Wednesday, December 9, 2015

An Open Letter to the Republican "Leadership"

Good afternoon,

I am writing to encourage you all to take a step back, take several deep breaths, and look at a time horizon that is beyond November of 2016. It may well be that the fate of America's future does not depend on who is elected President next November. But it may also be that America's trajectory will be substantially altered by the outcome of both the campaign and the election.

Mr. Trump has certainly stirred the pot--especially with his recent threat to run as an Independent if he is attacked for his stated positions. My sense is that you all are concerned that if Mr. Trump makes good on his threat, then we will almost certainly be looking at Mrs. Clinton being elected in November. While you may be tempted to acquiesce in the face of Mr. Trump's threats, please hold your ground for three reasons:

First, even if Mr. Trump were to run as a Republican and win, does he really represent what the Republican party has become? If so, then the party certainly has bigger and longer term issues than who is in the White House for the next four years. If your desire is for a Republican to win the White House in 2016, then what good does it do for someone to win under the party's banner whose policies and approaches to governing are not what you believe that the party stands for. Surely you cannot primarily be committed to pursuing Mrs. Clinton's defeat at any cost.

Second, the more substantial "enemy" is not Mrs. Clinton, or ISIS, or extremists of any flavor. I contend that the greater danger is that of "winning" in the short run, but of sacrificing what America is and can be for the future. The United States of America that I love is a country where we are defined by the openness of our hearts and minds, and not by the closed-ness of our doors. Where every person enjoys the protection of the law, not just "people like us". Where we offer refuge and opportunity for the oppressed and downtrodden. Where we extend hands and words of hope to the hopeless. My greatest fear is not of terror attacks or of a second Clinton presidency, but of losing that which makes us an unique people and a nation to be proud of. If those qualities that have set the United States apart for the past 200+ years are lost or are meaningfully disfigured, it will take generations to recover our place in the community of nations.

Third, if indeed you believe that the Republican worldview is the better worldview and should be the worldview that leads our country to a better future, then I implore you to articulate the Republican worldview in terms of what the party is for and what the party will pursue and promote, as opposed to what the party is standing against. Let the people know what the party is for, not just what the party is against.

If Mr. Trump were to be elected and seek to govern under the Republican banner--and in keeping with his current rhetoric--then in my opinion the United States would be set back for the next 50 years in terms of being an influence for good in the world. Please do not sacrifice the longer term positive place in the world that the United States could have on the altar of winning in 2016. There is so much more at stake than a four-year term in the White House.

Best regards.