What are you endorsing with your vote?

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“What one must fear, moreover, is not so much the sight of the immorality of the great as that of immorality leading to greatness.” 

- Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

 Donald Trump can’t be president. 

Despise, fear and hate the alternatives in Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein all you want, but we can’t elect Trump.

Ignore the party affiliations or alleged platforms for a moment and just consider the man. This is not about Republicans or Democrats, liberals or conservatives. It is about how America could elect someone who has publicly insulted, degraded and demeaned other human beings at every turn and not once shown any contrition in the aftermath.

Electing Trump is succumbing to the worst in all of us. A vote for him is a vote against decency, dignity, respect and compassion.

He called his misogynistic comments about groping or having sex with random women common “locker room talk.” It is not. He has responded to the anger over his comments by pointing fingers at other people.

He has relentlessly attacked a pageant contestant and others over weight issues and their looks.

He has mocked a reporter with a disability for a laugh at a campaign rally.

He suggested we ban people of the Muslim faith from entering the United States. He insulted the family of a fallen soldier because of their faith. 

He questioned the legitimacy of an American judge’s ability to hear a case based on his Mexican descent. He has had months on the campaign trail to distance himself from early comments that Mexican immigrants are rapists and drug dealers. He has not made any real effort to do so.

Years ago he was cited for racial bias against blacks through his real estate company, and more recently insulted them by applying every negative stereotype there is to their lives and telling them they “have nothing to lose” be supporting him. Remember when he pointed out his black friend at a campaign rally?

At worst, he has incited violence at his rallies, at best only encouraged the worst of his followers to act on their fears and anger.

He’s addressed opponents in this campaign like a schoolyard bully rather than a political foe, choosing to question everything from their height to their families, over engaging in policy debate.

Now, tell me he is still someone we should consider as our commander in chief.

It is not that he doesn’t respect or show compassion for other people, but that he openly displays and brags about his lack of both. 

This is not to say he is “unfit” to be president. Can we be sure we even know what “fit” to be president means? The political world is one filled with unsavory moments, bad judgment and dishonest dealings, but in the midst of all of those there is usually a human element of common decency.

The case against Trump is simple. He doesn’t represent the core values we say are important. When we go to the polls and check his name on the ballot, we are sacrificing every principle of common decency as a response to fear and anger.  

He represents a cartoon version of strength and a misguided version of intellect tied to only how much he flaunts his money. 

Americans claim politicians are out of touch and privileged, leading to a groundswell of support for “outsider” candidates. Voters grow tired of voting for politicians they believe are only out to benefit themselves.

But what we have learned is that Trump is the very definition of out of touch and privileged and he proves daily there is only room in this race for him and his ego. 

Historically we have struggled with every issue Trump highlights, but we have always found a way to at least publicly oppose such attitudes.

No matter how we might try to justify it, shrug it off or ignore it, a vote for Trump is an acceptance of his treatment of women, racist views and bigotry. There can be a million reasons given to vote for him, but every one comes with an endorsement of who he is.

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