Open Letter to Iowa Republican Office Holders

Dear Governor Terry Branstad, Senator Joni Ernst, Senator Charles Grassley and any elected official who still actively supports Donald Trump,

Let me start out by thanking you for being a public servant, holding elected office and doing what you feel is best for Iowans. Even though I am not a Republican and we probably don’t agree on much, I give credit to those who pursue public service. As someone born and raised in Iowa, I respect that.

But respect must continue to be earned, even if our politics don’t always match. It is earned by demonstrating common sense and common decency; by being fair-minded and treating others as you wish to be treated. It is your continued vocal and official support of Donald Trump that now threatens to erode the very essence of this respect.

I’m wondering how it can be that the former GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, along with scores of others leading Republicans (including the Koch brothers and Ted Cruz of all people) can stand up to Mr. Trump, while you stand with him on stage (Cedar Rapids, July 28) and praise his “courage” and “strength?”

To list the questionable statements and actions by Mr. Trump would take up more space than this letter allows. Lately though, the fact that the Emperor has no clothes has become even more apparent. Mr. Trump publicly asked Russia to interfere with our political process, has shown complete ignorance of the Crimea annexation and hesitated to confirm US’s commitment to NATO. Perhaps the March 2016 statement from 121 GOP National Security Leaders summarizes it best.

“Mr. Trump’s own statements lead us to conclude that as president, he would use the authority of his office to act in ways that make America less safe, and which would diminish our standing in the world.”

Mr. Trump has shown callous disrespect to Gold Star parents. A group of Gold Star mothers courageously wrote to him saying, “This goes beyond politics. It is about a sense of decency. That kind decency you mock…” The VFW also condemned Mr. Trump’s indefensible remarks. You stand with him. Will you defend him?

After all of this, it is hard to understand how, in good faith, you can continue to endorse this man for President of the United States. Is this really the kind of “leadership” Iowans, American citizens and citizens of this diverse and troubled world need?

I am not advocating here for Hillary Clinton or any other Democrat for that matter. This is much bigger than 2-party politics. The common decency mentioned above, the kind we Iowans pride ourselves in, requires that you show real strength and courage. Mr. Trump comes to DesMoines this Friday (8/5). Will you stand with him, or stand up to him? Our respect – your self-respect, hangs in the balance.

James Dreier

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