State of the Union

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California tears her copy of President Donald Trump's State of the Union address after he delivered it to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Feb. 4. Vice President Mike Pence is at left.

On Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, I finished reading "A Warning," by Anonymous. What irony.

When Donald Trump ran for president, I dismissed him as an insipid reality TV star with no chance of being elected. Once he was elected, I thought I could simply go about life for four years not having to devote any attention to anything the president of the United States said or did. I thought it would not affect how I lived my life or how I viewed my nation and its government.

In fact, the Trump presidency has indeed affected how I view my nation and its government. I have watched disappointingly as most Republican leaders repeatedly defend Trump despite his bad behavior.

I cannot understand how anyone who values truth, integrity, respect and compassion would defend an individual who lies, manipulates and disrespects others regularly. So, in 2018 I chose to discontinue my affiliation with the Republican Party, the party of Lincoln, after 42 years.

I could list all the disturbing things Trump has done and said to damage the honorable reputation of the United States in the world community, divide Americans and promote hate. But they have been repeated enough and I won’t give more space to his offensive output.

To those who argue that Trump has accomplished much, my response is that many leaders are capable of accomplishment once they are in office, regardless of party affiliation. Why must I endure Trump’s bad behavior to obtain effective and inspiring leadership? He did not receive my vote in 2016, nor will he in 2020.

I must cast my vote for the candidate I believe best represents the values my parents, both World War II veterans, passed on to me. It is not Trump. He may talk of values and high ideals, but his actions speak louder than his loudest words. I choose to cast a vote that honors the sacrifices my parents made to help preserve freedom and the hard work they put forth to better their community throughout their lives. I choose to cast my vote with hope, not hate. I choose to cast my vote for truth, integrity, respect and compassion. I am not perfect — no individual or nation is — but I can work hard every day to be a better citizen and a better human being. I will do that by casting my important vote on Nov. 3.

LIA THOMPSON

retired HR manager

Prairieville

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