Lessons from the Republican Anti-Trumpers
by Andrew Lidden Pate, Jr.
Some are quite well known, like Ohio Governor John Kasich and Tennessee Senator Bob Corker, Republican conservatives who’ve voiced strong objections to Donald Trump.
Also in this category of “known” conservatives who in years past were either Republicans or leaned strongly toward Republican policies are media commentators George Will and Jennifer Rubin; and let’s not leave off our “anyone-but-Trump” GOP list, former Republican Party chairman Michael Steel and former John McCain campaign manager Steven Schmidt.
In addition, and importantly so, there are millions more of these “Republicans Who've Switched’ who voted for Democrats in the Mid-Term elections of November 2018, assuring the gain of 39-40 seats by the Democrats in the House of Representatives.
What are these concerned-about-Trump people telling us?
That they’re unhappy with Trump’s persona, that his public behavior embarrasses them? A definitive Yes to both, but there's much more depth in their concerns, and in at least three fundamental ways:
- Trump has undermined, in disastrous fashion, our relations with our traditional friends and cozied up to our arch enemies and dictator-types, the likes of which the U.S. has never before supported. Democrats and Republicans alike have been staunch advocates of NATO, which Trump has significantly weakened; and remember, the Berlin Wall came down when Ronald Reagan was president.
- While most Republicans are supporters of tax cuts, most are not supporters of adding a trillion dollars to the national deficit; and
- Although the anti-Trump Republicans may not appear to be overly interested in promoting racial integration, they are interested in maintaining their identification as "the Party of Lincoln.”
It’s impossible to pinpoint every one of the key reasons why so many Republican voters turned Democrat in November—time will tell us more— but from the TV interviews, there’s little doubt they made the change because they simply do not like the way Trump presents himself, not just to U.S. citizens, but to the world—meaning his inability to evince genuine empathy toward people in crisis, his unprofessional usage of the English language, and his ignorance of many of the key turning points in American history.
The basic lesson?
We can do better.