As a U.S. citizen, my personal integrity and love for my country won’t let me.
On the face of things, I tick off most of the boxes for a Trump supporter:
- Texas resident (deep Red state)
- My living comes from the Oil & Gas industries
- Gun owner
- Concealed permit owner
- Own three pickup trucks
- I love my country
- I am a Christian
The crux of the matter for me comes down to two core values: What it means to be a U.S. Citizen and what it means to be a Christian. Here I want to address the former. The other is addressed here in: Why This Christian Doesn’t Support Trump.
One branch of my family goes back to Long Island when New York was Nieuw Amsterdam. Another ancestor was likely at his church to hear Thomas Payne’s famous “Give me liberty or give me death” speech. The most recent immigrant was my grandfather, who jumped ship in New York instead of going through Ellis Island, because he had no sponsor. He was fleeing Europe right before WWI.
My father, uncle, and several other relatives fought in WWII; my cousin and husband are both veterans of Vietnam.
I was raised to treasure, support, and defend my country and her people. How, then, can I endorse someone who blatantly disregards the fundamentals of our nation’s Constitution and institutions?
- More than any president in my 60+ years, Trump has sought to stack the judicial system with clearly biased judges.
- Additionally, he has sought to fill traditionally non-partisan governmental positions with personal supporters without regard to qualifications, replacing any who personally displeased him, even when properly doing their job.
- He has actively sought to undermine our Constitution and its supporting Institutions by inuendo, cutting off normal lines of communications within our government, and outright lies.
- He has denigrated those who have served and died for our country, calling them “losers” and more. His treatment of the late U.S. Senator John McCain was inexcusable.
- He has used personal advisors with conflicting interests and answerable only to him to conduct affairs of State that affect us all.
- He has sought to increase presidential powers by bullying his own party members and ignoring restrictions such as the Hatch Act and the constitutional powers of Congress.
- Just this week, the Department of Justice has taken over his defense in a personal matter with thin reason, even though he can afford the private lawyers.
- He has even told people to break the law and vote twice, as if to create a self-fulfilling prophecy about elections being rigged, when all studies have shown mail-in ballots can and do work efficiently when allowed.
- His vacillations on the truth — even of his own utterances — brings into question his mental and emotional capabilities to lead a democratic state.
- His attacks on the Press have become ludicrous. Our country’s founders recognized the importance of a free press, separate from government, specifically so someone can hold leadership accountable when the emperor has no clothes.
- His inability to address the COVID-19 pandemic in a timely, rational, and effective manner, to the extent that he withheld crucial information on its potency and spread, has proven him incapable of handling the job he was hired for.
- Rather than addressing issues head on, he leads by fear.
Fear is powerful.
Our brain and body’s flight, fight, or freeze response is primal, usually overriding our reasoning. And that survival mechanism can betray us to those who know how to use it to their advantage.
Hitler used this technique to gain control of Germany by identifying Jews and other minorities as a source of fear. White leaders used this technique to enforce segregation throughout the country, whether against Blacks in the South or North East, Chinese and Japanese in the West, or Native Americans everywhere.
Nero used it by blaming the Christians for the burning of Rome, when his own inability to govern was at fault.
And right now, we all feel threatened.
Health: COVID-19 and the upcoming flu season have many fearful, especially when so many are without health insurance.
Economics: Because of COVID-19 directly — and the subsequent crash in Oil & Gas — my husband and I have been out of work since May. We’ve had to defer payments. We’ve changed our eating habits. I limit my trips to the grocery store and appointments. My health insurance may run out. Others have lost their homes.
Sure, if Trump is re-elected, Fossil fuels will jump back up and this community will breathe a sigh of economic relief, until the next election cycle. But at what cost? We are already dealing with changing climate patterns bringing forest fires, hurricanes, floods and killer heat waves. Why drill in the arctic? Why not support improving our infrastructures and living patterns to adjust to these now-inevitable changes?
Violence: My community of Odessa, TX, just observed the first anniversary of the mass shootings on August 30, 2019, in which 8 people died and 25 were injured. My husband bought me a concealed carry purse after it first happened. Shootings still occur here as elsewhere — it’s not a Democrat problem. And that shooter, by the way, was white.
Many communities are reeling from racist practices and the protests against such actions. When you have no job, no home, no hope, what is left but to shout from the mountain? I neither endorse nor excuse rioting, although I can understand some of it. I’m firmly against Anarchists and instigators who simply seek destruction of any government or society. But that doesn’t take away anyone’s right to peacefully protest.
Yet the continued Us versus Them rhetoric coming from the top is the very antithesis of someone who wants to heal a divided society. Besides name calling and encouraging antagonism, there has been no action from the top to address the underlying social and economic problems, let alone seek solutions. Equality for all does NOT have to mean loss of income or power, at least not for the vast majority.
And since guns are easily available to anyone who wants them (legally or not), I don’t see how Trump can crack down on the violence that emerges from some protests without escalated bloodshed. Unless he decides to eliminate the Constitutional rights to bear arms or to protest altogether. That’s what Russia does. That’s what China does.
North Korea has no riots, no protests, no free journalists. It’s very peaceful. The people are also starving, are restricted in their movements, and penalties for going against the government in any way are harsh, ranging from jail to torture to slave labor to execution. But Trump likes North Korea. Is that what we want?
What price are you willing to pay for peace? What price for your freedom?
Democracy is, by its very nature, messy. People are messy. Ever sit on an elected church board or PTA? It’s amazing anything ever gets done! But democracy is still worth protecting. It is worth protecting the voices I agree with and those I don’t, so long as those voices are genuinely from within and not puppets from without. And any who would undermine the foundations of our country and Constitution — no matter how appealing they may sound at the moment — must be defeated.
I’m not exactly happy with the choices we face this fall, any more than I like the two-party system in general or the Electoral College specifically (both are outdated). But I’m confident that Biden has a good grasp of our Constitution and will strive to uphold it. I have no such expectation of his opponent.
In the end, Trump seems to care for no one like he cares for Trump. Not you, not me, not the working man, not the working woman, not our country. Everything is fair game in his world, so long as he benefits.
In this election, I must look beyond my own desires for security, my own desires for someone to take away my fears, my own desires for someone to take care of me. I must look to my ancestors, who took the leap to cross an ocean for something better. I must honor those who fought, were injured, and even died for an imperfect union; they still felt it was worth fighting for. I must look to the future, and what kind of legacy my generation will leave behind. And I must consider what I can do now.
Therefore, my integrity — even more, my duty — as a U.S. citizen demands that I vote against anyone who would destroy our country and the Constitution it is founded upon — and for his own personal gain, no less.
We the People.
That’s what this country was founded upon. It’s our choice where we go from here.
Please, stop to think and consider. Look beyond the surface and beyond fear. Then vote.
Grace, Peace, and Hugs!