Today, 30 former Republican congressmen released a letter in opposition to Donald Trump’s candidacy. They join a growing list of prominent figures in the Republican Party, including Mitt Romney and George W. Bush, who refuse to endorse the nominee. And I can’t blame them. Trump is possibly as far from “presidential” as one could imagine. But that does not mean, if you have even one Republican bone in your body, that you should vote for someone besides Trump. 

Now, hear me out. If you were to rewind the last eight months, and show me the list of potential Republican nominees, I think I would have placed Trump as my last pick. He has been obnoxious and poorly spray-tanned from the beginning. But that’s irrelevant now. He is the Republican nominee for president, and if you haven’t already snapped out of denial it’s time to do that now. The choice has been made. 

Now, we are down to two alternatives. I have heard many students argue for voting for a third-party candidate, Gary Johnson or Jill Stein. But neither of those candidates has a chance to win. While a protest vote may be meaningful to you, it is irrelevant in the big picture. Unless you’re insanely passionate about legalizing drugs, in which case Gary Johnson is your man, your vote, if you are a libertarian or conservative, should have gone to Trump. 

The bottom line is that Hillary Clinton, as president, will expand government at every opportunity. Hillary will continue to manipulate, and lie to the American people. And Hillary will put your basic, constitutionally guaranteed freedoms in jeopardy. You can continue to call yourself a Republican, or even a libertarian, but if you’re not voting for Donald Trump, you are doing your party, and your country, a disservice. 

Donald may be loud, crude and often cringe-inducing, but I believe that as president he would uphold my freedoms. Trump has released lists of persons he would consider appointing to the Supreme Court and the other federal courts, and they uniformly are committed to following the Constitution, rather than continually trying to expand federal powers. 

I also believe that Donald Trump would act effectively to keep our country safe. Trump, at a minimum, wants to make our country the strong and powerful nation that we should be. Here, we have to act on trust. Trump doesn’t have a political track record we can consult, and we have yet to know if his word will become action. But with Hillary Clinton as the only alternative, he is our best bet.

The politicians who are now belatedly opposing Donald Trump are a day late and a dollar short. Trump is our nominee and there is no turning back now. These concerns should have been voiced long ago, because they are doing no good now. They are only dividing a party that needs to be united, now more than ever. I know, I wanted the nominee to be Marco Rubio, too. But Trump won the nomination fair and square, and he is what we have to work with. Let’s not make things worse for ourselves, our party and our country by handing the election to Hillary Clinton.

Kathryn Hinderaker is a sophomore at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. She is a Political Science major with concentrations in Management and Media Studies. She is originally from Apple Valley, Minnesota.