You bet they do. Absolutely. They should be spared an impossible choice between Donald Trump and some wild-eyed, hard left Democrat. Or as it was in 2016 a choice between Trump and the compulsively ambitious Hilary Clinton.
But wait, some will say, "I don't like Trump, but I like his policies. So I'm holding my nose and voting for him."
Look at it this way: Republicans, as if with one voice, condemned President Bill Clinton because of his deep character flaws. They way he (and Hilary) treated women accusers, immediately dismissing the charges against him because, as his Rasputin, James Carville said of one of Clinton's woman accusers, "Drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you'll find."
Whatever you thought Clinton did policy wise, good or bad, he was a disputable character who darken the White House door. Just as Donald Trump has. Once I also had thought that policy counted a lot more than character, but how can I abide someone whose unstable, unpredictable personality and temperament threatens the national interest?
It is hypocritical for Republicans to insist that character matters in Clinton's case but not in Trump's. Just as it is hypocritical for liberals to excuse Clinton for his #metoo offenses because he was pro-choice.
I'm not arguing that Republicans should have a primary choice because I think that Trump can't get re-elected. Predicting elections was never my proclivity. I'm looking for a conservative to oppose Trump because it's more than a policy matter. I agree with some of Trump's policies, others not. But his instability, galloping ego and dumbfounding ignorance pose a serious threat to a nation that he has helped to cleave.
If Trump is to have any primary challengers, they should step up now as presidential campaigns have turned into a two-year heat.
But who? It'll have to be someone courageous, independent, thoughtful and, for God's sake, mentally balanced. There are plenty of potential contenders. And they're not all necessarily moderates who would immediately alienate the party's conservative wing.
Some Trumpets of course will prefer to cut their own throats in the voting booth than vote for anyone else in the primary or general election. The consequences obviously are on them.
In any case, Republicans must not repeat the mistakes in the 2016 primary in which the excess number of candidates, split the vote and left the field open to Trump. Those looking for a Trump alternative must coalesce behind one candidate so that Republicans will, this time, give Americans a real choice. A choice that doesn't include a deal with a varmint.
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