An Open Letter to Donald Trump from a conservative Republican who didn’t vote for him
Dear Mr. President,
I want you to know that I didn’t vote for you.
Don’t misunderstand me – I didn’t vote for your opponent either, because I strongly opposed her policies and despised her corruption. And in contrast, your party’s platform matches my views rather closely. Frankly, I’m thrilled that Republicans continue to control both houses of Congress, and I’m also quite happy with some of the names being floated for senior positions in your upcoming administration.
I also identify very closely with the anti-Obama sentiment that swept you into office. Specifically when it comes to foreign policy (which, as an American living abroad, I see most clearly), I believe that Barack Obama has single-handedly destroyed America’s influence around the world, and the world is much worse off for it. Like millions of others who were dismayed by his “lead from behind” diplomacy, I too want to “make America great again”.
And finally, as an Israeli resident of the Judean Hills (they call me a “settler”, whatever that means), I’m grateful for the possibility of an American administration that might finally recognize the truth. I’m hopeful that you and the officials in your administration will differ from your predecessors and understand that the real “obstacles to peace” are not me and my Jewish neighbors, but rather the religious and political leadership of my Arab neighbors.
Perhaps, therefore, I should have enthusiastically supported you in the election. But I didn’t. Instead, for the first time since I turned 18 over three decades ago, I chose to not actualize my right to vote for a realistic candidate.
Although we’ve never met, I think you know exactly why I didn’t vote for you. It’s the same reason that many others (including some very prominent members of your own party) refused to support you: we were deeply offended and alarmed by your rhetoric, and by your persona.
Interestingly, the reasons that I didn’t support you are closely tied to the reasons I didn’t support Clinton and Obama. In large part, I opposed them because I don’t buy into the distorted political and intellectual culture they represent. I reject their distortion of liberal values into demands for willful blindness, their refusal to state the truth that militant Islam is currently the single greatest threat to world security, and their condemning anyone who disagrees with them as immoral.
Like most of your supporters, I’m frustrated that one can’t criticize “Black Lives Matter” without being called a racist, can’t advocate a crackdown on militant Muslims without being called an “Islamaphobe” and can’t object to transgender people using bathrooms that don’t match their anatomy without being called a bigot. And I’m amused that Hillary Clinton’s supporters continue to speak of a “glass ceiling” that ostensibly prevented her from getting elected. In reality, her failed candidacy was the ultimate success of the feminist movement: she was judged on the basis of her qualifications, not her gender. She was subject to plenty of criticism and attacks, but none of her detractors – not even you, Mr. Trump (!!) – ever said anything about her being a woman.
So it seems you calculated that enough people were upset about these things that you could ride those sentiments all the way to the White House. Apparently, you were right about that. I’m no strategist; perhaps you were right that your offensive, anti-establishment tone won you many votes. But it also lost you many, including mine.
You see, I am very against the politically correct definition of racism, hatred and bigotry. But even more, I am against real racism, hatred and bigotry. I expect the President of the United States – the leader of what is still the greatest nation on earth – to reflect the values that America stands for. And the world also needs you to act with caution and responsibility, characteristics you haven’t shown yourself to possess. You’re about to become the President, so it’s now your obligation to change your words and your actions.
Mr. President, you were elected legitimately and democratically. Personally, I respect that and therefore, as an American citizen, you are now my president. I’m excited about what I hope your administration will accomplish, even as I continue to be very worried about what you might do and how you might act.
On January 20, you will become the most powerful person on this planet. I hope and pray that you will internalize that awesome responsibility, rise to the occasion and surprise us by becoming a great leader.
May God bless you.
An expat who still loves America