HAVING long felt that, as a Republican, I could never vote for Donald Trump, the withdrawals of his last two opponents caused me, along with many other Republicans, to face the music. When widespread refusal to vote for your own party is a likely guarantee that the other party will win, a voter needs to have very good reasons for their decision – a fully formed theory of why they should want their party to lose, not just simple distaste for their nominee expressed by some quotation and punctuated #NeverTrump.
As a result, I started to make a list of the actual reasons I could never support Donald Trump. And, as it started taking shape over the last couple of days, it began to look a lot like the “train of abuses” ascribed to King George III in the Declaration of Independence. So, I decided to use Mr. Jefferson’s inimitable document as a template for my own explanation of why I am, for this presidential election at least, officially an Independent.
Declaration of Independents
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with one another, and to assume among the voters of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Constitution entitles them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all candidates are not created equal, but that they are endowed by their identity as Republicans with certain responsibilities, that among these are respect for the right to life, devotion to liberty under the Constitution, regard for all people, and the pursuit of peace.—That to enforce these responsibilities, platforms are instituted among parties, deriving their just powers from the consent of the delegates,–that whenever any Nominee becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the Voters to alter or abolish him, and to support a new candidate, standing on such principles and proffering policies in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Parties long established should not abandon a Nominee for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that voters are most disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by refusing to adhere to the candidate they have nominated. But, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariable the same Object evinces a design to reduce them to unquestioning party support at the expense of principle, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off said Nominee, in the interest of their Party’s future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these Voters, and such is now the necessity which constrains them to undermine their Nominee. This history of the present Nominee of the Republican Party is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the permanent subjugation of conservative voters in the name of unity but, in fact, out of fear of other parties and other peoples. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has supported the slaughter of women and children in violation of the Laws of War and, when challenged by the assertion that American Troops would deny such commands, responded, “They won’t refuse. They’re not gonna refuse me. Believe me.”
He has endangered the safety of these United States and the free world, by opining that the defense of the Korean Peninsula should fall to Japan and South Korea.
He has insulted our allies and provoked our enemies.
He has proven incapable of responding with grace to even the silliest of slights, displaying obsessions with insults from decades past, and demonstrating a complete incapacity to conduct Foreign Relations.
He has excited domestic insurrections among our political events, and has encouraged violence against people who share not his views.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither; selecting only blunt implements of war for these purposes—the building of walls and the martial enforcement of law.
He has encouraged vulgarity in our political discourse, seeking to exploit and enflame the passions of our people, instead of guiding them.
He has repeatedly ignored our Entreaties to reveal even the simplest specifications of his policies, painting them only in the broadest of strokes—assuring us only that their results will be Fantastic, but distrusting us with the capacity to evaluate their particulars.
He has avowed an intent to use executive authority in a manner foreign to our Constitution, and imitative of our Sitting President.
He has shewn incompetency in the selection of Judges.
He has demonstrated a disposition unfit for the leader of a Party which respects human dignity, openly mocking the disabled.
He has breathed life into moribund accusations of the Other Party regarding a Republican “War on Women,” by treating women with contempt; exhibiting the basest stereotypes of misogyny by promoting the idea that their rationality is held hostage by their physiology, and that their professional success is a function only of their beauty.
He has promulgated the following falsehoods:
That he is self-funding his campaign;
That he is capable of selecting the “best people,” hiring instead men of Violence, bearing convictions repugnant to the Republican Party;
That he adheres to the Christian religion;
That he supports reducing the tax burden of each of these Voters;
That he opposes an increase in the minimum wage;
That he will reduce the budget deficit in the national government, promoting instead an additional ruinous stimulus.
All these are accompanied by continuous false statements made off-the-cuff, which may be lies outright or mere negligent falsehoods which, though innocent, convey a comfort with Ignorance and a total disregard for the Truth.
In every stage of these Primaries we have petitioned our Party and our Fellow Voters for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated Petitions have been answered only by an inchoate tempest of rage against the “establishment.”
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Trumpist bretheren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their Front-Runner to stretch the image of our party beyond recognition. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our Party’s founding, of its situation in Congress, and of the empty Seat in the Supreme Court. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably stymie authentic conservatism in this Nation. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity, being inundated with a wave of righteous anger that now threatens the only hope of its true abatement. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of all mankind, including the People of Mexico, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Voters of the Republican Party, in Constitutional Principles Assembled, appealing to the Long-Term good of the Nation and our Party for the rectitude of our intentions, solemnly publish and declare, That these Voters are, and of Right ought to be a Free and Independent Constituency, and that all political connection between them and the Nominee of the Republican Party is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as a Free and Independent Constituency they have full Power to select candidates, cast ballots, and do all other Acts and Things which Independent Voters may of right do. And, for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the continuance of Conservative Principles, we mutually pledge to each other our time, our energy, and our sacred Honor.