Wednesday, September 7, 2016

I still haven't decided

Well, clearly I'm not going to vote for Madame BleachBit.

But some occurrences of the last few days, most notably Mark Levin very publicly changing his mind, have been like a whisper in my ear, saying, "Don't foreclose just yet."

I also feel that the argument of James Campbell at Real Clear Politics today deserves due consideration:

Thinking Republicans should NOT SUPPORT Donald Trump, but they should reluctantly VOTE for him. On what matters most, and that is public policy, Trump is not nearly as bad as Clinton. Shout that Donald Trump is an idiot from the roof tops and into any microphone thrown in front of you–but then declare a vote for him.
The distinction between supporting and voting for a candidate is not a gimmick. There is a real difference. Support implies a positive assessment. A vote is a choice. I suspect the overwhelming majority of Republicans disgusted by Trump are even more appalled by the prospect of a Clinton presidency. So declaring a distinction between their support and their votes is the right and honest thing for them to do.

But then, no sooner do I start considering the validity of his reasoning than I come across a case such as Jay Caruso is making at RedState:

One thing I have learned from being involved in politics for 25 years is every presidential election is the most important presidential election. How many times have you heard from either a Republican or a Democrat the words, "Our future hangs in the balance!"
The country wasn't supposed to survive one Obama term. It wasn't expected to survive his second term. Yet, he we are.
This country has survived a civil war and World War I. The country has also survived The Great Depression. It survived World War II and won the fight against the Nazis. And it survived The Vietnam War, Watergate and 9/11. The suggestion that I am supposed to cower in fear over the prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidency and should run to cast a vote for a fraud like Donald Trump, when the country has faced much worse, is absurd.
As for the the probable Hillary Clinton presidency, those of us who decided our conscience couldn't fathom voting for Trump are not to blame. 14 million people looked at a group of candidates that included accomplished conservative governors, such as Rick Perry and Scott Walker. It included dynamic, conservative Senators such as Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul. Even the lower echelon of candidates, Jeb Bush, John Kasich, and even Chris Christie, were preferable to a reality show carnival barker. Yet, in classic adult temper tantrum form, those people chose the carnival barker. A man with zero principles, no moral backbone and a political philosophy that echoes the sounds of a whoopee cushion. They made the choice. It is their decision to live with.
People may find those of us who remain Never Trump to be distasteful. But for many of us, never means never.

The weakness in his argument, it seems to me, is that "here we are" implies that the damage done is reversible.  I'm not sure that's true. How do our great-grandchildren ever pay off the $19 trillion-plus debt the overlords have burdened us with? Even if the "A"CA completely collapses, it will be a Herculean task to steer the badly leaking health-care ship toward a free-market model. Ditto dismantling the EPA. The culture's rot is in a horrifyingly advanced state. This is no longer a Christian nation. And, as evidenced by the reception the Most Equal Comrade is getting at the G-20 summit, the routine harassment of our Navy's vessels by Iran in international waters, the ongoing ISIS threat, and the ever-more-successful North Korean missile tests, post-America's decline on the world stage likely can't be reversed without some sort of cataclysm.

And the comment thread under Caruso's piece is full of cogent views. (Some come down a little too hard on the deeply principled Dennis Prager, whose latest piece is the subject of several of Caruso's paragraphs.) I'd say the money line from the comment thread is this:

Trump has done one thing that is not forgivable: he's made policy trivial and insipid. 

This isn't some neat little package you can tidily wrap and move on. This is the most politically painful decision I've ever had to make, and that's saying something.

Here's where I stand as of September 7, 2016: I may - may - vote for Donald Trump in November. IF I do so, there is a great likelihood that within three minutes of doing so, I'll be finding someplace to vomit violently.

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