Prominent Never Trump Republicans are insisting they would never back Elizabeth Warren for president, leaving them with no choice at all if the Massachusetts senator wins the Democratic nomination.
Some of them might, however, back Joe Biden.
A few Republicans opposed to Trump are prepared to support Warren if she emerges as the only viable challenger, affirming a commitment to topple the president at all costs. But for many well-known Republicans and unaligned political operatives inside the community of conservative Trump opponents, there are limits. Joe Biden, the former vice president, is a traditional labor Democrat they can stomach and even promote for. Warren is another matter, at least as they see things now.
I don’t understand how anyone can be so stupid. The problem isn’t the candidate; the problem is the radical nature of the Democratic Party.
Any Democratic president would be trapped by the radicals and would have little choice but to support the radical agenda that will be approved at the Democratic convention. Biden may sound more “moderate” on some issues, but the reality is he would be a hostage to the most extreme elements of the party.
As for Elizabeth Warren, the Never Trumpers draw the line there:
“There is no universe where I will ever vote for Donald Trump and there is no universe where I could ever vote for Elizabeth Warren,” said Jennifer Horn, former chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party. “If Democrats really care about mending our nation, they shouldn’t be looking at the most far-Left people.”
They don’t care about “mending the nation,” they care about the acquisition and exercise of power. And the more radical they are, the more eager they are to destroy America as we know it.
So what’s a Never Trumper to do?
But in interviews with Never Trump Republicans over the past month, there has been a palpable resistance to Warren, even if, as the Democratic nominee, she offers the most realistic path to defeating the president. Indeed, watching the senator catch or surpass Biden in some public opinion polls has left many of the president’s GOP opponents feeling despondent and disenfranchised.
These Never Trump Republicans argue that a Trump-Warren matchup offers equally bad choices, albeit for different reasons. They complain about the senator’s liberalism, which offends their conservative sensibilities and counters everything they have worked for professionally. They also complain about Warren’s populism, which strikes them as similar to the president’s.
So their only “choice” is to make no choice at all. For many of us, this election presents a Hobson’s choice — support one of two unacceptable candidates or don’t vote.
Readers who are familiar with my writing know I have heavily criticized the president on many occasions. Most of my complaints have been about Trump’s lack of a moral center, his juvenile name-calling, his intolerance of criticism or disagreement, and lately, an unsettling sense that he equates his political survival with the interests of the state.
But despite that, I might be willing to vote for Trump if I lived in just about any other state but Illinois. Since my vote doesn’t matter, I can afford to listen to my conscience and choose not to make a choice in 2020. It’s not the best choice or a moral choice. But it’s the rational choice if you’re me and that’s all that matters.
So I am not a Never Trumper, despite my intense dislike for the president. But those who claim to be Never Trumpers and live in states that will be competitive might want to rethink their position. You can hate Trump personally and strongly disagree with some of his policies. But in the end, if your vote would matter and you throw it away by not voting, you must accept some responsibility for the nightmare that would follow.