My colleague Jay Caruso posted a great piece on why he couldn’t vote for Donald Trump. Others in the conservative punditry have said or posted similar things. Glenn Beck has said he wouldn’t support Trump if he were the nominee. Michael Medved has said similar things. Bill Kristol did it, too. There are many valid arguments to support this line of thinking, and I myself do not necessarily want to live in a country that would prefer being in a reality show than being governed.
My worry is and always has been alternatives.
Here in Louisiana, [mc_name name=’Sen. David Vitter (R-LA)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’V000127′ ] won his way into a run-off against Democrat John Bel Edwards. Many Republicans felt they could not support Vitter, so they crossed over and voted for Edwards. Many more simply did not vote. The result was a catastrophic landslide victory for Edwards, who has every conservative in the state of Louisiana worried. We know the crossover vote was huge because Republican Billy Nungesser won in a significant victory against a Democrat on the same statewide election day.
While I do not imagine there would be a huge crossover vote for Hillary in 2016 should Trump get the nomination, I feel there would be a great “Meh” given on election day by Republicans across the nation, and the Republican turnout would be far lower than necessary to ensure a Trump win. Hillary has already said she is running to motivate her base and not worry about other groups. That would mean independents are essentially up for grabs. But, if the Republicans are not motivated by their own candidate, what would make independents get motivated for him?
This is a conversation we actually need to begin having more and more as Trump refuses to stay down in the polls. It will require us to make that hard choice: Is Trump a better choice than the Democrats? Is he the same? Or is he worse? I’m certainly not in his corner in the primary, but just how far am I – and how far are you – willing to go to protest his candidacy?