As a result of Donald Trump winning the Republican nomination and his subsequent behavior and pronouncements, we are seeing a great deal of uncertainty amongst Republicans on what to do, with over one hundred of them signing a letter calling on the party to abandon Trump. The Los Angeles Times has published a list of traditionally Republican supporters under various shades of support: those actively campaigning for Trump, those issuing a clear endorsement of Trump but not campaigning, those saying they support ‘the party nominee’ but won’t be campaigning, those wavering or backing Trump with caveats, those not saying they will vote for Trump but saying they definitely will not vote for Hillary Clinton, those who are staying quiet altogether, those who reject both Trump and Clinton, those who reject Trump but are not backing Clinton, and those who have rejected Trump and are voting for Clinton.
While elected Republicans are all over the map with many trying to avoid making unequivocal statements as to where they stand, it is among the Republican media, business figures, and thought leaders that we have seen the most number of people who have jumped ship and gone over to the Democratic side and say openly that they will vote for Clinton. Many of them are political opportunists who go with a likely winner because that is where their future meal ticket lies. For political operatives, when you are identified with a winning campaign, your stock rises and your market value increases.
Among the worst people who have now endorsed Clinton are many in the intelligence industry such as John Negroponte and Michael Morrell, the former having an appalling human rights record and the latter being someone who even called for the killing of Russians and Iranians in Syria. Even the ghastly Michael Hayden is playing coy and may end up voting for Clinton, though he hasn’t committed as yet.
There are others who have an agenda and seek to worm their way into the winning camp so as to influence policies to their own liking. The most prominent among them are the neoconservatives. This group of bloodthirsty warmongers who want to the US military to achieve American hegemony by force, initially tried to get into the administration of president George H. W. Bush but failed to get a strong foothold. They struck pay dirt with his son’s administration, particularly in the office of vice president Dick Cheney, and the disastrous results of their policies can be seen in the instability all over the Middle East and the rise of groups like ISIS. The Obama administration managed to keep them at arms length but now the neoconservatives see a chance to get deeply embedded into a future Clinton administration and are flocking to Clinton. Even the disgusting Max Boot has endorsed her. It is rumored that Clinton is even actively seeking the endorsement of Condoleezza Rice, James Baker, George Shultz, and even the war criminal Henry Kissinger.
While there is no doubt that Clinton feels that winning over disaffected Republicans will help her in her quest for the presidency, her courting of such odious figures is disgusting and is further evidence, if we needed it, of her lack of core progressive principles. To some extent, candidates cannot be expected to explicitly reject every single objectionable person who endorses them, because many of them will be obscure figures. But any Democratic candidate would loudly reject an endorsement by a prominent KKK leader (like David Duke) or avowed bigot or racist or misogynist or homophobe. But the endorsement by prominent warmongers and war criminals seems to be just fine by her, even if their record has been one of sowing misery and death on a massive scale.