A vote for anyone but Donald Trump is a vote for Hillary Clinton.
A vote for anyone but Hillary Clinton is a vote for Donald Trump.
A vote for a third party is a wasted vote.
So much bullshit has been thrown around during this election cycle, all of it on the assumption that all Americans MUST vote for one of the major parties’ candidates, or they are committing some sort of treason.
A couple of weeks ago, when Meg Whitman announced that she was endorsing Hillary Clinton, Rush Limbaugh took to Facebook and said just that:
Now, I don’t agree in the slightest with Whitman’s decision to endorse Hillary, but this is ridiculous.
What it basically comes down to is this: if you have traditionally voted Republican, if you believe in the Constitution, if you care about liberty, you have a duty to vote for the GOP candidate, no matter how little regard the GOP candidate has for the Constitution or liberty. It’s reached such ridiculous levels that Laura Ingraham went on FOX News and alleged that it’s immoral for conservatives to NOT to vote for Donald Trump.
The assumption seems to be that, since I originally planned to vote Republican, I owe my vote to the GOP, no matter how unpalatable the candidate is. I guess that explains how enough people thought it would be a good idea to run the corrupt, lying business mogul against the corrupt, lying career politician. Since there’s basically a 99.9% chance that either the Republican or the Democrat will be elected in November, most people end up flocking to those parties, making it a self-fulfilling prophecy.
But let’s face it: in modern America, we don’t “swear allegiance” to political parties. The very idea is really rather ridiculous. The fact that I once checked a box marked “Republican” on a voter registration form doesn’t mean that the party owns my soul, or my vote.
And the more people tell me that my vote is wasted unless I cast it for Trump, or that I’m supporting Hillary by not jumping on board the Trump Train, or that I’m immoral, or a closet liberal, the more it makes me want to leave the GOP behind, and NEVER vote for Trump.
Over the course of President Obama’s two terms, the Republican leadership has failed to put up any significant resistance to Obama’s agenda. They get in front of the cameras and spout conservative talking points, but when the rubber meets the road, they cave, and the Democrats’ agenda gets implemented anyway.
Perhaps the best example of this is the federal budget. When Democrats controlled the House and the Senate during President Obama’s first years in office, they abandoned the budget process, choosing instead to pass “continuing resolutions,” massive spending bills that authorize funding for the federal government. The practice was highly criticized by Republicans…until they took control of Congress in 2011. Since then, the practice has continued under Republican leadership, though they’ve been sure to throw in some symbolic measures, like the symbolic ‘budget’ they passed last year.
When they passed yet another continuing resolution last December, the excuse given by the Paul Ryan, who had just become Speaker of the House, was that the omnibus bill had been in the works for some time before he became Speaker, and he couldn’t possibly stop it. Fast forward to this year, and Congress hasn’t passed a budget yet again. I guess for Christmas this year, we can expect yet another continuing resolution.
Or, when they tried to stop President Obama’s unconstitutional executive amnesty, they included a provision denying funding for the amnesty program in a DHS funding bill. Stopping the executive amnesty was one of their top agenda items for 2015, but as soon as the Democrats called their bluff, the Republicans folded. They claimed that the courts would take care of it for them, which ended up being true – just barely. Executive amnesty ended up dying in the Supreme Court on a 4-4 decision. The courts have been anything but reliable when it comes to upholding the Constitution, so Republicans got lucky that time, while conservatives got played.
It’s been like this for years. The Republican Party has made themselves experts at being a minority party – it gives them the opportunity to complain about the other side, but doesn’t require them to take any risks, like actually standing up for what they say they believe in. In fact, over the years that they have held the majority, they have taken every opportunity to criticize any Republican who actually took a stand for reducing the size of the federal government. Just look at how they criticized Rand Paul and Ted Cruz for standing up in the Senate. Taking stands for conservative values just isn’t allowed in the GOP.
While it’s true that Donald Trump has changed the dynamic of this election cycle, he hasn’t changed much of anything where it really counts. The only consistent thing about his policy positions is his inconsistency: he will consistently come down on every side of nearly every issue…and while there have been all sorts of wildly optimistic predictions about what will happen once Trump takes office, none of them are supported by any real evidence. And after the Trump campaign’s second major shake-up, cementing the alliance between the Trump campaign and Breitbart News, which has functioned as a pro-Trump propaganda machine since the primaries.
For the conservative movement to move forward in any real and meaningful way, we have to look at the big picture. I don’t want to disparage anyone who has chosen to vote for Trump in the hopes of preventing Hillary from re-shaping the Supreme Court. While I understand the sentiment, I personally don’t trust that Donald Trump will follow through with his promises regarding the Supreme Court. Like so many other issues, Trump has talked a big game, but throwing out a list of potential SCOTUS nominees that his campaign got from the Heritage Foundation doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence, especially when there has been little basis for trust built up by the Trump camp.
And while the Supreme Court is an important issue, conservatives need to face reality: in the presidential field today, none of the candidates are reaching out to conservatives for votes. Donald Trump abandoned conservatives as soon as it became clear that he would win the primary. His main outreach has been to disaffected Bernie Sanders voters.
The same is true of Gary Johnson – while there has been a huge opportunity for the Libertarian Party to pick up votes from Cruz and Rubio supporters after a particularly down-and-dirty primary fight, Johnson has shown that he, too, would rather reach out to Sanders voters than to court conservatives. He wants the government to force Christians to violate their religious beliefs, he advocates for instituting a carbon tax, and has come out in favor of TPP and gun control.
There are no good options for conservatives this time around. We have become the marginalized minority, with the GOP assuming that we will flock back to them in order to stop the Progressive bogeyman.
But why should I rush back to the very same GOP that keeps stabbing me in the back over and over and over again? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me for the last 16 years, and I’m taking my vote elsewhere.
For the current election, I’m not going to tell anyone how they should vote. Personally, the best advice I can give is the advice that Ted Cruz gave in his speech at the Republican convention:
VOTE YOUR CONSCIENCE.
If that means voting for Donald Trump to stop Hillary, then vote for Donald Trump to stop Hillary.
If that means voting for a third-party or a write-in, then vote third-party or write someone in.
If that means not voting for anyone for President, then leave that one blank.
For me, that means I’ll likely end up voting for the Libertarian candidate. I disagree with Gary Johnson on a lot of issues, but I agree with a lot of Libertarian principles, and I would like to see the Liberty movement gain some ground…and some maturity.
But regardless of who you vote for for President, make sure you get out and vote. Don’t let the idiocy of this election season drive you away from the voting booth on election day.
Just remember this:
The Democrats don’t care about you, they just care about money and power.
The Republicans don’t care about you, they just care about money and power.
If you want to change the corrupt system, you have to stop voting for the corrupt system. It’s time to free our minds from the trap of the Rs and the Ds, and choose another option. The corrupt politicians only keep gaining power because we keep on giving it to them.