by Jonathan F. Keiler
Writing in the Atlantic (“This is No Way to Beat Trump”) Thomas Nichols, a self-described former Republican and #NeverTrumper, castigates Democrats for their failure to take down President Trump, in light of the disorganized Iowa Caucus and the party’s unimpressive stable of candidates. In the piece, Nichols pretends to dispense hard-headed political advice. In fact, the article reveals why he and the Democrats he wants to help are floundering. Their perception of the world is so distorted by manic dislike of President Trump that they have ceased to act as a responsible political party which can offer a reasonable alternative.
The very premise of Nichols’ case, and by extension that of the Democrat party and all its putative candidates, is that beating Trump must be their principal goal, eclipsing all other concerns. Nichols thinks the Democrats are not attempting to do this — which is preposterous. But more interestingly having come to this false conclusion, he has no prescription for exactly how to beat Trump, only that it must be done.