On Monday, Donald Trump’s hideous attacks on the family of a fallen U.S. soldier, who also happened to be a Muslim were called out by former POW John McCain. But the Arizona senator left himself open for criticism because he failed to do one thing — pull his reluctant endorsement of the GOP nominee. Now a Republican congressman has finally broken the ice and declared not only does he not support Trump, but he intends to vote for Hillary Clinton. The question is, will he be the only one, or is he the crack that will cause the dam to burst and lead to a flood of Republicans abandoning the sinking ship of Trump?
New York Congressman Richard Hanna said months ago that he would not support Trump. On Tuesday he added to that, announcing via a letter published at New York Upstate that he will cast his vote for Hillary Clinton.
After observing that our country needs a functioning two-party system whose members understand the value of compromise, Hanna offered a harsh critique of the GOP:
I have long held the belief that the Republican Party is becoming increasingly less capable of nominating a person who is electable as president. The primary process is so geared toward the party’s political base, which ignores the fact that we have largely alienated women, Hispanics, the LGBT community, young voters and many others in general.
Hanna was too kind. The Republican party has, increasingly over the years, become the home of conspiracy theorists, racists, and all manner of ultra-right-wing political misfits. And, as Hanna observed, those are the people who are selecting their party’s presidential nominee. They have been pointing the party toward a candidate like Trump for years, and he has finally arrived. Hanna wants to know when fellow Republicans will join him and walk away from their candidate in disgust.
In his latest foray of insults, Mr. Trump has attacked the parents of a slain U.S. soldier. Where do we draw the line? I thought it would have been when he alleged that U.S. Sen. John McCain was not a war hero because he was caught. Or the countless other insults he’s proudly lobbed from behind the Republican presidential podium. For me, it is not enough to simply denounce his comments: He is unfit to serve our party and cannot lead this country.
The congressman gives a nod to the “issues” surrounding Clinton that his party has been investigating for the past several years, noting that whether those issues are considered “great” or “small” depends largely on one’s perspective. And he adds that there are a number of topics on which he and the former Secretary of State don’t see eye to eye. But he also says that there are many places where he and Clinton agree, and unlike the bulk of his party’s members in Congress he seems willing to use that common ground as a starting point to work together should he and she both be elected in November.
Then Hanna closes by saying it’s more important to show your love for your country than your love for your party:
While I disagree with her on many issues, I will vote for Mrs. Clinton. I will be hopeful and resolute in my belief that being a good American who loves his country is far more important than parties or winning and losing. I trust she can lead. All Republicans may not like the direction, but they can live to win or lose another day with a real candidate. Our response to the public’s anger and the need to rebuild requires complex solutions, experience, knowledge and balance. Not bumper sticker slogans that pander to our disappointment, fear and hate.
Richard Hanna has put himself forward as the voice of common sense on the issue of Donald Trump. Getting his colleagues in Congress to listen will be hard enough, given that the one and only thing that many Republican officeholders understand is power, and he is asking them to cede some of it by helping to elect a Democrat. But an even harder task will be getting GOP voters to listen to what he is saying, as many of them are responsible for Trump in the first place.
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