There are four stages of Never Trumper Republicans, much like the four stages of grief, and the most pivotal of these is the open letter to lefties.
James Comey did one of those. As did Jennifer Rubin. Also, I believe Max Boot. And innumerable other quislings. Now Tom Nichols has one.
We don’t agree about everything; still, we get along pretty well, you and I, centered around the daily understanding that Donald Trump is a dire threat to the United States. That’s why I’ve been comfortable in my public commitment to vote for the Democratic presidential nominee, come hell or high water. You’ve mostly responded to this by…
Well, that’s the thing, isn’t it? I feel like you’re not doing your part here.
We take our walks together and we discuss the importance of getting rid of Donald Trump. And yet, when we both leave for work in the morning, it feels like only one of us is really, truly serious about that.
Here we go.
When we watched the LGBTQ town hall on CNN recently, we had very different reactions. This is the event, you remember, where Beto O’Rourke said he’dpunish religious institutions for refusing gay marriage, and where Kamala Harris started by informing us of her pronouns, and then Chris Cuomo, after a mild and dopey joke, had to go on Twitter the next day and apologize for making light of it. This is where Elizabeth Warren fielded a question about traditional marriage by with a sneering, smug insinuation that the only people who would ask her about that are men who can’t find a woman.
You thought it was great. You saw a ringing defense of LGBTQ rights and a reaffirmation of what Democrats stand for.
I saw it and thought: Are these people insane? Are they trying to lose the election?
This is what we call the third stage.
The first stage is abandonment. The second stage is conversion. The third stage is disbelief. It’s the equivalent of bargaining.
In this stage, the Never Trumper former Republicans somehow, belatedly, realize that their new allies are crazy fanatics. And their objection to this is not so much out of the principles that they claimed to have, but because, as Tom Nichols lays out, it interferes with defeating Trump.
These letters are issued and met with contemptuous laughter from both sides. And then they move on the forth stage.
Yes, my new lefty pals are out of their minds. But they’re better than Trump.