As we make our way to the polls this November, it’s important to bring a few things with us.

First, the knowledge that despite the news media’s refusal to acknowledge it, the majority of those claiming to be Republicans are not.  They are most certainly not the party of Lincoln.  They are the party of Trump, and their primary interest is keeping the wealthy, corporations. and individuals with an exclusively white and mostly male vision of the United States in power.

They are a party that supports violence to retain power, and they are the party that controls their base with lies and conspiracy theories that no rationally thinking person should accept.

We also need to bring with us the knowledge that one of this Trump/MAGA/fascist party’s strategies is to challenge any election that does not favor them. If they don’t win, it is because of voter fraud, not their failure to stand for policies that support the majority of the nation’s citizens.

They do not support policies that include a woman’s right to make decisions that have to do with her body, a health care system that is available to everyone, or a more equitable distribution of wealth.

They do not support policies that respect all citizens equally, preferring to discriminate based on color, sexual orientation, gender or religion. They are a party whose “Christian” obsession has little to do with the core principles and values upon which that religion is based.

They also do not support policies that provide care for the most vulnerable members of our society. Their “vision” does not include Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. It does not include assistance for those with food insecurity or those living in poverty. It is a party whose sole focus is on themselves.

But, the most important thing to bring to the polls this November is the understanding that if you don’t want to become this kind of nation, you must make that clear by your vote.  The majority of people in our country do not embrace the views of “the party of Trump,” but those who do will most certainly be casting their votes this November. It is up to the rest of us to use our votes to make sure that this minority does not define who we are.

Dana Williams

Belfast