I arrived late today for our family’s Mother’s Day celebration. As I walked in I realized that the other men in the family were discussing the “landslide” Trump was about to win in November. My sweet sister, who knows how I feel and wanted to keep peace on this family day, declared that she wanted politics “off-limits” for the day. Not immediately taking her advice a couple of them prodded me a bit (I think they assumed I was on board also). I declared “I won’t vote for either of them.” Of course, I got the usual responses: “People like you will put Hillary Clinton in. Do you want that?” Or “He can’t be any worse than what we’ve had for the last eight years.” The ladies remained quiet, except for one niece who made it known she had no use for Trump either (although sounded as though she might have to consider voting for him).
I have no idea whether these other family members supported Trump throughout the primary or whether they simply climbed on-board once it became a Trump vs. Hillary fight. I was out of town for the last several holidays, but as of Labor Day last year there seemed to be a lot of support for Cruz and Rubio, as well as one nephew who was upset that Walker had dropped out so soon. NONE of my family is liberal, for which I am thankful, so we never had to have the Obama arguments on holidays. The subject finally ended when I stated “It doesn’t matter whether I vote for him or not, he’s going to lose and lose big.” One person simply said “You really think so?” and that was the end of it.
But this entire experience bothers me because I fully understand the desperation people are feeling. I hear the arguments all the time, and I understand them. “We CAN’T have Hillary Clinton as president,” “How about the Supreme Court,” “If the court changes, what about gun rights, abortion restrictions, religious freedom, etc.?” We are now being told that there are only two people who can possibly be our next president: Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. And for people who have come to despite Hillary, Trump feels like their only “out,” even if they support him reluctantly. This is the conundrum we’re in, thanks to an RNC Chairman too timid to allow Trump to go 3rd party (as he should have), the 35% who listened to all of the talk radio silliness, to party leaders who should have said “Never Trump” months ago, and to an amoral narcissist who’s willing to do anything, say anything, insult anyone he has to in order to get his way.
There has to be a better choice. Whether it will happen or not I don’t know. Already far too many influential party leaders are reluctantly signing on with Trump, making any conservative alternative difficult at best. People such as Bill Kristol, Erick Erickson, and Jonah Goldberg seem like an unlikely alliance, but I’m willing to take anything they can come up with that provides a legitimate choice. I’ll take either moderately conservative (Romney) or strongly conservative (Sasse), because at this point we’re stuck with two who not only are not conservative but who lack any character whatsoever.