I’m a four-time Donald Trump voter and a two-time Ron DeSantis voter, so why am I penning an article for Occupy Democrats, you may be, understandably, wondering?
Because millions of us have an opportunity to make history in November and beyond by forming unlikely—but necessary—alliances to electorally defeat Republicans in every election, from Congress, gubernatorial, and state legislatures, to local positions and school boards.
I am not a registered Democrat; here in Florida, I am a registered NPA—No Party Affiliation, aka an Independent. However, I will vote Democrat in every election I am legally able to vote in. Does this mean I agree with all Democratic Party policy positions? No, and that’s exactly the point—a necessary unity will require those with some disagreements on policy, but concurrence that the GOP is leading our beloved country, via numerous states, to slaughter.
Our nation has a long history of unprecedented partnerships, all of which were considered requisite in the continued pursuit of perfecting our Union and maintaining our position as the greatest bastion of liberty in the history of the world:
Alexander Hamilton convinced fellow Federalists to vote for Jefferson over the Federalist Aaron Burr in the disputed 1800 Presidential election—a decision that cost Hamilton his life.
Lincoln aligned with the Union and against the Confederacy. Honest Abe shunned neutrality and made what was undoubtedly an agonizing decision to side against fellow Americans—a choice that saved America from irreparable damage and also resulted in his assassination.
The United States joined forces with the Soviet Union in World War II—a necessary, evil alliance to conquer the Nazis.
Republicans ensured that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 became laws upon President Lyndon B. Johnson’s signature.
Bipartisan support for the resignation of President Nixon; his fellow Republicans made clear that had he not resigned, he would have been impeached and removed in a Senate trial.
Democrats rallied around President George W. Bush in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
I believe our current epoch is a moment similar to the aforementioned, a time in which America faces yet another existential challenge.
DURING TRUMP’S PRESIDENCY, I ADOPTED THE RIGHT-WING GOSPEL. I WAS WRONG ABOUT ALL OF IT.
I supported Trump because I believed the fallacy that a Hillary Clinton victory (and, later, a Joe Biden victory) would be the end of America and the start of permanent Democrat rule over our nation. I was attracted to Trump because he incurred ire from both of our major parties. My first-ever vote in a Presidential election was in 2000 for Ralph Nader, and I saw in Trump some of the maverick qualities of Nader.
During Trump’s presidency, I adopted the right-wing gospel that Democrats were importing foreigners to win elections forever, leftists were coming for our guns, nationalism is patriotism, and there was a shadowy network of censors whose teleological purpose in life was to suppress GOP/conservative ideas, men were using women’s bathrooms everywhere, and, of course, Barack Obama was the worst President in history who made President Carter look like President Washington.
I was wrong about all of it, and acknowledging my errors in judgment was the start of my own personal healing process. In the first few months in the aftermath of January 6, I was in the “It was bad but is being overblown” camp. As I began to look at the event objectively, I started to learn more about the radicalizations of many of the insurrectionists and continued to witness Trump traumatize the nation with his stolen election lies. I say–with neither a scintilla of hyperbole nor a singular qualm–that Trump is the most politically traumatizing figure in American history, whose “The Rigged and Stolen 2020 Presidential Election” is the new “The Lost Cause of the Confederacy.”
AND THEN THERE’S RON DESANTIS, SUCH A SPECTACULAR FAILURE IN LEADERSHIP
There was another event, though, in my journey to becoming an ex-Trump voter, which was a kind of healing accelerant for me, once the shock wore off: when COVID hospitalizations for children skyrocketed here in Florida last Summer during the Delta surge, I vividly recall conversations with other Trump voters, in which I said: “DeSantis is going to divorce himself from the COVID deniers and vaccine dis-informants.”
Instead, DeSantis quadrupled down on undermining the vaccine and health precautions. Up until this point, I had a very favorable impression of DeSantis; he was a drama-free, purple state governor who genuinely seemed interested in the hard work of governing and policymaking. Needless to say, the “ new” DeSantis shocked me, and I quickly realized that he sold his soul to keep those in the thrall of the GOP’s pandemic nonchalance, hysteria, and paranoia stuck in self-perpetuating and self-exacerbating cycles of unhealed political traumatization.
As a father of two young daughters, DeSantis’ Molochian offering—to ensure those with no regard for life and the ill were propitiated—was (and remains) behavior unworthy of anyone’s vote; rare is such a spectacular failure in leadership. My new organization is named Listen. Lead. Unite. and it’s dedicated to healing America’s political traumatization by bringing together communities and elected leaders to collaborate on nonpartisan economic, educational, and quality-of-life solutions. That there is an immense amount of work ahead of us is a given. I say this with no pleasure: our nation is about to endure tumult none of us have ever lived through, and the best time to commence healing is right now.
POLITICAL HEALING: VOTE DEMOCRATIC (CAPITAL AND LOWERCASE D)
We Homo sapiens are a binary species; this is why we have always been, and always will be, a two-party system. Americans deserve a healthy two-party system; the bedrock, foundational principles of such a system are enforcement of the rule of law—we are a government of laws, not of humans—and peaceful transfers of power—not just for the President of the United States, but for all elected positions.
The Democratic Party is a relatively healthy party, although there are two major blind spots: taking for granted historically Democrat-voting blocs, such as religious minorities, LGBTQ citizens, Blacks, and Hispanics, and ignoring rural America. In contrast to the Democratic Party, the GOP is a terminally ill party, and its leadership knows that; this is why it has staked a pathway forward that is, well, backward, with increased emphases on everything male/Caucasian/Christian and heterosexual.
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After 246 years of progress, will we cede ground to regression, or will we continue to shape our destiny in the vision of our Founders, whose blueprint for our republic made clear that the maintenance and expansion of a free nation were rigorously difficult but worthy of pursuing as an American birthright? Such maintenance and expansion mandate cooperation, flexibility, and sacrifice.
America, we must heal our miraculously-conceived nation by re-establishing not a thin majority who unite in our non-negotiable democratic (lower case d) belief that our political opponents are not our enemies but a resounding majority—one that leaves no doubt that, when history calls, Americans of diverse views and backgrounds answer the call by conjuring the better and braver angels of our nature.
America has never run from the fires of threats; we run to them with intrepid heroism. There is no obstacle we cannot overcome; to overcome our current predicament—one in which our Democratic Party is dedicated to strengthening our democracy, and our Republican Party is not—neither boo, nor lament, nor complain, nor be afraid. Vote. And ensure you make it clear to all in your life that each of us has a civic responsibility to vote not for our narrow interests but to carry on this blessed American experiment in self-governance. I know we can do it by voting for Democrats, all of us, even us ex-Trump voters and ex-DeSantis voters.
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Rich Logis is the Founder of Listen. Lead. Unite., born-again human being and happily married, small-business-owning dad. Logis used to be an in-demand political pundit for Republican/conservative media and is now committed to healing America’s political traumatization by bringing together communities and elected leaders to collaborate on nonpartisan economic, educational and quality of life solutions. He isn’t registered with any political party, but he is registered to vote!