It’s not just the Republican establishment who’s entering full-on panic mode given GOP frontrunner Donald Trump’s continued — and, some are now saying, potentially unstoppable — momentum. Democrats as well are starting to freak out.
Harvard University political theorist — and Democrat — Danielle Allen, writing for the Washington Post, is now promoting “coordination across party lines” to stop Trump. After comparing Trump to Hitler — and quickly saying whether such a comparison is accurate is beside the point — Allen argues that Hillary Clinton cannot predictably be relied upon to beat Trump in the general election, so “Trump has to be blocked in your primary.”
And how does Allen suggest blocking Trump? She’s suggesting Democrats change their party affiliation, re-register as a Republican and vote for Rubio.
Trump is rising by taking advantage of a divided country. The truth is that the vast majority of voting Americans think that Trump is unacceptable as a presidential candidate, but we are split by strong partisan ideologies and cannot coordinate a solution to stop him. Similarly, a significant part of voting Republicans think that Trump is unacceptable, but they too, thus far, have been unable to coordinate a solution. Trump is exploiting the fact that we cannot unite across our ideological divides.
The only way to stop him, then, is to achieve just that kind of coordination across party lines and across divisions within parties. We have reached that moment of truth.
Republicans, you cannot count on the Democrats to stop Trump. I believe that Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic nomination, and I intend to vote for her, but it is also the case that she is a candidate with significant weaknesses, as your party knows quite well. The result of a head-to-head contest between Clinton and Trump would be unpredictable. Trump has to be blocked in your primary.
Jeb Bush has done the right thing by dropping out, just as he did the right thing by being the first, alongside Rand Paul, to challenge Trump. The time has come, John Kasich and Ben Carson, to leave the race as well. You both express a powerful commitment to the good of your country and to its founding ideals. If you care about the future of this republic, it is time to endorse Marco Rubio. Kasich, there’s a little wind in your sails, but it’s not enough. Your country is calling you. Do the right thing.
Ted Cruz is, I believe, pulling votes away from Trump, and for that reason is useful in the race. But, Mr. Cruz, you are drawing too close to Trump’s politics. You too should change course.
Democrats, your leading candidate is too weak to count on as a firewall. She might be able to pull off a general election victory against Trump, but then again she might not. Too much is uncertain this year. You, too, need to help the Republicans beat Trump; this is no moment for standing by passively. If your deadline for changing your party affiliation has not yet come, re-register and vote for Rubio, even if, like me, you cannot stomach his opposition to marriage equality. I too would prefer Kasich as the Republican nominee, but pursuing that goal will only make it more likely that Trump takes the nomination. The republic cannot afford that.
Finally, to all of you Republicans who have already dropped out, one more, great act of public service awaits you. As candidates, you pledged to support whomever the Republican party nominated. It’s time to revoke your pledge. Be bold, stand up and shout that you will not support Trump if he is your party’s nominee. Do it together. Hold one big mother of a news conference. Endorse Rubio, together. It is time to draw a bright line, and you are the ones on whom this burden falls. No one else can do it.
Marco Rubio, this is also your moment to draw a bright line. You too ought to rescind your pledge to support the party’s nominee if it is Trump.
Donald Trump has no respect for the basic rights that are the foundation of constitutional democracy, nor for the requirements of decency necessary to sustain democratic citizenship. Nor can any democracy survive without an expectation that the people require reasonable arguments that bring the truth to light, and Trump has nothing but contempt for our intelligence.
We, the people, need to find somewhere, buried in the recesses of our fading memories, the capacity to make common cause against this formidable threat to our equally shared liberties. The time is now.
It’s worth noting that Rush Limbaugh, back in 2008, suggested Republicans in Texas vote in the open primary for Hillary Clinton. His aim was to keep Hillary Clinton in the race longer to help bloody up rival Barack Obama, in part because Republicans had proven they were not up to the task themselves.
Allen’s argument is interesting from a number of perspectives. Allen herself is still willing to support a woman who, if we have any justice in this country, should be in prison. (Somehow, her credibility on candidates is diminished right off the bat in my book.) And presumably, given her ideology, she also supported Barack Obama in the past two general elections. And yet she is calling out Trump for “taking advantage” of the divided country — the handiwork of President Obama’s seven years as Divider in Chief. I can’t help but find it ironic, as well, that Allen’s citing a “formidable threat to our equally shared liberties” and a risk to our republic. It’s the damage to our republic that President Obama has wrought these past seven years that has spawned the popularity of Donald Trump.
Interesting to note, too, that Allen has selected Marco Rubio as the candidate to rally behind. Are we to believe Allen believes Rubio is the “lesser of evils” in Democrat minds — or is it that they believe Rubio as the GOP nominee provides a surer path to a Hillary Clinton win?
No doubt y’all will have a few things to say about all of this…
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]