I have friends who would never mock or deride a physically challenged person. But they will vote for a man who does.

I have friends who would never lie to achieve a business goal. But they will vote for a man who has done nothing but that his entire career.

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I have friends who would never swindle others. But they will vote for a man who routinely does just that.

I have friends who love this country, consider themselves patriots and would never deliberately subvert our democracy. But they will vote for a man who does.

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I have friends who would never needlessly endanger their fellow-citizens. Would never employ propaganda and disinformation to falsely diminish the danger of a growing contagion or a crippled climate. Would never deny life-saving science. Would never seek to diminish or abolish truth in public discourse.

They would never allow a man they know to be guilty of these crimes to continue to wreak havoc in their own communities. They would not vote for such a man for city council, school board or dog catcher, for that matter. But they will vote for a president who tears children away from their parents and puts them in cages.

I have friends who think they are Republicans because the party stands for “family values” and “free enterprise.” But they will vote for a party that lets the twice-divorced philanderer at its helm fawn over autocrats, destabilize the world, send federal troops into the streets to arrest constitutionally protected protestors and threaten Americans’ right to free elections.

 I have friends who would destroy the greatest democracy in history because they will not hold the government to their own high personal standards. And in the process they will cause us to live in misery and despair as we watch the greed of the fossil fuel industry render our beautiful planet uninhabitable.

We may all die knowing our grandchildren will never live as we have, because I have friends who refuse to understand – although they watch the crime perpetrated daily on glowing screens — that they are complicit when they vote for Donald Trump and his Republican Party.

My friends believe in an America where free citizens can achieve their goals with hard work and ingenuity. They think we need only to see ourselves as a collection of individuals. And to dispense with the “lie” that society is real and that through it we work for a common good.

My friends believe they are engaged in a fight for their families, for what is good in the world. But in reality they fight a phantom created by soulless people who laugh and slap each other on the back and play golf as we burn our democracy and our world.

And by the way, my friends seem to have forgotten that the Republican administration prior to this one left with the economy in ruins and the financial system on the verge of collapse. They seem to have forgotten that the Obama-Biden administration repaired the damage and left office with a record 75 consecutive months of growth. They should not think that a failed businessman, swindler, sexual predator and liar has the ability or inclination to make the economy work for anyone but himself and his real constituency — the super rich.

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Image credit: the feature image is a screenshot of the Trump-Pence donation page.