I wrote this yesterday afternoon over on Facebook, while a student was making up a test after school. I got several requests to share it here.
After months of the horror show that was the 2016 election, the destruction of the GOP as a principled conservative political force, the legitimazation of the alt-right in American politics, and the election of a dangerous demagogue as President, I drove to work this morning in despair.
Walking into school and through the halls to my classroom, I felt vaguely comforted by the conversations I was hearing -- words that indicated awareness and engagement when one looked beyond the anger, the fear, and the despair.
As my classes got underway, I felt renewed. An impromptu discussion of the election -- and why Trump may not be able to accomplish many of his goals -- made me realize that my students actually get what I have been teaching about the Constitution, the limits of government power, and the ability of the people to bring change through their involvement.
And as I looked around, I saw the future -- and I rejoiced. Why? Because I realized that these young people are an emergent force in our society. They are Hispanic, African-American, Asian-American, and white -- and they may be upset with the choices the country was offered and the results of the election, but they believe in the values I grew up with. Some of them will be attending the best colleges and universities in this country next year, while others will be be at less selective schools pursuing their dreams. Some will be entering the workforce and the military. But they are our future -- and the future looks damn good to me, regardless of the temporary residence in the White House of a man whose unfitness for office ought to be obvious to every thinking person.
Donald Trump has four years, perhaps eight, to try to implement his "vision", such as it is. These kids have decades to bring about their own. I won't be around to see the results, but I have more hope, more confidence, in the future of America at 4:30 p.m than I did at 7:30 a.m.
The following letter was submitted this morning to Paul Simpson, Chairman of the Harris County Republican Party.
It is with a heavy heart that I submit my resignation from my position as Republican precinct chair of Harris County Precinct 333. To paraphrase the hero of my youth, Ronald Reagan, "I am not leaving the Republican Party -- the Republican Party has left me." The presumptive Electoral College victory of Donald J. Trump as President of the United States is the irrefutable evidence of this -- and I cannot in good conscience be a part of the leadership of the Trump GOP.
My Republican Party was a party that sought to include all Americans, regardless of race or religion. The Trump GOP is one which, like the Democrats, seeks to exploit the racial and religious divides of this country.
My Republican Party was a party which believed in limited constitutional government based upon originalist principles. The Trump GOP is a party that embraced a man whose model for leadership is Vladimir Putin rather than Washington, Lincoln, or Reagan.
My Republican Party was a party that believed in a robust free press. The Trump GOP believes that the press should be muzzled when it fails to support the leader.
My Republican Party was a party that believed in free trade as an engine of economic prosperity. The Trump GOP is one which has adopted the protectionist model of the worst elements of the Democrat Party.
My Republican Party was a party that honored our military. The Trump GOP is one that attacks our professional officer corps and insults Gold Star families for daring to participate in the political process.
My Republican Party was a party that was unambiguously pro-life. The Trump GOP is less so, led by a man who praises Planned Parenthood and has a long history of financially supporting that organization.
My Republican Party was one which supported honesty and integrity. The Trump GOP has put in the Oval Office a man who is a well known for his unethical, dishonest, and fraudulent business activity -- promising that he will run the country like he has run his businesses.
My Republican Party held to traditional family values. The Trump GOP is led by a man whose sexually predatory behavior is similar to that which led Republicans to impeach a Democrat president less than 20 years ago.
My Republican Party was one which put forward men of honor for the White House -- Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, George W. Bush, John McCain, Mitt Romney -- and win or lose, I could feel pride in my vote. The Trump GOP has given us Donald J. Trump, based upon the notion that "at least he isn't Hillary."
I have, over the past 18 months, been a publicly anti-Trump voice within the Republican Party. It was my hope that I could help lead the restoration of my Party to the values and principles I outlined above after what I believed to be a temporary deviation from them.
Last night's Trump victory makes it clear that no such restoration will be forthcoming. I therefore do not belong in the leadership of the GOP, and as a matter of principle and integrity must resign. I return to you a precinct that is much as I found it in 2002 -- solidly Republican, with a tradition of honest, well-run elections. I hope my stewardship will not be found to be lacking.
On a personal note, I would like to thank you for many years of trust and friendship. It was an honor to help elect you as Harris County GOP chairman, and to serve as your appointee on the Vacancy Committee. I wish you well, and continue to hold you in high esteem.