Will establishment Republicans hold their noses and vote for Trump against Hillary Clinton?

Will  establishment (I prefer traditional) Republicans declare their disgust with Donald Trump by voting for Democrat Hillary Clinton in the general election for president?

That's a question flummoxing increasing numbers of Republicans as Trump appears to be ever closer to securing the GOP nomination for president. It has caused Ian Tuttle in the conservative  National Review to swallow hard and say that he'd have to vote for Trump

 (John J. Kim, Chicago Tribune)

(John J. Kim, Chicago Tribune)

Seven months after announcing his candidacy, and three weeks before the first voters go to the polls, the possibility that Donald Trump could become the presidential nominee of the Republican party is no longer farfetched. For conservatives a crisis of conscience is looming, says Ethics and Public Policy Center fellow Peter Wehner.

“Many Republicans will find themselves in a situation they once thought unimaginable,” writes Wehner in Thursday’s New York Times: “refusing to support the nominee of their party because it is the best thing that they can do for their party and their country.” Wehner is among the troubled Republican his piece describes; the title of his important, carefully considered op-ed is “Why I Will Never Vote for Donald Trump.”

After laying out all the reasons not to vote for Trump, Tuttle concludes:

But if he is the Republican nominee, I might — with my nose pinched tight and on my lips a miserere nobis (have mercy on me) — still vote for Donald Trump. Because the alternative would be Hillary Clinton, and that could be still worse.

 (Michael Tercha, Chicago Tribune

(Michael Tercha, Chicago Tribune

Basically, it comes down to choosing the lesser of two evils.  Of course, voting for Clinton isn't the only option. You can always withhold your vote in protest, and join the legions of Americans who always say "none of the above" should be on the ballot.

And that's what worries me. As the Republican party becomes ever more defined as home to angry Americans who love the authoritarian Trump I fear that traditional Republicans will boycott the election. Just like those angry conservatives did in previous elections, giving us Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

The question that conservatives might well ask themselves is: Would Hillary Clinton (or, God forbid, Bernie "fairy dust sprinkler" Sanders do more damage to the Republic than Trump?

There's no doubt in my mind that a Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders presidency would be devastating, continuing the nation's inevitable march toward fiscal catastrophe.

So, the question is: What would Donald Trump do? "Make America Great Again" is no answer. We're left to guess how he would do that, other than "trust me." That appeals, apparently, to growing numbers of Americans who can take no answer for an answer.  As much as it bothers me to support a  megalomaniac, for  now, I'm leaning toward  Tuttle's "hold my nose" advice.

But there's this: I'm not ready to give up. Keeping Trump out of the White House now is in the hands of rational GOP voters, who still have a choice. If only they could consolidate behind one of the remaining, rational candidates.

Equal Time: A former Republican says that if it comes to that, he'll choose Clinton over Trump:

So what to do now? The Republicans' creation will soon be let loose on the land, leaving to others the job the party failed to carry out. For this former Republican, and perhaps for others, the only choice will be to vote for Hillary Clinton. The party cannot be saved, but the country still can be. 

Read why Americans need to learn about the nation's most ignored war.

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Comments

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  • Just read the article you posted by 'former' Republican Robert Kagan. He basically thinks the rise of Trump is because voters have had their 'decorum instinct' suppressed by previous Republican tactics and nascent bigotry...oh boy, that is willfully ignorant, insulting.

    One must be living in an ivory tower to not at least hear the complaints coming from both sides of the aisle, from not only Trump supporters but Sanders also. Our elected officials have sold out our country....and who in Hades is complaining about legal immigrants, nobody.

  • In reply to 4zen:

    Read article 'Trump and the Rise of the Unprotected' by Peggy Noonan, then forward it to Kagan.

  • To establishment Elephants I don't think it matters if it is Trump or Hillary, just so long as they can hang onto the power and perks.

  • Hemut Norpoth (a professor who claims to have correctly predicted every election since 1912, except one) is predicting that if Trump wins the nomination, he will win in November. There's no question his base will come out in record numbers to vote for him. The only thing remaining to be seen is whether or not he can stir up the rest of the GOP to come out and vote against Hillary.

  • In reply to Bob Abrams:

    What does Hemut say about the Cubs and the World Series?

  • So, what does ogodu say about the Cubs and the World Series?

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