It Is Not a Binary Choice

Deroy Murdock has an article in National Review which adopts the Trump line: if you vote for anyone but Trump, you are voting for Hillary Clinton.  There is a certain shred of truth in that statement considering we have a de facto two-party system.  It is also true that third party candidates largely play the role of spoiler in certain states and nationally, provided they garner enough votes, to make the ultimate presidential winner a plurality winner with less than 50% of the popular vote nationally.  Face it: Jill Stein, Gary Johnson and Evan McMullin are not going to be your next President nor will they get enough votes anywhere near to throw the election into the House, or any other such wishful thinking scenario.

It is sad that, given the two-party system, we have come up with the two least-liked candidates running against one another for the first time in a long time.  I will have to bone up on my presidential election history to see if we ever had a scenario like this before.  One is a probably a criminal and the other is a con man waging a reality television campaign.

The Trump supporter notes that Trump is rewriting the rules of campaigning.  If so, that is scary because the new rules under which he operates indicate a Republican loss in November and the potential to lose the Senate.  The National Review article states that every time Trump puts forth a policy proposal, it is rejected by the NeverTrump crowd.  There is a very good reason for the rejection: Trump is not moored to any ideology or principle.  To the extent that one exists, it is all about Donald Trump.

But, let’s look at the litany of problems with Donald Trump while cognizant of the fact that Hillary Clinton is no better in the end:

  1. His unfavorable rating is near 60% which puts him in the company of Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale;
  2. He is losing in every swing state and dangerously close to losing in red states;
  3. He is waging a strange campaign which looks suspiciously like handing the Presidency to Clinton anyway;
  4. He is not as rich or as successful as he pretends to be.  If so, release your tax returns;
  5. He is the most gaffe-prone candidate making Todd Akin look like a genius;
  6. Regarding Bush and the Iraq War, he obviously consults Code Pink and Michael Moore for advice;
  7. He’s a conspiracy theorist and likely a subscriber to Alex Jones podcasts;
  8. He is either cozy with or obtuse when it comes to white supremacists;
  9. He is thin-skinned and vengeful;
  10. He is a drama queen and thrives in that environment;
  11. He’s a fraud (Trump University);
  12. Three years ago he was for amnesty for illegal immigrants;
  13. He’s a hypocrite;
  14. He supports Planned Parenthood;
  15. His list of proposed Supreme Court Justices was lip service because he knows that none of them would ever be confirmed and he will not expend any political capital supporting them;
  16. On health care and trade, Trump is the same as organized labor and Bernie Sanders; i.e., socialist;
  17. He LOVES eminent domain;
  18. He is not supportive of Israel and to him it is just a big real estate deal;
  19. He is not conservative and has no idea what conservatism is;
  20. He has donated to Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton and Harry Reid in the past and explains it away as the cost of doing business;
  21. He is a moron when it comes to actual policy which has been all over the place on a variety of issues;
  22. He has managed to mock the handicapped and prisoners of war;
  23. He is a philanderer and even bragged about sleeping with married women;
  24. That creepy comment about dating his daughter should disqualify him right there;
  25. He’s a phony Christian and shame on any evangelical Christian who supports him;
  26. Putin loves him and he loves Putin;
  27. He’s a misogynist who believes he’ll be “great for women” because he has an eye for hot models, and;
  28. Although presidential candidates have some semblance of narcissism, Trump takes it to pathological levels.

One supposes that a similar list could be derived for Hillary Clinton.  As stated earlier, she is just as bad and evil and may very well have blood on her hands in Libya, the greater Middle East and even Honduras.  But here is a big difference: Clinton knows full well that her $2 trillion in proposed new spending is not going anywhere.  Trump honestly believes he will build a wall on the border and have Mexico pay for it, that he can “deal” with Putin, that he will unilaterally shred existing trade agreements and scuttle new ones, etc.  That is a sure sign of a political dolt.  Hillary Clinton is many things and most of those things are bad, but there is one thing she is not- a politically obtuse moron.

While Trump suffers from yet another bout of foot-in-mouth disease, what did Clinton do?  She appeared in Utah and dispatched her running mate to Texas.  She has pulled advertisements from Colorado and Virginia already.  Despite childish attempted goading from Trump, she has stayed on message.  Trump certainly did broaden the electoral map…for Hillary Clinton and the Democrats.

When people cast a vote, they are doing so for somebody, not against someone.  Trump is saying: “Vote for me because I’m less corrupt than Hillary Clinton.”  What kind of choice is that?  There are always other choices- write in votes (Donald Duck comes to mind), third parties, just voting down-ticket races, or simply staying home.

Is not voting for Trump a vote for Hillary?  What difference does it make?  He is going to lose anyway.  But at least by not voting for Trump, one can exit the voting booth with a healthy sense of self-respect.  If sacrificing the Presidency saves conservatism and the Republican Party (not necessarily synonymous), then throwing oneself on the electoral sword is a noble act.  And I don’t need a Trumpkin lecturing me about politics.

Never Trump + Never Hillary = self-respect.