On June 16, 2015, Americans woke up assuming it was just another hot summer day. We cranked up our ACs, downed our coffees and carried on with our lives like it was a perfectly regular day. Little did we know that this would be the day we'd all fall victim to what some have assumed was a monumental prank at the mischievous hands of Ashton Kutcher.
We waited for Kutcher to jump out of the bushes wearing a red Trump trucker hat and say, "Gotcha!" but it never happened. While we were right about the prank, we were wrong about the culprit... Donald Trump has been punking us ever since.
I'm a blond-haired, blue-eyed, American-born working woman in the middle class, the daughter of a veteran, the mother of two young boys, and on a good day my husband and I go to bed at night without worrying about how we're going to stay above water. I'm also a registered Republican, so when I stumbled across a meme in my news feed that read, "You don't like Trump, huh? I bet you're either Muslim, living in America illegally, or living off of the government," I quite literally turned red. Despite this meme's accusations that my distaste for Trump is due to either my religious affiliation or social class, it missed the mark by a long shot.
As a Republican, I'm ashamed that Trump swept Super Tuesday. I'm horrified that the front-running candidate turned a political debate into a discussion of his penis size. I'm embarrassed that conservatives have betrayed the very foundation our values were built upon.
At first Trump's presidential announcement was funny. The media gods had gifted us with the perfect political punch line. Trump is a circus monkey, a mysogynist, a man with a well-documented history of racial slurs who seems to get high off of the fumes of hair spray and elitism. He's a hothead who has no business in the White House, but instead of becoming a joke, he became a contender.
He's a buffoon with deep pockets, but he's weaseled his way into the delicate, damaged and malleable minds of far too many Americans. He's leading polls and tallying votes. He's selling out seats at rallies and garnering applause at debates. He insults people of each and every class, color and creed, all the while still maintaining his margin.
We — the GOP — drank the poison. We sold our souls to the highest bidder and released the kraken into the party without once considering the demise that might be brought forth by doing so.
I'll admit I also thought his bid was amusing at first, but it's not funny anymore. The joke is on us, and I guarantee you that no one is laughing with us now. They're laughing at us for choosing a man who contradicts some of our very principles.
He says he wants to fight for the little people, but until his presidential bid, he didn't know we "little people" even existed. He's indecisive and untrustworthy; he double-deals and plays both sides of the fence. This is the person we want to send to the White House? The person who represents all that is wrong with corporate money, who's been a longtime supporter of the Clintons? A man who flies off the handle with vapid insults when his authority is in question? How are Republicans, especially Republican women, OK with this?
He's misrepresenting all of us.
Who is voting for this man? Really, who?
If you're thinking to yourself, "Hmm, that's me. What's wrong with voting for Trump?" let me just inform you that your kraken has gone rogue. He's not "making America great again"; he's handing out Trump trucker hats and sedating us with absurd and empty promises. He's pushing his political fantasies with scare tactics and school yard bullying. He's essentially holding voters upside down by their toes and shaking them until their loose change falls from their pockets, except instead of surrendering our milk money, we're surrendering our better judgment, our voice of reason, our common sense.
Republicans want to throw insults at Hillary Clinton but won't acknowledge that Donald Trump helped to fund her presidential campaign in 2008. We want to complain about illegal immigrants "taking our jobs," yet we forget that Donald Trump has given some of these men and women visas to work on jobs that Americans were standing in line for.
Maybe you're sitting there thinking, "But he's built an empire, he must be a decent businessman." Maybe Trump is a good businessman. However, if I had received a down payment for my empire that reached upward of millions of dollars along with the keys to my exceedingly successful father's castle, I'd probably be fairly successful in business too.
But wait, there's more. Trump's companies have filed for bankruptcy four times. His "university" scammed thousands of hopeful men and women out of their money, causing not only an uproar but a still-pending class action lawsuit. He's relentlessly and unapologetically uttered racial, sexist and xenophobic slurs. He's demeaned women. He's made blatantly false statements pertaining to his dealings, failed to reprimand the KKK, and he's even gone as far as to insult the pope. The pope.
For every accusation, Trump has got an equally offensive rebuttal. He cowers behind meritless "strategies" and avoids offering direct answers by retracting with tepid one-liners and facial contortion.
If Trump wins, we aren't all going to ride off into the sunset on our star-spangled Harleys as Ted Nugent and Toby Keith blare in the background and bald eagles escort us into the land of milk and honey. We're not going to hop on our white horses and herd immigrants like cattle back across the border as we kick up dust and recite the Constitution.
The only thing Republicans will get from a Trump presidency, other than the erosion of our nation's respect and what little unity that remains, is a bumper sticker that says, "I voted for Trump, and all I got was this stupid red hat."
We created this monster — now it's our job to stop him.
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