Donald Trump is, for all intents and purposes, the Republican Party’s nominee for President. But nominee or not, it is bad idea for Republicans to continually demand Republicans “unify” around Donald Trump. That does not unify the party. Instead, it only divides us farther and provokes more arguments around someone who is – let’s be honest – an incredibly divisive nominee.
Like it or not, there are some Republicans who will never vote for Donald Trump. That’s the way it is and that will not change. I hope that Republicans will agree with me that there is a line where we cannot in good conscience support a Republican nominee for elective office. I would hope there is a line where we will openly oppose that nominee and support a respectable alternative.
Let me use a real-world historical example. Back in the early 1990’s, a KKK Grand Wizard named David Duke was a Republican candidate for office in Louisiana. Good Republicans stood up against this wicked man and publicly refused to support him. That was the right thing to do.
Now, Donald Trump is not David Duke. I am not equating the two.
The point I am making is that there is a line where good Republicans must openly and publicly oppose a Republican candidate for office, both for the long term good of the party and just for basic moral decency. Where that line falls is different for every Republican. But in every election, the reality is that some Republicans will always openly oppose certain Republican candidates.
It is foolish and counterproductive to spend all of our time worrying about that. We should instead focus on where we are unified instead of deepening the divisions within the party by either demanding we support the nominee no matter what or demanding all dissent within the Big Tent be silenced.
Demanding #NeverTrump Republicans “unify” around an incredibly divisive (and intentionally divisive) nominee will only provoke more arguments about him, as we have seen in countless threads on Republican pages on Facebook, public meetings and so forth. Instead, we need to focus on where we are united. We do not have to be unified on supporting Trump to be unified in our support of other Republicans on the ballot. We can agree to disagree and move forward in a productive way in electing candidates we all support.
Let’s try that for once.