In his Democratic National Convention speech, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., pleaded for voters to back Joe Biden’s bid for the Presidency: “The future of our democracy is at stake.” Other respected Democrats such as Secretary of Labor Robert Reich have declared, “Trump is a fascist, and he is promoting fascism in America.”
Their words reflect powerful rhetoric and a damning charge. Many Republicans believe it, and they also were represented at Monday Night’s Democratic Convention program. Life-long Republicans who have invested their lives into the Republican Party spoke on Monday. Like others, they have become outcasts in the circles for which they gave the best part of their lives to sound a warning. They urged voters to understand Donald Trump is uniquely dangerous to the Republic and must be defeated at all costs.
These Republicans are sincere. Their problem is Joe Biden and the Democrats are not. Conservatives of good conscience admit they have severe disagreements with Biden but express their willingness to put aside some of their policy preferences for the good of the nation.
I ask, what policy preferences and agendas are the Democrats willing to put aside to ensure Donald Trump is a one-term President? The answer is not very much. How would a Democratic Party that genuinely believed that Donald Trump was a unique threat to our country have behaved during the last four years?
They’d realize Donald Trump thrives on a culture war division. Trump doesn’t understand all of the liberal/conservative divide’s technicalities, but he knows how to inflame them. The Democrats would sensibly call a culture war truce for as long as Trump is in office. After all, America had same-sex marriage legalized by the Supreme Court in 2015. Giving the country a breather before the next big social push would also be smart politics for the upcoming campaign of leftwing social change.
They would be focused on one thing: Donald Trump’s combination of lawlessness, recklessness, and cluelessness is dangerous. They would work to build as broad a coalition as possible against that, and they would avoid being sidetracked. At any moment, progressive activists started going off the rails; they would say, “Your cause has merit, but our democracy is at stake. The only thing that matters is making Donald Trump a one-term President. This issue needs to wait.” Their only message and priority would be saving democracy and protecting our institutions.
There would never be a question of nominating Bernie Sanders. Democratic voters who understood the threat Donald Trump represents would ensure that a relative moderate such as Biden or U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn, would be easily nominated. The only thing that would matter would be “saving Democracy” from Donald Trump. Their moderate nominee could choose any candidate they needed to build a coalition to repel Donald Trump from the White House. Joe Biden could have reached out to Mitt Romney and offered him the Vice-Presidency with an agreement for maintaining the balance of power on the Supreme Court. Biden would appoint a justice of his choice if a Democratic nominated judge retired, and he would nominate a judge of Romney’s choice if a Republican nominated judge retired. Both would pledge not to run in 2024, so voters will join them to save democracy without long-term effects on the country.
That sounds like a lot to ask. However, if democracy itself is at stake and our Republic will end if Donald Trump is re-elected, shouldn’t the Democrats be willing to make these sacrifices?
When democracy was at stake from Nazism, Churchill and Roosevelt allied themselves with genocidal dictator Josef Stalin and let him have Eastern Europe as spoils. When our Republic was at stake in the 1864 elections, the Republicans renamed themselves the National Union Party and named Democrat Andrew Johnson as Abraham Lincoln’s running mate. Is allying with Mitt Romney more unthinkable?
The trajectory of the Democratic Party in the age of Trump is entirely different. Knowing he thrives on culture war battles, they give him plenty of those to fight to consolidate his base. Rather than easing off on abortion rights to focus on stopping Trump, the new Democratic Party chairman Tom Perez declared there was no place in the party for pro-life Democrats in 2017. New York doubled down on its abortion laws, and the legislature broke into thunderous applause for itself when it legalized abortion up until the day of birth. Governor Ralph Northam, D-Va., defended potential infanticide. The Democrats’ radicalism on abortion forced Joe Biden to reverse a lifelong political position and to come out for taxpayer-funded abortion and put himself at odds with the vast majority of the American people.
The Democrats continue to attack religious liberty and push more and more religious voters towards Donald Trump. The Democrats can’t even take a consistent stand against the mostly white radical rioters who have hijacked the tragic death of Mr. George Floyd. Nancy Pelosi endorsed the anti-Sematic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar when she was challenged in the primary by a more ethical liberal.
Instead of presenting America a unifying presence to bring the country together, all the Democrats can offer is a party held in the thrall of its own most extreme and nasty elements.
The impeachment of Donald Trump illustrated this. While the charges against Trump had merit, the impeachment effort came off less as a serious attempt to hold him accountable for his unethical actions and more like an effort to pacify the Democratic base while minimizing political risk to swing district Democrats. This led House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., to focus on an “Impeachment by Christmas” process that alienated the few persuadable Republicans in the House and sent an incomplete investigation to the Senate.
The Democrats have proven they are corrupt and hypocritical. This is a party that doesn’t believe Trump is a unique threat. They’re saying so to get elected so they can pass their radical agenda. The best evidence of this is their simultaneous condemnation of Donald Trump’s treatment of women and their decision to give a prime speaking spot to the accused rapist Bill Clinton.
Biden and the Democrats did nothing to earn the votes of the Republicans who endorsed him. These Republicans are tired of Trump embarrassing the country and sowing discord. They’ve had enough of his reality TV-style of governing even on issues like the pandemic and national security. They’re tired of the long-term harm he’s doing to the country and the Republican Party. They’re ready to accept a term of Biden and his band of radicals if it means the country will be rid of Trump’s malignant influence.
Maybe there will be enough of these Republicans to hand Biden the election. However, if Trump wins, it will be because voters ended up seeing that the progressives didn’t truly believe their rhetoric since they have decided to risk a Trump second term by moving radically to the left.