It’s not just the rich and famous who raise money in support of candidates running for public office. In reality, the bulk of the dollars that fund all political campaigns come from the efforts of thousands of people who work hard to convince friends, family and colleagues to support the candidates they believe in. This type of support is crucial because it is the money that pays the salaries and keeps the lights on in a campaign organization.
In the political world, it’s called "bundling."
I have been a registered Republican for much of my adult life. I believe deeply that Republican economic principles and international policies will create a stronger, safer and more prosperous America. I believe in limiting government, relying on the private sector for economic growth and in maintaining a strong national defense.
And I actively support candidates who mostly reflect my views.
During this election cycle, I spent countless hours enthusiastically raising money and campaigning for one of the most trustworthy, qualified and positive candidates to run for president in recent years, Ohio Governor John Kasich.
I guess the political establishment would call me a loyal Republican bundler.
In this presidential election, my conscience has led me away from the Republican Party. As the campaign enters the home stretch, I know that I will never vote for Donald Trump. I considered not voting for president at all and I took a look at Gary Johnson. I rejected both of those alternatives because, in our two party/50 state system, only the Republican or Democrat has any chance of winning. A Trump presidency is just too frightening, so I was left with only one alternative.
Hillary Clinton has never been my first choice for President — nor my second nor third — but I will support and vote for her in November. Like her or not, agree with her or not, Secretary Clinton is the only viable alternative to a Donald Trump presidency. In this race, she alone passes the most basic test about serving as our President — she is qualified for the job. Donald Trump is not.
The time has finally come for Republican leaders to stop the absurd narrative that electing a Democrat is somehow worse than electing an unqualified, unprincipled, egotist to be President of the United States. Those of us who love this country, including loyal Republicans, must act to ensure that Donald Trump never, ever occupies the Oval Office.
How does a Republican get to this point?
For me, it began last year as I watched Donald Trump incessantly assert that his “hugely successful” business career qualified him to be President. Even if that were so, a simple examination of his record presents a very different reality. I thought about his claims from my own 30-year experience as a CEO and I concluded that Donald Trump’s business record is anything but the huge success he asserts. Consistent with his grandiose self-image, Trump judges his business acumen simply on how much money he has made for himself.
The true measure of CEO success is not how much money they make for themselves, but how well they serve their investors, their employees and their customers.
By that measure, Donald Trump is far from a success. One bankruptcy may be understandable, but it still is a material failure for a CEO. Donald Trump has led his companies into four of them, a feat few others can claim. Make no mistake, Trump’s personal leadership caused his investors to lose their money, his employees to lose their jobs and his customers to flee to the competition. His business strategies were poorly conceived, poorly financed and poorly executed. These business failures were even more unconscionable when he enriched himself personally by extracting millions of dollars from his stakeholders just as his companies were slipping into bankruptcy.
In the months that followed his entrance into the race, Donald Trump repeatedly shocked so many as he personally attacked his opponents with idiotic comments, he displayed a total lack of knowledge and even curiosity about the issues confronting the nation and then, in July, he crossed a line that should never have been approached. It is unforgivable that the Republican nominee for president of the United States incessantly attacked the Gold Star family of a true American hero, a family whose son gave his life to save the lives of his fellow American soldiers.
The hero’s grieving father, Khizr Khan, asked a simple question, “What sacrifices have you made?” The best answer Trump could come up with was that he worked hard.
Join the club.
It took a major intervention to stop a presidential candidate from continuing a week-long tantrum against a family who represents everything that is great about America.
Mr. Khan penetrated Donald Trump’s notoriously thin skin with nothing more than a few dozen words. Thin skin and temper tantrums is a disastrous combination in a Commander-in-Chief.
Perhaps the most frightening of all is Donald Trump’s reckless disregard for an informed and responsible foreign policy. Republican leaders must accept how serious the danger is if we elect an intensely self-absorbed candidate who cares more about what people say about him than in having a solid grasp of the issues confronting our nation and the role we play in the world. He praises dictators and tyrants, reducing his vision of American foreign policy to, “If he (Vladimir Putin) says great things about me, I’m going to say great things about him.”
He advocates walking away from our commitments to our allies and allowing the spread of nuclear weapons. Such irresponsible talk has resulted in 50 Republican national security and foreign policy experts and over 70 Republican political leaders to declare that their party’s candidate is too unstable and unqualified to serve as Commander-in-Chief.
Republican candidates and supporters who try to distance themselves from Donald Trump’s childish behavior and dangerous words while tepidly continuing to endorse him, shame on you. The truly courageous among us, whether they decide to vote for Hillary Clinton, write in a candidate, or vote for no one, are people like John Kasich, George and Jeb Bush, Susan Collins, Lindsay Graham, Ben Sasse, Mitt Romney and the rapidly growing number of other Republicans who refuse to support Donald Trump.
Our country will survive four years of Hillary Clinton. I fear that it would not survive Donald Trump.