For as long as I was old enough to think about politics, I have been a Republican. When my dad told me, aged six, that Bill Clinton had beaten Bob Dole, I’m told I cried. I don’t remember this, but do have vivid memories of running around St Andrews in my first year at university in a handmade McCain-Palin T-shirt with ‘NO-bama’ sketched in sharpie on the back. I graduated into an internship on Mitt Romney’s campaign and when I moved to London I became a spokesman for Republicans Overseas. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined the first time I voted Democrat would be to put Barack Obama’s vice president in the Oval Office. Yet I’m voting for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
I know their economic policies will make America poorer, especially as the economy tries to recover from Covid-19: the tax rises and the huge increase in spending (the kind that Senator Biden used to be wary of). And this is now the moderate wing of the party. Biden’s VP pick is further to the left. Harris’s approach to governing would be even more top-down and interventionist. Her politics and mine — I’m a liberal in the British sense of the word — are about as far apart as one can get.
But what about the alternative? What about Donald Trump? The nastiness, unkindness, the racism and misogyny, the way he always punches down rather than up — it’s the antithesis not just of my politics, but of the America I love. His supporters claim his remarks are taken out of context by his opponents in the media, that what he says is made to sound worse than what he meant. But we’ve all watched enough clips to know that the President needs no embellishment.