Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
I am not here to condemn the NeverTrumpers. I share their instincts. Donald Trump is — I will not put a fine point on it — a swine. I followed him in the tabloids haphazardly in the mid-1990s when I was a visiting professor at Yale and took coffee each morning at a Lesbian-operated place in New Haven where the tabloids were always lying around. He was then and is now a man who revels in adultery. I was not surprised about his conversation with Billy Bush. I would even bet that he had similar conversations on the links with Hillary Clinton’s husband. He is seventy years old, and he is still engaged in the kind of banter typical of eighth-grade male hot dogs. Put simply, like Charming Billy, he never really grew up. But, unlike the Big Dawg, he has almost no impulse control. If you attack him for anything, you will set him off, and you will get schoolboy taunts in return. The man is desperately insecure.
He is also no conservative. He has no understanding of the road that we are on fiscally. As a businessman, he borrowed and borrowed and borrowed, and his lawyers arranged things so that, when his enterprises went bankrupt, someone else was left holding the bag. If he becomes President, that someone else is apt to be you and I.
He has no knowledge of foreign affairs, no sense of the fragility of the international order. He has instincts, not ideas. He is understandably annoyed that our allies contribute little to the common defense. But he does not appreciate the degree to which our well-being in the long run is tied up with our alliances. In office, if unrestrained, he could do great damage. He could take us back to the isolationism of the 1920s and the 1930s. Plenty of people on both the left and the right already long for that. The generation that now commands the stage has no memory of World War II and its origins, much less the Cold War.
But, I would suggest to the NeverTrumpers, you should hold your nose and vote for the slimeball anyway. I offer you two reasons: Hillary Clinton & the Democratic Party.
The second may be the more important. For, let’s face it. The lady is not well. Her doctors are lying to us. And she is not apt to last more than eighteen months — which means that, if she is elected, we are apt to have Tim Kaine, an admirer of liberation theology, for our president.
More to the point, however, whether she lives on and on or not, hers will be Barack Obama’s third term. Obamacare will be fully institutionalized and any reforms that are made will put us further on the slippery slope to a single-payer system. Think about it: you can have medical care as good as that which the federal government provides to veterans. To be sure, Trump has blathered nonsense about this at one time or another. But he is running for President today as an opponent of Obamacare.
That is not, however, the most important matter at stake. The real issue is whether in the future we will have open discussion of political issues and free elections. Think about what we have now — a federal bureaucracy that is fiercely partisan. An IRS that tries to regulate speech by denying on a partisan basis tax-exempt status to conservative organizations. A Department of State that hides the fact that its head is not observing the rules to which everyone else is held concerning security of communications and that colludes with a Presidential campaign to prevent the release of embarrassing information. A Department of Justice that ought to be renamed as the Department of Injustice, which does its level best to suppress investigations that might embarrass the likely nominee of the Democratic Party. An assistant attorney general that gives a “heads up” to that lady’s campaign. An Attorney General who meets on the sly with her husband shortly before the decision is made whether she is to be indicted. A federal department that promotes racial strife and hostility to the police in the interests of solidifying for the Democrats the African-American vote.
Think about what else we have now — a press corps that colludes with a campaign, allowing figures in the Clinton campaign to edit what they publish. Television reporters who send the questions apt to be asked at the presidential debates to one campaign. A media that is totally in the tank for one party, downplaying or suppressing news that might make trouble for that party, inventing false stories about the candidates nominated by the other party, managing the news, manipulating the public, promoting in the party not favored the nomination of a clown, protecting the utterly corrupt nominee of the other party from scrutiny.
Let’s add to this the fact that the Democratic Party is intent on opening our borders and on signing up illegal aliens to vote. If you do not believe me, read what Wikileaks has revealed about the intentions of Tony Podesta. Barack Obama promised to “fundamentally change America.” He called his administration “The New Foundation.” Well, all that you have to do to achieve this is to alter the population.
To this, I can add something else. Freedom of speech is under attack. Forty-four Senators, all of them Democrats, voted not long ago for an amendment to the Constitution that would hem in the First Amendment. Ostensibly aimed at corporate speech, this would open the doors to the regulation of all speech. The Democratic members of the Federal Election Commission have pressed for regulating the internet — for treating blogposts as political contributions and restricting them. Members of the Civil Rights Commission have argued that freedom of speech and religious freedom must give way to social justice. There is an almost universal move on our college campuses to shut down dissent — among students, who must be afforded “safe spaces,” and, of course, in the classroom as well. There, academic freedom is a dead letter; and, in practice, despite the courts, in our public universities, the First Amendment does not apply.
We entered on a slippery slope some time ago when the legislatures passed and courts accepted laws against so-called “hate crimes” — that punished not only the deed but added further penalties for the thought. Now we are told that “hate speech” cannot be tolerated — which sounds fine until one realizes that what they have in mind rules out any discussion of subjects such as the propriety of same-sex marriage, sluttishness, and abortion; of the damage done African-American communities by irresponsible behavior on the part of fathers; and of the manner in which Islam, insofar as it is a religion of holy law, may be incompatible with liberal democracy. If you do not think that a discussion of these matters is off limits, you are, as the Democratic nominee put it not long ago, “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic.” You are “deplorable and irredeemable.” You are, as she said this week, “negative, dark, and divisive with a dangerous vision.” It is a short distance from demonization to suppression. And, let’s face it, the suppression has begun — in our newspapers, on television, on our campuses, on Facebook, on Reddit, in Google searches.
One more point. The courts are now partisan. Thanks to Barack Obama’s appointees, in many parts of the country, the circuit courts have ruled out expecting people to present picture IDs when they vote. Elsewhere — for example, in Michigan — the circuit courts have ruled out eliminating straight-line party voting. All of this is aimed at partisan advantage — at making voter fraud easy and at encouraging straight-line voting on the part of those not literate in English. Who knows what the courts will do if the Democrats can get a commanding majority on the Supreme Court? We have already had all sorts of madness shoved down our throats by those who legislate from the bench. If you think that it has gone about as far as it goes, you do not know today’s Democratic Party. I doubt very much whether the Democrats will really try to shove through a constitutional amendment in effect revoking the protections extended to speech and religion in the First Amendment. That would be too controversial. They will do it, as they have done many other things, through the courts. Can we tolerate “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic” speech — speech that is “deplorable and irredeemable,” that is “negative, dark, and divisive with a dangerous vision?” Surely, surely not. And this would be easy. If we can punish the “hate” in “hate crimes,” why not punish it or outlaw it in speech? All that you have to do is to “reinterpret” the First Amendment.
We live, moreover, in a world of rampant prosecutorial indiscretion — where a Clinton, guilty of something that would have put anyone else in jail, gets off without an indictment and a Bob McDonnell, who has done nothing illegal, is prosecuted to the hilt. We live in a world in which colleges and universities are pressed to use kangaroo-court procedures in adjudicating the love-life of randy undergraduates and in which only the man can be held responsible for the tomfoolery that both are engaged in.
Need I go on? If Trump is elected President, this is apt to end. The man has been burned. This campaign has been an education for him. If Hillary is elected President, this will not only go on. It will deepen. That is a certainty.
As for Hillary herself, what should I say. She worked for the investigation that nailed Richard Nixon, and she was fired for lying. She put her cronies from Arkansas in charge of the White House Travel Office, driving out nonpartisan folks who had been serving everyone well for thirty years, and to cover her indecent behavior, she sicced the FBI on these hapless folks. At her behest, the head of the office was tried for malfeasance and, of course, ruined financially — though he was found not guilty. Think about what she did: she destroyed the lives of ordinary, innocent folk for her own convenience.
I will not go on about what she did to the women foolish enough to fall prey to the allure of her husband — though that, too, says much about her willingness to damage others for her own convenience.
She is also inept. In her husband’s administration, she pushed single-payer and nearly brought Charming Billy down. In the Obama administration, she pushed an intervention in Libya that soon turned quite sour. And when the ambassador who had begged for more security lost his life, she deflected responsibility from herself by blaming it all on a hapless Egyptian Copt who had made a short film that nobody had hitherto noticed, and she and her colleagues in the Obama administration saw to his imprisonment.
As Secretary of State — in conjunction with the Clinton Global Initiative and what Doug Band calls “Bill Clinton, Inc.” — she ran a shakedown operation aimed at enriching her family and illegally raising money from foreign donors to pay for her Presidential campaign in waiting. To get around the Freedom of Information Act, she did all of her business by email on a server kept in her home that the world’s intelligence agencies could and did hack. In short, she is both corrupt and irresponsible.
Is Donald Trump unfit to be President? I fear so. Is Hillary Clinton unfit to be President? As Nancy Pelosi would say, “Are you kidding? Are you kidding?”
So we must choose. I suggest that we swallow our pride and pick the lesser evil.
Is it not obvious when you think through everything which of the two is the lesser evil? Both will do damage. Both will do serious damage. Neither is admirable. But Donald Trump is apt to do less damage.
I realize that what I have said is not reassuring. But we should not succumb to wishful thinking.
Nonetheless, for all of his failings, Trump will do some very good things. And, in his way, he has already done some good — by forcing Americans to think about issues that we are forbidden to discuss.
We are in for a bad four years. But there is nonetheless bad and there is worse. Unpleasant though it may be, it is better to pick bad. I will not tell you that a vote for Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, or Egg McMuffin is a vote for Hillary. That it is not. But it might allow her to squeak into office — and, if she wins, there will be hell to pay.Published in