This is an argument that periodically turns up on right-wing blogs and even some mainstream punditry: Republicans hate voting for Trump. They’d happily vote for a Democrat, but dang it, why do we have to pick socialists and ultra-liberals? If you’d only pick someone acceptable to the Republican Party, then you could get all their votes!
Someone in an FB discussion informed me that she really doesn’t want to vote for Trump, so if the Democrats vote for someone other than the “trash” they keep nominating. Setting aside that I don’t believe her (I hear far too many “hey, I don’t really support Trump even though I’m aggressively defending everything he does” arguments), I think selecting our candidates based on what Trump voters want is a laughably bad idea.
First off, let’s remember that in 2016 (and also 2000) we did indeed pick someone the majority of voters wanted, so where’s her issue? We were clearly more in tune with the American electorate than Republicans were. So who cares what they think?
Second, this person claims she’s planning to vote for Trump in 2020 if Dems don’t field a better candidate. Because of Trump’s obsessive fear of looking bad, the government downplayed the threat and the number of affected and avoided encouraging testing. Now President Tinybrain is insisting he took it seriously from the first (and he doesn’t take any responsibility for what went wrong) and he’s really, really knowledgeable, to the point all the doctors are in awe of how well he’s grasped it. Trump is literally getting Americans killed, but apparently that’s not an issue for her.
Third, sorry, the vast majority of Republicans are not going to vote for any Democrat acceptable to Democrats. The Republican orthodoxy is that they want a WASP-run America, whether by keeping out non-white immigrants or repressing non-white and liberal votes. They’re ranting against the “Chinese virus” rather than questioning their leader’s incompetent response. They may wring their hands over children being put in cages but like one friend of mine said, “they shouldn’t have broken the law” as though that’s the only moral issue. They’re fine with a man accused of attempted sexual assault being on the Supreme Court. For some of them, it’s a plus. As John Scalzi says, they may not be white supremacists, but they’re okay voting for one. There is no way they’re going to vote for any Democrat the Democratic voters would vote for (Biden, as a kind of low-key centrist, comes closest, but I doubt he’ll do it).
And why the hell is it our responsibility to pick a candidate they want to vote for? You never hear this argument in reverse: a lot Democrats don’t want to vote for Biden (at this point he looks like a certainty), so if Repubs would just nominate a pro-choice, pro-gay rights, pro-woman candidate, maybe we wouldn’t have to. But nobody makes this argument because it’s Democrats who are always portrayed as the extremists who need to move to the center.
No, we don’t.