“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
“In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate-look to his character.”
“Nothing is more essential to the establishment of manners in a State than that all persons employed in places of power and trust must be men of unexceptionable characters.”
“Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force…Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.”
“When offered a choice between two politically intolerable alternatives, it is important to choose neither. And when that choice is presented in rival arguments and debates that exclude from public consideration any other set of possibilities, it becomes a duty to withdraw from those arguments and debates, so as to resist the imposition of this false choice by those who have arrogated to themselves the power of framing the alternatives.”
I feel like I’ve seen only one thing when I’ve logged into Facebook for the past week: Endless posts stating why one of the major party candidates represents a superior moral choice over the other one. I’ve even seen some headlines talking about making a moral case for either candidate. The very idea is laughable to me. You cannot possibly make a moral case for either of them. After all, we are talking about voting for the most powerful government official in the country… and when you vote someone into office, you are without question culpable for the things that politician does when they are put into office. The excuse of “but it would have been worse if the other one was in there!” won’t absolve you of that culpability.
It’s telling when you find yourself in the position of defending a candidates’ grotesque remarks about women. There were many things that Trump said during the campaign that I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on, but at this point it’s pretty clear it’s not just that he’s an asshole, he’s a misogynist who also happens to be an asshole. I still don’t believe he’s a racist, but he does lack empathy of any kind. He is an authoritarian. He is an enemy of free speech. He advocates gun control based on the no fly list (a list that you can be put on without any kind of due process or recourse). He’s a blowhard. He’s a rich guy that pretends like he has the common man’s interest at heart, and he’ll say whatever he believes will help him get elected.
To the reluctant Trump supporters out there (which I believe is the vast majority of Trump supporters): Whether you like it or not, a vote for Trump is an endorsement of all of that. Voting for Trump is an endorsement of the idea that it’s either OK, or “not that bad”, for a guy to treat women, including perhaps your daughter, as a piece of meat, and talk about grabbing them by the pussy. It’s an endorsement of the idea that one can act without empathy. That voices of dissent should not be heard. That government should be given more power. That rights can be taken away from law-abiding citizens at the government’s whim without due process. Even if you are correct, and Clinton represents something even worse, a vote for Trump is an endorsement of these ideas.
Glenn Beck’s recent statement that allowing Clinton to win by not voting for Trump is a moral, ethical choice (http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/10/10/glenn-beck-electing-hillary-clinton-moral-ethical-choice/) was one of the things that spurred me to write this. He of course was misrepresented in that headline as saying that “electing Hillary Clinton” was an ethical choice… he didn’t say that. He said:
“If the consequence of standing against Trump and for principles is indeed the election of Hillary Clinton, so be it. At least it is a moral, ethical choice.”
I would add the converse, that “If the consequence of standing against Clinton and for principles is indeed the election of Donald Trump, so be it. At least it is a moral, ethical choice.”
That aside, for exactly the reasons I outlined above, he is 100% correct in that statement. Not voting for Trump is a moral, ethical choice. Of course, to the partisan that refuses to acknowledge that the 2 party system is not mandatory, voting for anyone who is not Trump, or not voting at all, is akin to voting for Hillary. And of course, the converse is also true when talking to the Clinton camp. They would tell you that you are therefore morally culpable for what the other does, if elected. Such a statement is illogical, ludicrous, and not worthy of any serious debate. Not voting is a perfectly valid choice. Voting for a candidate you believe in, whose character and ideas you can endorse, is the only POSSIBLE moral choice.
Now, Clinton supporters… especially you reluctant ones (which, again, I believe to be the majority), I hope that you aren’t feeling too high and mighty right now. Clinton isn’t as rough around the edges as Trump is. She carries herself better, and has a certain degree of class that Trump lacks… but really that’s only because she’s been in the political game much longer than he has.
Clinton represents the height of government corruption. You needn’t look any further than the recent Wikileaks releases to see why (but don’t worry, we will). She privately (which is another way of saying “in actual fact, contrary to what she tells you”) opposes same-sex marriage and gay rights. She knows that a no-fly zone will result in the deaths of many Syrians, and she supports it anyway. In addition to that, a no fly zone would likely initiate World War 3. The Clinton Foundation has accepted money from the Saudis, despite her acknowledgement that the Saudis fund Isis. (As a side note, Obama recently vetoed a bill to allow victim’s families from 9/11 sue the Saudis. I’m pretty sure he was aware of this information too.) She conspired with the DNC to undermine democracy within the democratic party and edge out Bernie Sanders. She worked with the media (who many have LONG argued are largely in bed with the democratic party, and are now proven right beyond any doubt) to push Trump into the limelight to help ensure he would get the nomination. I know you long ago convinced yourself they’re no big deals, but those emails of hers and Benghazi are both really big deals. She most certainly did harass and verbally attack the victims of her husband’s sexual assaults. This is without getting into anything where speculation is involved rather than hard facts… and yet you ask me how I can possibly think she’s not any better than Trump?
If you vote for Clinton because “at least she isn’t Trump”, you aren’t just voting against Trump. You are endorsing each and every one of those ideas. You will be morally culpable. For a no fly zone that will kill Syrians and God knows how many people if it leads to a World War, for being in bed with the same people who fund Isis. For undermining democratic processes. And for attacking victims of sexual assault when it suits an end desirable to you.
You can tell yourself that you’re doing the best thing you can do by voting for a “lesser” evil. But evil is evil, and voting for evil is an endorsement of evil. It’s pretty clear that the only thing stopping a 3rd party from getting elected is the fact that so many people refuse to vote for a 3rd party because they are obsessed with voting for something slightly less evil. Whichever of the major party candidates you support… deep down, you are reluctant to do so. You’ve found yourself defending things that you would never defend in a friend or family member.
I can’t make you do anything, but I can beg you to follow your conscience and vote for someone who you can give your full endorsement to. I’m not going to disown you if you vote for Clinton or Trump, but I cannot possibly understand why you would do so, and I 100% believe you are morally responsible for whatever the consequences are should the candidate you vote for gain office.