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OPINION

Ohio Republicans against Trump: He no longer deserves the consent of the governed

We put our faith in Trump in 2016 and formed Operation Grant to mobilize voters against him in 2020. Let's fix our mistake and preserve our republic.

Phil Heimlich
Opinion contributor

In 2016, many of us who wanted change in the White House took a chance on Donald Trump. We thought he’d lead as a conservative Republican. Instead, he has imperiled our republic.

We are alarmed by the anti-democratic tactics and flagrant abuse of power committed daily by Donald Trump. His actions are an affront to our Constitution and the Republican Party. Our 18th president, Ohio’s Ulysses S. Grant, called his failures "errors in judgment, not intent."

In 2016, many Ohio voters put their faith in Donald Trump, us included. That was an error of judgment, not intent. For these reasons, we’re joining with other Republicans in this state to vote against President Trump this November.

Corruption, incompetence and death

He has created a culture of fear within the Republican Party as well as across the country, demonizing anyone with differing opinions. He belittles, berates, and ruins the careers of all who oppose him — including his own appointed government agency heads, respected military leaders and war heroes.

He has undermined the rule of law, obstructed justice, and issued pardons and commutations to personal cronies who helped cover up his misdeeds.

He has demonstrated gross incompetence during the COVID-19 pandemic, causing needless suffering and death.

He has run up a $2.7 trillion budget deficit, $1 trillion of which occurred before the pandemic unfolded.

President Donald Trump pumps his fist as he leaves a rally at the Whirlpool Manufacturing Plant, Thursday, Aug. 06, 2020, in Clyde, Ohio. [Jeff Lange/Beacon Journal]

He has, as the late Sen. John McCain put it, "abased himself ... before a tyrant," referring to Trump’s refusal to stand up to Russian President Vladimir Putin and protect our elections from foreign interference.

He has turned his back on our NATO allies we have embraced for 75 years.

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He has shamed us by diminishing our standing as a stalwart republic and defender of democracy worldwide.

In December 2019, conservative commentator Bill Kristol and attorney George Conway formed the Lincoln Project to encourage Republican voters to support Joe Biden for president. Republican Voters Against Trump was formed by longtime Republican strategist Sarah Longwell; Tim Miller, former spokesman for the Republican National Committee; and Kristol to build Republican support against the reelection of Donald Trump.

'Operation Grant' is our Lincoln Project

Ohio Republicans are now launching Operation Grant to mobilize GOP voters in the Buckeye State, which is crucial to GOP White House hopefuls, against our current president.

Our leadership consists of:

  • Phil Heimlich, the author, a former assistant prosecutor and Republican City Council member and Hamilton County commissioner;
  • Chris Gagin, former Belmont County GOP chairman, who resigned in disgust after Trump’s Helsinki debacle;
  • Roger Synenberg, former chairman of the Republican Party and Board of Elections in Cleveland, and inductee into the Cuyahoga County Republican Hall of Fame;
  • Chris Gibbs, former Republican chairman and Board of Elections president in Shelby County;
  • Michael Anne Johnson, former Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Ohio.

We are free men and women. We claim our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We believe Mr. Trump no longer deserves the consent of the governed. 

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Trump has routinely evaded the call to rise to the moment and lead this great nation. We will not make the same mistake this November that we made in 2016. You don’t have to, either.

After the Civil War, President Grant rose to the moment to unite a nation most divided.

Ohioans who wish to preserve our republic will rise to the moment, too.

Phil Heimlich is a former assistant prosecutor, Cincinnati City Council member and Hamilton County commissioner. This column originally appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer. Follow him on Twitter: @philheimlich