Jeff Daniels says if Trump is re-elected it will be the 'end of democracy'

Jeff Daniels predicts that if “toddler-in-chief” Donald Trump is re-elected in 2020, 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 [2016] 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.’”

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Candidates who have announced 2020 presidential bids
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Candidates who have announced 2020 presidential bids

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts)

(Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images) 

Julian Castro, former Mayor of San Antonio and a former secretary of Housing and Urban Development

(REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California)

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

John Delaney, former Maryland congressman

(AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York)

(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Richard Ojeda, former West Virginia senator and military veteran

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Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii)

(AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

Andrew Yang, founder of Venture for America

(Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Pete Buttigeig, Mayor of South Bend, Indiana

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Howard Schultz, Former Starbucks CEO

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont)

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Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld (R)

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Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey)

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Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (D)

(Photo by Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota)

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

LONDONDERRY, NH - APRIL 19: Democratic Presidential candidate, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg attends a campaign stop at Stonyfield Farms on April 19, 2019 in Londonderry, New Hampshire. Recent polls are showing Buttigieg is gaining ground with Democrats in the presidential nominating states of Iowa and New Hampshire. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
SOMERSWORTH, NH - APRIL 19: Democratic Presidential Beto O'Rourke speaks during a campaign stop at a cafe on April 19, 2019 in Somersworth, New Hampshire. The 2020 Democratic Presidential hopeful met supporters and answered various questions. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 15: Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., arrives for the House Democrats' caucus meeting in the Capitol on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
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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.”

14 PHOTOS
Jeff Daniels out and about
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Jeff Daniels out and about
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 21: Jeff Daniels visits the SiriusXM Studios on May 21, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 841 -- Pictured: (l-r) Actor Jeff Daniels during an interview with host Seth Meyers on May 20, 2019 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 14: Actor Actor Jeff Daniels attends the 2019 New Dramatists Luncheon at The New York Marriott Marquis on May 14, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 1068 -- Pictured: (l-r) Actor Jeff Daniels during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on May 14, 2019 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 05: Jeff Daniels presents an award onstage at the 34th Annual Lucille Lortel Awards on May 05, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for The Lucille Lortel Foundation)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 01: Jeff Daniels attends The 73rd Annual Tony Awards Meet The Nominees Press Day at Sofitel New York on May 01, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 24: Alicia Keys and castmembers, including Jeff Daniels, Fred Weller, Gbenga Akinnagbe, LaTanya Richardson, Gideon Glick and Celia Keenan-Bolger, pose backstage at "To Kill a Mockingbird" at the Shubert Theatre on April 24, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jenny Anderson/Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 1017 -- Pictured: (l-r) Actor Jeff Daniels during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on February 18, 2019 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 09: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) (L-R) LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Whoopi Goldberg and Jeff Daniels pose backstage at the play "To Kill a Mockingbird" on Broadway at The Shubert Theatre on January 9, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 19: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Shona Tucker, Phyllis Somerville, Jeff Daniels, Frederick Weller, Dakin Matthews, Celia Keenan Bolger and 47th Vice President of the United States Joe Biden chat backstage at the hit play based on the classic Harper Lee novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" on Broadway at The Shubert Theatre on December 19, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 19: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) 47th Vice President of the United States Joe Biden and Jeff Daniels as "Atticus Finch" pose backstage at the hit play based on the classic Harper Lee novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" on Broadway at The Shubert Theatre on December 19, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 13: Jeff Daniels (C) attends the after-party for the opening night of "To Kill a Mockingbird" at the Harvard Club on December 13, 2018 in New York, New York. (Photo by Rebecca Smeyne/Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Jeff Daniels on Monday, November 26, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 13: Jeff Daniels takes a bow during curtain call after the opening night performance of "To Kill A Mocking Bird" at the Shubert Theatre on December 13, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for "To Kill A Mockingbird")
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