This open letter was originally published on Medium, and is republished here with the author's permission.
Dear Utah Voter,
By now you’ve heard that Donald Trump is tanking in our state.
A poll from last week showed that his support plummeted to 26%, putting him on par with Hillary Clinton and only slightly ahead of Evan McMullin. And a poll from this week shows Clinton, Trump, and McMullin in a statistical tie.
If you’re still considering Trump, you likely fall into two camps. You’re either excited about the candidate, or you’re voting for him simply to protest the alternative.
To those of you who are excited about Trump, I genuinely wish you the best. I hope we will work together after the election to fight crony capitalism and injustice in Washington. Your views on those issues deserve to be heard and taken seriously.
To those of you who are voting for Trump to protest the alternative, I hope you’ll reconsider.
First, I hope you’ll see that Trump is set for a monumental loss and that your vote for him won’t count because he’ll lose anyway, with or without Utah.
Second, I hope you’ll see that there are more ways to protest.
That is, if you’re a conservative who has made up your mind that you absolutely won’t consider Hillary Clinton or Gary Johnson, vote for Evan McMullin, who is likely far closer than Trump to what you actually value in a candidate.
That way Utah will show the nation that we care more about pursuing that which is praiseworthy than voting for whoever has an R next to their name.
That way you’ll save your self respect.
That way you won’t vote for someone you can’t trust politically.
Before Donald Trump registered as a Republican in 2009 he was Independent for a decade. Before he was against abortion, he was “very pro-choice.” Before he hated universal healthcare, he loved it. Before he called Hillary crooked, he donated more than $100,000 to her foundation. Before he ran for president he contributed more of his money to Democratic candidates than Republican candidates and declared that the economy does better under Democrats. His stances are about convenience, not principle. He’ll do whatever will help him in the moment. You can’t trust him.
You won’t vote for someone who steals from small businesses.
More than 60 lawsuits have been filed against Donald Trump because he didn’t pay people who worked for him. Hundreds of small business owners have said that they weren’t paid on time or in full for their work. In short, Trump stole from them.
If you’re a small business owner, you know how devastating it would be not to be paid in full. You won’t vote for someone who would do that to you if given the chance. And, if given the chance, Trump would do it to you. He’s not even paying members of his staff, who recently quit en masse as a result.
Just as we don’t say that bank robbers are successful business men, we shouldn’t respect Donald Trump for his stolen wealth.
You won’t vote for someone who’s exceptionally incompetent at business.
We don’t know the full picture of Trump’s business endeavors because he’s too embarrassed to release his tax returns. But here’s what we do know. He received at least $14 million in loans from his dad, he lost $916 million in 1995, his businesses went bankrupt at least 4 times, and (as I highlighted above) he repeatedly stole work from small business owners.
Trump’s gambling has failed.
As Mitt Romney said, “Look, his bankruptcies have crushed small businesses and the men and women who work for them. He inherited his business, he didn’t create it. And whatever happened to Trump Airlines? How about Trump University? And then there’s Trump Magazine and Trump Vodka and Trump Steaks and Trump Mortgage. A business genius he is not.”
You won’t vote for someone who has a long history of corruption.
Donald Trump regularly uses Trump Foundation funds to pay his legal bills. He also regularly asks people to pay his foundation when ordering services from him so he doesn’t have to pay taxes on that money.
In addition, he’s facing a fraud trial for Trump University, and he’s spent campaign money on himself and his kids. Speaking of his kids, the Eric Trump “Charitable” Foundation funneled $87,665 to Donald Trump’s golf courses. And then there’s the fact that Trump claims he’s given away millions to charities, but a long-running investigation by the Washington Post has found that he’s given less than $10,000 over the last 7 years. (So you’ve likely given more to charity than Trump has.)
In short, Trump illegally uses his charitable foundation as a way to milk more money out of people, and he constantly lies about how generous he is. You can’t trust him.
You won’t vote for someone who wants his sister on the Supreme Court.
But Trump has already spoken out about his personal preference, saying that his liberal-leaning sister would be a “phenomenal” Supreme Court justice. So don’t vote for Trump because you want him to pick a Constitutional conservative for the Supreme Court. By his own admission, he’s not going to do that.
For more, read “Trump Will Torch the Supreme Court,” “The Supreme Court Is Not a Sufficient Reason to Vote for Trump,” “Why Trusting Trump on Judges Is Folly,” and this letter from dozens of Constitutional scholars. These sources — most of them conservative — show that Trump has no regard for the Constitution and won’t pick a conservative Supreme Court nominee. Again, you can’t trust him.
You won’t vote for someone who reduces women to bodies.
Ever since Trump was caught on tape boasting about sexual assault, at least 15 women (including a former Miss Utah contestant) have confirmed that, at least on this point, he is honest. He regularly kisses and gropes women against their will.
In addition to sexually assaulting women, Donald Trump gets weirdly excited about young girls. Of Paris Hilton, he said, “I’ve known [her] from the time she was 12. Her parents are friends of mine, and the first time I saw her she walked into the room and I said, ‘Who the hell is that?’ At 12, I wasn’t interested… but she was beautiful.” Elsewhere he told a 10 year old girl that he’d be dating her in 10 years.
Donald being a total creep with his daughter.
He can’t help himself. He says the same things of his own daughter: “You know who’s one of the great beauties of the world — according to everybody — and I helped create her? Ivanka. My daughter, Ivanka. She’s 6 feet tall, she’s got the best body.”
Elsewhere he said, “If Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps, I would be dating her.” And in an interview with CNN, he said that the thing he has in common with Ivanka is sex.
Does that make you feel gross inside? That’s who you won’t vote for.
You won’t vote for someone whose plans will cripple the economy.
“If Donald Trump’s plans were ever implemented, the country would sink into prolonged recession.” — Mitt Romney
If you’re worried about the national debt, you won’t vote for Trump. The Tax Policy Center shows that government revenue would decline by $7 trillion over ten years if the Trump tax plan were implemented. And then there’s the $25 billion price tag to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, as well as the $400 billion price tag to deport all illegal immigrants (not to mention the $1 trillion decline in U.S. GDP that would ensue as a result). What’s worse, Trump honestly believes that the way to solve the debt problem is to not pay it — a tactic he used in business.
It’s no wonder that 414 members of the National Association for Business Economics voted that he is the least trustworthy candidate when it comes to managing the economy, or that of the 45 living former members of the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers (including all the Republicans) none support Trump. They know his policies are garbage. They know he can’t be trusted.
You won’t vote for someone who opposes religious freedom.
Trump wants “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” Imagine him saying the same thing about other religious groups. Given the historical prejudice against Mormons, Utahns should be particularly troubled by this. A ban on everyone who belongs to a certain religion? If religious freedom is even slightly important to you, you won’t vote for Trump.
You won’t vote for someone who’s vindictive, cruel, and thrilled with the prospect of violence.
Trump is nasty — at a level that is subhuman and horrifyingly unpresidential. He said, “Condoleezza Rice, she’s a lovely woman, but I think she’s a bitch.” Of Carly Fiorina, he said, “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?”
When Paul Ryan said he would no longer try to defend Trump’s vulgar comments, Trump released a string of whiny, cruel tweets. “Paul Ryan does zilch!” he wrote. And, “Paul Ryan, always fighting the Republican nominee!” And, “Paul Ryan, a man who doesn’t know how to win (including failed run four years ago).” Egged on by Trump, his supporters have started chanting “Paul Ryan sucks!” at his rallies, hinting at a major division in the GOP.
When Mitt Romney spoke out against Trump earlier this year, Trump called Romney “a mixed up man who doesn’t have a clue … a total joke … a disaster candidate who had no guts.” Amazingly, Trump is most cruel on Twitter—a medium where he has to pause long enough to type out his insults and then hit Tweet.
His lengthy list of his Twitter insults is disgusting.
If Republicans can spark Trump tantrums this easily, imagine what his enemies will do. When it comes to ISIS, Trump says he is eager “bomb the shit out of them” and “take out their families.” What sort of violence will he inflict when a foreign or domestic enemy makes him angry?
America deserves better than barbaric, vengeful calls for violence — especially from someone who could be commander-in-chief and have access to our nuclear codes.
The world deserves better.
There is so much more to cover — including Trump’s “joke” about how second amendment people could shoot Hillary Clinton, his tendency to lie at a pace that makes other politicians look honest, his terrifying efforts to undercut the democratic process — but you get the idea.
I’ll say this, in closing.
If you supported Mitt Romney in the last election, follow his lead and recognize that Trump is “a phony, a fraud” who is “playing the members of the American public for suckers.”
Picture how Romney will appear a year from now, when Trump is forgotten and lonely and licking his wounds for losing.
Romney will be remembered as standing for something.
Utah will too.