Why I’m voting Republican for the first time

Why I’m voting Republican for the first time
Photo by Teresa Puente

No, I’m not one of those Democrats switching sides to vote for Donald Trump.

I’m going to vote Republican for the first time in my life in the Illinois primary Tuesday.

I’m voting for Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

I know he doesn’t have a chance of winning. But he is the least scary of all the Republican candidates.

I am voting to split the Republican vote and stop Trump from winning in Illinois and hopefully stem his momentum nationwide.

I went to observe the protests against Trump Friday night in Chicago.

Some media characterized them as violent protests. Five people were arrested and two police officers injured.

Most of the protesters were peaceful and only wanted to speak out against Trump’s xenophobia and hate speech.

Trump has called those who protest him against him dangerous.

But Trump is the dangerous one.

Every day that he continues to spew his vitriol our country becomes more divided.

There is some evidence of mounting hate crimes.

On Thursday, two Northwestern University students defaced a chapel with anti-Semitic, anti-gay and racist slurs. They also scrawled the word Trump.

Anthony Morales, 19, and Matthew Kafker, 18, were charged with institutional vandalism, hate crime to a place of worship, and criminal damage to property, the Chicago Tribune reported.

It’s tragic to me that one of them has an Hispanic surname. Some Hispanics can be racists too. We only have to look at George Zimmerman.

Last week in Milwaukee, a white man, Dan Popp, killed three of his neighbors, according to the Journal-Sentinel.

He asked a neighbor and and his son where they were from. When they said, Puerto Rico, the man reportedly said, "Oh, that's why you don't speak English. You're Puerto Rican."

He later came back and shot the father, saying, "You guys got to go.”

He also killed two other neighbors.

And in Los Angeles earlier this month three white men attacked a group of Hispanics playing soccer in a park

The men identified as white supremacists have been charged with hate crimes. They had a Confederate flag and also shouted, “Heil Hitler.”

Now Donald Trump clearly can’t be charged for these attacks.

And only in one of these recent cases was his name even mentioned.

But we have to ask if Trump’s rhetoric contributes to a growing climate of hate that is leading to more hate attacks?

Trump eventually disavowed David Duke and the KKK. But he doesn’t kick out white supremacists who attend his rallies or condone robocalls made by white supremacists.

He has used racially coded language. He called the Chicago protesters “thugs.” Most of them were university students.

He says we need to “take back America.”

From who?

A black president?

Trump talks about “these people.”

Who does he mean?

Is he thinking of the growing population of Latinos, who by the way, the vast majority are U.S. citizens?

At another rally, Trump asked a protester, “Are you from Mexico?”

That along with his talk of building the wall and making Mexico pay and stereotyping Mexicans as rapists and criminals only feeds the narrative of hate.

Trump must not win a majority of delegates. Hopefully the Republican convention will be brokered and they can come up with a candidate who won’t continue to divide America.

Some may want Trump to win because Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton could easily defeat him.

I think that is too dangerous a risk to take.

Rest assured I will be voting for a Democrat in the fall. I am not a afraid of a Sanders or a Clinton presidency.

I know that they won’t foment hate and division in the United States. I agree with most of their policies. I don’t see the differences between them as that great.

I know some Democrats will disagree with me. But I can live with Clinton or Sanders as the Democratic nominee.

But what I can’t fathom is Donald Trump as the Republican nominee, or worse as president of the United States.

So I am using my vote as a form of protest.

I’m voting against Trump.

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