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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Mike Fernandez says he's voting for Clinton, becoming latest Florida Republican to oppose Trump



Billionaire health care mogul Mike Fernandez of Miami is the latest high-profile Republican to come out against Donald Trump. And he's taking the extra step of backing Hillary Clinton.

"No longer can we hide behind the excuse that party loyalty is paramount, and that a bad candidate of our own is always better than any candidate of theirs," Fernandez, who supported Jeb Bush for president, writes in the Miami Herald. "Blind loyalty in this case is the ultimate definition of disloyalty to our beliefs. Loyalty to our nation must be the ultimate arbiter of our choice.

"I have watched this election unfold, from that first press conference where the population of an entire country was cast as insulting to our core. This led to a neverending spiral of vulgarity, intellectual dishonesty, invective, abuse, misogyny, racism, intolerance, bullying, ignorance and downright cruelty. The fact that the person unleashing these forces, reflecting beliefs and biases that we had long ago identified as at odds with the Founding Fathers’ principle of ordered liberty was a member of my party, was at first cause for irritation evolving into alarm and frustration and finally arriving at a sobering moment of embarrassment for my party, and beyond that, of profound concern for my beloved country.

"We have seen him attack our institutions and receive cheering adoration. At rallies he has implied that if his wish to lead the nation is not granted by popular vote, that the national system is rigged and deserving of attack. This is insanity and dictatorial machinations at best.

"As a Republican whos has contributed millions of dollars to the party’s causes, I ask: Why has our party not sought a psychological evaluation of its nominee?

"This abysmally unfit candidate has unleased racist and violent acts. There has been no need for dog whistles. The call to brand entire religions and countries as unworthy and despicable, and the call for profoundly un-American practices, including asking the honorable men and women serving our country in the military to engage in the profoundly dishonorable task of torturing human beings and killing innocent families, has been open and unequivocal. The very worst in our society, the Klan and the neo-Nazis, revel in this horrific rhetoric.

"I have arrived at this difficult moment. A moment that may define leaders and followers. I harbor no illusion that Hillary Clinton is perfect; none of us is. I do not see eye to eye on some issues with the former senator from New York. However, Clinton is, without doubt, a superior choice to Donald Trump."

Full column here.

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[Last modified: Thursday, September 1, 2016 10:12am]


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