#NeverTrump, but #NeverEverHillary. As a conservative Republican voter, I have always believed in the values of fiscal responsibility, cultural traditionalism and small government. Unfortunately for me and other like-minded voters, neither of the major presidential candidates this election cycle truly embodies any of these values. While it is abundantly clear that Hillary Clinton is an anathema to everything that I hold dear; Donald Trump is also quite lacking in these departments. It goes without saying why I would refrain from voting for Clinton on Nov. 8. She favors further government intervention in the economy, is an embodiment of the establishment status quo and has a record mired in corruption and scandal. What isn’t quite as apparent is my reasoning to not vote for Donald Trump.
While I understand that many on the right would find it reasonable to vote for Trump on the basis of saving the Supreme Court or appealing to the lesser of two evils argument, I still cannot support a man who, in my view, would pervert the public’s perception of conservatism for at least a generation should he take office. A man who favors protectionist tariffs and government-run healthcare, while espousing an ambiguous and ill-informed foreign policy, should not be the prime representative of the party of Lincoln and Reagan. In addition to his lack of conservative credentials, he presents a wildly unpopular and repellent face to the party that I would like to see succeed in future elections. It would be quite astounding that the most unpopular presidential nominee in modern history is even in the running to win if it weren’t for the fact that the Democrats nominated their own train wreck of a candidate to represent their side via Hillary Clinton.
While not overly controversial to many of his supporters, a good number of Trump’s comments in regard to Latinos, women and Muslims have tainted the Republican brand among many moderates who might have otherwise supported the party. As a millennial Republican, I look toward a new generation of conservatives that empower minority communities to achieve the American Dream and champion women’s successes. It’s elected officials, like Republican California State Assembly member Ling Ling Chang that are taking the lead in promoting STEM education and championing young women to reach their full potential that give me hope for more diversity within our party. It’s time for the Republican Party to shed its skin from the Trump campaign and move toward a new era of Conservatism. In our democracy, one of the greatest fundamental rights is the right to vote. However, within our right to vote is a right to abstain from voting in a presidential election if the electorate believes that neither candidate is suitable. I will not be complicit in falling in line with my party, which maintains that party matters more than principle. In order to bring progress and a new light to our great nation, it is sometimes necessary to divert from the status quo. Whatever the outcome on Nov 8., Nov. 9 begins the dawn of a new era for the Republican Party, one that doesn’t include Donald Trump.
Vice President, USC College Republicans