Updated: May 28
Dear Asian Youth,
Recently, I realized that the news sources I follow depict Republicans as intolerant, irrational, angry white people, which caused me to characterize them as such. What I think encourages their boldness, is our President, who supports people who express racist and xenophobic ideas. Currently, it feels like Trump is actively avoiding his duties as president, constantly lying, and promoting racism, sexism, white supremacy, and other such behaviors, while still managing to avoid any consequences. What’s worse is that he could win a second term in this coming election. For a few weeks, I was horribly desolate, as it seemed America was becoming more and more irreparable. The one thing that brought me hope, however, was recognizing the undervalued power of optimism. The conscious decision to have hope is so necessary: if you want to make a change, you need to believe that our current situation can change. And the one thing that brings me hope that Trump will eventually face accountability is the Never Trump movement, started by the last group we expected to fight against Trump—the Republican Party.
In 2016, the “Never Trumpers,” a group of prominent Republicans and conservatives, fought tirelessly against Donald Trump’s election and promoted different candidates. After Trump won, however, the movement died down. Some of the Never Trumpers made peace with him as they felt his stance on topics important to them like gun control or national defense were enough to make him redeemable, while others left the Republican Party entirely. This has resulted in Trump’s consistently high approval ratings (around 80-90 percent) among Republicans. With the 2020 election coming up, the Never Trumpers have reappeared, with the goal to vote Democrat in 2020 and urge other party members to do the same. With members all over the country, Never Trumpers have started many organizations to spread their ideas. The Lincoln Project was founded at the end of 2019 by several notable Republicans such as George Conway, Jennifer Horn, and John Weaver, and their goal is to interfere with Trump and his campaign. Using ads to attack Trump and his administration, they have persuaded many wavering Republicans to reject him, while also raising millions of dollars to support Biden’s campaign. Among other things, these ads target Trump’s lies regarding his collusion with Russia, his inaction during the pandemic, the corruption in his administration, and his refusal to provide economic support for those struggling during the pandemic. Republican Voters Against Trump (RVAT) has similarly expanded across multiple social media platforms, providing videos explaining how Trump has continuously demonstrated his unsuitability to be President, and why American democracy cannot tolerate another 4 years of his administration.
Moderate Republicans and Democrats have not communicated well in the past, but Never Trumpers have now managed to find common ground between the two. While this may seem paradoxical, Never Trumpers are still Republicans—they just don’t support Trump. Due to America’s political divisions, we generally have an exaggerated view of the other party. This leads to a mutual hatred of the other side, even though this hatred is typically rooted in misunderstanding. As a result, both parties often end up arguing aggressively, without considering what they perceive to be the other side. However, the Never Trumpers are successful in something Democrats have struggled to do—conversing with Republicans. Republican-led groups like RVAT gain online views from their videos, but more importantly, they are crucial in swaying voters. If enough swing states vote blue in November, Trump could lose several key Electoral College votes he narrowly won in 2016. It is important to note that this doesn’t mean the Republican Party is becoming obsolete—just that Trump has united both political parties in a collective effort to vote him out of office.
The waves of Republicans dissenting against Trump highlights that there is nothing shameful about changing one’s mind or breaking tradition. Donald Trump clearly doesn’t care about the American people, and this shouldn’t be a political debate. From his disregard to the rising death counts from COVID-19 to his attacks on the Postal Service, we can see his priority has always been, and will always be, whatever is most beneficial for him—a position of power as President. In the meantime, thousands of Americans are at risk of dying. Our upcoming election is not a question of your political affiliation.