Why do so many Republicans support Joe Biden?

(Tiếng Việt)

Claim: Republicans are increasingly coming out in support for Biden, leading many Vietnamese Americans to wonder if these individuals are “sore losers,” who have no reason to oppose Trump other than personally disliking him.

Rating: This claim is FALSE. There are Republicans who have been appointed into powerful positions by President Trump who now oppose him.

One of the many unique aspects of the 2020 Presidential Election is the number of members of the Republican Party who are opposing Donald Trump’s reelection for a second term. The most prominent organization of Republicans who hold this position is the Lincoln Project, a political action committee that was founded by George Conway, the husband of President Trump’s former counselor, Kellyanne Conway. In addition to this group, numerous other Republicans have either endorsed Joe Biden or, like Mitt Romney and George W. Bush, publicly declared that they will not support Trump. There are two main reasons for this.

Trump is not a true Republican, and is hurting the conservative cause.

Before the 2016 election, the Republican Party was a party that supported free trade, limited (or small) government, states’ rights, and social conservatism. While Donald Trump has aggressively courted social conservatives with judicial appointments and campaign promises, the tariff war he started has hurt the United States and helped China. After it was clear that US agriculture was going to be badly wounded, he spent taxpayer dollars to preserve production, a classically socialist approach. 

Trump’s policies had grown the federal deficit, even before COVID-19, by cutting taxes while dramatically increasing government spending. And he’s shown a lack of respect for states’ rights and constitutional limits by implying that he can override state governors’ decisions on reopening, which he rapidly had to retract after bipartisan uproar. He’s also made statements that violate the U.S. Constitution, such as saying he should get a third presidential term.

Republicans like former Senator Jeff Flake and former Ohio Governor John Kasich believe that loyalty to Trump is bad for conservatism, as Trump has shown little regard for conservative principles. They believe that Trump’s approach to governing is going to weaken the United States and that the Republicans will ultimately shoulder the blame and limit their ability to influence the future direction of the country. The goal for these Republicans is not to make the United States more liberal, but instead to reset the country to a less polarized place, where politicians can compromise and debate different positions on how to address the nation’s problems. 

Crucially, these Republicans know Joe Biden personally, and while they may not agree with all of his politics, former Republican Congressman Charlie Dent sums up their assessment of Biden as such:

“Biden is fundamentally a decent and honorable man who respects the American tradition, supports the rule of law, embraces America’s friends and allies, and will restore some semblance of normalcy to the functioning of government.”

Trump is a dangerous leader, and as president he can do real harm to the United States.

This group of Republicans is primarily composed of former national security and military leaders, as well as senior members of the Trump administration who have observed firsthand how his belief in his own instincts over advice from experts can weaken the United States. 

Examples of this include deliberately understating the threat of white supremacist violence in the United States and aligning himself with dictators like Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un. As members of the national security apparatus that has historically supported a sitting president in matters of national security, they are also alarmed at the rate at which he will replace someone who disagrees with him. They fear that the US is at risk of losing power and influence in the world if it continues to act as it has under Trump.

This group of over 70 Republican national security officials includes former CIA head General Michael Hayden, former FBI and CIA chief William Webster, former National Intelligence director Michael Leiter, former Air Force secretary Mike Donley, and Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security Elizabeth Neumann.

Conclusion: There are many Republicans who support Joe Biden in this upcoming election, and while each one has a personal story to tell, the consensus from all of them is that Trump should not get a second term as president, because it would be bad for the entire United States, regardless of party.