August 17, 2016

Chairman John Daniello Pens Open Letter to Delaware GOP Chair Charlie Copeland



Dear Mr. Copeland,

Your party has a serious problem and his name is Donald Trump. He has nearly destroyed your party. In fact, he has been so divisive that I am concerned that he may destroy the two party system as we know it. Your party cannot survive on Trump’s coalition of bigots alone and, as much as I hate to admit it, Democrats cannot be the only game in town. I do not want to see that happen, and I am sure you do not either. This is why your continued support of Trump’s dangerous ideology is so disappointing.  

As a fellow state party chairman, I understand that your job is not easy. Though they may vary in size, our parties both represent an assortment of different viewpoints. Keeping everyone happy can be a tough task and it leads to a lot of difficult decisions. Withdrawing your support for Donald Trump does not have to be one of those difficult decisions.

The man that you have thrown your full support behind is unfit to be President in practically every way. His outlandish statements have become a daily occurrence and only make it more clear how unqualified he truly is.

Your candidate has essentially adopted a scorched earth policy when it comes to offensive rhetoric. If there is a demographic of people that he can upset or alienate, he will see to it that they have a reason to vote against him by November. He has already driven off women, Hispanics, immigrants, veterans, gold star families, Muslim-Americans, African-Americans, the disabled, and a sizable portion of the Republican base. The sad part is that the list is only going to get longer. You are doing a disservice to the people of Delaware by continuing to stand by Trump. 

Delaware is a diverse state, and members of every one of these groups call Delaware home. They deserve better than a candidate that has continually shown that he does not value the contributions they make to our state and our country. 

To make matters worse, his supporters have mistaken his lack of prudence for some warped form of courage. They believe that he is unafraid of being politically incorrect. When I was growing up, we did not call it political correctness; we called it basic human decency. All it meant was that people had an established minimum level of respect for one another. There is nothing courageous about mocking people with disabilities or diminishing the sacrifices made by America’s veterans.

Political correctness aside, this is about having the decency to look into another person’s eyes and, at the very least, recognize that their life experiences have worth. Donald Trump has routinely shown that he simply cannot do that.

Democrats take pride in the compassion we hold for our fellow Americans. Whether that means understanding that love is love or simply not banning people from the country because of their religion. Democrats understand that America is at its best when we are inclusive and united.

This is why I found it so puzzling when, in your recent News Journal Op-Ed, you suggested that Delaware’s moderates no longer had a place in the state’s Democratic Party and would be more at home in your and Donald Trump’s Republican Party.

Just last month, Delaware’s Democrats sent one of this state’s most diverse delegations ever to our National Convention. We are a diverse party not just in the way we look and live, but in the viewpoints and opinions we hold. Our delegation ranged from moderate Democrats like Senator Carper to high-spirited young voters who were “feeling the Bern.” To suggest that Delaware’s moderates no longer have a place in our party is off base and completely overlooks the fiasco that your own party has become.

Your candidate has done nothing but drive people away. How can you honestly believe that moderates will feel welcome in the Republican Party, when your own members do not even feel welcome? The Bush family and scores of other notable Republicans boycotted their own National Convention.  Donald Trump cannot unify his own party and somehow you expect him to unify Delaware’s moderates. How out of touch can you be?

The fact that your Presidential nominee cannot get a single endorsement from anyone who has already had the job, speaks volumes. This is why it is so troubling that he is using Reagan’s old campaign slogan. No living President would support him so he had to latch onto the legacy of one that is not around to object to or denounce his behavior. 

Luckily, you are still around Mr. Copeland. You have a unique opportunity to be on the right side of history, and I urge you to rescind your support of Donald Trump. Join the growing chorus of Republicans who have realized how dangerous your nominee is. Your continued loyalty to Trump puts a stamp of approval on his offensive and ignorant rhetoric. You are inviting his behavior to a state where we both know it does not belong.

Delaware is better than Donald Trump. 



John Daniello 

Chairman, Delaware Democratic Party