An Urgent Plea to Republican Leaders

Dear Republican Leaders,

I am writing and open letter to you, in the hopes that you will answer my urgent plea. In recent days, Donald Trump has increased both the frequency and stridency of his suggestions that our presidential election is “rigged.”

Just today, Mr. Trump said the following at a rally in front of thousands of angry, frustrated supporters:

“This whole election is being rigged…The whole thing is one big fix. One big ugly lie. It’s one big fix.”

Almost simultaneously, he tweeted this this:

trumptweet

This disturbing lack of principle leadership is fomenting distrust in the very fabric of our Republic. It has led some Trump followers to call for armed rebellion, should Mr. Trump not win.

For example, Trump supporter Dan Bowman told the Boston Globe last week:

“If she’s in office, I hope we can start a coup. She should be in prison or shot. That’s how I feel about it…We’re going to have a revolution and take them out of office if that’s what it takes. There’s going to be a lot of bloodshed. But that’s what it’s going to take. . . . I would do whatever I can for my country.”

This kind of rhetoric and thinking cannot stand without clear repudiation. It seems Donald Trump will not do this, and perhaps does not have the moral decency to understand why he should.

Therefore:
In the name of our Republic, and in the name of God, I am calling on Republican leaders everywhere to speak directly to Trump supporters and Republican voters. Assure them that you intend to respect the outcome of the election, and that you expect them to do the same. Remind them that armed insurrection against the duly elected leaders of the nation is seditious and un-American.

Donald Trump seems incapable of doing this  simple thing. Democrats and other observers do not have credibility with this specific audience. Only you do. And now is the time to do it.

donald-trump_3372655b

This goes far beyond partisan politics, and our choices on election day. And, frankly, this far out in an unpredictable election, any election outcome is still possible.

And before this election, I could have never fathomed asking such a thing of you all. But given the continuing rhetoric of Donald Trump, a clear denunciation of violence and armed rebellion against the United States seems a needed remedy.

Throughout the election, people have dismissed Trump’s troubled rhetoric as mere words, failing to realize how those words are stirring up deep and disturbing behaviors on the part of his most fervent supporters. Please do not dismiss this rhetoric now. Take these threat seriously, consider the thoughts of Dan Bowman and scores like him, and do you part to calm the electorate and the American people.

It’s the patriotic thing to do, and the fate of the Republic, and our domestic security may well rest in your hands. You bear a special an unique responsibility in this time. And all of us outside your spheres of influence will continue to speak a similar messages, and support you any way we can.

Thank you for your consideration, and God bless us all in these coming weeks,

Rev. Eric Folkerth

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

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