“It’s our state & if we’re the last line of defense, we’re going to do our part to stop him” –Rob Stutzman

I want to help my friend Rob. I want to stop Donald Trump—I think he’d be awful for the country. And I don’t want my state, California, to be seen as supporting him and his racist, anti-immigrant, anti-woman, anti-trade, anti-vaccine, anti-truth bullcrap.

To do that, I’m willing to vote for a Republican for president in California’s June elections. But the California Republican Party doesn’t want my vote.

I’m a non-partisan voter, registered no party preference. I vote for more Democrats than Republicans, but I do vote for Republicans. Now, I must confess I’m almost certainly going to be a “hold-my-nose-for-Hillary” voter in the fall. But in June, I’d love to vote for Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a smart guy who I once interviewed (and found to be very conservative, but a member of the reality-based community).

If Kasich is gone by then, I’d vote for Ted Cruz, who is awful as a politician (from unnecessary government shutdowns to crazy statements on Muslims and immigrants) though I have generational sympathies with him (we’re both Xers, which is always an uphill battles) And we have a personal connection– I once spent an evening playing poker with him (it was at a long ago bachelor party in Houston of a mutual friend), and he seemed like a nice and smart guy (who was maybe a little too in love with the musical Les Miserabes, but that’s another story).

Never Trump. Anybody but Trump.

You might think that California Republicans, with their declining voter registration and withering support among younger voters, might welcome the vote and support of someone like me, who is still not nearly old enough to join the AARP. But no. I’m an independent voter, and the party has locked me out of the Republican presidential primary. I’ll ask for a Republican ballot at the polls, but the law says I’m not allowed to have such a ballot.

The party has held onto its Republicans-only presidential primaries, even as California voters have established top-two primaries for other offices. I’m a critic of the top two, and I like to see strong parties. But it would seem to behoove Republicans to get as many of us independents as possible voting in their presidential primaries.

On the other hand, Trump may be an example of why the GOP clings to its closed primary on the presidential. Some data suggests that opening up the primary to independents would make it easier for Trump to win in the state. By the same token, we California independents are a pretty liberal lot—might there be some surprising anti-Trump strength among us?

The Democrats will give me a ballot, of course. And I suppose I’ll have little choice but to take one, given my rejection by the Republicans. I wouldn’t mind the chance to vote against Bernie Sanders – those socialists never stay democratic for long. But I’d rather stop Trump, if only they’d let me.