When this campaign started in what feels like an eternity ago, I remember looking at the wide range of candidates who were either prepping to run or had already announced their candidacy. For me the biggest factors early on were focusing policy issues and electability. After all, the right policies combined with an unelectable candidate would end up a sure loser in November. On the other hand, the right message with lousy policy would be exposed for what it is over the course of a campaign.
From that point I was able to narrow the field to three candidates who I thought gave Republicans a good chance to win in November. I watched speeches, I read more details on their policies, and I followed the polls to see who could actually defeat Hillary Clinton. It became fairly obvious to me as the field started to narrow that the best choice to win in November was Marco Rubio.
It wasn’t just the conservative policies that Rubio wanted to enact as president, but the message that he brought to voters that Hillary was the past and he was future. The contrast could not be more clear, and the idea of Rubio vs. Clinton match-up feels like a choice that this country needs to make. The thought of a Rubio/Clinton debate was particularly exciting due to the extreme differences in personality, and cemented my belief that Rubio was the best choice to win in November.
Over the last six months the polls have also shown that to be the case, as Rubio has consistently polled better against Hillary than either Cruz or Trump. In most cases he’s polled better than Hillary in swing states that Republicans need to win in November, and Rubio even makes states like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin competitive while the GOP has struggled there for over a decade now.
I still feel strongly that Rubio is the best choice today. I believe his positive message and conservative values will make him the most viable challenger to Hillary Clinton. He has a way of bringing messages to voters that not only presents a stark contrast, but also conveys why his policies can help their families create better lives for themselves. It’s a message that the GOP often neglects – they often tell voters their policies without explaining why it will help them.
All of this is in jeopardy though if Donald Trump is the Republican nominee. What at first felt like a passing fad, the Trump campaign has now become the frontrunner for the nomination with nonstop media coverage – often commercial free for an hour at a time in recent weeks.
Trump has received fifteen times the media coverage of Rubio due to rallies that focus on insults, negativity, and anger. These are not the values that make America great – they are the values of a salesperson trying to dupe voters into making a horrible decision. I am asking everyone to think twice about what a Donald Trump nomination would mean.
At the end of the day, this election is about what we want this country to be. It’s about who we are as a nation and what we value. This election isn’t just about what policies we want to see enacted, but about the character of those who we all look to for answers to complex problems in the world. We have spent the last eight years joking about how the Obama administration is run by children – are we any better if we nominate a person who calls anyone who questions him stupid or ugly?
I have a three year old child, and I would be embarrassed if he ever acted in the manner that Donald Trump does on a daily basis. If he had a friend with a father like Donald Trump, I would not want him spending time at that friend’s house because I would not want him to be around someone like Donald Trump. To those who are considering voting for Trump – is this a person you want your child to emulate themselves after?
This is a fight for the basic decency of our nation. It is a fight over what we value and what we aspire to be. I want my son to grow up in a world where we respect one another and treat each other with kindness even when we might disagree on any given issue. I need my son to grow up in a country where the first response to racism and hatred is absolute rejection, and that we always look to the best in each other and not judge them solely on where they came from.
Donald Trump has spent his entire career using his fame and fortune to further himself at the expense of others. During this campaign he has never shown respect towards the other candidates, throwing out insults like ugly, stupid, dumb, and of course calling everyone a loser. Can you imagine a country where our children see this kind of behavior on a regular basis? No one would ever want their kid around someone who teaches them that this is acceptable, so why are we considering hiring someone like this to be our president?
Policies and issues are always important, but even if you believe that Donald Trump will follow up with policies that he has opposed for most of his life, it is not worth risking the soul of our country to accomplish them. We are a compassionate country that has always found a way to come together for a greater purpose, not tear each other down with insults and hate at the slightest disagreement.
There is still a lot of time left in this primary season, and it is far from too late to make sure this country maintains the values and character we all want our kids to grow up in. I implore everyone who is going to be voting in the Republican primaries to resist the urge to vote out of anger and frustration, but to vote in the hope that our kids can grow up in a country that will bring out the best in them. Vote for opportunity that all Americans can create for themselves with hard work and dedication, not the type of leader that has made millions by using bankruptcy laws to leave small businesses scrambling to pay their employees after being stiffed on the bill.
One of the ideals that Republicans have always held so tightly to is that this is one of the kindest and most generous countries in history. It is in that belief that I hope we will be able to stop Donald Trump from ever being our nominee so that we can win in November with a message that brings this country together. I believe Marco Rubio can and will do that, and I strongly encourage you all to join me in voting for a future where conservative values can grow through opportunity and compassion for others.
With that out of the way – let’s get to work!