Why Republicans Should Vote For Joe Biden — He Has More Republican Values Than Trump.
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” — Ronald Reagan
“What we do now echoes in eternity” — Marcus Aurelius
I hate that I have to write this post, because I am primarily an economic voter, and I believe the by and large the Republicans (pre-Trump) had much much better economic ideas than the Democrats. In fact, I wrote a piece (subscription required) defending Trump’s economic ideas in the Boston Globe just before the 2016 election. But after nearly 4 years in office, it is clear that Donald Trump is not a classical Republican. In fact, he has nothing in common with core Republican ideals, and so this post is about why real Republicans should vote him out of office.
If you don’t have time to read this post (warning, it’s long) at least watch this video from a Trump voter who used to work for him about how your children are less safe from foreign and domestic threats in a Trump world. Otherwise, please read on to learn why I wrote this, and why some of the information may surprise you.
A Word on Values
I believe people should have values — a handful of principles on which you will not compromise. Before you read the rest of this post, you should consider if you have any values, and what they are. If you can’t think of a single thing that Trump could do that would make you not vote for him, then reading this is a waste of your time.
This post is for people with values, particularly the core values Republicans used to have, who think some things are more important than party loyalty, and those Republicans who feel like I do — that Trump may have crossed too many lines and that protecting those lines he crossed are more important than making sure the Republican party wins in November.
For example, I believe character matters for someone aspiring to be President. I was critical of Bill Clinton’s character for his personal behaviors, and I remain consistent in my values by being critical of Donald Trump’s character for similar behaviors. I believe that people with poor character should be voted out of office even if it means my party and my other ideas lose for 4 years — because my core value that “character matters for the role of President” goes beyond party loyalty. If you don’t have any values that supersede party loyalty, don’t waste your time reading this.
Warning: some of what you will read below will surprise you. Why? Because Trump is a master marketer — he’s world class at it. He has pulled the wool over the eyes of so many Republicans, and controlled the story to make sure things are in his favor. When I have shared some of the links, facts, and data that I cover below with Republican friends, they have been shocked. Many had no idea that some of Trump’s actions had led to such things.
My argument, in summary, is that I believe President Trump hasn’t made America great again. Instead he has taken steps to weaken America in economic and foreign policy which I will outline below. He has moved America towards Socialism.
I will also provide evidence that Trump isn’t for free trade, he isn’t religious, he doesn’t believe in limited government, he doesn’t support individual liberty, he is pro-choice, and he doesn’t have strong moral character, or any of the other core things Republicans have claimed (until 2016) to value. Rather than argue about core left vs right issues in this piece, I want to make the point that Biden is actually a better fit with core Republican values (1980–2016 Republican values). I will argue that Trump doesn’t care about you, only himself. And I will argue that the future of the Republican party is at stake and Trump is taking the party in a direction that will cause it to lose for a very long time, and that 2020 is the time to change course. Voting Trump out is best for the Republican party. Biden will be a weak one term President and the Republicans will win again in 2024.
There is a massive wave building of prominent Republicans who aren’t just denouncing Trump, they are voting for Biden. If you only watch Fox News, you probably haven’t seen this because they haven’t mentioned it. But it’s real, and I will write more about it below so that those of you wondering what you should do on election day will realize that if you choose to vote Democratic for the first time in your life, you aren’t alone. There are others, many others, who believe this has to happen to save the United States and the Republican Party.
To answer a question in advance — no, I do not expect most Republicans who read this to change their minds. In fact, I do not expect most of them to even read this far into the article. But this may be a close election and if I can help even a handful of truly open minded Republicans see the light, it could help.
Politically, I am a registered Libertarian (here’s why). I vote Right about 65% of the time, and Left about 35% of the time. I should be a registered Republican, but the party has moved away from its core ideas, and is instead just focused on “beating Democrats.” I don’t believe the ends justifies the means in politics, so I do not support this approach and thus had to change my voter registration many years ago.
Let’s get started…
Trump Foreign Policy Has Made Us Weaker
The United States used to run the world, but Trump’s insular foreign policy has put an end to that. Trump has mishandled China, Iran, Russia, and North Korea — all of which are stronger now than when he took office. In fact, Trump’s worst sin is that he willingly gave up American leadership of the world, and somehow convinced his base that it was a good thing. Now the rest of the world is ignoring us, making decisions without our input, and blatantly flouting American interests all over the world. Trump’s “America first” nationalism is the stupidest foreign policy we’ve had in my lifetime and is actually putting America last, because as we have turned insular, the rest of the world is moving on without us. We matter less in world affairs than we ever have, and for that you can thank President Trump. America is weaker as a country.
Here is the proof:
- The Atlantic recently ran an article about how the U.S. used to make the rules of the world, but now China does.
- Russia has been more belligerent, putting . Can you imagine this happening during another Republican presidency? No, because the Russians don’t respect Trump.
- China and Iran entered into a military deal, and the article includes in the title “defying the U.S.” No major country would have defied the United States this way under any other President, Republican or Democrat. It’s only Trump that has lost their respect. Not only that, he has willingly withdrawn from global alliances, so we have no allies to help counter this. We have no seat at the table for important decisions.
- Over 70 Republican national security experts have endorsed Biden and called Trump “dangerously unfit” to serve as President. These aren’t liberals. These are lifelong GOP members who have served in multiple Republican administrations. Breaking party lines at this scale is unheard of, but they are doing it because they fear your children are less safe under Trump.
- The Chief of Staff for the Department of Homeland Security, a Republican, made a video about why we are less safe under Trump and why he is supporting Biden.
- Another great Atlantic article about how America First became America Alone.
- North Korean missile tests have accelerated since Trump has been President.
- Iran has 10x the enriched uranium they had when Trump withdrew from the 2015 treaty the U.S. and Europe negotiated with Iran. That is the first step to making a nuclear missile, and Iran is closer, not further, because of Trump’s actions.
- If you haven’t been following Hong Kong this summer, China has taken major steps to curtail freedom and democracy in the country. I don’t believe that would have happened if anyone other than Trump was President. But China acted because they don’t fear the United States with a weakling like Trump in power. In fact, a recent article in the Wall Street Journal entitled How China Is Taking Over International Organizations, One Vote at a Time mentions that there were two UN decrees — one condemning China’s actions and one supporting it. The U.S., as the world’s defender of democracy, should have drafted the condemnation, but we didn’t. The U.K. did. Here is what happened.
“One, drafted by Cuba and commending Beijing’s move, won the backing of 53 nations. Another, issued by the U.K. and expressing concern, secured 27 supporters.”
So more nations supported China’s move than opposed it. Why? Because Trump’s actions have accelerated China’s rise, not slowed it. Other countries are aligning themselves with the coming world superpower. Biden can halt and start to reverse this, as he has deep expertise on China, but after four more years of Trump, I fear we will have permanently lost our world leadership position.
- In addition, over 500 national security experts, including many Republicans, have endorsed Joe Biden for President because they feel Trump has weakened America and increased our exposure to attacks.
Trump Is More Socialist Than Biden — He Meddles in Corporate America More Than Any Democrat.
Trump’s primary economic advisor is a guy named Peter Navarro, a left wing economist who ran for office as a Democrat multiple times. Navarro has helped move Trump’s policies far far to the left economically.
Here is the proof:
- Trump asked the private corporations involved in the TikTok deal to pay the government $5 Billion! Can you imagine the Republican outcry if Obama had stolen $5 Billion from private companies? This is socialism at it’s finest. But you probably didn’t know this because Fox News never mentioned it.
- One of my favorite authors, Nassim Taleb, who has supported much of what Trump has done, calls him our first Socialist President at the 28:00 minute mark in this video.
- The Week published a story about Biden vs Trump, asking “who is the bigger socialist?” No surprise that it’s Trump.
- Andy Kessler wrote a great piece in the Wall Street Journal about the TikTok deal with a quote I love. “Trump’s move to strip it’s assets look more like nationalization than national security.” The TikTok deal isn’t about security. It’s about Trump’s thirst for government intervention (socialism).
- Donald Trump Is An Enemy of Freedom.
- Overall, Trump has used twitter and executive orders to tell companies who they can buy from, who they can sell to, who they can hire (not immigrants), where they should build plants, etc. He meddles in private markets at a level that would make Bernie Sanders jealous. If you value capitalism and free markets, you have to vote Trump out of office.
Trump Has a Record Number of Respectable Senior Republicans Denouncing Him And Saying They Will Vote For Biden.
I expect that most Democrats will denounce Trump. I even expected a few Republicans would. But the wave of Republicans against Trump is massive.
Here’s the proof:
- I mentioned this in other section but, over 70 Republican national security officials endorsed Biden. These are people who have served in multiple Republican administrations. I’m sure Trump will tell you all 70 were losers. And I bet Fox News hasn’t covered this.
- James Mattis, Trump’s own former Defense Secretary, has denounced Trump and said Trump is dangerous for the Constitution.
- Many former US Republican attorneys have signed a letter endorsing Biden and stating that Trump is a threat to the rule of law.
- There are whole websites now like Republican Voters Against Trump (tons of great videos, many by people who worked for him), Republicans for Biden, and The Lincoln Project. The latter produce this excellent video of Ronald Reagan contrasted with Trump.
- Let’s not forget the New York Times op-ed by an anonymous administration official (edit after posting — this was revealed to be Miles Taylor), and the books written by John Bolton and Michael Cohen and others. These weren’t hack job books by journalists like they often are against Presidents — these are criticisms by lifelong Republicans who were close to the President and worried about his behavior enough to say something.
- I love this video of Elizabeth Neumann — a mother, a Christian, a Trump voter, who worked for his administration, and explains why he’s a risk.
- And Olivia Troye who worked for the DHS, on how Trump, during a meeting about covid with serious issues, derailed the meeting to instead talk about what Tucker Carlson said that he didn’t like.
- There is also a very very long list of prominent Republicans voting for Biden.
- And while Lindsay Graham still supports Trump, here he is in his own words talking about Trump and Biden.
- Even Ben Sasse recently ripped Trump.
- My point here is that I realize it’s hard to vote for a Democrat, but Trump has made a mockery of the Republican party. He can’t stay in power and continue to run the party and the country into the ground. This is your one chance in life to be bold, cross party lines, show that some values are more important that whether or not Republicans win the election, and take a stand to restore the Republican party to something better than Trump.
Trump’s Immigration Policy Is Causing Us To Lose Jobs and Innovation.
I work in venture capital, so I am very close to this issue personally. More than half of billion dollar startups are built by immigrants who come here and assimilate American values. While I understand there are certain people we don’t want to come to the U.S., Trump’s broad hammer approach of keeping everyone out is crushing innovation and startups.
Here’s the proof:
- Wired has a great article about how the short sighted immigration policies of the U.S. are making Canada great again. It is becoming a huge tech hub. We could, and should, have those jobs and tax revenues here in the states.
- AI is the technology of the future, and China is investing more than we are. We can’t win this race without intelligent well educate immigrants helping us.
- A leading AI expert just left the US for China, and while the U.S. has had a large lead in AI talent, it is because until Trump got in office we attracted the most international AI experts. 29% of the world’s top AI researchers come from China, compared to 20% from the U.S. But more than half those Chinese researchers come to the U.S. for school or work and want to stay. We shouldn’t be sending them back.
Trump’s China Strategy Isn’t Working. It’s Making Things Worse.
- The Trump administration’s view on China and abandonment of diplomacy is wrong and not backed by evidence. Trump has us on the wrong course.
- The latest evidence shows Trump’s trade war isn’t working, as the U.S. just ran it’s largest deficit since 2006.
- For all of Trump’s work to bring businesses back from China to the U.S., only 3.7% of businesses intend to do so. It’s a failed policy and a stupid goal and Americans are paying the price for Trump’s attempt to restore the jobs of 1975 instead of build the jobs of 2025.
- A Chinese analyst has said that Biden “could do more damage than Mr. Trump by pursuing a more coherent strategy to counter China’s global agenda.” Trump’s chaotic policy is wrong, and incoherent.
- China’s intellectual property issues are actually getting much better. Diplomacy and international pressure are better tactics than Trump’s craziness.
- Trump’s actions have strengthened China, and his tariffs aren’t working.
- For years China has relied on the U.S. for key semiconductor technology. Keeping China dependent on that would have given the U.S. strategic leverage over China. But Trump’s constant bans of who can sell and buy what from China has sparked a move in China to become independent of the U.S. This action makes China more powerful, and more of a threat, not less. Another reason Trump’s foreign policy is idiotic.
- The reason this is important for our future, particularly the China piece, is because of what is called the Thucydides Trap. In 12 of the last 16 cases in history when a rising power has confronted a ruling power, the result has been bloodshed. The more we isolate our economy, our supply chains, and our allies from China, the more we risk going to war over something. When two countries are deeply integrated, they don’t kill each other.
Trump Is More Tax And Spend Than The Democrats, And Debt Is Dangerous.
Here is the proof:
- Trump’s tariffs were a tax increase on Americans. This article from CNBC highlights why Americans have paid $24 Billion in tariffs, which are a form of taxes, and highlights how the cost of doing business for many American companies went up because of Trump’s tariffs.
- Here is an article from February — pre covid and pre bailout, about how Trump’s deficits are blowing past Obama’s.
- Trump has had many bankruptcies, including Trump Casinos, Trump Airlines, Trump Vodka, Trump University, and now Trump’s USA is next.
- Moody’s Analytics actually reports that a Biden presidency is better for the economy.
Trump Is Not Religious. Biden Is.
I don’t think religion should factor in to political views, but I know many Republicans are what they are because of their Christianity, so here is the proof Trump is not religious:
- 63% of Americans believe Trump is not religious.
- Ben Sasse, a Republican, claims that Trump mocks evangelicals behind their backs.
- Joe Biden is a life-long catholic. He has been seen at church.
- After Trump said the Bible was his favorite book, he was unable to name a single verse from it. C’mon man — how about John 3:16? Everyone should know that whether you are religious or not.
- Also, how many religious people say, even in private conversations, that women will let you “grab em by the pussy?”
- If you really want to know what would Jesus do, I think he would vote for Biden. It is difficult for me to understand how you keep your integrity as a Christian if you vote for Trump. I keep expecting to hear many Christians say “I don’t agree with many of Biden’s policies, but I believe character matters, and Trump has low moral character, so I am voting for Biden.” But I haven’t.
I know Biden is pro-choice, which is a problem for many Christians, but really, so is Trump. Let’s look at that next.
Trump Is Pro Choice.
Trump is very pro choice, as he says in this Meet The Press interview. He changed his position only when he started campaigning, and you can read about that here. It chronicles his early campaign slip ups saying he was pro-choice.
The Bulwark has an excellent essay on why pro lifers should not vote for Trump. The core argument is that selling your soul to elect an immoral person in hopes that they overturn Roe v. Wade is itself immoral.
Are you really willing to burn down the Republican party and the country for the hope that a con man like Trump may help overturn the nearly 50 year old legal precedent of Roe v. Wade? It’s unlikely to happen, and if that’s really your goal, there are better ways to do it than propping up an authoritarian socialist.
Trump Is Not The Law And Order President.
I have some experience in leadership. I was a CEO for 11 years. I’ve sat on 6 Boards as a Director, and have served as a senior executive in a company doing over $100M in revenue. I learned a few things about leadership. Here are some thoughts:
- One thing I learned is that sometimes people just want to be heard. I believe that the best way for Trump to stop the violence related to BLM is to do two things:
- He needs to call out the white nationalists that are aggravating this and making it worse. They show up because they feel supported.
- He needs to go on national television and be empathetic and listen and promise to call a national event in DC when covid is over for police chiefs of major cities to come together and figure out how Washington can help.
People are going crazy because Trump won’t listen, and incites them with divisive rhetoric.
- I don’t understand how Trump can claim he’s the “law and order” President when he can’t even follow the rules of a simple debate — rules any school kid could follow. It’s easy. Let the other guy talk for 2 minutes.
- Why won’t the “law and order” President commit to a peaceful transition of power post election? That would be the “law and order” way to do it. Republicans have condemned him for it. And I’m surprised to see a major story about how the military is preparing for what may happen if Trump loses the election by tries to use the military via the Insurrection Act to stay in office. The military must not believe he’s the law and order President if they have to plan for that.
- There is some evidence that the Trump campaign is already figuring out an esoteric legal way to use Republican state legislatures to overturn an election if Biden wins.
Trump Either Lies a Lot Or Is Showing Signs Of Dementia. Either Is Bad For a President.
Trump says so many things that are false it’s crazy. His administration also does a ton of unethical and questionable things. Yes, I realize some of the criticisms are political, and yes there may be some witch hunts, but it is really really really tough for me, given the evidence, to believe that the President is a fine human being and almost every bad thing that happens is a fake news story.
Here is a small sampling of his unethical behavior, lying, or dementia:
- Ellen Knight, the security official tasked to review John Bolton’s book, claims that Trump administration lawyers asked her to sign misleading statements about the book.
- Of course there is the big story about Trump cheating on his taxes in the New York Times, which Trump claims is wrong. Of course, he could prove it by releasing his taxes, which is a common thing for Presidents to do. But he won’t because the NYT is probably correct.
- Trump said during the debate that the Portland sheriff supported him. The Portland Sheriff, Mike Reese, actually took to twitter to say he does not support the President and never has.
- The Trump campaign edited an earpiece in Joe Biden’s picture from the debates, knowing they could show it to their side and no one would question whether it was edited.
- Trump mentions the Proud Boys in the debate, then says he doesn’t know who they are, which seems unlikely.
- Politifact has a running list of thousands of Trump lies.
- Daniel Dale points out a recent lie that I find particularly funny.
The Republican Party Is Stronger In Four Years If Trump Isn’t Re-Elected
Trump has blasted (publicly!) every single person who left the administration and said something bad about him, which isn’t just bad form, it’s antithetical to leadership. No one even tries to defend his character or his tweets any more. Everyone knows he is a bad guy.
Trump has done some good things, I won’t deny that. But not enough to warrant re-election given his lousy character, abandonment of America global leadership, and his attempts to move the Republican party off its core values.
And yes, Biden will be a weak mediocre President. But that is good for the Republican Party. Vote Trump out, and in four years win in a landslide against a weak Biden. This gives the party four years to figure out a new strategy that is a return to core values.
We all tell our children that some decisions in life are difficult. We say they should stand up for their values even when it is hard. But are we willing to actually do that ourselves? We would never tell our children “better to keep a corrupt man in power if he agrees with some of your goals” yet, 92% of Republicans support Trump, despite many acknowledging he lacks character.
This may be the biggest opportunity of your life to make a difference. You have the chance to show you aren’t partisan, to vote for a Democrat because he actually embodies more Republican values than the Republican candidate (free markets, strong foreign policy, strong moral character), and to show that character matters. You have the chance to show that some things are more important than winning elections. The Republicans can be the party that reset politics, that reset the country, that voted their guy out because he wasn’t a follower of the Constitution. You have a chance to experience one of those very difficult moments when your integrity is really questions, when the hard choices we all talk about actually materialize and we are forced to actually do the hard thing. You have a chance to do something rare, and something great.
A Trump will win tell the Republican party this is the right track. And the next candidate will be another Trump clone. That could destroy the party for many elections to come.
There has never been a time when the country needs such strong leadership, thoughtfulness, and integrity from its electorate. You have a chance to stand up and tell the world you aren’t going to blindly follow the Republican party if it goes to a bad place. You can be a person of values. A person who is independent, a person who for once in life actually crossed party lines. Not many people ever do. These decisions are difficult, but the stakes for our children and the future of this country have never been higher.
A Word On Open Mindedness
I’m willing to be open minded here. I read multiple sites a day, always through a browser, never through a feed, so the algorithms have less impact. I typically checkout cnn.com, foxnews.com, townhall.com, motherjones.com, reason.com, politico.com, theweek.com, and a few more less often, to get a good mix of perspectives. In addition I get the paper version of the WSJ (which leans right) and the NYT (which leans left).
Feel free to leave comments or email me if you have a legitimate argument. But don’t waste your time if you:
- Are just going to criticize a source — that’s an ad hominem attack, and isn’t critical thinking — you need to attack and invalidate the argument, not the source of the argument
- Are just going to say “the other side does it too”. I don’t care. My parents said two wrongs don’t make a right.
- Are going to point out good things Trump did. Yes, he did some good things. And I stayed away from the whole covid debacle in this post too. That’s not the point. The point is Trump has moved the Republican party left and Joe Biden is a better match for Republican values. You have to address that specific issue since that’s what I wrote about.
- If you read this far, bravo. Probably 5% of readers will, so, you are in an elite group.
Thanks for reading. I hope this gives a few Republicans the courage to vote for Biden.