Two self-described non-partisan independents penned an article for the March issue of The Atlantic which argues there is only one way for conservatives to save the Republican Party from certain death and that is to vote straight Democrat across the board in future elections.
“Boycott the Republican Party,” Jonathan Rauch’s and Benjamin Wittes’s headline screams. “If conservatives want to save the GOP from itself, they need to vote mindlessly and mechanically against its nominees.”
That’s the basic advice, but both Rauch and Witte have much more to say about it. But first, a little about themselves:
We have both spent our professional careers strenuously avoiding partisanship in our writing and thinking. We have both done work that is, in different ways, ideologically eclectic, and that has—over a long period of time—cast us as not merely nonpartisans but antipartisans. Temperamentally, we agree with the late Christopher Hitchens: Partisanship makes you stupid. We are the kind of voters who political scientists say barely exist—true independents who scour candidates’ records in order to base our votes on individual merit, not party brand.
But then came Donald Trump and thus, partisanship became a “moral necessity:”
This, then, is the article we thought we would never write: a frank statement that a certain form of partisanship is now a moral necessity. The Republican Party, as an institution, has become a danger to the rule of law and the integrity of our democracy. The problem is not just Donald Trump; it’s the larger political apparatus that made a conscious decision to enable him. In a two-party system, nonpartisanship works only if both parties are consistent democratic actors. If one of them is not predictably so, the space for nonpartisans evaporates. We’re thus driven to believe that the best hope of defending the country from Trump’s Republican enablers, and of saving the Republican Party from itself, is to do as Toren Beasley did: vote mindlessly and mechanically against Republicans at every opportunity, until the party either rights itself or implodes (very preferably the former).
Rauch and Witte say they’re proposing “something different” than voting just a straight ticket. They’re suggesting that no matter what a person’s values, DO NOT vote Republican. In other words, don’t be a well-informed voter, just pull the “D” lever blindly:
We’re suggesting that in today’s situation, people should vote a straight Democratic ticket even if they are not partisan, and despite their policy views. They should vote against Republicans in a spirit that is, if you will, prepartisan and prepolitical. Their attitude should be: The rule of law is a threshold value in American politics, and a party that endangers this value disqualifies itself, period. In other words, under certain peculiar and deeply regrettable circumstances, sophisticated, independent-minded voters need to act as if they were dumb-ass partisans.
“The goal is,” they continue, “to make the Republican Party answerable at every level, exacting a political price so stinging as to force the party back into the democratic fold.”
It seems these writers from the Brookings Insitution have forgotten a simple truth: the people got what they voted for — what they wanted. And all signs point to those same voters wanting Trump for another four years. Why would they lend support to a party that is controlled by the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and Maxine Waters?
Rauch and Witte at least admit there are a few “bad apples” in the Democratic Party, but add that at least it “is not a threat to our democratic order.”
They end by saying “smart people” will do what they suggest and become "dumb-ass partisans," but it sounds more like what they’re saying is, “Be a dumbass, vote Democrat.”