Like many in our community, I was extremely disappointed to learn that Sacramento County sheriff and congressional candidate Scott Jones is supporting presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.
I feel so strongly about it that recently I’ve taken to social media and coordinated a letter-signing campaign encouraging the sheriff to withdraw his support.
So why do I and many others feel support for Trump discredits a candidate’s qualifications for higher office? Let me try and connect the dots.
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Trump is a racist and outspoken bigot who has publicly disparaged Latinos, Muslims, Asians and African Americans. Trump is a misogynist who has derided women for their appearance and even ridiculed their menstrual cycles. Trump has publicly insulted U.S. military veterans, even those who have been wounded in combat and taken prisoner of war. Trump has openly discriminated against Americans with disabilities, mocking their physical limitations. That is who Donald Trump is, because it’s the clear conclusion left by his own words and behavior.
It should be obvious that when someone like Jones says, “Given the alternative, I will be voting for him,” it concerns many of us that he is willing to support a presidential candidate with a disgusting record of outright discrimination and prejudice.
Does this mean that I think Scott Jones is a racist, bigot or misogynist? It does not; however, it does puzzle many because when we support candidates for public office, we support their values.
When Jones says he supports Trump and plans to vote for him – regardless of the rationale – he is saying to the electorate and his constituency that he is willing to support a racist, bigoted, misogynist, veteran-bashing mocker of people with disabilities. That is offensive and for many of us like me, a proud Mexican American, it’s also very personal.
Since I’ve publicly engaged this issue, many of Jones’ defenders have presented the same hollow argument that Jones himself gave for supporting Trump: “It’s the lesser of two evils,” suggesting that there is no other viable alternative than to vote for the New York businessman.
That position adds insult to injury.
Voting for Trump simply because he’s not Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders broadcasts this message: I do have choices and I prefer to support someone as offensive as Trump.
The truth of the matter is that there are alternatives. Mitt Romney, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Jeb Bush and Lindsey Graham have explained they will not be supporting Trump, along with a long list of other proud, active Republicans.
Claiming this is really about Clinton or Sanders is nothing more than a shameless red herring intended to deflect what’s really at issue: Trump is a dangerous embarrassment.
The “lack of alternatives” argument just doesn’t fly. If you don’t want to support Trump, don’t vote for him; instead, throw your support to other candidates or write in your dog’s name. At least we know Fido isn’t a bigot.
Jones has a choice, and I, along with a growing list of his constituents, respectfully ask that he exercise it by withdrawing his support for Trump. Please visit www.philserna.net today and sign the letter asking Jones to do just that.
Phil Serna serves as a Sacramento County supervisor representing District 1. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.