It appears that lots of you like Donald Trump’s policies but not his bombastic personality. It also seems that you like the civilized personality of establishment non-candidate Paul Ryan but not his policies. Lastly, it appears that few of you actually like Ted Cruz’s policies or personality but he may well become the Republican presidential nominee. Confusing.
Maybe it all makes sense. Donald Trump is for deporting immigrants, letting Middle East countries figure out their own problems, and scaling back free trade. Paul Ryan supports a pathway to citizenship, prefers to increase U.S. troops in the Middle East, and adores free trade. Ted Cruz agrees with Donald on immigrants, Ryan on war, and goes even farther than most evangelicals on social issues.
Ted opposes abortion even in the case of rape or incest and wants to build a wall to keep out homosexuals (ok, I made the wall part up, but it’s only a matter of time). He comes off as the meanest presidential candidate ever and may well get us all blown up after he “carpet bombs” a few countries and makes their sand “glow.”
They all want to cut taxes on rich people. Seriously? Haven’t we noticed yet that those trickle down theories never resulted in much money trickling down past the average six-figure wage-earner? It’s fair to demand that government spend our money wisely and we ought to question whether that actually happens, but today we need to pay for a lot of neglected infrastructure and old people. Now might not be the best time to give more tax breaks to billionaires or even hundred-millionaires.
My dear Republican friends, you know I love you. I love your patriotism, family-centered-ness and ability to drive a tractor. I love that you’re worried about our country, want to keep us safe, and come from families where it’s not unusual to have siblings volunteer to lay down their lives for a bunch of folks they don’t know and wouldn’t like much anyway. I love that you go to church, sweat to raise good kids, and always work hard even though lots of you haven’t had a real pay raise in years.
So please, for the love of Pete, get your act together. Demand a presidential candidate who cares more about you than Twitter, proposes policies that actually work for you and don’t subordinate women or your gay cousin (who you really do love and want to have equal opportunity), gets that we’re not all white Christians and is willing to let every American vote, won’t give away your pay raise to a billionaire because “tax cuts” sound really good on TV, and isn’t talking about military force like it’s a video game instead of the life-and-death reality you know it actually is.
Please, we need you to step up now. This venture into presidential crazy is scaring us. But, also do what you’d tell your kids; hold out for policies and personality that are worthy of your respect. You know why? Because you’re worth it.
Diane Smith is the founder and CEO of American Rural.
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