Conservatives are abandoning ship. In the March Atlantic, two senior fellows at the Brookings Institute, Jonathan Rauch and Benjamin Wittes, known for their conservative views, urge conservatives to vote a straight Democratic Party ticket to save the nation and the Republican party from Trumpism.
They offered a simple logical syllogism:
(1) The GOP has become the party of Trumpism.
(2) Trumpism is a threat to democratic values and the rule of law.
(3) The Republican Party is a threat to democratic values and the rule of law.
Their thesis, essentially, is that Trumpism poses such a severe threat to the Republican Party and the nation that it must be thwarted. And the only way to achieve this is to reject Republican candidates throughout the ticket.
Republican candidates are therefore on notice that they are not only running against Democrats, whether progressive, liberal, or moderate, but are also running against conservatives. The implication is clear: Any Republican candidate in 2018 is assumed to be running as a Trumpist and comes with the entire assembly of baggage that Trump presents — from racism through sexism, xenophobia, science denial, anti-environmentalism to exploitation of public lands and workers for the benefit of the wealthy.
Running under the Trump banner in Ashland, where thoughtful progressive politics are generally so valued, should be especially difficult this time around. Anyone even thinking of running on the Republican ticket should ask themselves what they need to do to be known as other than a Trumpist.