The Lincoln Project

There were Republicans, not that long ago, who held conservative views but were able to act in a bi-partisan way when a larger public good was at stake.    That party is pretty much gone.   Trump’s Republican party is a party of die-hard extremists to whom partisan power is the only end.    Mr. Trump demands complete loyalty to himself and to whatever idea pops into his fertile brain.   He is prone to championing sometimes wild conspiracy theories and often confidently relies on “alternative facts” to back them up.   Members of his party are on notice that they’re expected to have his back, no matter what, on pain of swift, public reprisal by the president.  The Lincoln Project is a group of conservative Republicans determined to end Trumpism.

The Republican Senate released a report that documented extensive Russian electoral interference, in all fifty states, on behalf of their presidential candidate in 2016.   The report detailed, as did a House report, and special counsel Mueller’s report, that this pro-Trump Russian electoral interference occurred in 2016, is ongoing and sophisticated [1].  The president continually refers to this well-documented Russian help he received as a HOAX and promises to punish the perpetrators of this traitorous hoax that infuriates him, as it appears to call the legitimacy of his historically narrow victory (78,000 votes in 3 states) in 2016 into unacceptable question.

The Republican senate has voted as a bloc to block any meaningful safeguards against massive Russian interference in the 2020 election.   It makes sense, if you are purely partisan, to want to preserve any advantage you have for remaining in power.   If Putin wants Trump, who are American Trumpists to argue with that — it’s win-win, no?   Plus, as Mr. Trump freely admitted on national television, allowing every American to vote is a ridiculous Democrat idea, creates a huge, unfair disadvantage for Republicans, they’d never be elected to anything ever again if everyone was allowed to vote, according to the president.

I’ve been gratified to see a conservative group calling themselves The Lincoln Project (Lincoln was the first Republican president, at a time when the party was anti-slavery) running very hard hitting ads against the extreme direction their party has taken under Trump.   In fairness to history, Bush-Cheney were not that much better than Mr. Trump, but at least they were sneakier and somewhat less brazen — and they didn’t have the benefit of a Senate majority leader as unprincipled as Mr. McConnell (his historic reign started in 2015).   

The Lincoln Project spots harness the brilliance that Republicans have shown, in recent years, in crafting ads to influence electoral outcomes.  With any luck, the efforts of these principled conservatives will cancel out ongoing, increasingly sophisticated Russian efforts to influence the outcome in November 2020 and help us avoid four more years of irrational, required fanaticism under Mr. T.   God help us all if they don’t.

Here is one of the many the Lincoln Project has produced:




[1]  Not everyone will have the stomach for this chilling article about the extent and skill of Russian election meddling and our unaddressed vulnerability to it—  (by Franklin Foer, staff writer for The Atlantic)  and Putin’s endgame of destroying democracy in America by sowing division, discord and distrust for democracy itself — but it is grimly fascinating, and important.  

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