I used to be a woman of strength and fortitude. I once rode my bike 1,900 miles cross country raising money for a pediatric cancer foundation. I’ve biked in a dozen Century events, cycling 100 miles within 12 hours.
Once I climbed to base camp of the world’s 10th highest mountain, Nepal’s Annapurna.
Now I’m beaten. Each day is uncertain. I can be clear and energized, or too listless to water the garden. Each day around 3 p.m., my brain switches off. I can’t remember words, phrases, or even if I spoke to someone recently.
I blame my illness on President Donald Trump. Our president’s pandemic response is inconsistent, chaotic, bungled and mismanaged. If we had shut down our entire nation for one month, as New Zealand, Japan and Scotland did, then opened gradually with distancing and mask-wearing, we’d have this monster under control by now.
Instead, the U.S. leads the world with COVD-19 cases and fatalities. Almost 200,000 Americans have died from coronavirus over the last six months.
That’s more than three times the U.S. fatalities sustained during the entire Vietnam War.
We should have followed science and relied on our health experts and leaders. Dr. Anthony Fauci is right; so are Gov. Mike DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton. Yet they are continually attacked by a minority fringe element whose views are amplified by social media propaganda and outliers from logic.
Trump was wrong and is wrong. He deserves to be fired.
I’m a lifelong Republican. I’m fiscally conservative. I support freedom, a strong national defense, quality education, limited taxes and balanced budgets, conservation, capitalism and a foreign policy based on American leadership.
I love and respect my family, community and appreciate the opportunity America affords us. But what happened in our country even before the pandemic – the lies, arrogance, divisiveness, racism, misogyny, bigotry, dishonesty, mishandling of federal funds and disrespect of scientific experts – has changed my mind. I’m no longer Republican; the party is unrecognizable.
I won’t tolerate the white supremacy, homophobia, trans-phobia, antisemitism, racism and fascism we see from the party today. I joined Operation Grant to show others it’s time to rise to the moment and restore our country to normalcy and democracy. Operation Grant is dedicated to persuading conservative voters that it’s okay to change your mind about Trump and put country over party by supporting Joe Biden for president.
The world is watching us, horrified, as we fumble through the pandemic. I’m horrified, too, to think of what another four years with Trump will do to our nation.
Linda Bauer is a former member of the Blue Ash City Council. A former Republican Party member, she is a volunteer at Operation Grant (https://www.operationgrant.org).