A recent video from Ezra Klein is so clear and cogent that it deserves to be watched by anyone who desires not to be a low information voter. It perfectly expresses my own view. (You can view the video here: “This election isn’t just Democrat vs. Republican. It’s normal vs. abnormal.”)
There is a lot to say about what has happened to the Republican party that an unfit, unqualified, and unhinged candidate is their nominee. And I understand how Republicans might still want to be team players, or believe it is their self-interest to support Trump. After all, it is hard to change teams. Klein’s rejoinder to this line of thinking is perceptive:
But this is a dangerous game. We are a nation protected by norms, not just by laws. Our political parties should be held to certain standards in terms of the candidates they nominate, the behaviors they accept, the ideas they mainstream. Trump violates those standards. By indulging him, the Republican Party is normalizing him and his behavior, and making itself abnormal.
I would only add that the Republican party violated these norms even before Trump. For example, it is normal to allow sitting Presidents to nominate judges, but it is not normal to not fill the judiciary, shut down the government or threaten the world economy to get your way. The Republican party and their propagandists at Fox and Breitbart News and on the internet and conservative radio play a dangerous game by helping to unravel social stability. This may be in their short-term interest, but it is self-defeating in the long run. For the rich and powerful benefit the most from social stability.