Michael Gerson, former Bush staffer and current Washington Post columnist, explains why Republicans should not support Trump as the GOP nominee and focus down-ballot:
“This is the main reason that some of us cannot simply lump it and reluctantly lend our support to Trump. The Republican Party is not engaged in a policy argument; it is debating the purpose of politics. For some Trump opponents, the justice of a political system is determined by its treatment of the vulnerable and weak. In the Catholic tradition, this is called “solidarity.” Whatever you call it, this commitment is inconsistent with a type of politics that beats up on the vulnerable and weak — say, undocumented workers, or Muslims — for political gain.
Those who accuse Trump opponents of elitism are engaged in a particularly mendacious slur. Trump is attempting to place nativism at the center of U.S. politics. Those who resist are not enforcing the rules of a private club. Many — including religious people in poor and working-class communities — are defending a vision of politics in which empathy is honored and the weak are placed first. They are opposing a candidate who mocks disabled people, demeans women, engages in ethnic stereotyping and encourages religious bigotry.
Those who regard this tawdry mix of vulgarity and cruelty as typical of any social class are engaged in a particularly offensive form of condescension. Hating losers and the weak is fundamentally inconsistent with Christian ethics, and other sources of moral judgment, in every income quintile.
Make no mistake. Those who support Trump, no matter how reluctantly, have crossed a moral boundary. They are standing with a leader who encourages prejudice and despises the weak. They are aiding the transformation of a party formed by Lincoln’s blazing vision of equality into a party of white resentment. Those who find this one of the normal, everyday compromises of politics have truly lost their way.
This is not even to mention Trump’s pledge to limit press freedom, or his malicious birtherism, or his dangerous vaccine skepticism, or his economic plans that would bring global recession, or his lack of relevant qualifications, or his temperament of brooding and bragging, egotism and self-pity, or his promise to emancipate the world from American leadership, or his accusation that Ted Cruz’s father was somehow involved with Lee Harvey Freaking Oswald.
Some are trying their best to act as though all this were normal. But we are seeing, in the words of G.K. Chesterton, “lunacy dancing in high places.” None of this requires a vote for Hillary Clinton. But it forbids a vote for Donald Trump.”