Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Anti-Trump Republicans

Bloomberg columnist Megan McArdle heard about die-hard Republicans who said they would never vote for Trump and wondered if they were real. So she put out a request over Twitter for any such voters to email her about it. Her in box was deluged:
What surprised me? First, the sheer number of people who sat down and composed lengthy e-mails on a weekend.

Second, the passion they showed. These people are not quietly concerned about Trump. They are appalled, repulsed, afraid and dismayed that their party could have let this happen. They wrote in the strongest possible language, and many were adamant that they would not stay home on Election Day, but in fact would vote for Hillary Clinton in the general and perhaps leave the Republican Party for good.

Third was the sheer breadth. I got everything from college students to Midwestern farmers to military intelligence officers to former officials in Republican administrations. . . .

Fourth was what they didn’t say. Some people talked about economic liberty issues, like taxes, or Obamacare, but that was a minority. “Lack of substance” was another minor issue -- often present, but never alone.

The main arguments were his authoritarianism, his lack of any principle besides the further aggrandizement of one Donald J. Trump, his racism and misogyny, and his erratic behavior, which led a whole lot of people to write that they were afraid to have him anywhere within a thousand miles of the nuclear launch codes.
In her column McArdle reproduces snippets of some of her emails, of which my favorites were:
He is an amoral, corrupt, grifting, vulgar, adolescent authoritarian bully, void of any substance.
I assume Clinton would crush Trump in a landslide, but if it is actually close, I will not vote third party. I will instead get blackout drunk, hold my nose, and vote for Hillary.
Some of these people will probably change their minds in November, after Trump moderates his act for the general election and the reality of Hillary has a chance to sink in. But there are certainly a lot of Republican politicians taking public stands now that will be hard for them to renounce quickly, so I assume some of them mean it. There are also plenty of Christian voters who consider themselves Republicans because they think it is the party of morality and decency, and many of them will also refuse to support a Trump candidacy.

On the other hand many grouchy anti-establishment types who generally vote Democrat may switch to vote for Trump. Could be very interesting.

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