It's OK not to vote for Trump

Opinion

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Print

Bob Bell

One view

I am now 82 and hope I have gained wisdom, and that my story will resonate with some readers, who will agree that it is OK to change political parties and even "split" the "ticket" when voting, especially this November. I hope my journey and views might influence decisions.

From 1940 to 1950, I grew up in suburban Glenview in a Republican family. I was the oldest of six kids. Dad had strong views and was politically active in the community. Mom was a stay-at-homemaker who went along quietly, agreeing with whatever political view her husband espoused. After all, women only had the right to vote for 18 years when I was born in 1938.

I was strongly influenced by my dad. I was so interested in politics that a couple of friends and I went downtown in 1952 when both political conventions were held in Chicago. We went to every presidential candidate's headquarters to get buttons and literature. We were glued to the TV coverage, probably the first time conventions were televised. Republican Robert Taft vs. Dwight Eisenhower! Democratic Gov. Estes Kefauver vs. Illinois Gov. Adlai Stevenson! It was spellbinding!

Glenview and the Chicago "North Shore" towns were solidly Republican. Democrats were hard to find and mostly kept a low profile. Republican Sen. Joe McCarthy from Wisconsin was busy scaring the nation, leading the Communist witch hunt, exposing "fellow travelers," "pinkos," Communist "sympathizers," and the like, wherever they might be hiding in government, media, trade unions, education, etc. I wrote a paper for school supporting McCarthy, reviewed and edited by my dad! 

Many of us skipped school in 1951 to cheer as General Douglas MacArthur's motorcade came down Sheridan Road. Democratic President Truman had relieved him of his command during the Korean War. As a national hero, he ran for President in the 1952 Republican primary. At school we got out of class to watch his "farewell" speech on TV. "Old soldiers never die, they just fade away." Most of us thought Truman was a bad guy. I wrote another school paper about the Korean War, defending the idea of fighting Chinese forces in China, which is what MacArthur had intended.

All this brings me to 1960 when I was married. My wife and I joined the Young Republicans, and I voted in my first presidential election for Republican Richard Nixon (the loser in more ways than one). As the Kennedy presidency developed and Civil Rights issues became big national concerns, I believed that the Republican Party of Lincoln the Emancipator, would lead the nation to make Civil Rights progress. The Democrats had a huge problem with the Southern segregationist members. My wife and I became leaders in Open Housing in Oak Park. We sang "We Shall Overcome" with M.L. King. We marched and demonstrated for Civil Rights. But when I had to choose in 1964 between President Johnson and Sen. Barry Goldwater, I voted Republican! 

As years passed, I became more liberal in my political views. The Vietnam War was wrong. I voted for anti-war presidential candidates. The Republican Party changed. The segregationist Southern Democrats became Republicans! The first time I finally voted for a presidential candidate who won was for Democrat Jimmy Carter in 1976, 16 years after my first presidential election vote! The Republicans have morphed into a party far removed in principle and deed from the party that included moderates like senators Everett Dirksen and Charles Percy, Gov. Jim Thompson, Oregon Sen. Mark Hatfield, New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, and many others.

Four of my siblings and their spouses are now solid Democratic voters. At least five of our six kids and their spouses/partners and probably most of our 15 grandkids will vote Democratic. We wonder how our dad and mom would vote now. The Democrats are a party of diversity. 

It is tragic that most Republicans will not question Trump. I ask them, "What would Trump have to do to get you to oppose his isolationism, narcissism, lies, destructive policies, and bullying tactics?" 

It is OK to not vote for Trump.  

Love the Journal?

Become our partner in independent community journalism

Thanks for turning to Wednesday Journal and RiverForest.com. We love our thousands of digital-only readers. Now though we're asking you to partner up in paying for our reporters and photographers who report this news. It had to happen, right?

On the plus side, we're giving you a simple way, and a better reason, to join in. We're now a non-profit -- Growing Community Media -- so your donation is tax deductible. And signing up for a monthly donation, or making a one-time donation, is fast and easy.

No threats from us. The news will be here. No paywalls or article countdowns. We're counting on an exquisite mix of civic enlightenment and mild shaming. Sort of like public radio.

Claim your bragging rights. Become a digital member.

Donate Now

Reader Comments

1 Comment - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

Larry Skiver from Oak Park  

Posted: October 24th, 2020 8:06 AM

Great article. Isn't that what makes America great. The ability to voice your opinion. I will be voting republican and that's ok too. God bless America

Facebook Connect

Answer Book 2019

To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2019 Answer Book, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Oak Park and River Forest.


            
SubscribeClassified
MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad