FLASHBACK: Liberals Wanted Donald Trump

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By Andrew Stiles | 11:41 am, November 11, 2016
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Donald Trump is going to be the next president of the United States. That really happened. Most liberals were hoping Hillary Clinton would win, obviously, but many of them also expressed their support for Donald Trump as their preferred candidate in the Republican primary. So at least they sort of got what they wanted.

During the GOP primary, as Trump was mowing down the competition, a significant number of prominent liberals pundits argued that Democrats should be rooting for a Trump nomination, and not just because they thought he would be the easiest candidate to run against in the general. They insisted that Trump was the least “extreme” candidate on the GOP side, and was a less “dangerous” alternative to candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

Whether or not these pundits were just disingenuously trolling Cruz and Rubio in an effort to tarnish their candidacies is really beside the point. Many of them recanted their “analysis” after Trump actually won the nomination. So either they genuinely wanted Trump, and they got him — or they were just being obnoxious trolls blinded by their confidence in the inevitability of Hillary Clinton. Their hot takes make for amusing reading in hindsight.

Matt Yglesias on “Why I’m more worried about Marco Rubio than Donald Trump”

I’m more sanguine [about a Trump presidency]. Not out of any particular love for Trump, but because he’s actually running on a much less extreme agenda than his “establishment” rival Marco Rubio, who’s offering a platform of economic ruin, multiple wars, and an attack on civil liberties that’s nearly as vicious as anything Trump has proposed…

Jonathan Chait on “Why Liberals Should Support a Trump Republican Nomination”

If he does win, a Trump presidency would probably wind up doing less harm to the country than a Marco Rubio or a Cruz presidency. It might even, possibly, do some good.

Amanda Marcotte on why “Liberals should be rooting for Trump”

Trump annoys because he’s loud and rude. Because if you actually look past the surface, even by a millimeter, to the policy level, this notion that Trump is somehow more hateful than his competitors Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio simply becomes laughable.

Robert Borosage on the extremism of Marco Rubio

Unlike Trump and Cruz, Rubio’s stump speech echoes Reagan’s sunny optimism. But the platform of this Tea Party senator is far darker and more far-right fringe than those of his rivals. He stands as the establishment’s extremist.

Robert Reich on how “Ted Cruz is Even More Dangerous than Donald Trump” 

Trump has spent his career using the federal government and making friends with big shots. Not Cruz…

Both men would be disasters for America, but Ted Cruz would be the larger disaster.

Paul Krugman on “Why Cruz is Worse Than Trump”

So on economics, again, Trump is ignorant and unpredictable — but Cruz knows what isn’t so, and would lead us to predictably dire results.

Noam Chomsky on why Ted Cruz is scarier than Trump

In my opinion, Cruz is scarier than Trump. Trump is a kind of wildcard, but Cruz is really dangerous, if he means anything he’s saying.

Bill Maher agreed

Ted Cruz is scarier than Donald Trump. Because I think Donald Trump, despite some of the crazy things he says and some of the disgusting things he says, he also says some things that a liberal can love. His stance on getting out of the Middle East and being against the Iraq War is stuff that was pretty consistent with what Obama was saying last night. And also, taking on hedge-fund managers…

Ruth Marcus too

Cruz is a different, and in many ways more dangerous, character. Where Trump is emotional and impulsive, the first-term Texas senator is contained and methodical. Contrast Cruz’s canny embrace of Trump, his restraint in responding to Trump’s provocations, with Trump’s explosiveness…

I can’t believe I’m saying this. But I might prefer President Trump.