Please don’t make me vote for Trump

Please don’t make me vote for Trump.jpg

I am a Republican living in the suburbs of St. Louis surrounded by diverse, independent, and holistic thinking neighbors. We, like many towns, vary in our stances on government and social policy, but, even in this age of polarization, we do a halfway decent job of considering each other’s opinion and can balance civil disagreement with small talk at the curbside.

One galvanizing theme that has emerged in the last three years is my neighborhood is our shared distaste for Donald Trump.

In some ways, it has brought us closer as a community. It’s easy fodder and a go-to subject when searching for common ground. Russian collusion or sympathetic Russian relations do not resonate well with suburban St. Louis Republicans. Openly making fun of our disabled neighbors, inciting violence at campaign rallies, sympathizing with white supremacists, smearing the names of our nation’s patriots like John McCain and Admiral McRaven… None of it sits well with us.

Sharing in conversation across the mailbox my neighbors might conclude I’m a sure flip in favor of the big D in 2020, a “never Trumper” if you will.  Unfortunately, due to over-played missteps by the Democrats, they’d be wrong.

There is one plea I would like to make to my Democratic friends – stop trying to out-Trump Trump. Dems, intentionally or not, have perfected and over-implemented Trump’s tactics: distorting facts, steering discourse from the issues, and smearing enemies.

The Dems and the media are playing right into Trump’s hands. Every issue of the day is slanted against him. Right now, there are thousands of un-vetted migrants rushing our southern border. Surely, we can agree this is an issue. Trump’s response was to send troops to the border and resort to using tear gas to defend it. In the face of an actual incursion, this was a reasonable response from my seat. But even on this issue, as with many, I’m open to alternative solutions from my friends on the left.

Instead of alternatives, the story is laser-focused on the assault of Meza Castro and her twin daughters. They were caught in the tear gas, and indeed the images are upsetting. I’m sorry to say, but this is the separate story. From my perspective, it is an intentional bend, designed to take a jab at the President, leaving the larger more pressing issue unaddressed.

A classic Trump tactic.

Beto O’Rourke offered this:

“We can either give into the fear of walls and tear-gassing children in diapers, or we can live up to the best traditions, potential promise of what we are as Americans.”

Friends on the left, please offer something better than easy Trump smears and vague promises. We need real solutions to a real problem.  With our country under siege, I’m left to grasp to a barely audible voice promising a protected border and enforced laws. Right now, that voice is Donald Trump’s.

Then there were the Supreme Court confirmations.  Admittedly, the dirty-pool started when it was my Republicans who blocked President Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland.  I found it as frustrating as anyone that the Republican Senate would not move his confirmation to a vote. Along with the numbing reality of Trump’s election, I was basically filling out my 2020 early-voting ballot for the Democrat. Though just as I was about to seal the envelope, I was thrown firmly back into my Republican camp after the Kavanaugh hearings. I found the whole episode stomach turning, scarring the lives of both the accused and accuser.  Once again, my friends, you have planted me right back in the voting booth with my pencil shaking above the name “Trump.”

As you say, “Michael, the Dems have overplayed their hand again and again,” I don’t want to vote for Trump in 2020. I really, really don’t. The Democrats have a huge opportunity to capture the independent vote and flip moderate Republicans in the next Presidential election, but their actions are driving votes away.

Democrats, I want a secure border, fair taxes, controlled government spending. Newsflash: I also care about healthcare and the environment! I will come to the center if you offer solutions, even if they don’t fully appeal to my conservative view.

I will vote for you!

Unfortunately, the vague rhetoric and downright bad behavior are turning me away. Stop out-Trumping Trump. If you leave me to choose between distorted facts, slanted stories, vague solutions, and Donald Trump, I might as well vote for a secure border.

Trump 2020?