Can the Former and Never Trump Republicans Save Democrats from Themselves?

Sasha Stone
11 min readJul 21, 2020

With Ryan Adams

Last year, we made the case for why Joe Biden would be our best bet against Donald Trump. I thought Bernie Sanders was the candidate that would bring on another 1972-like situation as the one thing guaranteed to drive voters to oppose, more than anything else, is socialism. But that was before the pandemic hit, crashed the economy, and sent the country into a fear and panic spiral.

It was before Biden committed to choosing a female Veep, and it was before the murder of George Floyd sent the country reeling, with protests in all 50 state. On the left, they showed mostly violence by the police against protesters. On the right, they showed mostly violence by the protesters. As usual, the truth was somewhere in between. But this turbulent conflux has pushed the demand for an agenda that put would social justice — along with identity politics — front and center. The “Defund the police” label has stuck to the left and they will have to support or defend it.

All these things have shaken up the solid advantage Biden had — that he represented a sober lateral move, to convince enough voters to turn to a man they know and trust, even if it meant unseating an incumbent after only one term, a rare thing in presidential politics. But things look a lot different today than they did a year ago.

Enter the never-Trump and former-Trump Republicans.

Democrats have caught a lucky break when allied forces swooped in to help bring down the country’s most corrupt and dangerous president. Once we had a faction of savvy and articulate conservatives fighting on our side, an alternative path began to appeal to millions of disillusioned voters. These pragmatic voices know how to speak about a reality in terms that are easily understandable, while far too many prominent Democratic voices online are not.

Liberals are too often caught up in a feedback loop that gains its energy from Twitter hearts and the mainstream press that mirrors pie-in-the-sky idealism. Where were the voices confronting reality on the ground? Mostly on the right.

They see themselves as without a party because the party they used to know has been hijacked by Trump and his sycophants who do…