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Election 2016: Bizarro World Edition

There’s something that has been on my mind the last couple days since I was having a conversation with Steph and I’ve been trying to figure it out. So I want to do a thought experiment and see what people’s feedback is.

Ok, so Donald Trump isn’t really a republican; he never was. In fact, once upon a time he used to be a registered democrat… and basically he rose to power because traditional republicans never took him seriously until it was much too late. So let’s assume a world where he stayed with the democratic party… but otherwise the same basic things happened.

So here’s the situation. Trump is exactly the same person as he always has been. Nothing changes about him. Same basic… lets call them “policies”… and same basic crazy mentality. He remains a dumbass. BUT he somehow shocks the world, and even with superdelegates just barely manages to squeak by and win the DNC nomination in the summer of 2016 beating out Hillary and Bernie and (and O’Malley, Chaffee and Webb… remember them? Yeah, didn’t think so). Without his Orangeness gumming up the works, lets say Ted Cruz manages to sail into the RNC nomination narrowly defeating Kasich and Rubio. We will leave third party candidates alone, so Stein and Johnson are in exactly their same spots.

So, in this case we now have a November ballot which is DNC: Donald Trump vs. RNC: Ted Cruz vs. Lib: Johnson vs Green: Stein.

Who do you vote for?

Pre-election polling is breaking down pretty much exactly like one would expect. DNC Trump has a slight lead going into election day but RNC Cruz has a shot. So no, you don’t get to say “Oh clearly Bernie Sanders will win in a massive write-in campaign” or “Perfect, this is the situation that would allow the Green party a real chance.” You’re welcome to vote Sanders or Stein or Johnson or Clinton… sure… but this is a world where it’s still an essential two party system so it’s going to come down to Cruz or Trump at the end of the day. Do you vote for Cruz in order to stop Donald Trump from getting into the presidency?

I expect the vast majority of people paying attention to this are Trump haters and nominally democrats, or at least liberals. But I’m curious as to the opinion of conservatives as well… AND I’m curious as to the opinions of people who are personal Trump supporters. I’m guessing none are paying attention, but if you are a Trump supporter, do you vote for Trump the democrat?

So what do you do? And why?





71 comments for “Election 2016: Bizarro World Edition

  1. July 7, 2017 at 7:04 am

    Trump is still as un-Presidential (not that he knows it) and still calling Mexicans rapists that will pay for his Excellent Terrific Greatest Wall Ever Made, Suck It China TM? The same Muslim ban, repeal the ACA etc. garbage? In that case I might look much more seriously into emigration options. More realistically, possibly vote Cruz, but I really can’t stand Cruz either, so…

    Now, if we had crazy, un-Presidential, Twitter loving, covfefe Trump but with actual liberal policy opinions and without the racism, misogyny, etc., then I might overlook the crazy, but still acknowledge that it looks bad for the President to act that way.

    1. July 7, 2017 at 7:05 am

      Yes, Trump is the same guy. Just running on the blue side so his chief opposition becomes Cruz rather than Hillary.

    2. July 7, 2017 at 7:07 am

      That would really make me regret not having a party affiliation because clearly the Dems have screwed up and doomed us all at that point.

      But at least we’d be more likely to have a palatable VP rather than being stuck with Pence.

    3. July 7, 2017 at 7:29 am

      in this reality you probably don’t like the veep still. Trump is still Trump. He’s not going to pick someone you like.

      Or if he does he picks someone who is divisive like Pence. Say Joe Lieberman.

    4. July 7, 2017 at 12:44 pm

      Let’s say his VP is Lieberman.

      What’s the Senate looking like? The House? I think I still vote for the Democrat, especially against Cruz, but we’ve gotta look at these tertiary-order considerations.

    5. July 7, 2017 at 12:45 pm

      Heh. That’s what I said.

    6. July 7, 2017 at 12:47 pm

      Chris Maverick Yes. Had more, hit post early.

    7. July 7, 2017 at 12:48 pm

      Ahhh. Well i am curious as to what more you have to say. Please continue.

  2. July 7, 2017 at 7:07 am

    If he still talked the way he does about women and grabbing them, the Muslim band, etc etc – I wouldn’t vote for him – I would either abstain or go third party. I don’t know which one though, they both stink, so probably I’d write in “Chris Maverick” or something.

    1. July 7, 2017 at 7:25 am

      You totally get to abstain or vote for me… but under the understanding that I’m not going to win so probably Trump becomes president.

  3. July 7, 2017 at 7:22 am

    I can’t do it. I can’t imagine a world in which he and the same cadre of advisors, etc, make it that far with those “policies” on the Democratic ticket. “Repeal the ACA” and “make government smaller” don’t sell enough on that ticket.

    I would probably need to see who his VP pick was… but I might actually vote for Cruz. (I think I’d be more likely to vote Republican with a slightly more palatable candidate.. maybe Kasich?)

    1. July 7, 2017 at 7:27 am

      Well that’s sort of the point. The republicans never imagined a world where he’d get that far either, but he did. So in this bizarro world he does the same thing on the democrat side. No one takes him seriously until it’s too late.

      And I picked Cruz on purpose. Not just because he came in second but because I know liberals hate him. Essentially it’s the same choice as an anti-trump republican had with Hillary.

    2. July 7, 2017 at 7:44 am

      Well, yeah, I get that. But some of his messages were tailored to the Christian Right. I can most imagine him taking over parts of Bernie’s voters, since they were both appealing to “the populous”… but to do that he would have to have altered his message, or at least how it was packaged. And once he does that, he becomes a different candidate.

    3. July 7, 2017 at 8:05 am

      I get what you’re saying. But you’re doing what Republicans did a year and a half ago. You’re assuming he could never get that far. I’m saying he somehow he does. Basically just like he did last time in the RNC.

      He rides down an escalator and says he wants to kick out all the mexican druggie rapists. He inspires a bunch of unlikely voters to join the DNC. Meanwhile Hillary and Bernie ignore him and fight against each other splitting the vote and stopping a unified front.

      Trump sneaks in and manages to get JUST ENOUGH votes to where he’s winning going into the convention…. He brings his rabid personal base that isn’t really republican anyway. He gets the support of Democrats for Life. Maybe he’s just a handful of votes shy and needs some superdelegates… not a lot though… lets say he’s 5 delegates short.

      Hillary is in second place but she’s lost enough votes to Trump and Bernie that her superdelegates won’t take her over the top either. What she needs are 50 Bernie delegates to drop him and vote for her instead. That plus her supers will get here there.

      Bernie doesn’t have a shot. He’s in a distant third, but his supporters are Bernie supporters. They are devoted. They refuse to vote for Hillary instead. Bernie or Bust!!!!

      Trump does the impossible. He finds 5 superdelegates who are willing to vote for him “for the good of the party” and to “support the will of the voters.” Remember, he has won the most votes in the primaries… just not enough. And maybe his Profile views just barely make him palatable to say…. Joe Donnelly and even Tim Kaine (who in this situation has never gotten to where he thinks he’s going to be veep because Hillary is losing, so he’s never asked)

      So Trump squeaks it out and gets the nomination. So now he’s running the same misogynistic and racist campaign as he ran, just under the DNC instead of the RNC.

      The whole point of the question is, which do you hate more the conservative president or Trump.

      The idea was that your traditional republican voter was placed in the situation where they had to decide “Do I vote for the party, because at least there’s a republican… or do I vote for a person I hate (Hillary) just to stop this madman?” This voter never imagined being placed in this situation, but once s/he was there, that’s what they had to decide.

    4. July 7, 2017 at 3:48 pm

      Yeah, there are other RNC candidates I could have swallowed (Kasich, maybe Rubio. Not that I loved them, I disagree with a lot of their ideas, but I could have stomached them as the Republican nominee.). Cruz, man, cruz is really bad, and also bad on purpose. He’s the one that held out for the government shutdown longer than the others. He would rather trainwreck everything than, I don’t know, let sane negotiations happen? Partially for the sake of defunding PP? Ted Cruz is the fucking worst.
      But Trump is the fucking worst because he doesn’t even understand government, or humanity, or words. I want my President to understand how words represent things in the real world, and how they go together.
      This is the worst Chris. I think in bizzarro world I’d not vote or vote 3rd party or write-in, and then still be just as displeased in America as I am right now.
      For the record, I haven’t been an official Democrat for very long. I was an independant who usually (but not always) voted dem and registered dem to vote for Bernie in the primaries. So I’m not necessarily tied to party line votes.
      But damn Ted Cruz is the worst, except for Trump.

  4. July 7, 2017 at 7:35 am

    There are certain questions I can only answer in a setting without record keeping

    1. July 7, 2017 at 8:09 am


    2. July 7, 2017 at 5:28 pm

      wise man

  5. July 7, 2017 at 7:51 am

    It looks like everything else is preliminary to the hypothetical ballot and not in itself meaningful to you, but I’d still have to make a few points. (1) Trump was registered as a Democrat specifically in NY. Despite some affinity between his right wing populism and the populism that exists in a branch of the Democrats, I’d presume this had a lot to do with the local environment in a very blue state. Lots of people here are very much Republicans but are registered as Democrats because a lot of races happen for real in the Dem primary. Pittsburgh has (or at least had) the same situation. And it’s part of the reason we have problems with the Independent Democratic Conference. (2) The Democrats and Republicans have different rules for primaries. It’s not a given that what Trump did to win the Republican primary is possible in the Democratic Party. It’s especially hard for me to imagine Trump winning there where Sanders couldn’t. (3) People like to pretend it doesn’t matter, that each candidate is purely an individual, but political networks are absolutely important in our system. If Trump were a Democratic President, he’s just not going to be appointing the same people to various courts or administrative positions. It’s not really possible to say he’d be the same person. You’re hypothetical seems to want me to assume otherwise, though, so I will.

    I preferred Cruz in the primary, because while I think he’d shrink our democracy I felt Trump would break it. I feel the same way now. If Trump were running as a Democrat but truly arguing the same things and allied with the same people, I’d think I’d feel the same way.

    1. July 7, 2017 at 8:08 am

      I addressed the details in response to Erin Childs above. Yes…. I get that there are many variables… pebble in a pond and all that…

      But I’m trying to isolate the hypothetical and see how the traditional liberal responds in the “impossible” situation that the traditional conservative suddenly found wasn’t impossible.

      So in your case, I think that means you still WOULD vote for Cruz.

    2. July 7, 2017 at 8:11 am

      I seriously could be disgusted to the point of staying home, but I’m already on record preferring Cruz over Trump.

  6. July 7, 2017 at 7:55 am

    Trump as a Democrat would be unlikely to have nominated someone like Gorsuch (or so i would have assumed) , and I can’t stand Cruz , so I would have likely voted trump in this scenario.

    1. July 7, 2017 at 8:12 am

      remember, in this scenario Trump is still the same guy. Does things counter to Obama just because he can so is against the ACA. Vocally Pro-life. Vehemently racist and wall-building… Aggressively misogynistic and pussy grabbing. Covfefe and all. So Gorsuch is entirely on the table (or some other non-Garland candidate).

    2. July 7, 2017 at 8:30 am

      In which case, I guess encouraging a d divided government would be my motivation. And if you next say, “no, he’s really pushing republican policies”, then what’s the point of the question? Who as a human being we dislike more?

    3. July 7, 2017 at 8:40 am

      I just wouldn’t have voted.

    4. July 7, 2017 at 8:49 am

      And in case this matters to whatever conclusion you plan to draw from this, while I generally favor liberal policies and haven’t voted for a republican since I was 20, I assume that most liberals wouldn’t consider me liberal.

    5. July 7, 2017 at 9:18 am

      Chaskiel: oh no your answer is fine. It’s what I was expecting. Basically you vote for him under the theory that the democrats control him while he tries to enact trump policies.

      Basically the same deal the republicans made. “Well, he wants his stupid wall. But if it means we can kill the Aca it’s worth it”

  7. July 7, 2017 at 8:15 am

    I would have dived into the primary fight for Hillary (or Sanders if I thought he had a better chance). I probably would have stayed home rather than vote for Cruz or Trump. Stein is kind of crazy. Also, would have considered moving to Canada.

  8. July 7, 2017 at 9:05 am

    We are still doomed.

    I’m going to Belize

    1. July 7, 2017 at 9:45 am

      I think avoiding the coast and heading north is going to be a better plan. of course, ymmv. I would have less hope with Democrat Trump and Cruz since there would not be a clear avenue of resistance.

    2. July 7, 2017 at 9:56 am

      I hear Belize has great snorkeling!

  9. July 7, 2017 at 9:19 am

    Even though he’s not really a republican, his policies are generally crazy far right. In this hypothetical he still has those far right policies (anti-immigrant, anti-government, anti-women, etc) but is the nominee?

    1. July 7, 2017 at 9:20 am


    2. July 7, 2017 at 9:51 am

      I’d definitely vote for some 3rd party crazy over trump or cruz then.

  10. July 7, 2017 at 9:43 am

    With those choices I’d write in Kasich or Sanders.

  11. July 7, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Write in vote, just like I did in November.

  12. July 7, 2017 at 10:38 am

    I might have voted for Cruz, but probably would have written in a 3rd party. And I know addressed this above, but I don’t think Cruz is comparable to Hillary. She might have been hated by the right, but she was definitely the accepted candidate of mainstream Democrats. Most establishment Republicans HATE Cruz’s guts. The only reason they supported him was he was the last alternate to Trump standing, so there were no other options (and too little too late to boot).

    I’d peg Rubio, Pence, or even (pre-Trump lapdog) Christie as the Republican nominee in your bizzaro world. Liked by their own party, hated by the grass roots of the other party, but at least respected and a ‘known quantity’ that the mainstream opposition party could deal with.

    1. July 7, 2017 at 11:21 am

      Cruz was up against Kasich at the end too. And he’s generally well liked. But the point at where he gets subbed in as the candidate instead of Hillary is about the GE.

      The rhetoric going into the GE was that republicans should vote for Hillary since even though she is clearly against their ideology Trump was a crazy person and at least she is sane and a reasonable politician.

      And I see you’re saying “but Cruz isn’t” but that’s because you’re approaching it as a liberal.

      In the minds of the 2016 conservative voter, Hillary was an evil murderer actively put the nation’s security at risk for personal gain.

    2. July 7, 2017 at 4:35 pm

      That’s the thing though. I don’t think Cruz is the Republican equivalent of Hillary. Ideologically, he more is the equivalent of Bernie.

      But I also take that this all hypothetical.

      So I *might* have voted for Cruz, if the election was close and I was in a state where it mattered. And I have history here. Back in 2000, I voted for Nader in Virginia. My grandmother still hasn’t forgiven me, despite that there was no way a democrat could have won Virginia in 2000. It’s amazing what 15 years can do though, huh?

    3. July 7, 2017 at 5:16 pm

      Ideology doesn’t matter. It’s a very specific question “are you willing to vote for someone you hate in order to not have Donald trump.”

      Cruz works because you hate him. Kasich you don’t hate as much so it’s an easier pill to swallow.

      Like I expect many republicans may have voted Joe Lieberman over Trump. That’s easier. But that wasn’t the choice republicans have. They had Trump or a woman they consider the antichrist.

    4. July 7, 2017 at 6:58 pm

      oh, I understand the point of your question. And certainly if he spouted the same kind of things but was running as a Democrat, I would not have voted for him. I stand by what I said earlier in terms of whether I would have voted for a Cruz or 3rd party or write in depending on the closeness in my state.

  13. July 7, 2017 at 10:38 am

    I’d flip a coin and vote for Stien or Johnson. I would not vote for Trump and Cruz scares me, like evil emotionless clown scary.

  14. July 7, 2017 at 11:27 am

    As someone who typically votes conservative, I’d still probably vote for Johnson.

  15. July 7, 2017 at 11:35 am

    In this case I wouldn’t vote. Cruz is aS bad as Trump IMO

  16. July 7, 2017 at 11:55 am

    In this situation, I’d vote for Trump.

  17. July 7, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    I’d have written in a candidate or gone 3rd party.

  18. July 7, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    As a Republican, Trump had two huge advantages. First we just suffered thru 8 years of a garbage president who happened to be a Democrat. Second he was running against a career criminal who had been exposed. If he ran as a Democrat he loses to any Republican who runs against him. This was a shoe-in for the Republicans unlike anything since Reagan replaced Carter

    1. July 7, 2017 at 2:54 pm

      There is an argument there. And in fact your stance on Hillary is exactly what I was saying a conservative stance would be to Moshe Hyzon above.

      But that’s not the real question. The question is as a conservative do you vote for Trump as is but running for the DNC (same politics, he wants a wall, he wants the Travel ban, he’s prolife, he wants to repeal Obamacare) or Ted Cruz running for the RNC.

      This is especially enlightening coming from you in fact. Moshe’s argument is that republicans hate Cruz but only backed him to try to stop Trump. So taking everything else out of the equation, if it comes down to Trump vs Cruz (except Trump is a DINO) who do you vote for?

    2. July 7, 2017 at 3:03 pm

      I go with Cruz , regardless what Trump says or what platform he is running on, because if he is a Democrat he is lying. Truth is, I think Cruz was the best choice from the beginning. I would have loved his policies

    3. July 7, 2017 at 3:11 pm

      Which answers the question I had. Thank you.

    4. July 7, 2017 at 4:28 pm

      I believe you mean that Trump had two “yuuuuge” advantages. 😉

    5. July 7, 2017 at 4:40 pm

      Also Michael isn’t part of the Republican establishment (unless I am mistaken). Cruz is a firebrand and the conservative rank and file / grass roots love him. Hence why I say he’s the conservative mirror of Bernie, rather than Hillary.

    6. July 7, 2017 at 5:12 pm

      The establishment is irrelevant. That’s my point. It’s a question of what the voters want.

    7. July 7, 2017 at 5:59 pm

      Moshe Hyzon That’s true I consider myself a conservative not a republican

  19. July 7, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    I’m going to reject your counter factual here. Assuming that Trump is still the same person and held the same positions he never would have received the nomination from the Democratic party because of his insistence on the whole birther thing. Obama was still too popular with the Democratic base to allow Trump to get the nomination. He’d have to have a radical different set of positions in order to overcome that deficit. However, that’s outside of boundaries of this scenario. So there is simply no way for him to have received the Democratic nomination.

    1. July 7, 2017 at 3:06 pm

      Also I get that gedankenexperiments like this can be based on counter factuals but this is such a glaring impossibility given the factuals that it is, in my mind, fantastical rather than counter factual. So I’d vote for Bob the unicorn because I’m sure he’d be the mix as well.

    2. July 7, 2017 at 3:15 pm

      And bob the unicorn is a fine counter. The point is the republicans also thought that trump never had a shot. On paper he didn’t. That’s the whole point. He never had a shot but what if he gets it.

      Or to look at it another way… say it’s not Trump. Say somehow through some crazy set of circumstances Bill Cosby scores the DNC nomination and a week after the convention it breaks that a significant percentage of the women alive between 1960 and 2000 are accusing him of rape.

      Now he’s running against Ted Cruz. What do you do?

      Bob the Unicorn?

  20. July 7, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    There’s a decent chance that I would’ve voted for Stein as a protest vote. But given a choice between Cruz and a democratic Trump, I would much rather have Trump. But I would rate Cruz as way worse than Trump (and have done this entire time: when it was clear that only Republican with a chance of defeating Trump was Cruz and friends suggested that they’d rather Cruz beat Trump in the primary, I thought that they were crazy). I’d much rather have ineffective evil than effective evil.

  21. July 7, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    Does the makeup of congress stay the same?

    How much of what I consider crazy do they each trot out during the campaign?

    There would have been a lot of things that I considered before cast my ballot. I would vote for one of the two. I would not write in or vote third-party.

  22. July 7, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    Yeah, a democratic trump would also be impeached by our current congrsss and removed from office with a month probably. Who was the hypothetical vp?

  23. July 7, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    I would have gone Cruz; even though he’s counter to so much of what I hold dear. He at least has a modicum of related experience for the actual work.
    With that said, w/ Trump out of the equation, I think Bush would have been more consequential. Also, veeps would matter …

  24. July 7, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    Damn i’d have to vote for jeb

  25. July 7, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    So, I have lived overseas for 14 years. If it had come down to Cruz or Trump, I’d be in immersion courses in German right now to get my residency card and looking at how to stay in Europe as a permanent resident. As it is, I’ve had two friends do that this year…option is still on the table depending on next election. Thank god for France and Angela Merkel.

    1. July 8, 2017 at 4:46 am

      Yes please don’t come back

    2. July 8, 2017 at 8:01 am

      Michael Anthony Migliore well, that seems an appropriately conservative response.

  26. July 8, 2017 at 4:11 am

    I would vote for Ben Carson write in. That way I can sit back and hear democrats call him every name in the book. Oh wait.

    1. July 8, 2017 at 5:34 am

      Actually the worst was by the so-called President who suggested he was a child molester.

  27. July 8, 2017 at 4:36 am

    I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.

    Stein, probably. Maybe write-in.

  28. July 8, 2017 at 5:58 am

    Considering that the candidate’s platform was the GOP’s, what the President is doing right now is supported by the mainstream GOP, and the GOP’s (and conservatives’) only objection to their President and standard-bearer is the wildly inconsistent and too-transparent tweeting, I don’t see that the premise of your thought experiment holds up at all.

  29. July 8, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    Remove party from the equation altogether… I’d still vote for Trump.
    Every election comes down to the lesser of two evils, not just the recent one. I don’t think anyone person can honestly say that they align 100% with any politician’s beliefs… (unless they are that politician)
    Also, Has anyone ever researched why Trump went from the Democratic Party to the Republican party? Maybe he thinks working for a living is much more admirable than waiting for a monthly handout. Or… maybe he’s bored and just decided to play a game with the entire country… Or… (insert whatever opinion here)… No one truly knows but him…

    P.S. someone nailed it in here… establishment Republicans (as well as others) do not have much of an affinity for Ted Cruz…

  30. July 10, 2017 at 7:42 am

    I voted for Cruz in the primary and would have voted for him in the general election.

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