Donald Trump has built his campaign on fear, stoking the embers of racism, sexism, and xenophobia that still remain in this country. But that hasn’t stopped Tennessee Republicans from endorsing and actively campaigning for him.
Their support for Mr. Trump reveals their true priorities, which have nothing to do with solving problems or governing Tennessee effectively and everything to do with the politics of pleasing the extremists in their own Party. They could have stood up to him but they refused, reminding us that for years the Republican Party has elevated extreme voices, using divisive campaigns and rhetoric to exploit unfounded fears and cultural anxieties for political gain. These tactics have not only resulted in legislative gridlock but also, not surprisingly, in violence against people of color, protestors, and the media at "Trump for President" rallies.
His rhetoric is not the only dangerous element the Trump campaign and a potential Trump presidency. Though he plays the part of a wealthy and successful businessman, Mr. Trump’s real life record is riddled with embarrassing failures and cheap schemes designed to turn a quick buck at the expense of everyday Americans. He has complained that when he employed mothers, they were not giving him "100 percent" and that pregnancy was "an inconvenience for a business." And while he pumps up the crowds at his rallies by talking about bringing manufacturing jobs to the United States, his clothing line of suits and ties are manufactured abroad. Trump policies will drag our state and country back to where we were when the last Republican president left office - losing 800,000 jobs a month.
America and Tennessee cannot afford Donald Trump as President. We cannot afford his misogynistic, racist, xenophobic social policies. We cannot afford his dangerous and isolationist foreign policy. And, we cannot afford his "I’ve got mine and I want yours" economic policies.
We cannot afford to let Mr. Trump bully his way into the Oval Office and I am confident that Democrats will be united and hold Donald Trump accountable every day until, and on, Nov. 8.
Chair, Tennessee Democratic Party