OPINION: Now Is Not the Time to Vote for a Third Party Candidate

Donald Trump is "one of the greatest dangers to America in the modern age."
Trump supporters gathered at a rally at Washington DC’s Ellipse Park on Jan. 6 to watch a propaganda film prior to the insurrection. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Can you possibly imagine voting for Donald Trump for president after remembering what even our local representative, Republican Brian Fitzpatrick, said about January 6? Fitzpatrick, in a rare moment of clarity, correctly described it as “an attempted coup!” Yet, despite President Joe Biden’s many achievements for the American people in his first term, you may have doubts about him and may be thinking about voting for a third-party candidate. 

Well, understand this reality. Either Trump or Biden will be inaugurated president in January 2025. If you don’t vote for Biden, in effect, you are helping to bring Trump back into office. Is a second Trump term a terrible idea for America? Yes, but don’t take my word for it. Listen to the many officials who served in Trump’s administration and who saw him up close. An extraordinary number of these officials regard their former boss as a clear and present danger to American democracy and national security. 

Former Chief of Staff John Kelly: Trump has “nothing but contempt for our democratic institutions, our constitution and our rule of law.” 

Former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper: “[Trump’s] a threat to democracy as we know it.”

Former National Security Advisor John Bolton: “The stunning thing about the number of senior Trump administration officials who’ve campaigned against him I think proves that it really is Trump’s flawed character, lack of knowledge, lack of philosophy, lack of fitness that has them concerned.”

Former Chief of Staff of the Department of Homeland Security Miles Taylor: “First, he’s more unhinged. Second, he’s less restrained by semi-rational advisers, most of whom are gone. And third, he has vastly more command and influence over his followers and the GOP than ever before. Add those up. The sum is one of the greatest dangers to America in the modern age.”

Similar statements have been made by former White House Communications Director Stephanie Grisham; former Vice President Mike Pence; former Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Matthews; former National Security Advisor Gen. H.R. McMaster; former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao; former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis; former White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney; former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson; and former Assistant to former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Cassidy Hutchinson. In addition, prominent Republicans, including Mitt Romney, Chris Christie, Christine Todd Whitman, Liz Cheney, and Adam Kinzinger have all said, unequivocally, that they will not support Trump in 2024.

READ: Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick Is A Loyal Soldier in the Crusade to End Reproductive Freedom and Ban Abortion 

Third-party candidates must know that they are undermining Biden’s chances to win a close election. One of them, RFK, Jr., carries the storied name Kennedy. Yet, all his siblings have opposed their brother and expressed support for Biden. They understand that anything other than a vote for President Biden, who has shown a steady hand in a world filled with conflict and uncertainty, would have disastrous consequences not just for the United States, but for the entire world. They know we can’t afford four more years of Trump’s chaotic, dictatorial extremism and narcissism.

A vote for Trump must be off the table, even for Republicans, but please don’t waste your vote on a third party. Put aside any policy disagreements you may have with President Biden for the day after he is inaugurated for a second term. Focus now on returning him to the White House and defeating the Trump threat to our democracy. The future of our nation depends on it. 

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Roy Zipris

A retired public defender, Roy Zipris has been a resident, variously, of Bucks, Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties since 1980. For many years, he was the coordinator of the Legal Defense Committee of the National Lawyers Guild's Philadelphia chapter. He currently lives in Doylestown Township.

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