When Donald Trump won the presidency in 2016, half of the country felt that they were experiencing the end of the world. Yet here we are, the earth still rotating upon its axis. While the election was viewed as a victory to many Republicans, the fact cannot be ignored that many were also dismayed at the results. The dissenting Republicans and any Republicans that dare to criticize an action of the president have somehow come to be called RINOs, a derogatory acronym for “Republicans in Name Only.” The attack on them then begs the question: Have we gone too far?
Although I have some libertarian views, I would consider myself to be a conservative. Although I have not voted yet (I have been too young), I can say that I will consistently vote Republican because my views mostly align with their stances, mainly their support for Israel and their search for protections for unborn children. I can also say that I would not have, nor would I ever in the future, vote for Donald J. Trump.
The 2016 presidential election was the most fascinating one to watch, and I had been hopeful that Marco Rubio would be elected. Suffice it to say, I was disappointed. It was the first election about which I had ever cared. It was also one that made me glad I couldn’t vote yet. The astounding hypocrisy that existed in the American Right was shocking to me, and my shock only increased with every passing day.
I watched as conservatives dismissed Donald Trump’s affairs and scandals as unimportant but somehow managed to claim moral outrage at various actions of Bill Clinton. I watched the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, where we upheld the presumption of innocence until determination of guilt by a jury of peers as a fundamental American value, but then I was horrified when I remembered that the chants of “Lock Her Up” were yelled at Trump rallies about a woman who has never been found guilty of a crime. I watched as conservatives discounted the charges against many Trump associates, yet suffered a figurative collective stroke at deeds done by the Clintons and their associates. I watched as a border wall, an obscure concern about which only a few had cared, burst into the collective consciousness of America, becoming a dividing factor between Republicans and Democrats. I watched as conservatives ignored Trump’s use of foul language, but then claim that Rashida Tlaib should resign for referring to the President using an expletive. Shall I continue?
This is not to say that I don’t support the President. Let me be clear, Donald Trump is my president, and I believe that he has done good things. I was amazed when he moved our embassy to Jerusalem and recognized the city as the capital of Israel. I could not have been prouder of my country at that point. The President’s love for our country is evident. Do I believe that he was the best person for the job, however? I absolutely do not.
The problems with the current administration are numerous. The selection of unqualified individuals to positions in the government should be deeply disconcerting. We would find it ludicrous to let the CEO of a hospital do open heart surgery, yet we celebrate the fact that businessmen have handled complex political issues including foreign diplomacy. How does this make sense? The accusations against many of his former associates are also concerning, especially those against Paul Manafort, which focus on his lobbying on behalf of Ukraine.
I know many good people who will vote for Donald Trump in 2020. I also know many who will not. The attacks on those of us who will not vote for him must stop. We are still conservatives, and we still are Republicans. Our preferences and opinions about Trump may differ from yours, and that is fine. The attacks on us only serve as a detriment to conservatives and the freedom of thought that we value. The election of Donald Trump did not only polarize the nation into left and right, but it also split Republicans. I hope the party can heal. I hope we do not view each other as the enemy, for when it comes down to it, we are still ideologically congruent. I hope we can see through our differences and unite for the betterment of our country.
Hunter is a Maroon Elite writer for TUC. Twitter: @HunterBurton00