In an op-ed in today's New York Times another Republican makes the case for why Republicans should vote for Hillary Clinton notwithstanding whatever reservations they may have about her. The case boils down to the reality that Donald Trump is an existential threat to both the GOP and the nation at large. The responsible thing to do is to make sure he is defeated - and with his defeat perhaps open an opportunity to seize the Republican Party back from the Christofascists, white supremacists and nativists who have hijacked the party and turned it into something hideous. Here are op-ed highlights:
Every day, I run into Republican friends who can’t stomach a vote for Donald J. Trump but don’t know what to do. Vote for Hillary Clinton, who has trouble with the truth, wants to raise taxes and opposes free trade with Asia? Vote for the Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson, an outlier who once ran a marijuana business and embraces isolationism? Or not vote at all, maintaining a certain purity but allowing others to decide the next president?
I faced exactly these choices myself. I have voted for every Republican nominee for president since 1980, but I will not this time. Mr. Trump’s appalling temperament renders him unfit to be president, and his grotesque policy formulations mock the principles of liberty and respect for the individual that have been the foundation of the Republican Party since Abraham Lincoln.
Even before Mr. Trump entered the race, I saw this coming. I worked to open a pathway for an independent — a solid third candidate who would attract the votes of the roughly two-thirds of Americans in the center. A serious contender would force the two major-party candidates to compete for votes in the middle, rather than appealing to the wings. I spent a year and a half on the project, but a month ago threw in the towel.
[W]hether we like it or not, an election between Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton, period. And that means that if you want to stop Mr. Trump, you have no choice but to vote for Mrs. Clinton. There’s no sitting this one out.
It’s a matter of simple math. Consider a swing state like Ohio. Assume, for argument’s sake, that there are 3.1 million Trump voters, 3 million Clinton voters and 200,000 voters like me who will never vote for Mr. Trump but have reservations about Mrs. Clinton. If this last group doesn’t vote — or votes for Mr. Johnson, or another third-party candidate — then Mr. Trump wins the state. If the group votes for Mrs. Clinton, then Mr. Trump loses. A vote for Mrs. Clinton neutralizes a vote for Mr. Trump; an abstention allows that Trump vote to stand.
For this reason, I strongly disagree with my fellow Republicans — many of whom I served with in the George W. Bush administration — who say that they won’t vote for Mr. Trump because he’s a threat to the republic, but won’t vote for Mrs. Clinton either because she’ll raise taxes. Neither is appealing, but one is clearly a worse choice than the other. . . . . only a few of these Republicans have so far said they will vote for Mrs. Clinton.
I have some sympathy with this position, but it is a cop-out. If you think Mr. Trump is so lacking in experience and judgment that he shouldn’t have his finger on the nuclear trigger, then you are saying he is not just a bad candidate; you are saying he is a threat to the nation. You have an obligation to defeat him, no matter what you think of Mrs. Clinton.
I’m voting for Mrs. Clinton because, despite her deficiencies, she will make a better president. But I have another reason. Defeating Mr. Trump soundly will help save the Republican Party. If he wins, a party built on freedom and internationalism will become entrenched as a party of authoritarianism and isolation, which means that within a few years it will atrophy and die.
Unfortunately, the Trump campaign has already cost the Republican Party its credibility. Out of some twisted notion of loyalty, party leaders previously seen as devoted to conservative ideals and policy are now viewed widely as unprincipled cynics. And they deserve to be. How do you recover from that?
[I]f you really think that Mr. Trump is a threat to your country, the right thing to do is to take the next step. Don’t just say you won’t vote for him. Vote against him.