Originally Published: Urbana Daily Citizen 

I have been an active member of the Republican Party for more than 50 years, and my
family’s Republican roots go back to the Civil War. I was elected to four terms in the Ohio
House of Representatives and my father, William B. Saxbe, served in the U.S. Senate and as both Ohio and U.S. Attorney General.

Like many other Republicans I wanted President Trump to succeed with his promise to
make America great again. But after four years of divisive and dishonest conduct, incompetent
management of the nation’s response to the global pandemic and its economic fallout, the
systematic dismantling of our international relationships, and the abandonment of traditional Republican principals and policies, Donald Trump does not deserve to be reelected.

So, I am joining with other Republicans to support Operation Grant, named for Ohioan
Ulysses S. Grant. After leading the Union Army in defeating Robert E. Lee and the Confederacy,
President Grant sought national reconciliation and presided over the country’s recovery from a
Civil War that had threatened the purpose and soul of our great democracy. Operation Grant is
likewise dedicated to facing the current threat to that democracy and defeating Donald Trump.

President Trump’s many failures and deficiencies are well documented and debated. Few people, for example, can escape the unfortunate irony of Trump’s recent diagnosis with COVID when he has repeatedly underplayed the widespread severity of the virus. And sadly, no one can overlook our current circumstances and conclude things are getting better under his watch. The pandemic rages on, and by the end of the year may claim over 400,000 lives in the United States.

The economy is in shambles and millions of Americans face a desperate future. Our streets are filled with protests and violence. Vigilantes and armed militias, encouraged by the president, appear regularly to confront protesters who are beginning to arm themselves as well. Americans are dying in too many unnecessary ways, but Donald Trump’s only focus is on himself and getting re-elected through division and fear.

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When Donald Trump called John McCain a “loser” for having been shot down, captured
and tortured by the North Vietnamese, I was offended. As a Marine Vietnam veteran, I’m
disgusted by the new revelations of his disdain for those of us who served in that unpopular war.

We weren’t “suckers” or “losers”. We chose to answer the call to duty, unlike the president, who wonders over the graves of soldiers and Marines killed in action “what was in it for them?” It’s no surprise a majority of our active duty military now opposes the re-election of their Commander in Chief.

This spring, I chose to become an Independent, and on November 3, I will vote for Joe
Biden.

Biden’s history of leadership, honor and integrity reassures me he can lead us out of this
darkness. Operation Grant gives Republicans an opportunity to reconsider their vote in 2016 for Donald Trump by connecting to stories of other Republicans who describe what has led them to
lose faith in Donald Trump. Restoring the principles and policies of the Grand Old Party can begin with electing a new president.

Join us at Operation Grant and help lead our country back into the light.

Rocky Saxbe of Bexley, Ohio is a team leader at Operation Grant
(https://www.operationgrant.org.) He served four terms as an Ohio state representative for the citizens of Champaign, Union, and parts of Clark and Logan Counties from 1975-1982. He was a Republican candidate for Ohio Attorney General in 1982.