A letter in the Financial Times Tuesday attracted attention online because it was written by a liberal couple who said they were considering voting for Donald Trump, even though they are "not the sans-culottes you see as the prototypical Trump voter."
In the letter, Jon and Elsa Sands, who describe themselves as socially liberal affluent Americans, believe Trump is the only option even as they compare voting for him to voting for a "tameable Hitler in 1933."
The letter reads:
Sir, My wife and I are affluent Americans with postgraduate degrees. We are socially liberal and fiscally mildly conservative. We are not the sans-culottes you see as the prototypical Trump voter. We are well aware of his vulgarity and nous deficiency yet we contemplate voting for him. Why?
Electing the standard-bearer of the Democratic Party seems purposeless. The neanderthal Republicans barely respected the legitimacy of Bill Clinton's or Barack Obama's election, let alone that of Hillary who would arrive tainted with scandal and the email lapses hanging over her head. We would get four years of gridlock and "hearings". The Republican tribunes, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, are backward, foolish and inexperienced. John Kasich, a moderate with extensive governmental experience and a willingness to compromise, is an also-ran. That leaves The Donald, really a moderate in wolf's garb, who would owe nothing to either party and might strike deals, for instance on tax reform.
Yes, we could be like the good citizens who voted for a "tameable" Hitler in 1933 to get things back on track. But the alternatives look worse.
Elsa Sands, 65, told BuzzFeed News that she and her Harvard-educated husband, Jon, are not the "nutcases" that the media makes out Trump voters to be.
Sands, who teaches English to refugees and described herself as a big supporter of refugee resettlement, said that even though Trump is a "big jerk, brash, over the top and egomaniacal," he was also a "big-mouth pragmatist who can get things done." She also said that he was a moderate who "doesn't go around hating people" and called him a "brilliant communicator."
"He tends to be flamboyant and, like New Yorkers, talks in hyperbole," Sands said. "He exaggerated it to get attention, because a moderate cannot run in the Republican Party." Sands believes that the media has "distorted" Trump's statements and are making him out to be someone they want him to be.
"He's not one of them," Sands said. "He's a Rockefeller Republican. There aren't any more of those around."
The couple believes that the Republicans consider Democratic presidents to be illegitimate and will not make deals or compromise with them. "They set out to destroy Obama," Sands said. "What are they going to do to Hillary, who carries all this baggage with her?"
Sands, who voted for Obama in 2008, and who has worked for liberal causes, said it was Trump who supported Planned Parenthood after the Republicans "trashed it."
She said that the Republican Party leadership dislike Trump because they believe he will destroy the party. "That might be a reason to vote for him," she said.
She said that with a "corrupt Hillary, silly little Rubio, and mean-spirited Ted Cruz," they have "nowhere else to go" besides Trump, even though she admitted she was nervous about considering voting for him.
"It's a very scary hope, if we vote for him, that he might be pragmatic and listen to advisers," Sands said. "It's a sorry state we've come to that we have Trump running out there and we're considering voting for him."
Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Tasneem Nashrulla at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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