A Boston Globe editorial this week advised the state’s unenrolled voters to pull a Republican ballot in the March 1 primary election. Alarmed by the likelihood that GOP frontrunner Donald Trump will amass too many delegates in what is projected to be a big win for him here next week, the paper is essentially calling in reinforcements. If unenrolled voters – many of whom might have voted in the Democratic race – take a GOP card and vote for John Kasich, as the Globe recommends, the newspaper hopes that will slow Trump’s apparently inevitable march to his party’s nomination.
This form of ‘strategery’ is tempting to some. Many of us, this writer included, loathe the demagoguery, nativism, and Palinesque buffoonery of Trump and his column of neo-Confederate nitwits. Still, the notion of independents infiltrating the Republican ranks to steer that party’s nomination process toward a less onerous choice is too cute by half.
Instead, we urge our readership to vote for something. In our estimation, the best choice in this election cycle – by a long shot – is Hillary Clinton. Her experience as a US senator, First Lady, and US secretary of state surpasses all other candidates in the field, Republican, Democrat, or Independent.
When she becomes the nation’s first woman president, as we firmly believe she will next January, she will have earned it through a distinguished career and after two impressive campaigns for the White House. We also firmly believe that Hillary Clinton will carry on the impressive progress made under President Barack Obama and continue to advance and protect America’s interests with a steel resolve and progressive values that will work to unite our often-fractured republic.
Our nation is best served when we support leaders whom we truly believe in; not by seeking to artificially lift those who don’t share our values in a vain attempt to engineer a different result. The ever-emerging experiment of American democracy is imperfect and messy and will occasionally give rise to our own worst elements. We will be judged not by whom we defeat, but by whom we choose to lift up in opposition to lesser individuals.
It is disappointing that the Republican leadership of this state, most notably Gov. Charlie Baker, are standing back and letting their party be run aground by Trump’s insidious form of demagoguery. Our governor, with his remarkably strong poll numbers, is respected and admired because he is a good man who seeks to build consensus. He is the polar opposite of the rogue who has hijacked the national party.
Baker's tepid position on Trump is not enough. He should step up and use his bully pulpit to rally Massachusetts Republicans – and unenrolled voters who might lean naturally his way – to counter Trump with an alternative they can believe in.
Otherwise, independent voters, who make up the majority of the state’s electorate, should vote for the person who best represents their values, interests, and aspirations.