican presidents. Let us commit to do what is best for our country, our peoples and our honor. We can choose to remain Republican and not vote for this particular nominee. There is only one candidate in this race who is qualified, prepared and with the temperament to be president.

Hillary Clinton has won my vote.

(Betty Tamposi served as an assistant secretary of state under George H.W. Bush and is a former New Hampshire legislator.)