Donald Trump’s remarks about women that surfaced earlier this month — along with his well-documented pattern of disparaging remarks about women, minorities, and other groups — demonstrate disturbing character deficiencies. My wife and I have three teenage sons, and if I ever learned that any of them grew up to be men who conduct themselves like Trump, I would be deeply disappointed. I must trust that Julie and I have raised them better than that.
Trump’s behavior and temperament are only a part of the problem. He has repeatedly demonstrated a poor grasp of constitutionalism, civil rights, the rule of law, the role of diplomacy versus military interventionism, and even fundamental economics. I should have spoken out against him much earlier, and regret that I failed to do so.
At the same time, I continue to believe that Hillary Clinton is a similarly flawed candidate. Like many Americans, I believe she is insincere, manipulative, and untrustworthy. Over her career, Clinton has consistently supported economic policies that favor the wealthy at the expense of ordinary Americans, and she’s been a proponent of every American military intervention in recent history. The company she keeps, by itself, should give us all great concern — she is closely tied to the moneyed interests which contributed to our financial crisis, as well as world leaders whose records on human rights are questionable at best.
Neither Trump nor Hillary Clinton have exhibited the character and judgment necessary to be president, and I cannot vote for either of them.
These are two of the most unpopular political figures of our time, but this isn’t just about them. Any system that would select these two candidates as the choices for president is deeply flawed and is in need of fundamental reform.
I have been warmly welcomed by most Iowa Republicans since I decided earlier this year to run for Congress on the GOP ticket and I remain ready to work with them, both during this campaign and throughout my time in Congress. I grew up in a Republican household, I’ve supported many Republican candidates over my lifetime, and my staff is made up of young Republicans.
But like most Americans and most Iowans, my views don’t fully align with either party’s platform. When I get to Congress, I’ll go to work on a set of reforms that address the structural defects that have made our political process so toxic. They include lowering barriers for third-party candidates, restricting the influence of money in politics, and exploring major changes to our voting system. You can read more about it on my website, DrPetersForIowa.com.
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Regardless of who wins the presidential election, we will need strong and principled legislators to stand up to whatever nonsense might emanate from the White House in the next four years.
• More information: DrPetersForIowa.com