Richard Cross describes himself as a “lifelong political animal and a longtime Maryland Republican.” He has “worked on the staffs of Maryland Congresswoman Helen Bentley and Congressman/Gov. Bob Ehrlich,” and “also served on the GOP staff of the House Financial Services Committee.”
In an op-ed published in the Baltimore Sun on Tuesday, Cross said has “always been GOP to the core” and grew up idolizing Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. Most recently, he was the speechwriter who wrote the speech given by Patricia Smith, aka “Benghazi Mom,” at the Republican National Convention.
And despite all this, Cross says he will cast his vote for Hillary Clinton in November.
In fact, I personally drafted the speech of the “Benghazi mom,” Patricia Smith. In that speech, I concluded with the following line: “If Hillary Clinton can’t give us the truth, why should we give her the presidency?” As a political speechwriter, that was something of a home run moment for me. The New Yorker called the speech “the weaponization of grief.”
But weeks after the end of the 2016 GOP convention, I am confronted by an inconvenient fact: Despite what I wrote in that nationally televised speech about Hillary Clinton, I may yet have to vote for her because of the epic deficiencies of my own party’s nominee.
Cross then explained why he has had the sudden turnaround. Like many other Republicans, he finds himself supporting the Democratic nominee for president because of the dangerous billionaire bully that is now heading up the GOP.
“President Eisenhower would have never proposed banning Muslims from America. Nor would President Nixon. Nor would President Reagan. Donald Trump has betrayed and perverted their legacies. Consequently, I no longer recognize my party,” writes Cross
“I cannot vote for Donald Trump,” declares Cross. “I could never vote for Donald Trump.”
Cross then explains what will really be decided at the polls in November.
I believe this is a citizenship election similar to others we have had in our history. This is a time to stand up and be counted — just like supporters of the civil rights movement once chose to do.
The central question in 2016: Are Muslim Americans an equal and welcome member of the American constituency?
For me, the answer is a clear “yes.” Now, the question becomes: Can we come together and find a positive solution to the issue of illegal immigration, just like President Reagan and congressional Democrats were able to achieve? The answer to that is, “we must.”
To choose otherwise embraces fear, as Donald Trump has chosen to do. Fear sometimes wins you elections, but it doesn’t create jobs, build schools, reduce crime or improve the quality of life for all citizens. Great political leaders help us transcend our fears.
This is not an easy decision for Cross and he describes the prospect of voting for Clinton as “uncomfortable,” saying it is “as if Dr. Van Helsing were compelled to vote for Dracula.” But he then concludes that “the only prospect more terrifying than voting for Hillary Clinton is not voting for her.”
According to Cross, “The reality of American politics today is, she is the only choice.”
Featured image via video screen capture