In a column for the Daily Beast, conservative Matt Lewis warned Republicans to not meddle in the selection of the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee because it could blow up in their faces.
Noting that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) appears to be the Democratic frontrunner, Lewis cautioned against Republicans voting for him in open primaries saying to could help a groundswell that might boost the Democratic socialist to the Oval Office.
"The favorite in New Hampshire after battling to an effective draw in Iowa, Bernie Sanders has a real shot at the Democratic nomination. And nobody seems happier about this than Trumpists, who aren’t just cheering him on and trying to amplify the idea the Democrats are cheating to stop him but are actively interfering with the other party’s process to help get him over the top. It’s not hard to see the Trumpists outsmarting themselves with this one," he wrote.
According to Lewis, "The theory seems to be that (a) if Bernie Sanders wins the nomination, the democratic socialist will be easy for Trump to defeat (and likely hurt Democrats down-ballot, possibly helping the GOP retake the House), and (b) if Bernie loses the nomination, it would be best for his supporters to feel so slighted that they will refuse to coalesce around the Democratic nominee (there is reason to believe this could work."
However, as he explains, the best-laid plans don't always turn out the way people often think they will.
"The problem is that there are often unintended consequences to selfishly promoting the candidate you think will be easy to defeat, later. If something goes wrong at the Senate level, this might not be catastrophic. But what happens when you help someone dangerous win his party’s nominee for president? " he asked. "Let’s not forget that Bill Clinton encouraged Trump to run—and that it’s entirely possible that Trump would not have run had Barack Obama not roasted him so viciously at the 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner."
"Democrats also engaged in dirty tricks, reportedly planting people to “instigate fights” at Trump rallies. It’s unclear to me whether the goal was to help or hurt Trump, but my sense always was that these clashes (especially the postponed March, 2016 rally in Chicago) helped inspire a law-and-order backlash among Republican voters," he continued, before concluding, "The point of this is to say that, by interfering in the Democratic primary, Trumpists are engaging in a very dangerous, high-stakes game."
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