We are only about two weeks from this unfortunate election, and millions have already voted. I want to give you my current thoughts, with the caveat of retaining the right to modify my views right up to the day when I pull a lever.
Let me also confirm that we are all very tired of this election and want it to be over so that we can clean up and move on. And you can check out my original suggestions from back in May, 2015 at this link.
My intent here is not to start a range war with anyone, particularly with my friends and readers. I deeply respect the angst that most of us feel in trying to make this decision, and whatever you decide is certainly understandable. My intent here is simply to give you one observer’s perspective after a lot of thought and prayer.
I will divide my comments between the two big categories which seem to dominate the discussion: Policies/Outcomes and Personalities/Temperaments.
Let me start by stating that my Fantasy Ticket would have Mike Pence at the top. Or John Kasich. Either one of them, with a solid, understandable program of conservative change, would win this election in a landslide. Or even Gary Johnson, the Libertarian, whom I would probably vote for if I thought there were a path to the House of Representatives via the Electoral College. But unless Trump gives up or is turned aside, for now my only choice is Hillary, Donald, or Abstain.
If Hillary is elected, I know exactly what we will get. The Democratic Machine, from government unions to BLM to teachers’ unions to city governments in Baltimore, Detroit and other strongholds, along with the usual suspects in Congress, aided by the national media and bogus claims of a “mandate”, will try to out-Obama what has been the last eight years of domestic and foreign disasters. New taxes, regulations, pay-for-play, government overreach, diplomatic and military weakness, crony big bank capitalism, rocketing debt, bad economic policies, “Ya’ll come” immigration policies, and erosion of personal freedoms. Not to mention Supreme Court appointees who will further enshrine partial birth abortion, prohibitions on voter ID and other “rights” which are found nowhere in the Constitution and violate common sense.
Speaking of abortion and partial birth abortion, this is the only social issue for which I believe legislation is warranted and needed, because it is murder. One cannot undo an abortion, or change the outcome. In 1973 the Supreme Court re-read the Constitution and discovered something no one had ever seen there before—the right of a mother to kill her unborn child. So that new right is for now protected by the Constitution. But it is administered largely by the states, and in those backward states where people still cling to their Bibles and guns, if they want to require a mother to first see who is inside her on a sonogram before she kills her or him, then I don’t want Hillary’s Court to tell them that they cannot do so. That is what I’m concerned about.
And I am very troubled by candidates who claim to have a strong Christian faith and yet have figured out some way to give anyone, including a mother, the right to kill the most innocent among us. So, on balance and all else being equal, this issue is important to me.
In other words, on Outcomes, I know that with Hillary as President, there will be a complete disaster.
If Donald is elected, I don’t know, and I don’t think anyone does. There certainly may be a disaster, but perhaps not. He seems malleable on policy, and so if there is a Republican House and Senate, we may actually get real reform and progress toward restoring our country: Tax reform with closed loopholes for big companies and the rich, which he knows all about. The repeal of Obamacare and replacement with something simpler and more suited to what people really want at different stages of their lives. A strengthened and revived military, before it collapses from disrepair. An actual border and welcoming immigration policies based on what someone can add to our country. Real economic growth again, which will help deal with the national debt, which has doubled in the last eight years. And Supreme Court appointees who will more closely defend the Founders’ intent for our nation.
I believe that Ryan, Pence, McConnell and the sheer inertia of government processes will have the effect of hemming in Donald’s more far-out policies, like opposition to trade. I cannot guarantee it, but it seems reasonable to expect that someone who likes to negotiate will give and take in order to get things done, and to get the country moving again.
And if either the Senate or the House turns Democratic, then there will just be more to negotiate, and more inertia.
So, on balance, at this point in the discussion, I have to pull the Republican lever and hope that it is not too late for our nation. But that is not the whole story.
Donald appears to be a self-centered, petulant, flamboyant, gutter-running extrovert who thinks it’s all about him. He is not someone whom most of us would care to have a long term relationship with, or to do business with. He seems to speak before thinking, and not to understand the impact of his words, or not to care. He is not someone whom I want to be my leader.
Hilllary is a self-centered, petulant, mean, gutter-running introvert who thinks it’s all about her. She is not someone whom most of us would care to have a long term relationship with, or to do business with, if she ever did any business. But after thirty years she has learned well to think hard before speaking. She is not someone whom I want to be my leader.
Most of us can recite all of Donald’s weaknesses, so I will not dwell on them here. They are legion, and they seem to repeat.
Some people will only vote for the Democratic candidate, but for others, I ask you to at least consider that you have been sold a well-crafted bill of goods on Hillary’s personality and temperament. I am not saying that Donald is good; I am saying that in this area Hillary is equally bad, or perhaps worse.
Just dip into anything about how she treated the first White House staff, the Travelgate disaster, the lying about her law firm files. Lying about being fired on in Bosnia, lying about Benghazi, lying about her email server. Erasing emails, pay-to-play with the Clinton Foundation, conveniently forgetting details when it suits her. Unlike Donald, she has learned the hard way to think a lot before she speaks, because she is a natural liar and braggart. In fact, I submit to you that Hillary is just the later, more learned version of a natural Donald, flaunting daily a seemingly refined and rational patina which she and her handlers have crafted around her after decades of being caught in self-centered lies.
And she is mean. Donald may be trash, but Hillary is trailer trash. Don’t cross her or Bill. Ask Vince Foster, Gennifer Flowers, Juanita Broaddrick, Monica Lewinsky, Bernie Sanders or, I suspect, Loretta Lynch and James Comey.
The press is rightly concerned about the small business people who lost money when some of Donald’s companies declared bankruptcy. But when Hillary is through with you, you may just disappear.
Under her carefully protected patina, Hillary is only interested in whatever furthers Clinton, Inc., with just a side glance at the national interest or at the progressive ideologues and the various categories of “victims” who are the Democratic Party’s stooges. The Clintons are, after all, the prototypes for the first couple in House of Cards.
In short, I push back hard against the common caricature that this election is the Evil Monster vs. Snow White. He may be the Evil Monster, but she is definitely the Big Bad Wolf impersonating a loving Grandmother.
So on personality/temperament, I rate them equally. They are both terrible. Her faults have just been very consciously papered over by adoring sycophants and a loving press. I completely understand that younger people who did not live through the earlier, more Trump-like version of the Clintons may fall for the make-over. But under her grandmother’s shawl, she is still the very deadly wolf.
At this point I am therefore left with a tie on personality. Again, they are both terrible.
If you are going to vote for Hillary because you agree with her Progressive Liberal policies, then so be it. I don’t agree, but I understand and respect your right to do so. But please don’t kid yourself that you are thereby also seizing some higher moral ground from those who vote for Trump (or don’t vote). You are not. She is still covered in slime, like him. Hers has just been repeatedly bleached to try to hide the stain from those who refuse to look closely.
So turning back to the combination of policies and outcomes to make my final decision, it boils down to what I know will happen with Hillary vs. what may happen with Trump. I don’t like making a voting decision based on “will” vs. “may”, but that’s where I am.
Trump will probably lose, but, for the above important reasons, as of today I plan to vote for him. I can only hope that if he does somehow win, he will then get bored and six months later abdicate to Pence.
What a time for our nation. As the old saying goes, with a small twist, “Pray like it depends on God, because it does. And vote like it depends on you, because it does.”