Jeff Daniels says if Trump is re-elected it will be the 'end of democracy'
While on MSNBC to discuss playing literary hero Atticus Finch on Broadway in To Kill a Mockingbird, the topics of politics and race were quickly brought up due to the nature of the play, which Aaron Sorkin adapted from Harper Lee’s famous book. Daniels ripped Trump, his supporters and members of the GOP.
"I live in Michigan,” Daniels said. “After the  election, I was surprised at some of the people. I said, 'Could you believe this election?' And they go, 'Yeah, isn't it great?'... You didn't see it coming."
The Dumb and Dumber and The Newsroom star called on people in the Midwest “who don’t know anything about this, who don’t care about this, who don’t have time for this” to vote out Trump.
“Make a decision now. You have to decide if, like Atticus, you believe that there is still compassion, decency, civility, respect for others. ‘Do unto others,’ remember that? All that stuff you guys believe in and you still voted ... for Trump. Where are you now? Your kids are looking up at you — and he lies,” Daniels said of the president. “I think there are a lot of people in the Midwest ... that it might be enough for them [to vote him out]. We’re going to find out. If the big gamble is to go all the way to November 2020 ... and lose, it's the end of democracy."
Daniels pointed to a line in the play — “A mob’s a place where people go to take a break from their conscience” — and drew a parallel to Trump supporters.
“That’s what I see when I look at Trump’s rallies,” he said, “the lies spewing at these people, and people going: ‘I gotta believe in something and he said he’d bring my manufacturing job back and she didn’t and I’m all in.’ But at the end of the day, aside from, ‘Yeah, I don’t wanna pay taxes,’ it’s race. It’s race.’”
He continued, “The Republican Party, or a wing of it, is going,“‘This is our last chance to save the party — and if we don’t, it’s the end of the Republican Party.’ And the only way they can do that was to tap the race button and say, ‘Go ahead, it’s OK.’ And [Trump] did. And they did. That was the only card they had left to play, and they played it. And they aren’t going to go quietly.”
Daniels also slammed Trump enablers in the GOP — the “cowardice of the 15 or so Republicans in the Senate who are still quiet.” Noting he wasn’t talking about Bob Corker, Jeff Flake and the ones who “went out the back door. That’s not courage — that’s making sure you have a job somewhere after politics.”
Daniels said, “Courage is standing up and being a true patriot like we used to have in way back in 1776. Who are the heroes going to be? ... To look at Congress with all their politics ... You’re all worthless to me right now. I need people to stand up and be heroic. Who are you? Because democracy is at stake.”
So of the Democratic candidates, who does Daniels think have the best chance at beating Trump?
“I’m watching intelligence,” he replied. “Politics are a 180 degree swing. That’s part of the eight years of Obama — ‘Let’s go for the whitest guy we can.’” So “to go away from the toddler-in-chief, let’s go to Kamala Harris, let's go to somebody with a brain in their head, let's go with someone with some intelligence who doesn’t tweet all day, Mayor Pete [Buttigieg]. I’m looking at intelligence. I love Joe Biden. Is he the guy that can stand up and punch him in the face and win? That’s for you guys to decide.”