From Lincoln Project Never-Trump Republicans

How to talk to decent Republicans about Trump

Help them cope with the death of democracy

Jeffrey Denny
5 min readFeb 28, 2024


Jeffrey Denny

As former President Donald Trump storms back to the White House like a Sturmabteilung, different Republicans feel and show their reaction to the death of democracy in different ways.

The MAGA base cheers because real Americans love minority mob rule, destruction of democratic norms, and autocrats like Trump who will punish their fellow Americans who Fox News and other sources of lies they believe inspire them to hate.

But what about the millions of decent Republicans who care about our democracy?

An article in, “When a Loved One Dies: How to Help Your Child,” can be easily adapted to help traditional Republicans cope with the death of our nation:

Use simple words to talk about Trump.

Be clear and direct. For example:

“I have some sad news to tell you. Trump is the opposite of everything you were taught from childhood and in church to believe in. You know, morality, ethics, grace, respect, unity, WWJD, and caring for the less fortunate including tired, poor huddled masses of immigrants, like your forebears, who fuel our economy and greatness. Not to mention the Constitution and rule of law and America’s global leadership as a shining light for democracy and humanity.”

Listen and comfort.

As they absorb the news, many decent Republicans may secretly plan to write in Nikki Haley.

Many of Haley’s wealthy campaign donors may be avoidant as they escape Trump’s reign of retaliation against them by seeking asylum in their Caribbean vacation compounds where they can also patriotically shelter their U.S. income from U.S. taxes.

Other decent Republicans may re-register as independents, preferring the despicable moderate middle of the road with yellow lines and dead armadillos — as the old Texas saying goes — over being complicit in destroying democracy.

Still other decent Republicans who care deeply about tax and regulation breaks and artificially sugaring the economy to boost the Dow short-term, never mind the certain subsequent inflation and Dow cratering for the next Democratic president to blame and fix, may not to react at all.

Truly decent Republicans may cry. That’s ok. Just be together for a few minutes. It’s ok if they see your sadness or tears. They might cry with you as they realize you’re not really a big government tax-and-spend soft-on-crime Socialist pedophile, as Trumpers and their belief-reinforcing media label every Democrat, but share your love for democracy.

Put feelings into words.

Ask decent Republicans what they’re thinking and feeling. Label some of your own feelings. This makes it easier for decent Republicans to share theirs.

Avoid saying things to decent Republicans that you would say to MAGAs like, “May God have mercy on your soul.” Or what you might say to apathetic, money-focused Republicans such as, “Wow — you should give a Ted Talk about the power of impactful rationalization.” Instead, say to decent Republicans, “I know you’re feeling very sad. I’m sad too. We both love America so much.”

Tell your decent Republican what to expect.

As Trump’s return means changes in their lives or routines, explain what will happen. This makes your decent Republican feel prepared.

For example, “Trump has promised to commit even more and worse impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors. This will test or maybe destroy America’s institutions that make us great. He’s a proven big fat liar, but you can trust him to do whatever he can to be like Vladimir Putin.”

Explain events that will happen.

Such as a constitutional crisis. Martial law. Americans turning against fellow Americans, spying and ratting out fellow citizens, whether out of misguided religious or political righteousness, or ugly spite, or to cowardly save their own hides.

Also look out for government-sponsored bigotry and GPS microchips implanted into anyone whose results from the officially mandated 23andMe tests aren’t purely Northern European so they poison American blood.

Give decent Republicans a role.

For instance, urge them to donate their billions in onshore and offshore tax breaks to defeating Trump.

Help decent Republicans remember democracy.

Encourage them to draw pictures or write down stories about what they’re losing if Trump comes back.

Don’t avoid talking about democracy dying. Sharing happy memories of former Republican presidents who now seem great even to liberals who once despised them helps heal grief.

Give comfort and reassure your decent Republican

Let your decent Republican know that it takes time to feel better after democracy dies.

Some may have trouble sleeping at night if they voted for Trump in 2016 or have fears and worries about Trump ’24. Let them know how, as history serves, things would get better under any Democratic president like they objectively did under Clinton, Obama and Biden.

Give them extra time and care. Support groups and therapy such as golf with buddies followed by boozing at the clubhouse can help decent Republicans take their mind off how they brought this on themselves.

Help your decent Republican feel better.

Provide the comfort they need after democracy dies under Trump, but don’t dwell on sad feelings. After a few minutes of talking and listening, shift to an activity or topic that helps them feel a little better.

For instance, say, “Remember how you convinced your billionaire hedge fund buddies to blacklist your woke kids on free ride at Harvard for being Hamas useful idiots? That was awesome.”

Give your decent Republican time to heal from the loss.

Healing doesn’t mean forgetting about the loss of democracy. It means remembering democracy with love. Loving memories stir good feelings that can support decent Republicans as they go on to enjoy life as best they can before the Trumpsreich revenges treasonous RINOs.

Get more help if needed.

Decent Republicans may need therapy to help them heal if the death of democracy is sudden, deeply stressful, or violent, which is not farfetched.

If they take up Pickleball, recognize it as a serious cry for help and involuntary commitment to the Psycho-Neurotic Institute for the Very Very Nervous to recover from high anxiety.

Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer.



Jeffrey Denny

A Pullet Surprise-winning writer who always appreciates free chicken.