Donald Trump has had an interesting few weeks on the campaign trail. Hours before the second presidential debate, the now infamous and misogynistic tape of him and Billy Bush found in the Access Hollywood archives came up for air, leaving his campaign flailing. Republican officials and influencers denounced him in scores, with some even calling for Trump to leave the race entirely.
Not surprisingly, Trump has not backed down despite massive controversy and pressure to do so. While he has already alienated many women, he continues to poll well with men. According to a map released by FiveThirtyEight, Trump would win by a landslide over Hillary Clinton if the only people to vote in the upcoming election were men. This map led to a social media firestorm, with Trump supporters calling to #RepealThe19th, which would take away women’s right to vote.
Trump’s campaign has not been a positive one. Whether he is insulting minority populations, mocking those with disabilities, degrading and green lighting the sexual assault of women, or muddying the election waters with below-the-belt insults toward his opponents, Trump has taken the Republican party into a space of caustic negativity and hatred. His views are radical and not representative of many people in the party, but some voters feel they don’t have a choice but to support him.
Because of the fact that he has gone against the odds and made his way to the general election ticket, Republican politicians from around the country have banded together to support their candidate, despite his controversial policies. However, enough is enough. There is only so much that people can be willing to support just to make sure their basic ideals are upheld in the most important office in the country. After Trump’s video went viral, politicians began distancing themselves from him, vowing to either write-in their vote this election or simply pledging not to vote for Trump.
Trump is continuing his campaign trail and is coming to Wisconsin Monday. However, many prominent Republican politicians from Wisconsin—Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Gov. Scott Walker and Sen. Ron Johnson—are going to be skipping his campaign stops. While none of the aforementioned men have officially withdrawn their support from Trump, it is a bold and inspiring move for them to skip such an important campaign visit in their home state this close to election day. Many voters feel bullied into voting for Trump because he is the only Republican option, even if they disagree staunchly with his messages of hate. For important Republican figures to be distancing themselves from the party’s presidential frontrunner is not only bold, but it sends the message to voters that they should do the same.
Wisconsin politicians and voters should follow the lead of our state’s voices who have had the courage to step away from Trump. We do not need a man in the oval office who is so blatantly against what this country is about: freedom and equality. Trump’s behavior is appalling and not that of a presidential candidate. We should get past the fear of voting for another party that is not our own, instead voting for the candidate who we see as most morally fit for the job.
Samantha is a sophomore majoring in journalism and communication arts. Do you think that Ryan and Walker were smart to distance themselves from Trump? Do you think Trump winning the Republican presidential nomination could hurt the GOP in the long-term? Let us know at email@example.com.