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A Trump Compromise
No matter who wins in November, the next President of the United States will be a self-absorbed multi-millionaire who doesn’t see the Constitution as binding on his or her power, who doesn’t believe in the rule of law, and who is willing to use racial and class grievances to get elected. As such, I had been planning to leave the presidential line of my ballot blank, as I could not fathom voting for either of the two realistic candidates. I’ve felt like Claudius stammering, “B- b- but I want a republic!” as others debate which candidate will make the better emperor.
But — and you knew there was a “but” coming — I was honored to have my friend and fellow Ricochet member Sabrdance over for dinner on Wednesday. He’s a non-tenured professor at a state college in flyover country, specifically, in a state where the Democratic Party barely exists. Despite this, he and his colleagues are scared to teach fundamentals of Western Civilization like Augustine’s theory of natural law. If a student complains that a philosopher dead for 1,500 years is “triggering” by modern PC standards, then the professors will likely find themselves out of a job; from experience, they know that the university president cannot be relied on to defend academic integrity in the face of political correctness. Only the fact that their governor is a mini-Trump — willing to defy the orders of the enormous executive agencies that really run the country — prevents them from being overrun by even more ridiculous imperial dictats.
This isn’t isolated to academia, of course. Ask member Skipsul, as a business owner, how heavy the imperial burden is on his business. Ask member Bryan Stephens about trying to help the less fortunate with the imperial minions constantly in his way. Even in my own business of real estate appraising, the burden on the appraiser to comply with every crazy rule (such as answering any possible concern a computer program can muster) is driving good appraisers out of the business. In a country like this, stomping my foot and saying “But I want a republic!” is going to be just as effective as when Claudius did it.
So here’s the deal: If the race in my state is competitive (as defined by the candidates being within five percent of each other, as of the last poll before Election Day), I will do my part to ensure our next ruler is the emperor wearing the red ribbon instead of the empress wearing the blue one. In exchange, I ask two things:
- Please stop telling me that less-than-wholehearted support for Trump is tantamount to voting for Clinton. I know she’s terrible. I know she’s a chronic liar, corrupt to her core, who has wasted American lives for nothing and who ought to be in jail. That she remains not only at liberty, but within reach of such power is yet further proof that we no longer live in a country where all citizens are equal before the law. Conceded.
- Please stop telling me that Donald Trump is somehow a conservative. He belongs with me in the Republican party to the same extent Caitlyn Jenner belongs with me in the women’s restroom. Whether it’s a wall with Mexico that will violate water treaties, or a trade war that will violate trade treaties, or a ban on Muslims that violates the Equal Protection Clause, or his unsubstantiated attacks on the judiciary, or his praise of the Chinese massacres in Tienanmen Square, the man clearly has no sense of what the Constitution says, nor any respect for the rule of law. My possible vote for him has nothing to do with his (dubious) merits or (lack of) character. Rather it’s that, as a red-ribbon emperor, he will probably bring more red-ribbon cronies into the executive branch than the blue-ribbon empress will, and that I will likely find his dictats to be less distasteful than hers.
I am called by God to honor the emperor, and I will. If my vote is likely to make any difference, I will vote for the marginally better emperor. But if my vote won’t make any difference, please let me keep voting for either of these two off my conscience, and leave me to mourn the passing of the republic in peace.Published in General
Never has anything been said more accurately and put more perfectly.
Both brilliantly succinct.
Amy is totally right- regardless of the outcome of this election, our country has fundamentally changed. It’s terribly depressing.
Like so many people, I want someone in Washington like Donald Trump, someone who will take a machete to the regulations killing us all, but someone who isn’t quite as confused as Trump. Kelo was a bad deal all around, and Trump’s support for it is troubling. I trust Jeb Bush on this issue–Bush oversaw a great expansion of the built environment in Florida without allowing the private use of eminent domain.
So I’m not holding my breath that Trump will recognize bad bureaucracy when he sees it, and I’m afraid he will continue the trend toward bigger government in some areas. But at least he will pull in Republicans with him, and perhaps they will do some good. I think that’s all I can hope for.
Great post, Amy.
I may just be a young pup full of optimism but I’m currently reading Lee Edwards’ The Conservative Revolution …
Spot on, Amy.
… except …
(oh, c’mon … you knew that was coming, too.)
We don’t have an emperor. We don’t have a king; some of my ancestors helped decide that that wasn’t working out and stood to their weapons in order to make the decision stick. The office of the Presidency deserves honor only so long as the officeholder sticks to the Constitution, and not one second longer than that.
Well said. It is crap as far as they eye can see.
Maybe their is a pony somewhere.
Here is the compromise I’m willing to make:
This has already been tweeted by our favorite Coolidge biographer & it’s not on the Main Feed? Someone’s sleeping at the wheel!
Agreed. I also vote Main Feed.
Well said, Amy.
Can we get you to 10%? Polls can lie you know.
And main feed, pronto!
Who on Ricochet takes the position that a “Hold my nose and vote for Trump” position is unacceptable? AFAIK, only the #NeverTrumpers.
Who on Ricochet takes the position that Trump is a conservative?
As a nevertrump, people can delude themselves into thinking Trump is an acceptable choice. I’ll vote my conscience.
Apparent agreement on both points.
Amy, you are mistaking the malicious propaganda of the #NeverTrump crowd for reality.
It is they who are raising the strawman arguments that you mistake for real arguments by their opponents.
I will not ignore the myriad ways in which Trump is unfit for the office of the presidency.
Noting Trump’s policy statements as evidence against his judgment is not a straw man. Noting Trump’s retreat from those statements when he gets blowback as evidence against the narrative “he fights” is not a strawman. Noting his past unsavory behavior, both personal and business, as evidence for his character is not a strawman. Noting his propensity to treat less than kid glove treatment as evidence of conspiracies against him is not a strawman.
The man does not deserve to be elected president of the government created by the 1787 Constitution. The “good” news is that he’s actually running to be the elected dictator of our government that is run by the bureaucrats for the bureaucrats, and he’s the best we’re going to get this cycle.
The reality of Trump’s character is neither propaganda nor strawman. There is no good or right choice in this election. There is only the very minuscule possibility of a less horrible choice.
But that post appears to be attacking the #NeverTrumpers and not saying the hold my nose and vote Trump position is unacceptable.
The strawman is the assertion that Trump is a conservative or that people here say he is.
The strawman arguments are those I mentioned: that any noteworthy number of people here are demanding enthusiastic support for Trump (they are not); and that they are asserting Trump is a conservative (they are not).
Then why the hell would I vote for him?
Because he’s less leftist than Hillary. He may take a few conservative positions on his own and, with luck, hopefully can be persuaded to take a few more.
Why would we put ourselves in a position where “maybe the fall won’t kill us” is our best option?
Too late. We’re already there.
Because apparently that’s what we (meaning the people who voted in Republican primaries) wanted. We’re living out Judges 9:
In other words, the Dilbert Principle — the people who are useless end up being in charge because everyone else is too busy doing their job.
That was my thought. Might want a wider margin.
Well, as of right now, Clinton has a 7 point lead over Trump. In Kansas, a state which has only voted for four Democrat presidents in its history. (William Jennings Bryan, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson.) Things will undoubtedly change between now and then, but if Trump can’t even get within five points here, he has no chance.
Do you mean Amity Shlaes? Is she still on Ricochet?