at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009. (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen)
“Democracy is the principle that the common man knows what he wants and deserves to get it — Good and hard.” -H.L. Mencken
Don’t believe the hysterics on Twitter. I predict that fully 70% of the soap-boxers re-tweeting #NeverTrump like they’re changing the world are going to come around. They have to: they care too much. They’ve made the calculation, as many of us have in the past, that there’s a distinction between evils, between half (or a third, or a sixth) of what you want and none. They’ll raise a terrible fuss, and then nobly hoist their cross of voting against Hillary (I just don’t see Bernie stopping her. Sorry).
How many times did I grumble about Romney, the “milquetoast moderate from Massachusetts” in Erick Erickson’s splendid phrase, only to not only vote for him, but be surprised that he lost? It’s embarrassing to recall, and I have no intention of reliving it. So no matter what, my friends, no matter how close the election is, I will not throw my vote away on a sideshow attraction. I will not vote for Trump.
My reasons are simple: I don’t know what Trump actually is. I don’t know if he’s a centrist populist or a preening gasbag who’s going to gild the White House. I don’t know if he’s serious about anything he says, or even if he knows how to do any of the things he says. He could be decent, or he could be dreadful. I’m not voting to find out.
So that means a perhaps-quixotic vote for Cruz when my primary comes up, and a definitely-quixotic vote for the Libertarian candidate (Gary Johnson, probably) in the general. If that puts me in the position of The Naderites of 2000, so be it. But if you vote for Trump, and he loses, don’t come whining to me about it. I will accept no responsibility for electing Hillary. Blame for that belongs solely to the people who vote for Hillary.
And if you think voting for Hillary is a valid act, your opinion of Trump is meaningless to me. Because Hillary Clinton, and her husband, are vile, as repellent and thuggish to me as Trump could ever be to you.
My antipathy to the Clintons is real and ancient. I must have been the only 20-year-old in America who would have rather endured pathetic old Bob Dole (Bob Dole! Bob Dole. Bob Dole…) than pretend that Bill Clinton didn’t make me want to bleach my ears out every time he spoke. As I once wrote:
The man was a liar unto his very soul, a gutless hillbilly gladhandler without principle or piety, a perennial candidate going through the motions of being President of the United States with his face crazy-glued to the camera lens and his master organ up Lady Liberty’s arse.
His wife is as bad or worse, a woman bloated in entitlement, who treats Secret Servicemen with the high-handedness of a Haitian slave-owner, who shuffles through her dowry of a career from failure to failure leaving a trail of offal and shadiness so long and rank it could fertilize the Gobi Desert. She was the chief-enabler of her husband’s frat-boy escapades, the great projector of outrage against those who found Bill’s actions outrageous. And the same cynical voices who announced that true feminists should volunteer to service Bill in 1998 are now the ones caterwauling about “BernieBros” and reaching for their smelling salts every time Trump’s goonish bluntness steals headlines. Or as I wrote, in the parenthesis to the above:
(and all you feminists out there: the fact that you stood mum while he sidestepped that very same law you fell over yourselves applauding in ’94, the fact that you threw every nasty caveman stereotype you claim to abhor at Jones and Lewinsky, that you lined up to protect this Lothario, tells me everything I need to know about you. Like your spiritual mother de Beauvoir, you don’t care what the Power does to others as long as you have a room of your own)
The Clintons were scum, are scum, and will always be scum. They are the Bonnie & Clyde of American politics, self-absorbed and amoral, celebrities to a culture that self-consciously values style over substance. To vote for them is to suspend all your fine-sounding principles about who is oppressor and who is oppressed. To vote for them is to allow him back into the White House, where he will have nothing to do all day (you don’t really think he’s learned his lesson, or that his misadventures won’t be protected, do you?) A vote for them is the recognition that you’re willing to overlook any manner of corruption in the name of Keeping Up the Side.
And I get it. I’ve been there. We all compromise to engage in politics. But spare me the wide-eyed horror at Trump. He is nothing but the GOP mirroring what the Democrats have been getting away with for decades. Which is itself repellent, and which I have no plan to support.
But if you believed in 1996 that “A Bridge to the 21st Century” actually meant something, or if you swooned over “Hope and Change” in 2008, you’ve no right to mock “Make America Great Again.” Victor David Hanson covers this argument very nicely in an article that everyone should read, “Time to Calm Down About Trump“. For every piece of racism, sexism, and general loutishness found in Trump, Hanson can find an equally egregious display from one of the Heroes of Progressivism, which was excused or ignored by They Who Set The Narrative.
You didn’t care about Bill Clinton’s rapes, assaults, and sexual harassments, you didn’t care about Obama’s authoritarian contempt for the Constitution, and you stick your fingers in your ears and hum “LA LA LA LA MANSPLAINING LA LA LA” to avoid thinking about how many violations of the Espionage Act Hillary is guilty of. Well, the chickens are home now, and they’re tired, and they want to roost in the place you made for them.
Do you ever get tired of it? Does it ever weary the soul to have to swallow every gargantuan sophistry in defense of these interlopers, lick your plate clean, and ask for seconds? Or has it been going on for so long that you’ve just gotten used to it? Is it really not so bad? What difference does it make? None of my business, I guess.
You don’t like Trump, don’t vote for him. I’ll be there with you. But don’t hyperventilate about him and expect me to take you seriously. I am no longer shocked by every swine that shuffles across the stage, honking and squealing and crawling through muck. One pig is as another.