Trump hasn’t won the primary – in fact, he hasn’t won a bare majority vote in a single state yet – and already the peer pressure to accept Trump or to pledge to vote for him in the general if he wins the primary has begun. Even some ostensibly non-Trump pundits have begun to sound this tiresome theme, and to suggest that continued opposition to Trump, even though he has not won the nomination, is somehow disrespectful to him and to his odious followers (which, I guess, is supposed to be a Bad Thing).
To start with, Donald Trump has won exactly 37% of the votes cast in the Republican primary this year. That’s it. Not even 40%. He is not a runaway frontrunner; in fact, he is the weakest frontrunner in Republican history, or at least since Gerald Ford.
Trump has benefitted from a fractured field of hopelessly delusional egos behind him (starting with Ben Carson, continuing with John Kasich and Jeb Bush, and continuing this week with Marco Rubio), and also from the changes instituted in Republican rules that were ironically designed to ensure that the frontrunner had an easier path to victory than Mitt Romney had in 2012. But the idea that his current delegate lead somehow represents the expressed will of the voting Republican electorate is demonstrably false.
Second, the argument that Republicans should submit to Donald Trump and stop this silly continued opposition to him is not an argument that vouches for Trump’s virtues as a candidate at all. It doesn’t even begin to present the case that Trump is actually worth voting for or accepting, it’s just unadulterated peer pressure to stop making a fuss, because you’re making all of us look bad.
Similarly, the argument that “you have to vote for Trump in 2016, otherwise Hillary might win” is not a response at all to the statement, “Donald Trump does not deserve my vote and accordingly will never have it.” I don’t have a legal or moral obligation to vote for someone who’s unfit for the office just because to not do so would allow the other team to win. If Trump doesn’t get my vote, that’s Trump’s fault, not mine. He failed to motivate me to vote for him (or for anyone), and I exercised my constitutional right to not vote. Or, if he motivates me to vote for Hillary, that is also his fault and not mine.
That’s how democracies work. I was born a free person with free will and the right to vote or not vote as I please. I never signed a contract or agreement with the Republican party to always vote for their candidate in every single election, and even if I had such a contract would be completely void as a matter of law. If the candidate of a given party can’t earn my vote that isn’t my problem or fault, and this juvenile peer pressure telling me that I’m letting the whole team down by not wearing the Nike Air Force Ones like everyone else is doing is not going to work.
That kind of reasoning might work on Rick Scott, but it won’t work on me, because I’m an adult and I make my own decisions about what I will do with my vote. And I imagine that’s just as true of Erick Erickson, so please stop wasting your time bombarding our site contact form with peer pressure emails for him to not support a third party candidate.