Many years ago, I founded a non-profit, the Salt Lake Civil Network (SLCN), to promote community flourishing in a global environment. We also promote civility as the civic expression of the Golden Rule, compassion as an essential value, as well as celebrate and honor our democratic republic and the constitutional principles upon which it is founded. Our latest initiative is called YOUnify which was launched in June of 2020.  It is focused on unifying people across the United States and eventually the world in service of accelerating progress on solutions to the key challenges of our time.

I tend to hold a long-term perspective on politics.  Whether conservatives or liberals are in office I have always had a deep trust in the American people and in our governmental institutions and especially the electoral process. My passion has been to bring people inclusively together for the betterment of all no matter who wins an election.  As former chair of the Constitutional Law Section of the Utah State Bar, I cherish our state and federal Constitutions.

I am a political moderate and hold many traditional conservative values. For instance, I believe in fiscal responsibility, the rule of law and electing leaders of high moral character. I will cast my vote for Spencer Cox on November 3rd, the republican candidate for governor of Utah, and I have voted for many republican candidates past and present.  In any case due to the required neutrality of our SLCN non-profit activities, I have avoided engaging in the partisanship of electoral politics.

The time has finally come, however, as a matter of the utmost urgency, that I feel that I must step forward and speak up as a private citizen outside of the above endeavors.  I am particularly addressing those who are considering voting for Donald Trump as President of the United States.  My comments below reflect solely my own views and do not reflect the views of SLCN or YOUnify.


A Letter to Americans Considering Voting for Donald Trump for President of the United States

My fellow Americans, there may be no more critical and pivotal electoral moment in the history of the United States since the Civil War based on the record Donald Trump has established as President during his first term.  Below are some of the most important reasons why I believe that electing Donald Trump to a second term as President would be a disaster for America.  I urge you to take a few moments to consider the following.



President Trump consistently takes the position contrary to local election officials from both major parties across the nation that our electoral process across America is deeply compromised and that mail in ballots will be substantially fraudulent. Clearly voter fraud occurs, but with limited exceptions, it has not been statistically significant. Extensive mail in voting has worked well in several states for many years.

There was a remarkable event in the past few days as the heads of the four major federal intelligence agencies appointed by President Trump came together – in open defiance of the Commander in Chief – to speak in one voice that although many foreign actors are trying to compromise our electoral process, our elections will be fair and protected. He continues to attempt to subvert our confidence in the elections, contrary to the evidence and the unanimous judgement of his own top appointed officials.

President Trump indicates that if he loses, he will challenge the results. He ominously suggested in the recent presidential debate that a particularly extreme white supremacy group “stand back and stand by”. Efforts to de-legitimize free elections is always an initial step in the undermining of a democracy. Do not believe him. Do not laugh this off.  This undermining of the electoral process by a sitting president in the pursuit of staying in power is an unprecedented serious threat to our democratic republic.



Public health professionals are unanimous in urging each of us for the benefit of all of us in public to wear masks and social distance, to wash our hands, and to not assemble in large groups. It is the responsibility of a publicly elected leader to set the example and to be a strong leader to keep us safe. President Trump has set the opposite example: caustically disparaging what public health officials plead with us to do, for example hosting COVID pandemic super spreader events at large packed rallies, and even at the White House – as Dr. Fauci, America’s leading infectious disease and public health official sadly noted.

Beyond that, President Trump has continually lied to Americans about the nature and seriousness of COVID-19 in contradiction to his own public health and scientific advisors. By his lies and example, he has denied many Americans who have trusted him the opportunity to be more fully informed so that they might take appropriate action to protect themselves.

President Trump has refused to take any responsibility for his utter failure of leadership in this area, for instance allowing chaos to reign by having no national strategy for purchasing and equitably distributing personal protective equipment. It is not a coincidence that America has the highest rate of infection and death from this deadly virus of any developed country.  So many Americans have unnecessarily suffered and died and so many families are devastated because of his abdication of this most foundational responsibility of a president to keep us safe.


Persecuting Political Opponents

President Trump has systematically been purging government agencies of inspectors general and condemning whistleblowers who have been exposing and questioning his inappropriate conduct.  Even worse, he has recently begun demanding that his political enemies, former President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretary Hillary Clinton should all be charged with serious crimes and sent to jail. Persecuting truth tellers and imprisoning leaders of the political opposition are tactics common to authoritarian leaders. It is time for everyone to begin to believe that President Trump means what he says. What he says is horrifying. The implications are terrifying.


At risk in the World

Many would argue that current US policy on Iran is superior to the policy of the Obama administration, and there have been some positive developments in the Middle East due to American leadership.  On the whole though, our standing in the world has plummeted and our safety has been compromised as President Trump has turned his back on our European and other allies and undermined our alliances and global relationships which America has carefully cultivated since World War II, always through bipartisan efforts. The State Department has been decimated in the past four years, which may take a generation to restore.  While he is hostile to most of our allies, President Trump has pursued relationships with the likes of President Putin in Russia, President Erdogan in Turkey, and President Duterte in the Philippines – dictatorial leaders, whom he aspires to emulate.


Dehumanizing others

President Trump has recently stated that Senator, Kamala Harris the First African American/Asian woman ever elected a US Senator with an outstanding record of public service, is a monster – literally a monster. This is a particularly disturbing example of his record of blatantly degrading women in all sorts of ways and of his tacit support of racism. In the challenging moments since the tragic death of George Floyd with millions of people sensing how important it is to more fully face racial inequities in America, and when he could have risen to the occasion to pull us together and inspire us, President Trump has exploited this moment to try to scare white people that black and leftist inspired violence will threaten them.  He has been strategic in labeling people coming across the Mexican border as rapists and murders and in tearing children – even infants – out of the arms of their parents and keeping children in cages. He calls African countries hell holes. He systematically demeans his political opponents by giving them insulting nicknames that most of us would stop a grade-school bully from doing.

Dehumanizing others is central to spawning the worst in human behavior with devastating consequences, as we witnessed in the fascist movements in the 20th century. This is a primary and abominable strategy of President Trump.  In this and so many areas, President Trump is morally bankrupt.

In Conclusion

Whatever the political persuasion, the fruits of a deeply corrupted leader with authoritarian aspirations, such as President Trump, will inevitably be poisonous.  This is the bottom line.

This is not a moment to decide about conservative versus liberal leadership for the next four years in any normal way.  This is a moment to decide if we will allow the American Democratic Republic to be severely, perhaps permanently compromised by a would-be dictator.

Now is the time for each of us to vote according to our conscience – beyond any other considerations.  I am convinced that the conscience of the vast majority of Americans is to stand for truth, justice, honesty and upholding our precious but fragile democratic republic.

Vote. Please Vote!

We must defeat President Trump.