BY REED HOWARD
VIRGINIA BEACH — I believe in the founding principles of America. I want to preserve our Constitution and make true the promises in our Declaration of Independence. In high school, I volunteered for Republican candidates because they spoke passionately about the founding ideals of our nation. I interned for Republican U.S. Rep. Scott Taylor on Capitol Hill, and I’ve served as campaign manager for two local GOP elected officials.
I am a lifelong Republican, but I am voting for Joe Biden in 2020. More important than political party, my faith is the foundation of my life. I am a Christian in seminary preparing for my call to ministry. Faith teaches me about the fundamental dignity God bestows in every human. I was talking to a friend about the election, and her eight-year-old daughter said, “Donald Trump calls girls fat pigs.” Our children are listening.
This man is not a good, moral influence on our country’s youth. The Bible teaches us to welcome the stranger, yet Trump launched his campaign calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals, and, in office, he tore children away from their parents at the border. Jesus dines with outcasts and befriends the poor. Trump uses racist language to call impoverished cities “rat-infested” and “—-hole countries.”
After neo-Nazis rallied in Charlottesville, he said there were “very fine people on both sides.” At the first presidential debate, he would not immediately denounce white supremacy. He makes it comfortable for hate to thrive. He encourages the worst in us. Trump’s words and deeds reveal him to be a fraud at odds with Christian values and biblical teachings. Biden is a man of sincere faith who will restore decency and integrity to the Oval Office.
Beyond character, a president’s adherence to the Constitution is essential. On Wednesday, Sept. 23, Donald Trump would not commit to a peaceful transition of power if he loses the election. This is un-American and anti-democratic. It follows a consistent pattern of disrespect for our Constitution by the President.
Whether it’s violently dispelling First Amendment-protected protestors, abusing presidential power by threatening to withhold funds from blue states, firing inspectors general or calling press the “enemy of the people,” Trump denigrates our democratic institutions and stomps on the Constitution for political gain. His proposed Muslim registry during the campaign and subsequent Muslim travel ban are transgressions of America’s fundamental value of religious freedom.
Trump is a threat to America and the rule of law. Biden, on the other hand, has clearly said he will accept the results of the election. He will defend our Constitution and protect the American ideals of our founding. I did not vote in 2016, but in 2020 the stakes are too high to sit out. I am a Christian and a lifelong Republican, and I am voting for Biden. I urge you to do the same.
The author is a resident of Virginia Beach and a graduate student at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. He is the co-founder of Biden Republicans and a member of The Lincoln Project’s Virginia Steering Committee.
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