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DANIEL VAUGHAN: George Will is wrong. Vote Republican in the midterms.
I couldn’t disagree more.
While I greatly respect Will, I don’t agree with him on telling voters to vote Democrat.
Even if you agree with all his points on there being deep fissures within the Republican Party, that’s still not enough to convince conservative voters to vote for the Democratic Party in November.
With the tragic death of Charles Krauthammer, George Will has become one of the deans of conservative writers, thinkers, and pundits. What he says carries considerable weight, and because he’s born the banner through many political and cultural fights in the past, his opinions deserve respect.
But he’s wrong on voting against the GOP in the November midterms.
Will’s primary point is that House Republicans should be stripped of their power because they’ve failed to stand up to the president. More directly, Will argues that House Republicans should lose control to learn why they should take a more active role in reasserting their Article I powers. He explains:
In today’s GOP, which is the president’s plaything, [Trump] is the mainstream. So, to vote against his party’s cowering congressional caucuses is to affirm the nation’s honor while quarantining him. A Democratic-controlled Congress would be a basket of deplorables, but there would be enough Republicans to gum up the Senate’s machinery, keeping the institution as peripheral as it has been under their control and asphyxiating mischief from a Democratic House.
There’s a reason Will is pitching his argument on voting against Republicans: because, for a conservative or even centrist voter, there isn’t a positive case to vote for the Democratic Party. Political scientists have observed in American voter attitudes that Democrats and Republicans aren’t voting for their respective parties so much as they’re voting against the other party.
In other words, for Will’s argument to work, you have to believe as a conservative that there’s more reason to vote against Republicans than there is to vote against Democrats.
I’m sympathetic to the view that Congress is failing in fulfilling its Article I obligations under the Constitution. My last column on the immigration controversy at the southern border argued that only Congress has the ultimate power to fix it.
But if you replaced a Republican House with a Democratic House, that wouldn’t fix Congress’ Article I problems.
If Nancy Pelosi led the House, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would end up spending all his time defeating Democratic House bills. Congress would come to a grinding halt.
We already witnessed how Pelosi led the House as Majority Leader and as Minority Leader. She doesn’t play the compromise game on legislation: her bill wins, or else nothing gets done.
The official Democratic Party legislative solution to the border crisis and family separation was an insane bill that prevented any family separation happening anywhere, with few exceptions. The law, if enacted, would have prevented ICE, DHS, and other agencies like the FBI from arresting anyone for any crime if the criminal had a child present.
It was a profoundly unserious proposal.
But I’d expect this unserious stance from a party desperately trying to keep the hardliner left at bay. The same far-left that’s trying to push the Democratic Party to abolish ICE and create a world of no-borders.
They’re pandering to left-wing fringes, not trying to help children.
Even if you agreed with Will’s argument, that Trump is damaging the Republican Party and needs to be stopped, why would you give power to a party that doesn’t view Trump as a significant threat?
Democrats view people like Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Mike Pence, and writers like George Will as a more significant threat than Donald Trump. We know this because that’s precisely what they’ve argued in the past, with headlines like:
- Ted Cruz is more dangerous than Donald Trump (The Washington Post)
- Why Cruz is worse than Trump (The New York Times)
- Why I’m more worried about Marco Rubio than Donald Trump (Vox)
- Why Mike Pence is worse than Donald Trump (The Nation)
- The Danger of President Pence (The New Yorker)
- Why President Pence could be more dangerous than Trump (Vanity Fair)
And the list goes on and on and on.
Now the left is claiming that Donald Trump is “literally Hitler,” and comparing everything to the Holocaust.
The left is so convinced that Trump is Hitler, they’re lecturing and browbeating Jews who are, understandably, taken aback by partisan politics cheapening historical tragedies like the Holocaust.
It’s hard to take the left seriously on their fascism charges since they’ve compared and lambasted every single Republican candidate for president to Hitler.
As pundit Jonah Goldberg points out, it’s empty rhetoric:
In short, “fascist” is a modern word for “heretic,” branding an individual worthy of excommunication from the body politic. The left uses other words—“racist,” “sexist,” “homophobe,” “christianist”—for similar purposes, but these words have less elastic meanings. Fascism, however, is the gift that keeps on giving.
George Orwell noted this tendency as early as 1946 in his famous essay “Politics and the English Language”: “The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies ‘something not desirable.'”
We know what will happen next: whatever Republican candidate or president that comes after Trump will be compared to Hitler and labeled fascist as well. And suddenly, Democrats will develop a “strange new respect” for Trump, just as they have for Mitt Romney and John McCain (who were also “literally fascists” or “Hitler”).
Combine this with the fact that the Democratic Party has made zero effort to reach out to conservative or centrist voters (the last attempt was Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables” speech) and there’s no reason to vote for Democrats if you’re on the right.
George Will is simply wrong. Vote for Republicans in November.
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