Ending this bad and unhealthy relationship

I have finally had enough with falling in line with my party and trying to support Donald Trump for President. Perhaps it’s because things finally hit close enough to home and my world experience to resonate. Or perhaps supporting Donald Trump has been a bit like being in a bad and unhealthy relationship. Part of the problem with getting out of the relationship is that you keep convincing yourself that things are going to get better. While they often briefly get better, they continue to get worse until the downs are lower than one ever thought possible.
In the meantime, you lose yourself and you lose who you are just to try to keep the peace and not rock the boat.
As President of the Iowa Federation of Republican Women, I was publicly neutral during the caucus to convention process. While there were times that I really disagreed with things Trump or even other candidates in the Republican Party said, I (mostly) kept quiet. There was the Carly for America “Faces” ad when I broke rank a bit, and I am more proud of that today than ever.
While I had my own opinions (which did not involve caucusing for Trump), I wanted to let the process play out. I had faith in the process, our party, and our people and was confident everything would work out for the best.
When it became apparent that Donald Trump would secure the nomination, I decided it was time to speak up. I did not want to do it publicly on social media and instead wanted to go through the appropriate channels. So I agonized over what to say and emailed my concerns to the president and a few in leadership positions of the National Federation of Republican Women on May 5, 2016. I told them that while I had pledged unity at our spring meeting in March, I was having grave concerns about our future nominee. As someone who has rarely voted for the nominee early on and is accustomed to voting for another choice in the general, it wasn’t an issue of me not being able to lick my wounds after the caucus and primary losses. It was something fundamentally larger than that. I simply wanted to start a conversation, and I was hoping that the Trump campaign would do some outreach so we could overcome a few of the obstacles and right some of the wrongs that had had occurred thus far.
A few questions I posed in the email:

– What do I tell my six-year-old nephew who saw Trump on TV a few months ago, turned to his mom (my sister) and said, “Mom, he is a bad man. He says bad words and wants to blow things up.”? What do I say to my sister, who was at a loss for words (and is a strong Republican)?

– How do I reassure my mom – and moms of all of our men and women serving our country – that Donald Trump will speak wisely and not get us into more conflicts with his off-the-cuff remarks?

– What do we say to women across the country who are mortified at Trump’s comments on the Howard Stern show discussing women’s breast sizes? How about so many of the other things he has said that objectify women? What message does this send to young girls?

– How do we respond when our presidential nominee has stereotyped an entire religion?

– Trump has openly insulted John McCain’s service to our country and has blamed George W. Bush for the 9/11 attacks. Are we OK with that?

I received a couple of responses basically saying to work hard for the down ballot candidates, pray for our nominee, and we are confident that he’ll turn it around and behave going into the general election. I was also encouraged to read Governor Bobby Jindal’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal a few days later. So that’s what I did.
Then fast forward a few weeks later to a nonpartisan women’s leadership conference. I was giving a presentation about balancing work and personal life and I talked about how balancing our public life with a personal life can be tough, especially in politics when things can intertwine. I mentioned Carly Fiorina’s ad and said that I stood behind that ad and at the same time I was prepared to support Trump if he was our nominee. A few women were visibly upset with me.
And I know many more were silently upset with me for saying that I could support a candidate who had done so much wrong, even by that point at the end of May 2016. I went back to my hotel room that night and I have to admit that I had a good cry. I felt like a horrible person. I reached out to a couple of my Republican peers, and they reassured me it would be OK. I was emboldened by knowing that I am a caring individual and thought I could support Trump without necessarily condoning his words or behavior.
So I continued on and for a while – in my world at least – it went a little better. Then Trump picked Mike Pence as his running mate. While Pence is more conservative than I am personally, I met him a couple of years ago and feel good about him as a person. So that reassured me that maybe everything would be OK.
Then Kellyanne Conway became Trump’s campaign manager. I thought, “Finally, a woman is in charge! Maybe now Trump is going to apologize, and he’s going to do the things that need to be done to right the ship.” The first week with Conway in charge showed me that perhaps things were getting better.
I worked at the Iowa State Fair GOP booth on the day Mike Pence visited the Iowa State Fair. I was asked repeatedly by a staffer to wear a Trump – Pence shirt instead of my IowaFRW shirt for his arrival. After about eight times of being reminded, I put the Trump – Pence t-shirt on. I admit, it felt weird. But I thought, “If I’m going to be a team player, I have to be all in. I can do this.”
The overall response from fair goers at the fair booth was good. Toward the end of the night though, a few women came up to me and asked how I could support Trump after all of the terrible things he had said about women. I didn’t have an answer, and so in true Trump fashion, I attacked Hillary. After they walked away, I asked a couple of other people at the booth what they would’ve done. They said that I could always bring it back to the Supreme Court and electing someone who will appoint conservative justices. And I thought perhaps that was a good argument to make.
Then the debates were coming up and I thought, “OK, Hillary is going to throw everything at Trump. Here is his chance to really reset for the general.” And during the first debate, when Trump asked Hillary how she wanted to be addressed, and then said he wanted to make her happy, I was on my last thread. He was continuing his sexist behavior, right there in front of my eyes.
Still, I was hanging on, if only by a thread. It was down to a day by day roller coaster. One day, I would say that I could jump on board the Trump Train. And then the next day, I would realize there was no way I could be a team player any longer.
So when Mike Pence gave a solid debate performance, I was back on a high. Only 35 days to go. I could do this. Yes, I still had those nagging feelings. But once again, I thought, Trump is going to get better. He still has time to show us he is worthy of our party’s nomination. The first presidential debate was a warm up. Kellyanne will kick him in the rear for the next one.
And then the tapes. Ugh. I could not even process all of that for a good 24 hours. I was immediately angry. I was angry at Trump, but I was even more angry with myself. It should have been no surprise, given everything else we have been shown about Donald Trump. Nonetheless, it shocked me. I was sick to my stomach and could not see straight. Luckily it was the end of the work day, so when it was time to leave the office, I decompressed in my car for about an hour, grabbed some coffee, and wandered through a book store before driving home.
This was the final straw. I had finally taken all I could. Then I saw how people were responding on social media. I was proud of our elected officials who stood up against him.
At the same time, I was dismayed by so many strong women who were pointing fingers at Hillary and saying at least it’s not as bad as what she has done. Now I find myself making similar judgments about Trump supporters that those women from the leadership conference made about me when I said that I would support him. Now that it’s personal to me, I don’t see how someone could stand by a candidate who is saying such horrific things about someone like me. So to those women who confronted me during that evening in late May, I apologize and I thank you. I already apologized that night and I told them that it was a tough decision, as I was still struggling with it every day. But now I finally get it.
I ask you this: Who are we if we defend ourselves by saying, “Wow this is horrible, but not as horrible as that over there?” Regardless of your party or your opinions on issues, we need to have candidates who can stand on their own merit and be honorable.
This is also not an isolated incident from a decade ago. This is one of way too many times where Trump has used unacceptable words and actions. That is what makes me so sad for my party.
I should have spoken up long ago. I do not like attention. I did not want to rock the boat. I wanted to honor my commitment in my role for Republican women.
I’m not trying to excuse the multiple chances that I gave to Donald Trump. I am telling you what was going on in my head, right or wrong. I honestly thought at some point we would turn a corner, things would get better, apologies would be made, and it would all be OK.
I was wrong, and it really pains me to have to say these things less than 30 days out from the election. I am not going to talk about any of the Democrat, Independent, Green, or Libertarian Party candidates because this is not about them. This is about who our Republican nominee for President is and what we as Republicans will stand for.
I will work my heart out out for our candidates down the ballot who deserve our support. However, I cannot pretend to support our presidential nominee any longer, and I also cannot be silent. That is why this evening I have submitted my resignation as president of the Iowa Federation of Republican Women:

“To the IowaFRW Executive Committee, Board of Directors, and members,

It is with a heavy heart that I submit my resignation as your state president today. Since I cannot support Donald J. Trump for President, nor can I advocate for his election, I feel that I cannot adequately fulfill the duties of my position. While I am still a Republican and plan to work hard for our down ballot GOP candidates, I cannot fulfill our mission ‘To elect Republicans at all levels of government’ with Trump as our party’s nominee.

Additionally, I cannot support the National Federation of Republican Women President Carrie Almond’s statement (http://www.nfrw.org/news-releases-20161010) that was released yesterday on behalf of Republican women nationally, as I do not support Donald J. Trump.

I will do all I can to ensure a smooth transition in leadership, and this is truly a last resort for me. I cannot in good conscience lead this organization or look at myself in the mirror each morning if I do not take a stand against the racism, sexism, and hate that Donald J. Trump continues to promote.”

I am saddened that I even have to make this choice because I want to support all of our Republican candidates. I truly intended to do that when I was elected as president.

However, I am not being true to myself if I don’t speak up and and say something. The first candidate I worked for full-time as paid staff was Elizabeth Dole for President in 1999. Elizabeth Dole ran for president over 16 years ago, and during that campaign we fought a lot of sexism. I vowed that I would always remember the lessons that I learned from that campaign. I can never condone sexism.
I don’t claim to have the moral high ground, and I don’t claim that any of our candidates are perfect. However, there is a clear line that has been stepped across when candidates fuel racism and sexism and the darkest parts of our minds – over, and over, and over again.
I look forward to working diligently for our many fine Republican candidates and issues this year. I will not be advocating for Donald Trump or voting for him.
This is not about being conservative, moderate, liberal, establishment, or anti-establishment. This is about common decency as Americans.
As I mentioned previously, I was immediately outraged when I heard the tape. I made myself wait to respond though. I needed time to process it all, and I wanted to speak rationally. Quite frankly, I have been through so much of a roller coaster already, that I figured another couple of days to engage in a few more conversations and think through things could only help me become more at peace with my decision.
And even during my waiting period between being done with Trump and announcing it, I have been dismayed by Trump. In the same breath as saying he is sorry for what he said on the tape, he continues to defend his words as locker room banter, and then point the finger at the Clintons. During the last debate, he also made the outrageous statement that had he been President, Captain Kahn would still be alive.
So I am ending this bad and unhealthy relationship right now. I am done making excuses. I am done hoping for a change. As Condoleezza Rice so eloquently stated: “Enough!”
And since it is not good to jump into one relationship right after another has ended, I am not going to use this post to speak about whom I may vote for on November 8th. For now, I need to be single and find myself. I will decide in 28 days who I am voting for. Until then, I am going to respect everyone’s opinions and I hope you respect mine.
When I look back on this election years from now, I want to be proud of taking a stand for what I thought was right, even if I cut it a little close on the deadline. Decency transcends party loyalty. I still believe in an America where we can elect decent and honorable people to lead us.

60 thoughts on “Ending this bad and unhealthy relationship

  1. I could not be more proud of you. I have been praying for you for some time knowing what a difficult position you held in times like this. Your resignation had to be absolutely heart wrenching knowing your love and dedication to the Republican Women, however, as was once said; “These are the times that try men’s (and women’s) souls. Please know you are supported and I believe you have done a difficult thing, but these are difficult times without precedence and everyone is treading water in unknown and treacherous waters. “Farther Along” you’ll see why and how it all shakes out, and you will also be glad you did the right thing.

    1. Melissa, I put you in the same catagory as Paul Ryan. You wet your finger, hold it in the air and which ever way the wind blows is the direction you go. You are what is known as a fair-weather, two faced friend. If you can give up on supporting the Republican party this easy and go along with thne negative actons and words of Hillary–Goodbye. We don’t need your type. I do not like what he said 11 years ago, but as a Christian, I can forgive him. .

      1. Wow. How about what Trump said “5 minutes” ago? Is this how Christians are supposed to treat others; even if they don’t share the same political beliefs? You can forgive Trump for saying and doing much worse but when it comes to something as insignificant as a political belief, it’s unforgivable? Looks a little hypocritical to me. Clearly this wasn’t her giving up easy – it was an extremely difficult decision – and a personal one at that. She also didn’t say who she was supporting. Maybe slow your irrational emotional response and read it again – the Bible too while you are at it.

      2. That’s fine and good that you forgive him. However, forgiving Trump does not preclude you from withdrawing your support for him. As an analogy, I could forgive an employer who treated me unfairly, but at the same time I am still free to seek employment elsewhere.

      3. You’re an idiot. I have had attempted to have intelligent conversations with Trump supporters but nobody wants to hear it. So I will resort to this. You are an idiot. Wet your finger? An idiot and a pig. I guess it would take a Class 5 Hurricane to get you to think about switching. You are not a good person. God will judge you my friend. You better start saying Hail Mary’s until you die. You vote for Trump you’re going to hell.

      4. Ms. Gesing is certainly NOT in the same category as Paul Ryan. Like Ryan, she has thought long and hard about her position, but unlike him, she has decided to take a clear stand on principle. As far as forgiving Donald Trump goes, I am glad to hear your Christian faith allows you to claim you have, but I am grieved to know you are incapable of true empathy. Not terribly Christian of you, is it?

      5. Can you forgive him for what he said today yesterday and tomorrow? Just because you are a Christian doesn’t mean you have to tolerate the negativity. And as a Christina, is this the hate you are taught to tolerate promote or support. Jesus died so that we all be free. Not some. All 💜

  2. Melissa,

    I am reaching out to you from Channel 13 News in Des Moines. We would be interested in talking to you today about your decision to step down from the IFRW. If you are in the Des Moines area today we’d love if you could make time for us. If not we’d love to do a phone interview with you during our 4:00pm newscast today. You can email me at dan.hendrickson@whotv.com or call me in the office at 515-242-3582 or my cell phone at 515-447-7415.

    Thank you,

    Dan Hendrickson
    WHO-HD, Channel 13 News – Des Moines

  3. It is very peculiar that you, “mostly a private person”, suddenly announced that you will not exercise your citizenry rights and duty- ” may not vote on Nov. 8th” due some “unsolvable” emotional conflicts?!
    As a Republican, a woman’s leader, a citizen, and a mother, what kind of message did you send to your fellow Republicans, women who trust your leadership, young people, and our children- a soldier escapes from the battle field!
    Though private citizens have all rights to manage their own affairs, but you forget about your responsibilities as a political leader! How can you explain to your six-year-old son now about your own flaws?!

    1. How can you question her sense of responsibility if she has done the only right thing to do?
      When you recognise that what you are doing violates your values, when you see that you were wrong, the correct thing is STOP IT.

    2. Thanks for providing another example of the bad and unhealthy environment she faced in taking this stand for decency. I respect her even more.

  4. God bless you, Mel. This was a difficult decision and I empathize with your journey. You and are a woman of character – and for what it’s worth – I am proud of you!

  5. Now examine your conscience about your feelings toward Hillary.I sent the following proposed script to Hillary’s campaign with the suggestion that it be used by one or more of her surrogates, with 3 primary points to be made:
    – Some people, consciously or not, eventually come to believe a lie repeated often enough. Republicans have endlessly repeated the lies of Hillary’s dishonesty for 20+ years.
    – No finding of dishonesty has been confirmed in 26 hostile investigations which pretty much proves her honesty
    – No compromising messages out of 40,000 emails on her private server proves that all material that needed to be classified was sent only on State Department computers, and therefore there is no evidence of carelessness.
    The right wing defamation machine is not imaginary, and has, regrettably, been all too successful. Some of my most decent friends even repost the worst material from scurillous sources like https://www.facebook.com/AmericansAgainstHillaryClinton on their own facebook pages, proving how right Goebbels was.
    I really hope that looking at the facts rather than the endless allegations will change some minds. Please pass this along.
    Dear friends (voters, citizens, ?) – today I would like to address the most enduring and unfounded cloud hanging over Secretary Clinton’s campaign for president, – her supposed untrustworthiness. Recent polls give her a 60+% unfavorable rating among likely voters and near 75% among millennials. The probable reasons for that persistent rating stem from the long history of Republicans attacking her character over the last 20+ years.
    It is especially easy to understand the millennials’ outlook. During your growing up years secretary Clinton was under almost continuous attack and your unconscious formation of opinion had to be heavily influenced by a continuous stream of unfounded allegations from the right, repeated over and over by the mass media, usually without question.
    The view of the rest of you may be influenced by the unhappy truth described by 2 quotes from Joseph Goebbels, the propaganda minister of Nazi Germany, – “A lie told once remains a lie but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth”, and ” If you tell the same lie enough times, people will believe it; and the bigger the lie, the better.” The right has conducted a campaign of character assassination composed of investigations and false allegations against Hillary for more than 20 years, and the allegations have been repeated millions of times by right wing talk radio, Fox News, unfriendly websites and the MSM. Unproven or falsified allegations, repeated as facts, are lies, and the campaign has clearly worked as Goebbels described for a significant part of the population.
    I know that about half of that part are Trump supporters, and nothing I can say here will change their minds. It is the other half that I would like to address and persuade.
    As first lady, Hillary was under a continuous stream of allegations and investigations from early 1994 to the end of her husband’s second term. During that time she was implicated in more than 16 investigations going back as far as 1979/8, long before she was first lady, for various alleged wrongdoings, but none of the allegations proved true. That’s “none” folks, – zero, – not any.
    (For the long version of the above paragraph see the end of this script)
    A lot of you probably think that with all that smoke there has to be some fire. What was really happening was that the right wing was “blowing smoke” to discredit a successful Democrat president and a formidable first lady. Ask yourselves “could all of those investigations have turned up nothing if there was anything there to find?” If your answer is still “yes”, you have to have concluded that there were an awful lot of incompetent investigators, especially as most of them were highly and ideologically motivated to find something wrong. Is that really your conclusion, or are you an unconscious victim of intentional lies oft repeated?
    More recently we have had the Benghazi and the email server scandals promoted specifically against Hillary by the right wing character assassination machine. All we need to say about Benghazi is that there have been 8 congressional investigations, including one unprecedented 12 hour deposition of the Secretary of State, and again no wrongdoing could be found.
    The e-mail server case is more revealing, especially for what has not been concluded. It really started with another unprecedented event, the unsolicited revelations by the FBI director of a prolonged FBI investigation set up to investigate alleged improper handling of classified government information over an insecure private server. The FBI director is a Republican, and no friend of Secretary Clinton, and while his original revelations were truthful, they were less than the whole truth, and the only accusation he could bring was no more than an opinion, an opinion inconsistent with the real complete picture as I will get to.
    You will recall that the original claim made was that 110 classified elements of information were found in 30,000 documents reviewed. Only later was it revealed during Congressional questioning (by a Democrat) that only three of the documents were marked with anything that could be interpreted as a classification mark. Even those markings were disputed by the State Department and the FBI director subsequently admitted that the markings were not such that a knowledgeable reader should conclude that the material was classified. Subsequently 2 of the 3 emails in question were released and shown to be totally innocuous from either a security or diplomatic point of view.
    Of the other 107 documents, it has been revealed that most concerned discussions of drone strikes. Such strikes, if carried out by the CIA, are required by regulations to be classified Secret or higher, even if the knowledge of the strikes has been in the news and the details are in the public domain, so if the subject matter of the emails does not contain secret technical details there is no really secret content. If the ambassador to Pakistan notes in passing that he has received a complaint about a strike that is in the news, technically that comment is secret by policy, but such classification is nonsense in reality. There have been no allegations that any of the so called but unlabeled classified documents contained anything real of either security or diplomatic concern.
    It has also been alleged by Republican Congressmen that the use of the private server was an attempt to conceal communications. The FBI director has stated that there was no evidence of any attempt to conceal any information.
    In a more flagrant attempt to discredit Secretary Clinton, while striving to appear impartial, the FBI director noted first that, while there was no evidence that her private server had been hacked it could have been, and that in using that server she had been extremely careless. Let’s look at those two allegations.
    It has now been about 43 months since the last date the server in question could have been hacked, and no malicious entity has released any damning document in that time. There can be only 2 probable conclusions, – the server was never hacked, or the server was hacked but there were no damning documents thereon that were worth releasing. Clearly, it was very unlikely that a possible hacker would ever have imagined the existence of the private server, so the most probable conclusion is that it was never hacked. A less honest person than Secretary Clinton, a person like Donald Trump, would try to take credit for amazing cleverness in having used such a private server to minimize any chance of being hacked. Note – the FBI has also failed to find any evidence that any of Secretary Clinton’s aides have had their emails compromised. Also note that State Department computers were hacked in 2006 and 2015, but never when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State.
    Interestingly, since the FBI director made his first denunciation, the FBI has found another 14,900 emails on other peoples’ equipment that are also, in part, Hillary’s. Some of these will prove to be duplicates of emails in the first thirty thousand, but the total count might now be 40,000, and apparently still nothing that is not innocuous.
    Most importantly, no emails have been found from the private server that in any way compromised security, intelligence, or diplomatic relations. What that means is that all emails that were important in even slight ways to these issues were handled correctly on the State Department equipment – all – that is 100%.
    Hillary did disregard State Department policy, and she has been rightly criticized for that. She has admitted her improper decision, apologized, and stated that, if she had to do things over, she would not repeat that error. However the important issue here is that, out of near 40,000 documents only about ¼ of 1% have been found to fail the letter of classification regulations, and none to fail the intent of classification regulations.
    The handling of important material, information and documents by Secretary Clinton and her state department, from a compromised national security or diplomatic point of view was “zero defect”. Do you know how hard it is to achieve zero defect in any field of human endeavor, and to do so over 1470 days and many tens of thousands of communications? To allege that Secretary Clinton was careless is ludicrous, and totally unsupported by the evidence. She was a model of carefulness.
    Finally it is instructive to check Politifact for candidate honesty. Looking at mostly false, false and pants-on-fire assessments as % of total comments rated, VP Biden is at 37%, Bernie Sanders at 28%, Hillary at 27% and President Obama at 26%. No Republican candidate is even close to this level of honesty. Trump is at 71% with about as many statements rated as Hillary.
    So, to the millennials that have an unfavorable view of Secretary Clinton I would say “think of your growing up years, think of the unintended but real brainwashing you suffered during your politically formative years, reflect carefully on your unfavorable opinion and on what it is based. Then consider the real facts of Secretary Clinton’s career and the 20+ years of unending slander she has undergone. Consider that more than 26 investigations during 22 years, covering nearly 40 years of her life, and conducted by people highly motivated to find her in the wrong, have found no impropriety. No accusations have been confirmed, no allegations supported and no charges filed. Think about that. Then reconsider your evaluation in an objective, fair and balanced way.”
    To the older among you holding an unfavorable opinion I would say “Stop, reflect, ask yourselves “have lies repeated thousands of times become truth in your minds? Was Joseph Goebbels describing the way in which your beliefs are influenced? Consider with an open mind that the dishonesty and untrustworthiness that you perceive is simply a product of accusations and allegations that have been repeated endlessly without proof or truth. Ask yourself if you could have endured so many hostile investigations with no allegation ever being proven.” As a favor to yourselves, reevaluate your opinion.
    While both groups are reevaluating, I would ask you to consider one more fact. Assigning ½ the cost of the Whitewater investigations to Secretary Clinton, the 20+ year failed Republican vendetta against her has cost the American taxpayers more than 100 million dollars and wasted countless hours of Congressional time that should have been better spent. How does that make you feel? Damn mad I hope.
    No other person in American history has been subjected to the harassment and pillorying that Hillary has suffered. No one has been on the receiving end of such a stream of slander. No one else could have stood up to all of this contumely and soldiered on, never shrinking from serving her country.
    The facts show unequivocally that Hillary is a pillar of honesty and integrity, thoroughly lacking in carelessness. She is intelligent, hard- working, analytic and thoughtful, kind and caring and cooperative. She has a profound sense of responsibility, an unbreakable will, and a balanced temperament. She is more qualified by experience than any other Presidential candidate in our country’s history.
    She deserves your support, and you owe it to yourselves to evaluate her holistically and objectively and fairly, and give her that support. End

    The long version of the Whitehouse years:
    Hillary was first investigated in 1994 for some spectacularly successful investments in cattle futures that she made in the late’70s. She was accused then of wrongdoing, because it was clear to the right wing that she could not have been so successful honestly. All charges were eventually dropped. You all know about the multiyear Whitewater investigation by a special prosecutor of the Clinton’s supposed illegal part in the Whitewater land deal. The special prosecutor also looked into the suicide of Vince Foster, a friend and associate of the Clintons. The Clintons were accused of involvement in illegal activities as part of the land deal, but after 3 inquiries were found innocent. They were also rumored, with special focus on Hillary, to have been involved in the murder and cover-up of Vince Foster. Five investigations were conducted before the 3 year involvement of the special prosecutor, and they all concluded that it was suicide due to depression. Years afterwards President Clinton summed up the ordeal in these words “ “I heard a lot of the right-wing talk show people … and all the sleazy stuff they said. They didn’t give a rip that he had killed himself or that his family was miserable or that they could break the hearts [of Foster’s friends and family]. It was just another weapon to slug us with, to dehumanize us with.”
    During these years there were also the Republican efforts to create scandals over “Travelgate” and “Document gate” that led to several more investigations with a non-stop stream of allegations of misconduct, undue influence and dishonesty on the part of the first lady. During these years right wing talk radio was constantly filled with allegations stated as facts, and many of these lies were repeated in the MSM. During Hillary’s White house years she was a subject of at least 16 investigations, and no evidence of wrongdoing was ever confirmed. Of course right wing accusations and conspiracy theories never died down.
    And then we have this http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/10/6/1578212/-Hey-Associated-Press-We-haven-t-forgotten-what-you-did
    Also note: As Time magazine noted as far back as 1993, cranking out spurious stories that discredited Hillary Clinton and were attributed to anonymous Secret Service agents was a known political trick:
    A Republican consultant told a network newscaster that his job was to make sure Hillary Clinton is discredited before the 1996 campaign. Each day anti-Hillary talking points go out to talk-show hosts. The rumor machine is cranking out bogus stories about her face (lifted), her sex life (either nonexistent or all too active) and her marriage (a sham). Many of the stories are attributed to the Secret Service in an attempt to give the tales credibility.

  6. Thank you for your principled stand. Sometimes in my most hopeless hours, I despair that this is what our country is now–ideologue against ideologue, like our lives, and the lives of our children and grandchildren, are reduced to the outcome of high school football game.

    Then someone like you does something like this, putting conscience and country above party in spite of the personal cost or consequences. And hope rises.

    This is how we’ll do it, person by person, until we’re mended.

    (I’m a Democrat.)

  7. Mel,

    As a former conservative but now a progressive, I just wanted to say that I have the upmost respect for the struggle you have been going through, and the very true to yourself and honorable decision that you made. I just wanted to thank you for your well thought out post. I hope all sides of the political spectrum can follow your example and lead us to a much better place politically in the future!

    Thank you,


  8. Thank you for standing up for what you believe is right. I’m appalled that such a large segment of our population is supporting hate, racism, misogyny and a candidate who clearly lacks an understanding of what democracy is and leans toward totalitarianism. It is frightening to me that the republican nominee understand so little about the real world that we live in and that so many people actually think he could have a positive impact on our society. You are probably getting a lot of hateful comments and feedback from Trump supporters; but please know that there are many of us who are proud of you for following the path of love and refusing to support hate, racism, fear mongering and misogyny.

  9. As a moderate / independent voter, I thank you for taking this difficult but principled stand. While I have not always agreed with everything in the Republican platform, I’ve always valued the dialog that comes from having honestly held differences. That dialog has suffered recently with the Trump’s influence on the Republican party. Stay strong. Your party needs courageous women like you.

  10. Wow. This almost brought me to tears. I am a Democrat so I know my perspective on the Trump campaign is biased. I can’t imagine how stressful and heartbreaking this must have been for you. I don’t know you personally, but I am so proud to have you as a fellow Iowan. I hope that you continue to fight and stand up for yourself and your beliefs. I hope that my daughter grows up to be a strong independent woman like you. I’m a big believer in character counts and that is exactly what I see in your words and actions. I wish you all the best.

  11. Yes, enough is enough. Thank you for doing this. Thank you for taking a principled stance. Thank you for putting our country first. And thank you for sharing.

  12. I’m a democrat and I must say good for you. I would do the same thing. I happen to be a Hillary supporter. I know a lot of republicans have a problem with her. But when people say I’m voting for trump because of Hillary. I don’t understand it. Where are peoples just plain decency. I mean trump and his sheep are trying to destroy one of our historical institutions. It’s a shame. But kudos to you. You’ll be able to be proud of yourself after this election.

  13. Normal people knew right away not to support him. They didn’t wait for his litany of trash to continue week after week while doing nothing.

    1. Careful with “normal”. Normal is a statistic term Unfortunately “normal” is not always the best thing. In Germany in the late 20’s it was “normal” to be nationalist and racist against jews. In the USA there was also a time when it was “normal” to be openly racist against black people. Given the big number of Trump followers, also this is part of the US “normality”.
      What Mel did is not “normal” and this makes it so great and important.

  14. It would seem the honorable thing for you to have done was to resign your post last May when Mr. Trump was declared the presumptive nominee. Perhaps it would have been helpful for you to speak with Reince Priebus about what is really involved with supporting a national candidate as a public voice for your political party. It seems from reading your writings and twitter thoughts perhaps in the future you should only work for women candidates.

  15. You are incredibly brave. I wish that more women could hear your voice! With hope…

  16. From an extreme liberal (with a LOT of empathy) I adore what you have said here. I have been waiting to hear this sentiment from more folks. Not because I want to point and laugh but because I have so much faith in humanity that I wanted to know I wasn’t wrong about that. I think we should all be able to agree he’s not our President. Thanks for being willing to rock the boat!

  17. Thank you very much for this! I am sorry it has been a heart-wrenching campaign season for you and all of us. I’ve struggled with it personally and am glad it did not need to affect my job or public life. I do not know you, but it sounds like you have been an excellent and ethical leader for Iowa Republican women. I do not consider myself a Republican woman at the moment, but I was one before Donald Trump’s nomination.

  18. Didn’t read the entire rant (post) but read the summary in the DSM Reg so was enough to know you are the same as the rest. Reminds me of issue that took place in my church a few years back. The same issue that made me quit being a Christian. The issue was a woman in church who went on a man hating rant about a having a new man in her life (post divorce) who thought he ought to be involved in the decision making involving her kids. And the role of god, church, and morality in all of that. She blew up and said “There is NO MAN coming between me and my kids”. When some other women intervened and said God has a voice in raising children, and children need a man in their lives, etc … that bitch was having none of it.

    In later discussions, it was pointed out to me that woman are not and cannot be a true Christian in today’s society. Because they are taught by society to hate and distrust men. And by implication … GOD. Her attitude was NO MAN would become between her and her children AND NO MAN would tell her what to do. She has a Vagina and that means she worships one and only one GOD and that is Feminism. Feminism comes before God and before Christianity.

    The situation with Mel and Trump is the same. Melissa isn’t a Republican and never was. She as a Vagina and therefore worships the same false GOD … Feminism. Hillary has the nickname KILLARY for a reason. Google “Clinton Trail of Death”. A recent DNC staffer was murdered for leaking emails that KILLARY blamed on the Russians, one more notch on the trail of death. KILLARY created ISIS as Sec of State and funneled guns and billions of dollars to terrorists. Planned and executed the destruction of Libya (Benghazi). Assisted Obama in the destruction of Syria. The resulting civil war in Syria has killed 300,000 people so far. Litterally … Hillary Clinton is responsible for the death of probably 200,000 people. One of the biggest mass murderers of the 21st century and probably in all of history. And her culture of corruption is second to none. Taking in MILLIONS AND MILLIONS from some of the richest and most corrupt bankers and businessmen on the planet. And that is not to mention the biggest PAY-TO-PAY in history: THE CLINTON FOUNDATION.

    But you know what. Melissa has a VAGINA and you know what that means.Trump made a joke about grabbing a woman by the pussy … and did you see the video … he went out and met the woman and they joked around and had a good time. Did he grab her by the pussy ? NOPE. Did he disrespect her? Did he rape her … like BILL CLINTON DID TO LOTS OF WOMEN. Nope … sure didn’t. Just some locker room banter like all men do. BUT … Mel has a Vagina …

    To summarize … KILLARY murders hundreds of thousands of people,is an evil and sick woman married to a rapist who deserves to be in prison for …. well dozens of reasons beyond just emails. Trump makes a sexist joke and guess which side Melissa is on?

    Yeah you guessed the answer … Melissa has a Vagina … god does not matter, morality does not matter, locker room talk does not matter, being a career criminal who mass murders hundreds of thousands of people and is married to a rapist … does not matter. Know what does matter ????

    Yeah … Melissa has a VAGINA … and is controlled by the brainwashing known as FEMINISM. And she gets to vote.

    Millions of other human beings who also have a Vagina and get to vote.

    Wanna know what has gone wrong in the world ? Welcome to the insanity our world has become.

    1. I can only shake my head in sorrow after reading your rant and hope that something or someone soon will be able to help you open that closed mind of yours, help remove the hate festering there and leave room for actual truths you seen so against hearing. There are usually two sides to every issue with the truth often found between the two. Would that you will be able to see the world better when that happens. I wish that soon you find some happiness so obviously missing from your life now.

  19. “This is not about being conservative, moderate, liberal, establishment, or anti-establishment. This is about common decency as Americans.”
    Thank you for making a stand FOR decency.

  20. Thank you for having the courage to speak out. Thank you for standing up for the injustices. I am a sexual abuse survivor, hispanic american women from Iowa and this election has made me lose faith in American people who condone the hate and divisive behavior. Wishing us all more peace and tolerance for all.

  21. I use to be a Republican, for more than 20 years, but then I moved to an urban area that required a change in party if I wanted to participate in a real primary. I have been able to empathize with both sides because of this and feel I have made more rational choices. When it comes to a true democracy, it must include all people. We must be kind to each other. Politics should never stand in the way of common decency. You will very quickly take ownership of your decision if you haven’t all ready. Best to you.

  22. What agonising you’ve been through. How disappointing for you. As I’ve said to friends its seems like the story of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” and people are suddenly waking up too late? In Europe people have been in total disbelief that he got as far as he did by last Christmas! Good luck with the future.

  23. Thank you for doing the right thing …. Good to hear about another republican who has a moral backbone …. Hope you can set an example for many others.

  24. Dear Mel,
    I applaud your decision and your courage to stand up and say “no” to that awful man’s attempt to ruin our country for his own gain. It must have been a difficult decision because you have to go against the general wishes of your party. I certainly hope there are more brave Republicans like you who will put country before party and not support Trump.

  25. My aunt, Irene Schlueter, who died in 2013 at age 101, was one of the most active Republican women in Marathon County and the state of Wisconsin during much of her adult life. Although I am a life long Democrat I got to know many of her fellow Republican women when I was her main caregiver in 2006 to 2010 before she entered an assisted living facility.

    I maintain contact with a group of Republican women who were very kind to Irene during her waning years. This is a very difficult election cycle for them. Some denounced Mr. Trump during the primaries and all of them have found it either impossible or very difficult to support him since he received the party nomination. Your courageous move to withdraw your support from Mr. Trump validates their misgivings and will help them feel comfortable with their inability to support him.

    Although we are of different parties, I laud you for going far above and beyond the call to contribute to this precious democracy in which we live. From Above, I know my aunt Irene is cheering you on as you continue to work for the ideas and ideals she believed in so strongly. Sincerely, Jean Fisher

  26. SO let me get this straight…you’re worried about decency in America, yet you’re willing to let a Democrat win? I don’t think “decency” means what you think it means.

    1. So full of blind hate, it´s a pitty.
      Have you ever considered that there are ways to think others than yours? Do you really believe that about half of the American people are “not decent people”, people without moral values?
      And do you really think a demagogue like Trump, who predicates hatred, xenofobia and violence, whose statements are 71% “mostly false, false and pants-on-fire” (politifact) is “decent”? Do you really want this person to be a role model for our children?

  27. I’m sure your opinion is shared by millions, tens of millions. Most won’t say it out loud as publicly as you have. Rest assured, you are not alone. Unfortunately, I fear most will also decide to not vote at all. I am planning to vote straight Republican except for president. I will never vote for a Democrat. I left the Republican party because of Donald Trump.

  28. Pingback: Bleeding Heartland
  29. I probably disagree with you on dozens of political and social points. But I truly RESPECT your decision that this is just ‘too much.’ A Progressive to a Republican!

  30. I grew up in Iowa. This was a long read. But I’m very glad I soldered on. I recognize the Iowa I knew as as boy and a young man. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    God bless you, each and every one. You brought a happy tear to an old man. I miss you and the most beautiful American Elms in the world. And fresh tender field corn.


  31. Congratulations on making a difficult and courageous decision, and especially for sharing it publicly, at the risk of the abuse found in some of these comments. As a long-ago Iowa native, it has pained me to see its citizens sink deeper and deeper over the years into an ultraconservative mindset that seems so unlike my formative years there. I suppose it was always conservative, but never in the shrill way it has become, embracing nutty candidates like Sarah Palin, Trump, and many others who appeal to our worst nature. I’m not suggesting Iowa should or ever will turn liberal, but I hope it might become more thoughtful–as you have exemplified with your action. For now, you have assuaged a little of the embarrassment I feel for my home state.


  32. As a Republican who has also made the painful decision that I can’t support my party’s nominee, I feel your pain. And you also had the burden of being in a leadership position at the time, so I understand how that made it an even more difficult decision. Please ignore the vitriol of those who are attacking you here. Regardless of whether you stayed or left, you made a careful, reasoned decision and that’s always worthy of respect, even when the choice is different from our own.

    Also, don’t let the vitriol directed at you for being a non-Trump Republican sour you on the party in general. Those of us who haven’t supported him for a while hear that talk all the time. But that’s not our party talking. It’s…something else. And that’s a fight for another day. We’re going to have to rebuild on Nov 9, and we’re going to need people like you.

  33. I don’t see how someone could stand by a candidate who is saying such horrific things about someone like me…They finally came for white women…and now you’re done. Spent all this time not giving af about the rights of others. White privilege

  34. Pingback: Bleeding Heartland

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