Please Stop, Mr. Trump


David Lampo Author, "A Fundamental Freedom"
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I admit it: You weren’t my first choice for the Republican nomination. I thought Gov. John Kasich had the best combination of experience, policy proposals, and fidelity to conservative principles. And he consistently beat Hillary Clinton in the polls.

But as Kasich failed to catch on, I began to appreciate your attacks on the politically correct culture that is killing this country, this obsession with identity politics and perceived victimhood. Your strong opposition to radical Islamic terrorism couldn’t be timelier, and I welcomed your skepticism toward the constant military intervention we seem to embark on so often. And as a gay man, the way you and your surrogates raised GLBT issues after the slaughter in Orlando and during the Republican convention thrilled me. Your acceptance speech, during which you were cheered after stating your support for GLBT rights, was truly historic and breathtaking.

Don’t get me wrong. I certainly don’t agree with all of your proposals. I think you’re wrong on trade agreements and the general prosperity they bring. You can never deport 11 million immigrants, despite the fact they are here illegally. Yes, a moratorium on refugees is probably a good idea, but banning all Muslims from entering the United States is a step too far.

But when it became clear you were going to win the Republican nomination, I had a choice. Support you or allow Hillary Clinton, a chronic, even congenital liar, to become president. Like millions of other Americans, it wasn’t the choice I was hoping for, but I was nevertheless happy to support you.

But holy cow, Mr. Trump, what are you doing? I was on such a high after the Republican National Convention, and you were riding high in the polls, leading in virtually every one of them. But in less than a week, your support sank, and you seem unable to reverse the slide. I’m both worried and angry, not just at the lies and distortions about you, but at you and your campaign! How can you be baited so easily by your enemies? Why can’t you just keep quiet when someone tries to draw you into a fight?

We both know the mainstream media is in the bag for Hillary, yet you keep giving them ammunition to use against you. From the overblown fight with the Kahn family to your comments about the Russians and Hillary’s emails to a tasteless joke about Hillary and gun rights, you keep saying the wrong thing and offending large swaths of voters. Hey, I know I’m not the first one to tell you this, but please listen to me and the millions of other voters out there like me who so desperately want to change this country’s direction under your leadership. 

Mr. Trump, these voters are emotionally invested in your race, and every time your enemies draw you into fights on their terms, it’s demoralizing to watch it happen and to see you manipulated to their advantage. 

It’s time to get back to talking about the real issues that took you to the nomination, issues like growing the economy and defeating Islamic terrorism. I know you won over a record number of primary voters, but they won’t be enough to elect you. You have to bring in many new supporters by talking about issues important to GLBT people and their families, telling blacks and other minorities why your economic policies are better for them, explaining to Hispanics why legal immigration is good for America, and simply promising to give everyone a fair shake. Stop engaging in petty personal and political fights rather than the issues. You have to extend a hand even to those who now oppose you and help bring our party together if you intend to win. As the nominee and leader of the party, it’s up to you to do that.

Mr. Trump, there’s too much at stake to fail in your campaign to make America great again. It’s in your hands. For the sake of this country, and your supporters, please don’t let us down.

A Fundamental Freedom: Why Republicans, Conservatives, and Libertarians Should Support Gay Rights — $18.10 Hardcover/$9.99 Kindle

David Lampo is the author of A Fundamental Freedom: Why Republicans, Conservatives, and Libertarians Should Support Gay Rights and a member of Log Cabin Republicans.