How This Case Is Made
First, let me say that I am NOT advocating that any Progressive EVER vote for Donald Trump. The purpose of this article is to elucidate reasons why, as Progressives in a duopolistic system with only two viable candidates, we should hope to see Donald Trump win the Presidency rather than Hillary Clinton.
The 2016 Election is all about negatives. Indeed, the poll numbers most often bandied about are not those of support for each candidate, but rather the numbers showing how many voters DISLIKE one candidate or the other. Indeed, the “negatives” are the highest in recorded history, so one can hardly blame the media for concentrating on the record-breaking statistics.
This means that, as Progressives, the best case to be made for Trump consists of the case against Hillary Clinton. If you have read the companion piece to this article, The Conservative Case for Hillary Clinton, you will find many parts of this piece to sound familiar. That is because the reasons for conscientious Conservatives to vote FOR Hillary Clinton are the exact same reasons for which conscientious Progressives should vote against Her.
The conclusions in this article, however, are obviously different.
A Trump Presidency Would Be a Disaster for Republicans and Conservatives
Ben Howe of RedState has been telling anyone who will listen that if Donald Trump wins, it will destroy the Republican Party, and could even cause the GOP to lose control of the House in 2018. There is already an internecine battle within the GOP between the traditional Republican elites and the Tea Party extremists at the grass roots level. A Trump victory would turn this conflict into a full-on war that would fracture the Republican coalition completely, setting the Party back decades. Moreover, with Trump as the leader of the Republican Party, conservatives will be painted with the same tainted brush for years to come. Indeed, the current thinking among many Republican pundits is that a Trump loss is the only thing that can save the GOP.
We are already seeing the GOP run away from Trump. The recent scandal surrounding his “hot mic” moment has caused Senate Republicans to openly consider dumping him. And the Republican leadership continue to scramble to try to save down-ticket candidates from a Trump “wipeout.”
Trump Would NEVER Be Able to Deliver on His Agenda
Let’s keep it real: if Trump wins, it will not be because a majority of Americans supported him; it will be because a majority of Americans OPPOSED Hillary Clinton. Most of the people voting for Trump will actually be voting against Clinton. This dynamic will not hold for the down-ballot races for Congress and State offices. Trump will have “negative coattails” in down-ballot races, with Republicans trying desperately to distance themselves from Trump while their Democratic rivals drive home the simple message that a vote for their opponent is a vote FOR Trump – and not a vote against Hillary Clinton.
Once in office, Trump will have NO mandate. The GOP Leadership in the House and Senate will continue to run away from him, and will continue to treat him as toxic. He will not be able to get anything done.
By Contrast, a Clinton Presidency Would Breathe New Life into the GOP
The message from all of the conservative strategists and pundits is clear: A Clinton win will allow the GOP to regroup and remain viable as the Party in opposition to another “liberal” Democratic President, and further allow them to retain control of the House and possibly even regain the Senate in 2018.
Business and conservative political media outlets from Fortune to The Federalist are all instructing their readers to vote for Hillary. And many high-profile Republicans, from Colin Powell and George HW Bush, to Richard Armitage and John Negroponte, from Hank Paulson to Brent Scowcroft, from Christine Todd Whitman to Meg Whitman – all are on board the Clinton train.
And the first wave of Republicans to jump onto the Clinton bandwagon were the cabal of PNAC neocons who architected the Iraq War: Robert Kagan, Max Boot, and Paul Wolfowitz, among others.
If you are a liberal, a Progressive, then you should be against the Iraq War, and you should be against interventionist policies in general. If the maxim: “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” holds true, then shouldn’t the reverse also apply?
In other words, should we not, as Progressives, be thinking “the friend of my enemies is my enemy”?
I really don’t see how a principled, reasoned Progressive could vote for the same person that these neocon warmongering jackals are supporting.
A Trump Presidency Could UNITE the Left as Never Before
Right now, the Left in America is divided. The Democratic Primary split the Party and the Left in horrible, ugly ways, and Hillary Clinton’s SuperPAC “Correct the Record” (CTR) spent millions in attacking Bernie Sanders and his supporters in a way that left many on the Left embittered and demoralized. If Hillary wins, this split will continue, and the wounds will fester until the American Left is irretrievably splintered, with establishment Democrats and Hillary supporters on one side, and Liberal Democrats on another, and millennials and Progressives in the Green Party or Libertarian Party, or – even worse – fully exited from the political landscape altogether.
A Trump Presidency would do the same for the Left as a Clinton Presidency would do for the Right – namely, allow the Left to coalesce around a central goal of opposing Trump and the Republicans. Such a coalescence might even attract independents who are turned off by Trump and by association Republicans in general. Hillary’s defeat will signal the discrediting and failure of the “New Way” corporatist Democratic culture, paving the way for a Renaissance of true Progressivism.
So there you have it. The case to be made to Progressives for not fearing, and indeed preferring, a Trump Presidency to a Clinton Presidency consists of three main