Yesterday, George Will penned an op-ed in the Washington Post in which he urged Republicans to vote against GOP candidates in a bid to “quarantine” President Trump in 2020.
In today’s GOP, which is the president’s plaything, he is the mainstream. So, to vote against his party’s cowering congressional caucuses is to affirm the nation’s honor while quarantining him. A Democratic-controlled Congress would be a basket of deplorables, but there would be enough Republicans to gum up the Senate’s machinery, keeping the institution as peripheral as it has been under their control and asphyxiating mischief from a Democratic House. And to those who say, “But the judges, the judges!” the answer is: Article III institutions are not more important than those of Articles I and II combined.
Will joins a growing number of Republicans-in-Exile who plan, albeit reluctantly, to do exactly that.
In February, Tom Nichols, Republican professor of national security affairs at the Naval War College, wrote a piece for USA Today in which he pronounced that, while he was still a Republican, he would be actively hoping they lost in the mid-terms, for their own good.
I am now a member of a party I want to see cast into the political wilderness for a few years — or longer, if that’s what it takes to break the fever.
John Ziegler, conservative columnist, and Pete Wehner, speechwriter for George W. Bush, have both publicly stated they will vote for Democrats in hopes of giving their party a much needed wake-up call. Steve Schmidt, a Republican strategist, announced via Twitter that he would be voting for Democrats after nearly 30 years as a Republican.
29 years and nine months ago I registered to vote and became a member of The Republican Party which was founded in 1854 to oppose slavery and stand for the dignity of human life. Today I renounce my membership in the Republican Party. It is fully the party of Trump.
— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) June 20, 2018
In an article in The Daily Beast, in which he examines the “nearly sacrilegious notion” Reagan conservatives are now considering, Matt Lewis explains that previously loyal Republicans now are coming around to believe that “For the good of conservatism (and America), Democrats must win the mid-terms.”
The goal is to force an awakening—a sort of defibrillation treatment–that might shock the GOP back to its senses.
Politically homeless, I join those Republicans-in-Exile in coming to this unfortunate conclusion. And I do consider it unfortunate. Quite honestly, I never believed I would ever even consider voting for a Democrat. But here I am…
I left the party in 2016, after the Convention. When I was 18, I vividly remember making myself a promise: I would vote Republican but only as long as they represented my values. Truthfully, they stopped doing so long before 2016 but the arrival of Donald J. Trump was enough for me to keep my promise to my 18 year old self. I am no longer a Republican. I came to terms with that in 2016, but it wasn’t easy because I desperately want a political voice.
I live in Ohio. If you don’t live in a swing state, you have no idea what it is like to have the future of the nation resting on your shoulders. Election 2016 was an agonizing decision. One I couldn’t win. The electoral Kobayashi Maru. So I didn’t play to win. I played to be able to sleep at night. I voted for McMullin. I am prouder of that vote than any other vote I have ever cast, because it represented a hard fought battle which my conscience won. I refused to vote for the lesser of two evils, believing that a lesser evil is still evil.
Matt Lewis wrote an essay in August 2016 called Jesus Take The Lever in which he made the argument that sitting out the 2016 election was an honorable choice.
While Lewis is expressing doubt in his ability to continue to make that argument in the current atmosphere, I have recently come to believe that simply opting out is not enough. I don’t have a crystal ball and can’t see into the future, so I don’t know what I will do in 2020. If there is a decent third party candidate, I will happily cast a vote for him or her and crawl over broken glass to cast that vote. If a Democrat presidential candidate can pretend to be sane, is able to speak in complete sentences, and not pick their nose in public, I might consider voting for a Democratic candidate for the first time in my life. Maybe.
In the short term, however, my path seems clear.
I have vowed that I will not vote GOP until major changes occur: a total repudiation of Trumpism and a complete and total housecleaning to clean up the stink of the Alt Right that has camped out in the Big Tent. I intend to keep that pledge and the only way that miracle happens is if the Republican Party hits rock bottom. Hard. They need a trip to the woodshed and a Comin’ to Jesus moment. An intervention to show them the error of their ways.
In November, I intend to provide every one of those cliches, inasmuch as I am capable. Jim Jordan is my Representative. I will be casting a vote for his Democratic opponent. It may not accomplish anything but I will cast a protest vote because I will not support a politician who, as George Will puts it, is “the president’s poodle” and who has “no higher ambition than to placate this president”.
The way I see it, I won’t be voting for anything different than the GOP in actuality has provided me for my entire lifetime if I vote for a Democrat and I might just be providing the shove that helps the Republican party find its rock bottom so it can pick itself up and be the Party of Reagan and of Lincoln once again.
I will happily abandon the Democrats, from whatever strategic capacity I end up supporting them, the moment either the GOP wakes from its fever dream of nationalistic populism, groggily looks around, and asks a la a movie script “what happened?” or it flames out entirely and a new party for old school conservatives, constitutionalists, Federalists… Americans… takes its rightful place as a political vehicle.
I will not abandon my values. They remain constant. And my goal of promoting small government, personal responsibility, and Federalism will be best served ultimately by handing the GOP a much deserved spanking. Like many others in my position, I will be throwing a Hail Mary pass in the hopes of saving the country from what I view as a fatal evil if not stopped: Trumpism.
How many previously loyal Republicans have jumped ship and are now, because of the fecklessness of the Republican party, not only not going to vote GOP but will reluctantly, defiantly, willfully cast a vote against them? When will the GOP acknowledge they have driven their loyal members into the arms of the Democrats and commit to a course correction? Those questions will be answered in November and perhaps finally put to rest in 2020.
As George Will said so eloquently in his op-ed, a defeated Republican party “will then have leisure time to wonder why they worked so hard to achieve membership in a legislature whose unexercised muscles have atrophied because of people like them”.
I don’t presume to tell you how to vote if you are out here wandering exiled in the wilderness with me. I suspect there might be more than one right answer and I, still, firmly believe that you should vote your conscience. As always, if you disagree with the position taken in this editorial, we invite you to type up your rebuttal and submit it via the guest editorial link at the top of the page. You have The News Blender’s pledge that your well-written submission will be published.