Prof. Christopher Parker Appeals to Rank-and-File Republicans in The Conversation

Chris Parker

Following recent developments in the Republican primary race, UW Political Science Professor Christopher Parker wrote an open letter to rank-and-file Republicans. As a recent poll shows that 55 percent of the Republican electorate support the two Tea Party favorites Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, Professor Parker notes that both of these candidates "would cause irreparable harm to the country" if they were nominated for the Republican ticket, let alone be elected president. Because he sees this danger, Parker writes: 

I’m calling on you, rank-and-file Republicans, to do the right thing and vote for a more moderate Republican like Jeb Bush or John Kasich during the primary. If this strategy to protect the country fails – which seems likely – and one of the Tea Party candidates wins in the primary, I urge you to do the patriotic thing and vote for the Democratic standard-bearer in the general election.

Yes, I’m suggesting that Republicans consider voting to put a Democrat in the White House. As someone who has studied patriotism as well as reactionary movements, I’d suggest this is the GOP’s best move if you really care about the country as much as you often claim.

He underscores this appeal with a discussion of why this course of action would be the most patriotic one in the current situation, citing not only that Trump's wish to ban Muslims undermines religious freedom and the credibility of the U.S. both at home and abroad, but also that bombing Iraq and Syria, which Trump and Cruz advocate for, plays into the hands of ISIS.

Professor Parker's open letter "Dear Republicans: Do your patriotic duty" was published on The Conversation website on December 14, 2015.