For some, November 8th is like Christmas morning. For others, it’s more like April 15th — that day you knew WOULD come, however badly you wished it wouldn’t.
It’s crunch time. The dedicated superfan doesn’t even need to think too hard about it.’That’s my party… that’s my candidate… what’s to think about?’
Those super-fans were decided on the day their party declared its nominee. Others are having a tougher time.
They’re stuck between three choices: a flawed candidate from a traditional party… a Third party vote that will not make a difference in the final tally… or staying home.
But the latter two options are just as much a choice as the first one. It is a refusal to make a hard choice, and kicking the can down to people who are — possibly — less principled than yourself.
But these undecideds aren’t buying the pitch his surrogates are making. Why? Because ‘ignore any warning signs you see in this candidate because the other candidate is a bigger threat’ is NOT a line of reasoning that will satisfy the conscience.
Regular readers might remember I was pulling for Cruz in the Primaries, but I tried to be fair in what I said about the candidates. Because integrity MATTERS. Most of the usual arguments fail to satisfy conscience because they operate out of ignorance and fear. They rely on arguments from silence. Doubts remain.
Let’s try an approach that nobody else has been trying. Instead of motivating voters by fear of the other side, let’s face the problem head on. Let’s go ‘worst-case-scenario’ with their flaws, and see where that takes us… and let’s go big.
Starting with ‘the Donald’, what are the KNOWN flaws of Trump?
He’s Arrogant. Likes to be the center of attention. He’s been unfaithful to his spouse. Short tempered. Speaks ‘without a filter’. Loves accolades and praise. Needs to be seen for his accomplishments… to LITERALLY see his name writ large. In short, he is a man building monuments to himself.
Hillary, on the other hand has different liabilities. She is chronically dishonest. Secretive. Disregards the rules one must play by. Puts personal agenda, profit and loss ahead of national interests. Callous with regard to the loss of life. Does not accept responsibility for her decisions and their consequences. Works with a network of insiders to game the system. Is unaccountable, disregards the rule of law. Asked if she could ‘drone’ Assange.
People are tools to be discarded after use. Divide and conquer is an acceptable political strategy. Tremendously driven by both power and wealth using one to gain the other.
Let’s look at where Trump’s flaws could take us. Infidelity while in office is one possible risk. He could speak out in anger, and through poor choices of language, provoke an international incident.
On the other hand, he is someone who maximizes the rules to his own advantage (see taxes) but from WITHIN those rules. He is monument building — not to increase wealth, he has that already — but since his BIG EGO cannot permit him to be seen as a colossal failure and joke, he will be (selfishly) motivated to do what he can to actually IMPROVE the nation in some of the ways he has described, jobs, trade, cutting red tape, immigration reform.
And because he has a history of working within the rules, he can be reigned in if he goes astray. The balance of powers will work to ACTUALLY constrain him if he needs constraining. He will not launch a war unilaterally — like the current office holders have — if he continues with his present pattern.
Hillary, on the other hand, is corruptible. For sale. Willing to let people with money influence her choices, associations, and policy. She is unlikely to ‘push back’ against someone to whom she’s already sold out… so her personal (profit) interests are likely to come into conflict with national interests.
Furthermore, since reports have already said that there was nearly certain confidence that foreign nations already HAVE access the emails she has been hiding from the public, there is ALREADY an issue of some foreign powers having leverage over her. She can be coerced to comply to a foreign power or group’s demands or risk being exposed for whatever she didn’t want us to see.
Her avarice. Her thirst for power. Her love of ‘celebrity’ and disdain of common people. Her refusal to be held accountable. Her nasty habit of pitting groups against one another. Her willingness to work OUTSIDE the system — even outside the law — to achieve her goals.
You can WISH there were someone else on the ballot, another choice with a shot. But one of two people is about to be President. The Republican nominee, or the Democratic nominee.
Pulling that lever does not need to be a positive endorsement of your candidate on a moral level. It just means you think that candidate is the better candidate for this job.
You need to ask, which of these two, if they become President, will be less likely to unravel the institutions that have given America its distinctive greatness. Checks and balances. Free and fair democratic process. Accountability to the People. Rule of Law.
For all the OTHER failings… these are the ones that can prove fatal to the Republic, and possibly throw the nation itself into chaos.
For those who cannot judge these two by their virtues, let us at least be honest when judging them by their sins.
Caricature image courtesy of DonkeyHotey.