I have been a Republican all my life. I worked at a Reagan rally in Reno in the 1980s. My belief in the Republican Party is rooted in fiscal conservatism, personal responsibility and accountability, individual liberty and limited government.

Donald Trump is no Ronald Reagan. Continually saying how terrible things are, Mr. Trump is trying to echo Reagan’s “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” Statistics indicate that, as a nation, we are.

  • Unemployment in 2015 was 5 percent, down from a 9.9 percent high in 2009 and below the lowest unemployment rate, 5.7 percent, during Reagan’s tenure.
  • GDP growth for 2015 was 2.6 percent. In 2006, it was 2.7 percent.
  • Manufacturing job openings average 353,000 per month, the highest in 15 years.
  • Forty percent of the undocumented immigrants now in the U.S. entered legally and overstayed their visas. A wall would not have stopped them. More Mexicans now return home than stay in the U.S. each year.
  • In 2002, gun manufacturers sold 7 million firearms. In 2013, they sold 15 million. The threat to the Second Amendment, real or contrived, is good for gun manufacturers.
  • CDC statistics indicate the abortion rate in 2009 (the most recent data I could find) was 32 percent lower than in 1990, the lowest since they started keeping records in 1976.

Reagan had a coherent plan and vision for progress. Donald Trump does not. Until we, as Republicans, nominate a moderate candidate, we stand little chance of winning the White House, no matter how unappealing the opposition.

While Hillary Clinton has a very large and very public closet packed with skeletons, her voting record is surprisingly moderate. The policies she’s advancing during the campaign are comprehensive and based in reality.

As my second-to-last choice in this election, I cannot ask others to vote for Hillary, but the stability she offers is infinitely preferable to the destructive chaos of who has become my last choice.

Good luck with yours.


Mark Michel