An earlier post this morning asked the question of what is wrong with supposedly sane Republicans who continue to support Donald Trump. One possible explanation might be that of peer pressure, if you will - e.g., members of the country club set (we are going to the James River tonight with friends) who feel the need to vote like their friends and neighbors. If that is true, then it is a sad commentary. Thankfully, more Republicans who put the good of the country ahead of party and self-promotion are beginning to step forward and declare that they will not vote for a fascist like Trump. The latest to join this list is California Republican Meg Whitman, a former GOP gubernatorial candidate and major fundraiser. A piece in the Washington Post looks at Whitman's decision to endorse Trump. Here are highlights:
Meg Whitman, the Silicon Valley executive and prolific Republican fund-raiser, endorsed Hillary Clinton for president Wednesday night.
In a Facebook post, she said Donald Trump’s “unsteady hand would endanger our prosperity and national security. His authoritarian character could threaten much more.”
Whitman’s views on Trump are no surprise. The unsuccessful Republican candidate for governor of California in 2010 compared him to Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini at a June meeting in Utah of Republican donors and executives and helped bankroll an anti-Trump super-Pac this Spring. She is close to 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney, the sponsor of that meeting, where she also reportedly indicated that she would probably be supporting Clinton.
But few, if any, Republicans as prominent and financially potent as Whitman have gone so far to defect to Trump’s Democratic opponent, who she praised for her experience and “stable and aspirational leadership.”
Whitman is the C.E.O. of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and former C.E.O. of eBay. Here’s what she wrote:
As a proud Republican, casting my vote for President has usually been a simple matter. This year is different. To vote Republican out of party loyalty alone would be to endorse a candidacy that I believe has exploited anger, grievance, xenophobia and racial division. Donald Trump’s demagoguery has undermined the fabric of our national character.
Trump’s reckless and uninformed positions on critical issues — from immigration to our economy and foreign policy–have made it abundantly clear that he lacks both the policy depth and sound judgment required as President. Trump’s unsteady hand would endanger our prosperity and national security. His authoritarian character could threaten much more.
Therefore, I have decided to support Hillary Rodham Clinton. It is clear to me that Secretary Clinton’s temperament, global experience and commitment to America’s bedrock national values would make her the far better choice in 2016 for President of the United States. In a tumultuous world, America needs the kind of stable and aspirational leadership Secretary Clinton can provide. I urge all Republicans to reject Donald Trump this November.
In an interview with the New York Times, Whitman added: “I will vote for Hillary, I will talk to my Republican friends about helping her, and I will donate to her campaign and try to raise money for her.” The Times said Whitman had phoned Clinton about a month ago.
There comes a point where the good of the country has to outweigh past party loyalties.She told the Times she stood by her Hitler and Mussolini comparison: “‘Time and again history has shown that when demagogues have gotten power or come close to getting power, it usually does not end well.’”