Indiana Convention Delegate Joshua Claybourn says he is taking a pass on attending the national convention, because he cannot support Donald Trump as the party’s nominee.
Trump won Indiana Tuesday with 53 percent of the vote. Following that result both Ted Cruz and John Kasich suspended their campaigns.
In an earlier interview, Claybourn said he met with Trump while he was in Evansville and expressed his concerns about Trump’s electability.
In his resignation letter below Claybourn explains his rationale.
With deep regret, I have decided not to attend the Republican National Convention in Cleveland as an at-large delegate and therefore pass my place to an alternate. This year, because Republicans might have offered the party’s first contested convention in a generation, I was excited and honored to be selected as a delegate. However, Donald Trump will clearly control enough delegates to secure the nomination on the first ballot so the convention will simply be a coronation for him to lead the party and, perhaps, our country.
Moreover, party rules would require I vote for Donald Trump on that first ballot. I choose not to let that happen: I will neither vote for, nor in any other way support, Mr. Trump. In the United States our president serves as both head of state and head of government. In Western countries that is rare combination. Our president must lead not only in matters of policy but also in symbolic ways as our chief public representative. On both counts Mr. Trump constitutes a danger. He opposes free trade, he’s skeptical of free speech and free association, he peddles fear and mean-spirited insults, and he lacks a mature temperament needed at home and abroad. More often than not Mr. Trump simply takes the most politically expedient position, and thus he lacks the principles we need to trust where he stands on other critical issues. Donald Trump’s supporters hope for a better America and I share that hope.
However, I believe a Trump presidency would bring less peace, more economic hardship, and a greater deterioration of freedom and respect. I cannot in good conscience attend a convention supporting him. If anyone wonders at my volunteering to serve as a delegate when I might be bound to vote for a candidate I disdain, I say only that, seeing the prospect of a contested convention, I hoped I could influence the process and the ultimate selection of a presidential candidate. Indeed, I imagined looking back on these months knowing I did all I could to help choose a responsible and admirable president. However, the Republican nominee is already decided and delegates will play no substantive role. Donald J. Trump is the Republican Party’s nominee, but he will not be my nominee and I will not attend a convention celebrating his candidacy.