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Leave the race, Donald: An open letter from Republicans

In August of this past year, five current or former Senators, eight current or former Governors, a businesswoman, a neurosurgeon and Donald Trump stood on a stage. After seven years of exploding debts, executive overreach and foreign policy failures, it was the Republican Party’s golden opportunity to bring common-sense conservatism back to Washington. The stage was packed with leaders with stellar records, various rising stars and Donald Trump. All were competing for the nomination of a party with an honorable history and noble goals, the party which gave the world Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan.

Yet Trump became the Republican nominee for president, despite espousing positions that were directly at odds with conservative values throughout the campaign. His ideas would be disastrous for this country economically, fiscally and morally. Rather than valuing the Constitution and the individual, he plays to the whims of the mob and shows authoritarian tendencies. When it comes to America and its role in the world, he undermines our allies and praises our enemies. He has no serious plans for, well, anything. Trump will say whatever he wants to in the moment, regardless of its basis in fact or of its consequences. This clear lack of sense - and temperament - is perhaps one reason why he’s on pace to lose in a landslide to the most unpopular and scandal-ridden Democratic nominee in modern history.

Recent revelations have made the extent of Trump’s despicable character more evident. Not only is he a pathological liar capable of frightening levels of demagoguery, he now can add endorser of sexual harassment to the list. On Friday, tapes from a 2005 conversation showed a recently-married Trump bragging about trying to have sex with a married woman and gloating about using his stardom to kiss and grope unwilling women. Those comments were despicably sexist, malignantly narcissistic and utterly unbecoming of anyone who wishes to be the leader of a free and virtuous people. They reveal the true nature of Trump’s character and show him to be an insult to the great women and men who have led our country in the past. We Republicans firmly and unequivocally condemn these reprehensible remarks.

Due to Mr. Trump’s lack of policy knowledge and contempt for conservative principles, we Republicans here undersigned cannot endorse him for president, though none of us here supported him to begin with. Given his disdain for common standards of decency, his racism, sexism and his despicable character, we call on him to leave the race immediately in favor of Governor Mike Pence. Barring that, we hope that the Republican National Committee will pursue the means necessary to expeditiously remove him from the ticket.

We encourage our fellow Republicans to write in the name of a different candidate for president, because neither major party candidate should serve as president. Furthermore, we hope that our fellow Duke students and Republicans differentiate between the man at the top of the ticket, and the honorable and principled leaders beneath, like Pat McCrory for Governor and Richard Burr for Senate. These two have worked tirelessly to implement effective solutions to America’s problems and to keep her citizens safe and prosperous. They deserve the chance to continue to serve the people of North Carolina in their respective capacities.

The Founding Fathers did not design a perfect system, but their design was effective and far-sighted enough to keep demagogues out of the Oval Office for its entire 227-year history. It is our duty as Americans to ensure that this streak of resisting demagogues continues, and that Donald Trump does not enter the Oval Office. It is our duty as conservatives to ensure that his brand of know-nothing populism is consigned to the dustbin of history so that this nightmare does not happen again in four years. Lastly, it is our duty as Republicans to work to rebuild our party after this disastrous election season and to work diligently to resist the voices peddling fiction and outrage which have thus far so disastrously led us astray.

Rebecca Blair is a Junior Class Representative of the Duke College Republicans; Maddy Bolger is the Treasurer of DCR; Paul Forrester is the Secretary of DCR; Michelle Krogius is a Sophomore Class Representative of DCR; Adam Lemon is the former two-term Chair of DCR.


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