Donald Trump is not the nominee of any party, GOP or otherwise, of which I’m a member. I wrote about this decision in a column published last week at The Daily Beast but I wanted to provide more context here.
One quick note since some people expressed confusion or concern – I didn’t write the headline. I mentioned my support for Pat Buchanan’s campaign in 1996 as a frame of reference.
I changed my Maryland voter registration from Republican to Unaffiliated the night the Republican National Convention officially nominated Trump as its party’s presidential candidate.
As I noted in the column, I won’t be voting for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. There’s very little chance I will vote for Gary Johnson at this point. Jill Stein is the only other candidate on the ballot here in Maryland. So, won’t be voting for any of those three candidates. I will write someone in or I may even leave the line for president blank as a protest.
Clinton will win Maryland’s electoral votes no matter what I do. If I hit my head on the way to vote and lost all my principles and voted for Trump, Clinton would still win Maryland.
I will vote for Kathy Szeliga, a pro-life conservative, for the U.S. Senate. I will also vote to re-elect Congressman Andy Harris, who has a great pro-life track record.
Why I Won’t Vote for Trump
I won’t vote for Trump because he is a hateful voice, not an optimistic one. He would fence off Reagan’s Shining City on a Hill. Trump is a moral reprobate with serious character issues, as is Hillary Clinton.
I also noted several reasons for not supporting Trump in my column at The Daily Beast.
As a veteran who served as an intelligence analyst, I place a great deal of importance on foreign policy and national security issues.
The Republican nominee’s appeal to the “alt right” concerns me as well as I noted in my column:
Trump’s appeals to the “alt-right” are nothing but a dog whistle for the fringes of the Republican Party. I have seen them get caught up in questionable conspiracy theories. They post about “false flag” theories after mass shootings that were supposedly were arranged in support of gun control. Jewish critics of Trump have been threatened and ridiculed for daring to question anything the man says. Polls show self-identifying evangelical Christians largely support him—a fact that leaves many observers scratching their heads.
As someone who has worked in the pro-life movement professionally at the national level and as a volunteer locally, I don’t trust Trump’s lip service and ignorance on the issues. Even if some pro-lifers want to sell out to him for power, influence, and access, I don’t think he’s reliable at all on court appointments or defunding Planned Parenthood.
Maybe I would have had more of a struggle on this bittersweet decision to leave the GOP and not vote for its nominee if I lived in a swing state. I’ve voted for the Republican nominee for president every time since 1992. I don’t take this decision lightly and I put a lot of thought and prayer into it.
I don’t support a candidate just because of the “team” they are on. I will continue to pray for our country and our elected officials, no matter who they are.
Quinton is a native South Carolinian who has lived in Baltimore since 2006. He is a recent convert to the Catholic Church and is active in the Knights of Columbus. He has been involved in the pro-life movement nationally and locally since 2010.
Quinton is a veteran who served as an intelligence analyst in the Army National Guard. He is also an Eagle Scout.