Erick Erickson is the former editor-in-chief of the conservative Republican website, RedState, and former CEO of RedState Inc. One of the site rules for which Mr Erickson was responsible is this one:
6. It is forbidden to promote or give any kind of support for parties other than the Republican Party, or candidates running against Republican primary, caucus, and/or convention nominees. Exceptions to this rule are granted when announced prominently on the front page of the site.
For most of a decade, Mr Erickson was one of the enforcers of that rule: no one posting articles on RedState would be allowed to post articles opposed to a Republican nominee, or support the candidacy of someone who was not a Republican against a Republican nominee. Yet, Mr Erickson wrote yesterday:
By Erick Erickson | February 26, 2016, 06:47pm
I will not vote for Donald Trump for President of the United States even if he is the Republican nominee.
He is an authoritarian blending nationalist and tribal impulses, which historically has never worked out well for the nation that goes in that direction or the people in that nation.
He will not win in November. He will not win because he turns off a large number of Republicans; he turns off women; he turns off hispanic voters; he turns off black voters; and the blue collar voters who support him are not a sufficient base of support to carry him over the finish line. His supporters who claim he carried hispanic voters in Nevada are deluding themselves. Nevada’s turnout of hispanic voters was less than one percent of Nevada’s hispanic population, amounting to around 100 people in the exit polling with a margin of error of at minimum ±10%.
Trump is a liberal who has supported big government, interventionist policies. He defends Planned Parenthood, says he can cut deals in Washington, and believes in a socialist government run healthcare scheme.
At a time when so much is on the line for people of faith and conservatives, Donald Trump believes judges sign bills. He said so himself in the Houston, TX debate, while lying about the jurisprudence of Justice Samuel Alito.
There is more at the link, with Mr Erickson giving his reasons for refusing to vote for Donald Trump if Mr Trump wins the Republican presidential nomination. This was not his first statement that he would not vote for Mr Trump. Very conservative Christian and my good friend John Hitchcock stated that he would never, ever vote for Mr Trump. I have stated previously that
the only way in which I will vote for Donald Trump next November, if he is the Republican nominee, is if Pennsylvania is actually in play, it is a really close contest, and voting for Mr Trump is the only way I can help stop Hillary Clinton from winning the presidency. Otherwise, if Mr Trump is the Republican nominee, I will vote for a third party candidate.
However, I am finding it more and more difficult to consider voting for Mr Trump even under that narrow condition. Let me put it bluntly: when you walk in [insert slang term for feces here], some of it sticks to your shoes.
In the past, I have proudly voted for Ronald Reagan, twice,¹ the elder George Bush, twice, and the younger George Bush, twice. I have dutifully voted for Robert Dole and John McCain and Mitt Romney, though not exactly happily.² But to vote for Donald Trump? I just don’t see how I can do that.
I have voted for a Democrat on a couple of rare — very rare — occasions. The most notable of those votes came in 1989, when I voted for Lieutenant Governor L Douglas Wilder to become Governor of Virginia. Why? I wasn’t all that thrilled with Mr Wilder, a liberal Democrat (who behaved as a more moderate Democrat once in office), but his opponent, Republican J Marshall Coleman, could best be described as an [insert slang term for the rectum here.] Donald Trump can also be described with that glowing term.
Of course, sometimes you need an [insert slang term for the rectum here] in office. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Admiral Ernest King was recalled from what was a senior officer’s graveyard, a General Board where officers marked time until retirement. A very capable but thoroughly disliked officer, he was purported to have said, “when the going gets tough they call for the son-of-a-bitches.” An absolute [insert slang term for the rectum here] can be just the man you need for some jobs. Unfortunately for us, Mr Trump is not just an [insert slang term for the rectum here]; he is also an out-and-out liar, a supposedly former leftist riding conservative anger on illegal immigration, someone who will do or say anything if he thinks it will gain him something, someone who simply cannot be trusted. As terrible a president as Hillary Clinton would make, I cannot see Mr Trump as being anything better.
No, I will not, absolutely not, vote for the Democratic presidential nominee, not even if Bernie Sanders somehow wins the nomination, and I will not fail to vote. If Mr Trump wins the Republican nomination, I shall write in the name of Patrick Frey, the assistant district attorney in Los Angeles who blogs under the name Patterico.
Mr Frey is a good man, and a strong conservative. He has supported the candidacy of Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) all along, and will continue to do so as long as Senator Cruz is in the race. It’s obvious that no write-in candidate would ever win a national election, but if conservatives disgusted by the possible nomination of Mr Trump were to agree on one write-in candidate, someone otherwise unexpected, we could show just how much we disapprove of the candidacy of Mr Trump.
It is the ‘someone otherwise unexpected’ part which impels me to write in Mr Frey’s name, rather than a write-in vote for Senator Cruz, Mr Frey’s preferred candidate, or Carly Fiorina, whom I supported. I can still hope that either Senator Cruz or Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), the only other remaining Republican candidates with a ghost of a chance of beating Mr Trump, can somehow pull it off and win the nomination, and that I could proudly vote for the Republican nominee in November, but at least at the moment, such seems unlikely.
¹ – In 1980, I supported George Bush for the nomination, and still have one of his old campaign pins.
² – In 1972, the first election in which I was old enough to vote, I voted for George McGovern, because I knew that Richard Nixon was a crook, and in 1976, I voted for Jimmy Carter, because Gerald Ford was simply not a good president. I do not regret my vote for Senator McGovern; I do now regret my vote for Governor Carter.
Cross-posted, in a slightly different form, on The First Street Journal.