I am sending you this note because you are among a group of friends of my parents who I have known for most or all of my life. You’ve supported me at different stages and maybe even followed my career. I respect you as a person, a parent, and a professional, and I’d like to think you respect me as well.
I don’t know how you plan to vote in November. I do know that some of my parent’s friends plan to vote for President Trump and plan to do so in Florida where every vote has the potential to decide the election.
I realize you may have made up your mind already. I’m asking for a few moments of your time. I have spent parts of my life in politics and have worked for Democrats, Independents, and Republicans.
But I am not writing this as a partisan. I am writing as an American, a Jew, and a parent – three traits I know I share with you.
If you plan to vote for President Trump in 2020, you probably voted for him in 2016. Few on the left could understand this decision, but to me, the calculus was quite reasonable. In 2016, there were many reasons to support candidate Trump. He positioned himself as a straight-talking, business-friendly, Israel-friendly, New Yorker who could fix a dysfunctional Washington. It was quite reasonable to dismiss his most outrageous statements as Trump being Trump.
Is the same true in 2020?
A vote for President Trump in 2020 still may be the right decision for you and your family from a short-term economic perspective. And a vote for Trump may also be the best way to show support for Israel.
But 2020 is not 2016. In 2020, a vote for President Trump is also a vote to support President Trump’s America and a vote in support of his values. Because I know these are not your values, I ask you to consider what support for Trump in 2020 represents.
By supporting Trump, you are supporting a President who seeks to undermine our democracy to become an autocrat. This is not an exaggeration. A free press is critical to a functioning democracy.
To undermine it and create doubt about all news, Trump actively spreads disinformation and attacks journalists as enemies of the state. Free and fair elections are the foundation of our democracy. To undermine them to his advantage, this President solicits foreign interference, openly works to suppress the vote, publicly says he may reject the results of the election and has already used the military on American soil to fight dissent. He does this in full daylight. This is not about Fox News vs. MSNBC – this
is a deliberate and consistent effort to weaken our system of government. Please think about the impact of these actions. Our democracy is strong, but it has never been attacked from the White House like this.
By supporting Trump, you are supporting white nationalism. President has repeatedly taken actions to support white nationalist groups and their messages. And he has repeatedly refused to disavow his support. Trump may support Israel, but it is not because he supports Jews. His consistent support for white nationalist groups has already led to a record level of anti-Semitic crime in America. Before every major outbreak of anti-Jewish violence in history including the Holocaust, Jews underestimated the potential that it could happen there or then. Please don’t underestimate that potential here.
By supporting Trump you are saying that corruption and cronyism are acceptable. In less than four years, eight Trump appointees, advisors, or employees have been arrested or convicted for crimes that include conspiracy against the US, witness tampering, money laundering, and paying hush money. Our President serves as a role model to my children and your grandchildren. He celebrates this behavior. Reelecting him sends a message that you think this behavior is acceptable.
By supporting Trump, you are rejecting science. Since his inauguration, President Trump has deleted scientific data from government websites, stopped collection of data he disagrees with, and repeatedly contradicted the evidence-based opinions of respected scientists and medical professionals. It is one thing to debate the merits of a scientific study or opinion. It is another to attack the idea that science itself is important. Imagine a world where science and data can no longer be used to help us understand our world and how to make positive change. That is the world a vote for Trump is supporting.
By supporting Trump, you are hurting your grandchildren and threatening your health. I am not trying to be dramatic. Trump took a public health crisis and made it political. It did not have to be this way. If your grandchildren are not in school, it is because of Trump’s actions. If you don’t get to see your family as much as you would like, it is because of Trump’s actions. This is America. Our response should be the best in the world. But our response to the virus is worse than many developing countries, and by voting for him you are supporting a continuation of this approach.
By supporting Trump, what legacy are you leaving your grandchildren? Only you can decide what you want that legacy to be. You may decide that what matters most is passing along the biggest possible inheritance. At the same time, I’d ask you to consider the legacy that another four years of Trump will leave. Your grandchildren are witnessing gun violence, racial violence, and the impacts of climate change that are only likely to increase. They may be forced to reckon with a true constitutional crisis.
Your vote is not just a vote for lower taxes or a continued bull market. Your vote is a referendum on Trump’s America. President Trump has made it very clear what he stands for. Because I don’t think these are the things you stand for, I ask you to vote against him. And if you cannot vote against him, please consider not voting for him.
Michael Maslansky is the CEO of maslansky + partners and author of The Language of Trust: Selling Ideas in a World of Skeptics.
Friends Don’t Let Friends NOT Vote!
The only way we can flip Florida blue this election is if we vote in huge numbers. Help a friend vote. Talk to them about how important their voice is this year. Know a young person who is eligible to vote for the first time? Talk with them about current events and make sure they vote early or show up at the polls on November 3.
With your help, we can and we will make a difference in our state, our country, and the world.
What Can You Do?
- Vote early!
- If you have a mail-in ballot, send it back immediately. It must arrive by Election Day or it will not be counted.
- Drop your mail-in ballot off at your Supervisor of Elections office OR any secure Early Voting dropbox in your county.
- Vote early in person! Click here for early voting days/hours/locations in your county.
- Vote for Joe Biden, and remind your friends and family to vote, too!
- If you do vote in person on November 3, you must go to your designated polling place. Find your poll location here.
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