David Irvine (pictured) is a Salt Lake City attorney, a lifelong Republican, and a former member of the Utah House of Representatives. He is also a supporter of Hillary Clinton for president. Here is much of what he wrote in an op-ed for the Salt Lake Tribune:
I've been an active Republican for all of my adult life. That this venerable political party, once home to visionary thinkers and leaders, could hand its presidential nomination to Trump, who seems not to know how much he doesn't know and could not care less, is unfathomable to me. It is unfortunate that so many of those who claim to be leaders of the congressional and presidential wings of the Republican Party have long since made their Faustian bargains and are actively endorsing a totally self-centered know-nothing who behaves like the caricature of a banana-republic dictator.
That only shows that there are no Republican leaders of Lincolnian stature. It is especially dissonant when they have to distance themselves more than once per week from the outrageous statements of a man who even disparages the sacrifice of a heroic Army officer's Muslim family. There's a point where this failure to withdraw an endorsement becomes a self-indicting embrace of a demagogue's values.
Trump is riding astride the Four Horsemen of Calumny he has resurrected from an earlier and equally dismal Republican playbook: Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry and Smear. Then-Sen. Margaret Chase Smith, R-Maine, coined the phrase on June 1, 1950, as the first in the Senate to oppose Sen. Joe McCarthy. Smith's "Declaration of Conscience" laid out four fundamental American values that McCarthyism and now Trumpism seek to trample: (1) the right to criticize, (2) the right to hold unpopular beliefs, (3) the right to protest and (4) the right of independent thought.
Some retired military flag officers, for whom I have high regard, contacted me about endorsing Hillary Clinton, which I've agreed to do. There's irony here, because 98 percent of them are either Republicans or unaffiliated voters. That they feel so strongly about this election says a lot.
We see this as a matter of high stakes when it comes to national security and which candidate has the temperament to make critical decisions about war and peace. Trump revels in being a bull in a china shop, but that mentality scares seasoned national security hands to death.
Elections are always gambles; candidates are rarely perfect. George Washington came as close as perfection gets; few would have guessed that Lincoln would become a giant. The nation has been blessed at critical junctures with presidents of good heart even though there have been a lot of clay feet.
Most Utahns loathe Trump, for admirable reasons. Yet we live a political reality that unless Hillary Clinton gets more electoral votes, Trump and his tweeting fingers will be moving into the White House, where the nuclear codes also reside. There have been Utah voices urging Utahns to either not vote or vote for a third-party candidate — on "principle" — but it's really a binary choice.
It's entirely possible that this election could turn on Utah's electoral votes. Recognizing that reality, every Clinton vote is crucially important. A nonvote or a Johnson vote is a vote for Trump.