Super Tuesday: The Silent Dissent of 1 in 4 Republicans

The first time I watched Donald Trump speak on a stage decorated in red, white, and blue was at the 2016 Republican National Convention. A young, twenty-something alternate delegate, I was thrilled to witness a part of our political system in action – but the then-nominee Mr. Trump, who sparked enthusiastic standing ovations from those around me, left me feeling disenchanted. As I looked up at those around me, wondering what captivated them, my eyes were met with downward glares – in hindsight, a precursor of what was to come.

As Mr. Trump stood on a stage filled with flags, claiming victory over Super Tuesday, I sat in my living room in rural Pennsylvania feeling the same disenchantment, watching a different story unfold. Along the bottom of the TV screen, percentages show that in nearly all states Mr. Trump won, at least 25% – 1 in 4 Republican voters – chose another candidate. I am a 1-in-4 Republican.

As I listened to Mr. Trump declare we’ve become like a third-world country while standing on a fancy decorated stage, dressed in a business suit, amid a democratic election process – I was reminded how out of touch he is with reality.

When I heard Mr. Trump say that under his administration, there were no wars (as if the US is to blame for initiating wars we’re currently involved in), my mind recalled visions of people storming the Capitol, damaging a symbol of democracy, and fighting those trying to protect it peacefully.

When I heard Mr. Trump say, “We have many criminals in our country we need to get out,” I couldn’t help but think of the 91 felony counts he’s facing – and all the courtrooms he’s sat in since he left The White House. A jury – notably made up of everyday Americans, not prominent Democrats – has already determined that he’s liable for sexual assault and defamation.

When I heard Mr. Trump say party unity would secure a win in November, I couldn’t help but wonder – where will the 1 in 4 Republicans go? We are the significant minority of the Republican Party. Can you count on all of us to fall in line, to hold our noses and vote Trump? The answer is no – no matter how many RNC membership cards and gold pins you try to sell us.

So the bigger question becomes – can you win without us?