Just a short post today, to link to a fine article in The Atlantic that echoes an argument that I made some time ago. Today, in the US, you don’t have to think hard about whom to vote for: blind, “mindless” partisanship is fine, since any Republican candidate is almost certain to be worse than any Democrat. But the authors of the article make the further point that it’s not just a question of voting for the predictably better candidate; it’s a question of opposing the incomparably worse party across the board. Here is the core of the article:
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.
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…vote mindlessly and mechanically against Republicans at every opportunity, until the party either rights itself or implodes (very preferably the former).”
(Thanks to Nancy LaTourneau for her Washington Monthly post citing this article.)