So you hate Hillary Clinton with the power of a thousand exploding suns. Good for you! I am not going to argue with you about it. There’s really no point. You hate her for whatever reasons you have, there’s nothing I can say to change your mind and we both know it.
However, unless you are already a conservative voting for Donald Trump, you need to vote for Hillary Clinton anyway. And, no, I’m not going to say we need to stop a Donald Trump presidency. He’s not going to win. Period. We both know that, too. But the reality is that you should vote for Hillary Clinton to save the Republican Party from itself.
Right now you’re thinking, “Why the hell would I want to do that?!”
I know it SOUNDS like a good thing that the Republican Party is imploding and normally, I would be pointing and laughing right along with you. But the GOP’s implosion is quite a ways off and it’s what comes after Trump that should wake you up at night in a cold sweat.
Do a quick rewind to the ass-kicking the GOP received in 2012. After losing, badly, to a man Republicans spent 4 years viciously attacking with racist dog whistles, the GOP did an “autopsy report” on itself and concluded that the only way to win going forward was to tamp down the racism. Instead, they ramped it up to 11 and Donald Trump’s campaign is, for all intents and purposes, aimed directly at America’s white supremacist movement. The neo-Nazis, the KKK, the racist militia movement and that uncomfortably large segment of America’s uneducated whites that fear an America where they’re not the dominant skin color. These are the people Donald Trump has rallied to his banner.
After Donald Trump loses in November, Republicans are going to look at what happened and they’re going to come to one of two conclusions:
1. If Trump is utterly crushed by double digits, Republicans will blame Trump’s over the top racism. They will have the intellectual and moral upper ground to try wresting the party back from the far right extremists they allowed to take over. This happened once before in the 1960s when the incredibly racist and completely insane John Birch Society was exiled from conservative politics. The GOP will still have to figure out how to talk to minorities but they’ll have the space they need to do it.
Such a recentering of the party would also require them to start governing responsibly again as opposed to simply obstructing everything. This represents the best case scenario and even this is a long shot.
2. If Trump loses by only a little more than a regular election, or, heaven forbid, the same or less than 2008 or 2012, Republicans will simply blame Donald Trump’s incompetence. This will legitimize Trump’s openly racist rhetoric and the party’s radical shift towards openly preaching white supremacy. Remember, the overwhelming majority of Republicans elected officials either tacitly or explicitly endorsed Trump. They put party over country with little hesitation.
Worse, even though millions of Republican voters will refuse to vote for Trump’s bullying narcissism, millions more are currently willing to hold their nose and vote for Trump just because he has a R next to his name.
Now fast forward to 2020 or 2024. Republicans, deciding it’s far easier to double down on racism than it is alienate their now-openly white supremacist base, find themselves a candidate willing to preach white power but is not a ranting idiot like Trump. The biggest problem that Republican voters have with Trump is his inability to control himself; they don’t give a damn about his racism.
Imagine Trump, but polished and mature. He would be able to appeal to the white supremacists and the moderates. The media, falling back into its normal pattern of horse race politics, would under-report the racism that Trump’s lunacy has made it impossible to ignore this election cycle. After 12-16 years of Democrats in the White House, America will be ready to elect a Republican because “it’s their turn.”
The bottom line is that Hillary is going to win with or without you. So what your vote, dear hater of Hillary, will decide is if that future Republican candidate will be a reasonable adult that you may not agree with but won’t try to burn the country to the ground or if America will descend into the race war the far right has been praying for. Will you push Republicans to reclaim their party from violent white supremacists or enable their hate to take control of the highest levers of power in the land?
Trump has already lost, but he can’t just lose, the hate he stands for has to be decisively destroyed or we risk letting it take root and flourishing.
Featured image by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images