If you follow the reasoning, you find that Republicans are exiting the GOP for the same reasons Democrats oppose Trump. Daniel Piper, a lifelong Republican who served in five administrations, offered reasons that must certainly resonate with every liberal and progressive.
He gave five:
1) “Trump’s boorish, selfish, puerile, and repulsive character, combined with his prideful ignorance, his off-the-cuff policy making, and his neo-fascistic tendencies make him the most divisive and scary of any serious presidential candidate in American history.”
2) Trump’s claim that “as president, he has the mandate to do any damn thing he wants. This unprecedented and terrifying prospect could mean suing unfriendly reporters or bulldozing a recalcitrant Congress. It could also mean martial law.”
3) The suppression of “elements at the national convention in Cleveland that still tried to resist his nomination.” Yes, Trump tries to represent the Democratic Party as having suppressed Bernie Sanders even as he was busily installing himself as dictator of the Republican Party. It is his party now, folks. Get used to it. As Piper said, “Republican leaders are lining up to surrender to him.”
4) “The cultural abyss and constitutional nightmare of a Trump presidency will likely destroy” the Republican Party as “a major intellectual force.” We can take issue with his claim that the GOP has been anything but a reactionary group of nay-sayers since 2009. As The National Memo put it Wednesday, the “battle between left and right [is] no longer a contest of ideas”:
[T]he defining clash of our time is reason versus unreason, reason versus an inchoate fear and fury growing like weeds on the cultural, class, religious and racial resentments of people who cling to an idealized 1954 and wonder why the country is passing them by.
The Republicans, as presently constituted, have no ideas beyond fear and fury.
Yet Pipes is right that Trump represents the death of the GOP as we know it, and he is not the only one to say this.
It is no small thing to admit that bad as a Hillary victory would be for the GOP, “it would leave the conservative movement intact.”
5) Trump sets the bar so low, Piper reasons, that no Republican will ever be able to again “criticize a Democratic on the basis of character” or as he also puts it, “look at oneself in the mirror.”
These reasons constitute a scatching rejection of Trumpian politics, which is really just a fascist cult of personality, when all is said and done. One cannot really speak of a Trump platform, let alone a Republican platform, when Trump says “everything is negotiable.”
As Media Matters’ Eric Boehlert said, “good grief, when you’ve lost Daniel Pipes….” Of course, they’ve lost many more than Pipes and as I noted, the reasons sound much the same. That no Republican seems willing to accept responsibility for their creation does not lessen the impact of these defections.