As a teenager, I visited the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library with my family. I remember this clearly because we were in California to enjoy the beach, yet my dad insisted we carve out a few hours to pay our respects to his favorite modern president.
Today, unlike my father, I no longer identify as a Republican. However, the political principles my parents instilled in me like the importance of the nuclear family, self-reliance, limited government, free trade, personal freedom and a God-fearing way of life are values I still look for in politicians. These were the same values of Ronald Reagan and the Republican Party before it was hijacked by Donald Trump.
Right now, Trump leads Utah by 13 points. I know some of that support comes from voters who love the changes Trump has brought to the GOP and proudly don their MAGA hats. But I also believe a great deal of that support comes from Republicans who view Trump as the lesser of two evils and who long for the days of the civility, decency, and wisdom of Ronald Reagan and the Republican Party that once was.
If this is you, I ask you to vote for Joe Biden. A vote for Trump would excuse his hostile takeover of your once-great party. A vote for Trump is condoning his behavior and the spineless conformity of Republican politicians and the Republican National Convention. A vote for Trump demands no return to the party you were once proud of and no longer recognize. A vote for Trump warrants no incentive for elected officials to change and empowers the current status quo.
If we fail to demand change, history may not remember the Party of Reagan as the peak of conservatism, but rather a mere asterisk to the Party of Trump.
Taylor Crane, Bountiful