I understand the nature of partisan politics in America. The two party system has been around since 1796. I understand and embrace the fact that each party represents their own broad political philosophy. I understand that our country is facing a multitude of issues right now, both complex and controversial. I understand and feel the frustration of the gridlock in Washington. I understand and welcome healthy debate so voters can make an educated choice. But after 21 plus months of this seemingly endless election for the 45th President of the United States, I can’t explain to my 7-year-old granddaughter how someone like Donald Trump can be a candidate for the highest office in our land. At her young age she has stood up to bullies and spoken out against prejudices and hatred of those that are different than her. At the age of 7 she knows that that our highest leader, the President, should be a reflection of us all and our values.

To an unprecedented degree in American history, Donald Trump has made personal insults, attacks and divisiveness the cornerstone of his nauseating campaign. Let me recap just a short list of his disqualifications:

- Describes women as pigs and dogs. Graphically details assaulting women in vulgar terms because of his fame and fortune.

- He can’t remember which foot medically disqualified him from service in Vietnam, and then insults John McCain’s personal valor and capture as a POW.

- Insults a Gold Star family and is incredibly disrespectful of the family that endured the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

- Mocks a disabled reporter.

- Attacks a judge as being unfit to preside over his fraud trial because of his Mexican descent.

- Spent years pushing claims that Barack Obama wasn’t born in America, and accuses him of founding ISIS.

- Repeatedly incites political violence to a degree that the Secret Service had to speak with his campaign in regards to his Second Amendment call for violence.

- Lies about Muslims in NJ celebrating after Sept. 11th attacks, and vows to ban Muslims from our country.

- He claims to have donated $102 million to charity without truly giving a penny of his own money.

- First presidential candidate in decades to not release his income tax returns. He most likely hasn’t paid any Federal income tax since 1995.

- Makes casual suggestions that more countries should have nuclear weapons and thinks NATO, the most successful alliance in world history, is obsolete.

- Promises to throw his general election opponent in jail if elected.

- Calls the election “rigged” and won’t promise to respect the results if he loses.

Donald Trump has proven that he lacks even the most rudimentary knowledge of our government and his policies. His alarming campaign has revealed his true character, with his escalating temper tantrums, dangerous rhetoric and his slandering undermining of our democracy for his own ego. His campaign is the most racist since George Wallace. He has offended our allies and praised dictators. He has made a mockery of the long standing principles of the party of Abraham Lincoln. I have profound respect for key Republican leaders who have stood up to him and denounced his candidacy Including John Kasich, Colin Powell, Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham, former NYS Gov. George Pataki and the first President Bush. Thirty former Republican lawmakers, including Amo Houghton Jr., have repudiated him.

On Nov. 8, ask yourself if Donald Trump really represents your values and is the leader you want our children and grandchildren to look up to.

Christopher Koehler

Hornell