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Why this South Carolina Democrat is Giving Nikki Haley a Second Glance in the Primary

Credit: The Guardian

Let me start by saying I’ve never been on Team Nikki Haley before – and for pretty good reasons. She’s made some moves that didn’t sit well with me, like refusing to expand Medicaid and giving the nod to some questionable Confederate flag decisions. But here’s the twist: I’m a South Carolina Democrat, and this time around, Haley’s getting my vote in the primary.

Now, you might be wondering why I’d flip the script like this. Well, it’s simple – these aren’t your run-of-the-mill political times, and her primary opponent, former President Trump, is a whole different breed of politician. In an open primary like South Carolina’s, Haley’s getting my nod.

Remember that quote from Benjamin Franklin about keeping a republic? Yeah, it’s taking on a whole new meaning with Trump’s encore. In his first act, he had a few folks reining in his wildest ideas. But if he gets a sequel, there won’t be anyone standing between him and his impulses.

We’ve already heard Trump’s greatest hits for a second term: firing federal employees left and right, sending in the troops to crush protests, and creating a private army for some questionable missions. And let’s not forget his musings about sticking around for more than two terms. Scary stuff, right?

But it’s not just about Trump. It’s about what a re-elected, emboldened Trump could mean for our democracy. Would he gracefully step down after his encore? Would he try to install one of his kids in the Oval Office? The uncertainty alone is enough to give anyone a case of the political jitters.

And while some Democrats might be banking on Trump being an easy opponent for Biden, I’m not willing to roll the dice on our democracy. Sure, Biden might have a shot against Haley or Trump in November, but let’s not forget that both of them are leading in the polls right now. Anything could happen between now and then, and I’m not willing to gamble with our democracy.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – isn’t Haley just another branch on the same MAGA tree? Yeah, she might cozy up to Trump every now and then, but at least she’s got the guts to stand up to him when it counts. And in my book, that’s worth something.

Because at the end of the day, the real issue here isn’t about abortion or gun control or immigration – it’s about whether we’ll even have an election in 2028. Without democracy, all those other issues become moot points.

So yeah, Haley might not be perfect, but she’s committed to stepping down when her time is up. And in these uncertain times, that’s worth a lot.

Christopher Richardson is a former U.S. diplomat who served in Nigeria, Nicaragua, Pakistan, and Spain from 2011 until 2018.