A Harvard professor who teaches political theory just posted an open letter to both Democrats and Republicans, urging them to come together in bipartisan fashion for the good of the country, to unite against a single cause that threatens our nation’s future.
Danielle Allen wasn’t talking about fighting terrorism though, or tackling the ballooning national debt. Instead, she set her sights on billionaire businessman and leading GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.
“Trump is rising by taking advantage of a divided country,” wrote Allen in a Sunday column in The Washington Post, headlined “The Moment of Truth: We Must Stop Trump.”
“Trump is exploiting the fact that we cannot unite across our ideological divides. The only way to stop him, then, is to achieve just that kind of coordination across party lines and across divisions within parties. We have reached that moment of truth,” she continued.
Allen clearly detested Trump, and compared his rise to that of Hitler in Nazi Germany. As such, she felt that Trump “has no respect for the basic rights that are the foundation of constitutional democracy, nor for the requirements of decency necessary to sustain democratic citizenship.”
“Nor can any democracy survive without an expectation that the people require reasonable arguments that bring the truth to light, and Trump has nothing but contempt for our intelligence,” she added.
She also decried the media for covering Trump and broadcasting the “crude and cruel” things that he says, effectively acting as his “megaphone” to help spread his message.
“Perhaps we should just shut the lights out on offensiveness; turn off the mic when someone tries to shout down others; reestablish standards for what counts as a worthwhile contribution to the public debate,” Allen proposed, admitting that doing so would be counter-intuitive to standard journalistic norms.
She then pleaded with Ohio Gov. John Kasich and retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson to drop out of the race, allowing Republicans to rally around Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, whom she finds only slightly more tolerable than Trump, as well as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, whom she dismissed as unviable due to his “drawing too close to Trump’s politics.”
Though Allen is a staunch Democrat and admitted supporter of the scandal-plagued former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, she nevertheless also admitted to Hillary’s obvious weakness and expressed concern that Trump could beat her in a general matchup.
Thus, she encouraged fellow Democrats to help their rival Republicans defeat Trump by registering with the GOP for their state’s primary election.
“If your deadline for changing your party affiliation has not yet come, re-register and vote for Rubio, even if, like me, you cannot stomach his opposition to marriage equality,” she urged. “I too would prefer Kasich as the Republican nominee, but pursuing that goal will only make it more likely that Trump takes the nomination. The republic cannot afford that.”
She also called on all Republican Party members to ignore or rescind their pledges to support the eventual party nominee if it turns out to be Trump, writing: “We, the people, need to find somewhere, buried in the recesses of our fading memories, the capacity to make common cause against this formidable threat to our equally shared liberties. The time is now.”
Academics have their a right to their opinions, like everyone else. But this professor’s plan aimed at taking out Donald Trump is pretty nasty and shows the inherent problems that can arise in states with open primaries or allow last-minute party registration changes, as opposition party members can effectively interfere with the choices of the other side.
There are a lot of people who don’t like Trump, but there are also plenty of people who do. Allen and the rest of those fretting over Trump need to allow the process to play out and trust American voters to make the right choice in the voting booth.