Donald Trump is a boorish buffoon with dangerously fascist instincts and on Tuesday I will vote for him, sadly, but without a qualm.
Where there are hard moral choices, people of conscience may disagree — that’s what makes them hard. So here’s my reasoning.
Must I vote for either main candidate? I love my country in two essential ways. More nobly, I love it for the republican ideals it embodies and represents: personal liberty, limited government, and equality before the law. As protected by our Constitution, those ideals have changed the world for the better, for everyone everywhere, but especially for minorities and women. (Say Thank you, minorities and women — and don’t forget to stand up when they play the National Anthem.) When the U.S. no longer represents these ideals, I will cease to love her in this noble sense, but I will continue to love her in another, more basic way, the way a man may love his wayward mother. This country made me, created me, shaped me. In order for me to act against the love I feel in response — in order for me not to answer her call to duty — the country would not just have to abandon its ideals, it would have to actively seek to destroy them, the way Germany did in the last century. For all that our institutions have decayed due to leftism and stupidity (but I repeat myself), that hasn’t happened.
So… in a moment of anger and foolishness, my country, which I love, has called upon me to make a choice between two truly dreadful human beings. In principle, and to some degree in truth, for a conservative not to choose is to give aid to the greater leftist, Hillary Clinton. In order to do that, I would have to believe that Trump was just as dangerous to the American polity. Please don’t send me high-minded quotations about the lesser of two evils. Neither of these people is evil, no, nor Barack Obama either. Corrupt, despicable, incompetent, selfish, yes. But only an American spoiled by nearly 250 years of relatively good government could confuse any of these clowns with the likes of Hitler or Stalin or Jeffrey Dahmer, evil indeed.
These people are bad but one of them is going to be president, and if one is better than the other, it’s my patriotic duty to try to figure out which one that is and vote for him or her.
Trump is clearly better. This is an election in which either candidate can sling mud endlessly without ever straying from the truth. I’ve already said what I think of Trump. Hillary Clinton is a corrupt, lying, cheating, anti-constitutional bully and ideologue with plans to destroy both our First and Second Amendments. Those who claim her corruption does not outdo Watergate are not thinking clearly. To see it plain, you have to combine her misdeeds with the fact that Obama has already turned the federal government into precisely the kind of Democrat machine that brought us Son of Sam New York in the ’70s, and desolate Detroit today. Hillary is already part of that machine, and once she’s at the helm of it, she will add her own particular brand of money-grubbing malfeasance to the ideological malfeasance Obama has put in place. With our major news outlets run by see-no-evil Democrats, it’s a recipe for Boss Tweed America, maybe the worst abuse of the federal government we’ve ever known.
As for Trump, I can catastrophize hysterically with the best conservatives in the business. I can imagine a path from Trump’s election to a world on fire, same as I can draw pictures by connecting the stars in the sky. But the likeliest truth is, with the permanent bureaucracy in opposition to him, and a Congress more willing to stand up to him than they were willing to oppose the First Black President™, a Trump presidency will be a mediocre, politically middle-of-the-road affair. Sure, there’ll be moments of grotesque bad behavior that will lower the dignity of the office. But they’ll be nowhere near as damaging as a new Clinton-o-cracy. Trump’s a goon, but if he were as dirty as Clinton, a mobilized left wing press would probably have exposed it already. The fact that lifelong crime-buster Rudy Giuliani speaks for him makes me hope the Donald is only corrupt in the small, personal ways we’ve already seen, not in the big ways we might reasonably fear.
So in the name of lower taxes, less political correctness, the possibility of decent Supreme Court appointments, and better border enforcement: Trump for President. And try to do better next time, my beloved country.
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