Welcome to Election 2016. Clowns are on the loose. Two of them are the front runners to be the President of the United States. We The People are faced with one candidate who is a corrupt, pandering, big-government loving, anti-constitutional, compulsively lying Leftist and another candidate who is… a corrupt, pandering, big-government loving, anti-constitutional, compulsively lying Leftist. Well done, everyone!
Being a borderline Libertarian Conservative, I knew that I had lost this election the second Donald J. Trump was officially declared the nominee for the Republican Party. I went through a short period of mourning and when I regained consciousness, began to look at the decision that has to be made. As much as we don’t like any of the options, a decision must be made by November 8th. For anyone on the Right, the decision not to vote Trump is not one that should be made casually.
I will admit that while I was not always #NeverTrump, I never liked the idea of voting for this man. I respected, and still do respect, the idea that we need to vote for Trump to stop Hillary. I get it. Seriously. Every time Clinton revealed a new policy plan, shamelessly pandered, or openly lied to our faces, my thoughts were usually along the lines of “God help me, I’m going to have to vote for Trump.”
The “lesser of two evils” argument is being utilized by both sides, both to defend their own sense of morality, and convince those on the fence to finally pick a side. The issue with this argument is that it is being used with the same acquiescence as it has been used in the past. In previous elections, this has been a logically sound argument. Look at McCain v Obama: neither candidate was ideal, but we could, and we did, morally justify voting for one of them as the “lesser of two evils.” However, in this election, both candidates are genuinely evil. Voting for the “lesser of two evils,” in this case, is like asking if you’d like to have your head chopped off with an axe or a sword. Is one better? Maybe.
Even if we just look at policy, it is still not a “no-brainer” to vote for Trump. There is no question that as a whole, most Conservatives side with Trump’s policies, myself included. Here’s the problem: I don’t believe that he believes any of it. I think he is told what to believe, and this is why he’s so inconsistent. Take, for example, his positions on “No Fly, No Buy” and government mandated family-leave. These are true “no-brainers.” You cannot take away someone’s basic constitutional rights when they haven’t been given due process. This is basic stuff if you’ve read the Constitution even once. He also supports a policy by which all businesses must give paid family leave to all employees. This is, again, basic stuff. Even if you think that all businesses should provide this, which I do, the federal government simply does not have the power to force them to do so. Does this nullify all of his other policies that are clearly better than Hillary’s? Of course not. However, contrary to “Breitbartian” belief, Trump is not the great savior of the Conservative movement.
My biggest issues with this entire election cycle is not with Trump. We knew who he was going in. My issue is with conservatives who are changing their own fundamental belief systems in order to fit Trump’s mold. From my peers, to Breitbart News, up to Sean Hannity, people are claiming they believe in, and have always believed in, things they were vehemently against before Trump showed up. These are the same people who are perpetuating the delusion that Trump is only losing because of people like me who will not “bend the knee.” Trump is losing for one reason: he is a terrible candidate. Don’t get me wrong, I understand their position. It is a very difficult thing to say you are voting for someone with whom you disagree or don’t like. I understand it, but certainly don’t agree with it. You can vote for Trump to stop Hillary AND still tell the truth about him.
While the Left is, of course, blowing most of Trump’s scandals way out of proportion, we can’t have an honest conversation about Trump without talking about his character. The world is so numb to the Left calling the Republican Candidate names, that when faced with a time that they’re actually correct in their name calling, nobody cares. Think of it as the boy who cried bigot. It is wrong to lie about Trump’s Conservatism, and it is wrong to lie about Trump being a great dude. He is not. Just to name a few: mocking the disabled reporter, his attacks on the Mexican judge, and the latest sexual assault claims. These are completely unacceptable for any human, not to mention a presidential candidate. Something I do respect about Trump is that he truly is a much deserved slap in the face to political correctness. As with most things in his campaign, it’s the right message being delivered by the wrong messenger. He sits right on the line of being politically incorrect and being, for lack of a better word, a jerk. One must be able to distinguish between the two. Since they know they can’t win on policy, the Left turns every election into a battle of which candidate is a better person than the other. This distracts from the things that really matter when selecting a President.
We all know how terrible a Hillary Clinton presidency will be. 4-8 more years of Obama without the charm. 4-8 more years of despicable government expansion on individual liberty. 4-8 more years of allowing the Middle East to go up in flames. 4-8 more years of not supporting our police. 4-8 more years of being called a sexist when we don’t agree with a policy… the list goes on. A president, House, Senate, and Supreme Court that are all the most heinous Leftists will lead a never-ending tirade against your rights, starting with the First, Second, and Fifth Amendments. It will be a true low-point for our country, and will not be easily fixed.
We don’t know what a Trump presidency will be. It could be everything we hope for, or it could be a catastrophic disaster. Nothing that Trump has done over the course of this campaign has led me to believe that he will stay true to his word regarding anything, let alone the Supreme Court. Donald Trump cares about one thing, and one thing only: Donald Trump. As I’ve said, I think the dream perpetuated by the Trump Train that this will be a high point of Conservatism in our history is just a dream. Neither of these presidencies is going to be a great time for our country.
As I’ve said, I understand feeling that you need to vote Trump to stop Hillary. It is a valid argument, and at the end of the day, I think many #NeverTrump-ers are going to do just that. Here is what it boils down to for me if you are on the Right: If you really think that a Hillary presidency will drastically change the political landscape of this country in a way that is completely devastating and unamendable, then you have to vote for Trump and hope he surrounds himself with people who have a clue. If you think that her presidency will be terrible, but we can rebuild and bounce back with a stronger, truly Conservative (or maybe just not total garbage) candidate in 2020, then vote your conscience. Vote for Evan McMullin, or just skip that box. Do not stay home. We have more to lose than just the presidency.
“If you sacrifice your principle for the sake of victory, you’ll find you have neither.”
Luke Garrison is currently studying Criminal Law and Constitutional Theory at Seattle University Law School, and is a graduate of The Catholic University of America. For Questions, Comments, or Hate Mail, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @_lukegarrison