When Donald Trump announced his run for the presidency in 2015, some Republicans were skeptical. In 2016, they either voted along party lines and elected Trump, protested by voting for Hillary Clinton or threw their vote to a third-party candidate. After four years of Trump in office, several Republicans are escaping Trump’s Make America Great Again coalition to endorse Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. As Election Day nears, outlier Republicans are using their time and energy promoting the Democratic ticket.
Starting this year, multiple anti- Trump, pro-Biden political action committees (PACs) gained public attention and air time. The Lincoln Project is known for creating powerful advertisements brutally depicting Trump’s America. Their ad “Mourning In America,” a twist on Ronald Reagan’s 1984 campaign ad by the same name, portrays a weaker, sicker and poorer country under Trump. The president caught wind of the ad and called the PAC “losers.” Republican Voters Against Trump (RVAT) also gained traction for an ad featuring a former advisor to Vice President Mike Pence, Olivia Troye. Troye served on the White House COVID-19 task force and described it as “everything that horrifies you.” While still holding onto a Republican title, Troye is voting for Biden.
Other prominent members of the GOP have shown support for the Biden-Harris ticket. “We have the support of Colin Powell, Cindy McCain, John Kasich, over 500 generals, retired generals and former national security experts and advisors are supporting our campaign,” Kamala Harris said during the 2020 vice presidential debate. Many Republicans agree
with Trump’s fiscally conservative policies, but have seen Trump’s social failures, including trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act during the COVID-19 pandemic and his handling of the civil unrest across the country.
In Lewis & Clark’s liberal bubble, these endorsements may stir mixed emotions. Some worry that they will draw Biden away from his Democratic base to please conservatives. There is fear that The Lincoln Project is just a stunt not meant to help Democrats win, but to get Republicans a spot at the negotiating table. However, others, like myself, see the endorsements as a union of the two parties with one goal: saving American democracy from the ignorance of Trumpism. I was disappointed when Biden became the Democratic nominee, but these difficult times call for a president of the moment who can reach anyone regardless of their political affiliation.
These ads and endorsements are ineffective for what remains of Trump’s supporting base. For them, they do not want a politician like “Sleepy Joe.” They want a populist. Still, The Lincoln Project and RVAT take up Trump’s headspace and, eventually, his Twitter feed. Therefore, anything Trump gets riled up about gets free press.
The United States is a nation in mourning trying to grapple with the mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic, the murder of George Floyd and other African Americans at the hands of police, and greater cataclysmic failures. Many Republicans are outraged that the chaos from the past four years are happening under their party’s watch. Right now, our country yearns for a decent president and some Republicans have realized that. Take it from the words of Troye’s September RVAT ad appearance: “it is time to put country over party.”
This article presents opinions held by the author, not those of The Pioneer Log and its editorial board.