Recently, Green Party Candidate and physician Jill Stein attempted to placate her existing supporters and potential converts alike worried that her candidacy is beginning to echo the spoiler campaign of Ralph Nader in 2000. Speaking of the possibility of a Trump Presidency, Stein made the stunning claim that Donald Trump, despite the unbridled awfulness of his agenda, would actually be the “less dangerous” choice for President compared to rival Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden nominates Meg Whitman as ambassador to Kenya Hillary Clinton shares part of her 2016 victory speech for the first time Ben Affleck: Republicans 'want to dodge the consequences for their actions' through gerrymandering MORE, because he doesn’t know how to work the levers of government and would be held in check by Congress.
Let’s ignore for a moment the fact that Trump knows how to manipulate the levers of politics at least well enough to become a candidate for President on a major party ticket. Can anyone name an example of a time in history when a xenophobic demagogue leading a populist movement has seen their power diminished upon winning national office? Because that’s not typically how that particular story ends.
What Dr. Stein claims requires a level of selective hearing and confirmation bias that beggars believe. It requires her to ignore the fact President TrumpDonald TrumpJury in Jussie Smollett trial begins deliberations Pence says he'll 'evaluate' any requests from Jan. 6 panel Biden's drug overdose strategy pushes treatment for some, prison for others MORE would take office at the head of a party in control of not only the White House, but the Senate, the House, and with the ability to begin immediately stacking the Supreme Court with like-minded appointees. A party, it shouldn’t have to be noted, which has already capitulated to Trump, building even his most extreme and ludicrous policy proposals like the border wall into their official platform.
GOP leadership has already closed ranks to punish members who won’t fall into line. Just last week, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus threatened to bar noncompliant members from future campaigns if they don’t support Trump now. Does this sound like a party that’s gearing up to oppose President Trump come January?
Further, Stein has to argue that Trump’s policy goals and that of the core GOP are so fundamentally incompatible that the rank and file congress critters would revolt in droves. My question to her is, why the hell would they want to? Trump’s agenda is virtually identical to things Republicans have been fighting to implement for years. The difference between Trump and the rest of the party was never substance, but tone. What Republican Senator is going to lead the insurgency to prevent the repeal of Obamacare? Deporting undocumented immigrants?
Cutting taxes to the rich? Withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accords? Massive industry and banking deregulation? Refreezing Cuban relations? Abandoning the Iranian nuclear agreement and reintroducing sanctions?
No one, that’s who. Because the most dangerous and potentially destructive of Trump’s domestic and international agenda were goals Republicans had been championing since before Trump ever started running for office! They just had a little more refinement than to come right out and say it’s all because they’re not fans of brown people. How can anyone honestly believe Republicans would not only abandon all of their goals after being handed the blank check a complete takeover of the federal government a Trump victory would represent, but would actively fight against them after reducing the opposition to a simpering minority?
I’m simply incredulous that any educated adult would suggest such a thing with an expectation than any significant fraction of people would believe it.
But therein lays the problem. A significant fraction of people don’t have to believe it.
With the polls now as close as they are, it’s entirely possible that this election will come down to only a couple of percentage points. To pull a Nader, Jill, and by extension Gary JohnsonGary Earl JohnsonBiden broadened Democratic base, cut into Trump coalition: study New Mexico lawmakers send recreational marijuana bills to governor Judge throws out murder convictions, releases men jailed for 24 years MORE, only have to convince a sliver of the electorate that there’s really no danger in voting for them, that Trump isn’t Tang Mussolini in waiting, and that everything will be okay no matter what happens.
Well, it won’t. And then, next January, as the reign of terror commences, They’ll be stumbling around just like England’s post-Brexit voters, furious that their votes actually impacted the outcome and looking for people to blame.
But this Nader 2000 voter will know exactly where the blame lays.
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