From #NeverTrump to #NeverClinton
Vote for the Supreme Court! Choosing not to vote for the “lesser of two evils” is a vote for the greater of those evils.
“In the midst of these pleasing ideas we should be unfaithful to ourselves if we should ever lose sight of the danger to our liberties if anything partial or extraneous should infect the purity of our free, fair, virtuous, and independent elections.” —John Adams (1797)
(Aggravation Alert: I have received a considerable number of objections from fellow Patriots this year complaining either that my analysis of Donald Trump was too hard or too soft. This column is directed at those who believe either one to be true — the #NeverClinton and #NeverTrump folks who plan to abstain or vote for a third-party candidate.)
On the opening night, Bernie Sanders, the candidate who was narrowly defeated by Clinton thanks to hacked DNC emails indicating they rigged the primary, offered this assessment of the last eight years: “Together, my friends, we have begun a political revolution to transform America, and that revolution — our revolution — continues.”
If that sounds familiar, it should. That “political revolution to transform America” would be the fulfillment of Obama’s 2008 campaign promise of “fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”
On the other hand, Republicans should be debating the re-election of Mitt Romney this year, but we aren’t. Here’s why.
Without debating Romney’s merits all over again, the reason that the contest this year is not between Romney/Ryan and Clinton/Kaine is because millions of “faith and values” voters chose to sit it out in 2012. Weeks before the 2012 election, I had a very intelligent young Christian woman ask a question far too typical of evangelicals: “Can you really vote for a Mormon?”
Of course, in addition to those evangelicals, there were also millions of principled conservatives who didn’t cast their ballots in 2012, protesting that Romney was a centrist, moderate, Northeastern elitist.
So how did that work out?
Four more years of Barack Obama’s colossal failures in both domestic and foreign policy.
Obama’s domestic policies have been defined by his litany of lies and legacy of scandals, most notably the failure of his so-called “economic recovery” plan; his long list of ObamaCare lies; his IRS Enemies List targeting conservatives; his “Fast and Furious” gun control ploy; the VA death panels cover-up; the immigration crisis on our southern border, and the long-overdue resignation of his corrupt attorney general, Eric Holder.
The Obama-Clinton foreign policy malfeasance is unparalleled in American history, including the Benghazi cover-up ahead of the 2012 election; the “Russian Spring” in Crimea; the hollow “Red Line” in the Syrian sand; the Middle East meltdown in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Jordan and Gaza; the disintegration of Iraq; the dramatic resurgence of al-Qa'ida; the rise of the Islamic State; and the re-emergence of Iran as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, which is now metastasizing into Western Europe and North America.
All that being the case, once again, millions of conservatives are reluctant to vote because the choices are the assurance of extending Obama’s disgraceful legacy for four more years under a Clinton regime or the prospect that Donald Trump will prove to be the “lesser of two evils” come January 2017.
For value and principle conservatives wrestling with whether to vote for Trump or not at all, political philosophers and moral theologians have written for generations about the “incommensurability in values,” or, in common parlance, choosing between the lesser of two evils.
Some of my conservative friends subscribe to the observation of 19th century British theologian Charles Spurgeon, who wrote, “Of two evils, choose neither.” But Spurgeon’s words, as related to evil actions, are taken out of context in reference to civic duty. Of such duties, Spurgeon said, “I would not, however, say … despise the privilege which you have as citizens.”
The question of voting for Trump is no quandary for me.
While I understand well the nature of presidential character, and believe both Clinton and Trump fall substantially short of that character, I also understand that the outcome of the November election will not only determine our president for at least the next four years, but also the composition of the Supreme Court for at least the next quarter-century. Think about that before you decide to stay home this year or to cast a “protest vote” for a third-party candidate.
On this point, I would state emphatically that those who choose to sit this election out or “choose neither” are making a choice. In fact, I would argue that handing this election to Hillary Clinton is far more evil than choosing the lesser of the two. If you can’t vote for Trump, then at least vote against Clinton. If you can’t vote for Trump, then at least vote for the Supreme Court. And make no mistake: A vote this year for a third-party candidate in any state where the Clinton v Trump contest is close constitutes a vote for Clinton and a third term for Obama. Period.
Conservative political analyst Dennis Prager wrote a letter “To My Conservative #NeverTrump Friends,” in which he makes the case for supporting Trump:
“The ‘conscience’ argument that one can sleep with a clear conscience by not voting for Trump [asserts] that your conscience is clear after making it possible for Clinton to win. … In the 2016 presidential race, I am not interested in moral purity. I am interested in defeating the left and its party, the Democrat Party. The notion … that we can live with another four years of a Democratic president is, forgive me, mind-boggling. To that end … multiple additional leftists on the Supreme Court, a Republican presidential victory in 2020 would mean nothing. … Left-wing judges pass so many left-wing laws that they render those who control Congress, and even the White House, almost irrelevant. I just don’t understand how anyone who understands the threat the left and the Democrats pose on America will refuse to vote for the only person who can stop them.”
(Notably, Prager argues that Trump’s convention speech was not “dark enough.”)
Last week, Donald Trump delivered his GOP convention acceptance speech, outlining in the broadest terms what his objectives would be if elected president.
This week, Hillary Clinton will conclude the DNC convention with a similar speech, promising mostly the antithesis of the Trump platform. And it is unlikely that any of her adoring media will highlight her extensive record of incompetence and lawlessness.
In advance of Clinton’s diatribe, we compiled a list of questions for consideration by those who are not yet committed to vote for Trump. Our editors have expanded that list to include the following questions:
Who will achieve more with Republicans in Congress?
Who will nominate judges for the federal bench and Supreme Court who will uphold Rule of Law?
Who is more likely to formulate and enforce stronger foreign policy in an effort to restore America’s standing in the world?
Who is more likely to seek to begin rebuilding America’s military might?
Who is more likely to implement policies to protect America and the West from catastrophic terrorist attacks?
Who is more likely to clearly identify the greatest ideological threat to the West as “Islamic extremism”?
Who is more likely to treat our nation’s military personnel and veterans with the dignity and respect they have earned?
Who is more likely to enforce immigration laws and protect American borders?
Who is more likely to support the Second Amendment?
Who is more likely to reduce taxes?
Who is more likely to balance a budget?
Who is more likely to address our ruinous national debt?
Who is more likely to be a better communicator of free market principles?
Who is more likely to reduce oppressive central government regulations?
Who is more likely to repeal ObamaCare and implement market solutions for health care?
Who is more likely to repeal the onerous Dodd-Frank regulations?
Who has more experience creating and protecting American jobs?
Who is more likely to promote Americanism rather than globalism?
Who is more likely to flex American muscle when dealing with foreign tyrants?
Who is more likely to aggressively pursue energy exploration?
Who is more likely to re-write trade agreements that undermine the U.S. economy?
Who is more likely to populate their administration with free enterprise advocates?
Who is more likely to advocate for retention of Republican majorities in the House and Senate?
Who is more likely to resist the influence of Wall Street?
Who is more likely to reject Obama’s unconstitutional executive overreach?
Who is more likely to denounce Black Lives Matter and other Democrat Party fronts seeking to disunite America?
I’m sure you can add to this list, and I’m equally sure that Trump will fare better across the board than Clinton.
In her convention remarks, Michelle Obama declared, “This election … is about who will have the power to shape our children for the next four or eight years of their lives.” Indeed it is, and well into the next generation. Will our children and their children fare better with leadership from Democrats on the Left or Republicans on the Right?
So to my fellow conservatives who don’t plan to vote in 2016, I ask the following: What will our nation look like in 2020? How about 2030?
I ask this question not only as a citizen and fellow Patriot, but also as one who, like many other Patriots, has family blood on the line in this election. As the father of a young Marine who is bound by oath to “Support and Defend” our Constitution, I am, like so many of you, deeply concerned about who will be our next commander in chief.
The last seven years have been very demoralizing for those of us who are in the trenches every day advocating for Liberty. But take heart. While Liberty is eternal, the contest to maintain its beacon of freedom is also eternal, and sitting this election out or voting for a third-party candidate in a closely contested state only makes that contest more difficult.
It is an uphill battle. The last time Republicans won a resounding majority of the popular vote in a presidential election was in 1988, when George H.W. Bush defeated Michael Dukakis by eight points, in large part due to his VP position on the ticket of the enormously popular Ronald Reagan, who won 49 states in his 1984 reelection bid. Of course “moderate Republican” Bush(41) lost to the younger more dynamic Bill Clinton. George W. Bush lost the popular vote to Al Gore in 2000, and narrowly won the popular vote against John Kerry in 2004 by two percent. The GOP has got to embrace a formula that goes beyond the electoral college and captures a majority of American votes.
Finally, the Demos are very divided. Let’s finish them off. Hillary Clinton is a deeply flawed status quo candidate in an election year for change. My advice to anyone who hasn’t yet committed to vote for Trump and the Supreme Court, or at least vote against Clinton: Embrace the suck. Just do it, and convince everyone you know to do the same.
And a footnote – I have frequently noted Trump’s propensity for being his own worst enemy, especially when it comes to making stupid remarks. Of his frequent transgressions, Trump says, “As you know, I am not a politician. I have worked in business, creating jobs and rebuilding neighborhoods my entire adult life. I’ve never wanted to learn the language of the insiders, and I’ve never been politically correct… Sometimes, in the heat of debate and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don’t choose the right words or you say the wrong thing. I have done that, and I regret it, particularly where it may have caused personal pain… But one thing I can promise you is this: I will always tell you the truth.”
Pro Deo et Constitutione — Libertas aut Mors
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
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