Max Boot believes he is part of the "conservative fringe" of a Republican Party that is now dominated by white nationalists. It's an unfortunate but increasingly common description of the GOP in recent months.
To any conservative with "a glimmer of conscience," he pleads in a new Washington Post piece, "You used to belong to a conservative party with a white-nationalist fringe. Now it’s a white-nationalist party with a conservative fringe. If you’re part of that fringe, what should you do?"
Easy. Vote Democrat. Like conservative columnist George Will, Boot is telling his readers to give Democrats the victory at the ballot box this November. It's for the good of the GOP.
But a vote for the GOP in November is also a vote for egregious obstruction of justice, rampant conflicts of interest, the demonization of minorities, the debasement of political discourse, the alienation of America’s allies, the end of free trade and the appeasement of dictators.
That is why I join Will and other principled conservatives, both current and former Republicans, in rooting for a Democratic takeover of both houses in November. Like postwar Germany and Japan, the Republican Party must be destroyed before it can be rebuilt.
Boot is particularly upset by President Trump's border policy of separating illegal immigrant families at the border. He signed an executive order to keep families together after widespread criticism. It was a "barbarous policy," Boot said, especially for a "misdemeanor offense" like illegal immigration. How could the majority of Republicans support the family separation policy, he wondered.
"The transformation I feared has taken place. Just look at the reaction to President Trump’s barbarous policy of taking children away from their parents as punishment for the misdemeanor offense of illegally entering the country."
He concludes: "The entire Republican platform can now be reduced to three words: whatever Trump says."
Joining Boot and Will in their campaign against the GOP is longtime Republican strategist Steve Schmidt. Schmidt was a proud Republican for 30 years, until Donald Trump showed up. He had reeled at the president's rhetoric for some time, but in the same vein as Boot it was Trump's border policy that finally pushed him to renounce the party.
"It is corrupt, indecent and immoral," Schmidt said of the migrant child policy. "With the exception of a few Governors like Baker, Hogan and Kasich it is filled with feckless cowards who disgrace and dishonor the legacies of the party’s greatest leaders. This child separation policy is connected to the worst abuses of humanity in our history."
Other former Republicans have similar reasons for losing faith in the party they once called home. But, is campaigning for the other party a bridge too far? For George Will, electing Democrats is necessary to maintain "the nation's honor."