Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Why NOT to Dump Trump

We need to do, by democratic processes, what 16 GOP candidates could not do - defeat Trump at the ballot box and drive a stake through the heart of what he has aroused in the electorate. The man is poisonous to democracy and will be ruinous to the nation. Executing a coup at the convention will just perpetuate Trumpism even while defeating its current champion. That's the argument made by Jeet Heer at the New Republic.

By picking Trump as their standard-bearer, Republican primary voters have created a genuine problem for American democracy—and it can only be solved democratically. Trump is absolutely unfit for office. He’s a bigot who scapegoats minority groups for political gain. He is astonishingly ignorant of any basic information about policy, and even rudimentary facts about the world. (He recently said he thought Belgium was “a beautiful city.”)

For a man like Trump to be a major-party nominee is very dangerous, but democracy itself offers a solution. And there’s every sign that Hillary Clinton will be able to defeat Trump at the polls in November. Such an electoral defeat—the more emphatic, the better—would not only vanquish Trump but also lay the groundwork for decontaminating American culture of his influence. After he’s lost at the ballot box, both Democrats and non-crazy Republicans will be able to argue that Trumpism does not represent America. Of course, there will always be a small minority of Trumpkins who will bitterly nurse conspiracy theories about their patrimony being stolen from them, but far fewer than if there is a convention coup.

For the health of American democracy, it’s imperative that Trump be thrashed as thoroughly as possible in an election. Sixteen Republican candidates had a chance to do this during the primaries and failed. Now it’s Hillary Clinton’s job to finish the job they couldn’t handle. For their own party’s sake, and that of the larger polity, anti-Trump Republicans should swallow hard and let it happen.

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