Saturday, July 23, 2016

Race for the White House Volume 82

Throughout this week, I had considered doing something a bit different for this week's entry. I was going to write a speech that I would have wished to theoretically deliver to this past week's Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.

However, today, I just feel like scrapping that idea. It would take too much time and probably a lot of intellectual and emotional energy to do so. I have a lot of things I want to say and I know that once I started doing this, I would find it hard to stop or to leave things out. It's been a difficult enough week and I just feel like it would be counterproductive to do today. Perhaps, after the election is over, I will do that and offer some sort of manifesto about what the Republican Party needs to be moving forward. It will maybe be cathartic to do it at that time.

For now though, I just am anxious for this election year to be over. I still want just about every Republican in the country to win up and down the ballot, but the Presidential choice is a moral disaster and one where I want the nominee to be politically embarrassed. I do not really want the Democrats to win the White House, but that is the inevitable outcome. If I am somehow wrong about the appeal of Donald Trump, as I have been for over a year, I will not really recognize the country I am living in and will be afraid over it. Nonetheless, America will still be worth fighting for and I will hope to see a better country through opposition to Trump. However, I am pretty certain that it will be Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine in the White House, and that I will be opposing them.

Watching the parts of the Republican Convention that I did, I found it hard to see the party I have been proud to identify with since I was 10 years old. So many people seem to have lost their minds in going along with the hostile takeover of Donald Trump. In that crowd, he had die-hard supporters, who are not people I want in the Party of Lincoln and Reagan. He had people who might not have otherwise been supporting him but have been legitimately conned into thinking he could win or would deserve to win. He loves the poorly educated. Others in that hall are good people, citizen and politician alike, who have been put in a difficult position. It is hard to know who is acting out of principle and who is acting out of expediency. Some think that things are so bad in America, and Hillary Clinton is so weak, that Trump might win and thus be nothing more than a vessel to keep her away from power. Others think that Trump probably cannot win, and likely does not deserve to, but short-term party unity requires supporting him. Others, I am certain, secretly oppose Trump with every fiber of their being, but are going along with supporting him and standing up for him, just to rock the boat as little as possible over the next few months. They are counting the days until the campaign is over, and then will be anxious to try to rebuild the party and work on their excuses and explanations for the Trump episode.

I have become very cynical about politics and politicians, especially after this convention. It is really hard to call myself a Republican today, but I want to get back there eventually. I cannot do anything though but be honest with myself and stand for the values I have for America and the Republican Party. Donald Trump is wrong for America. Today, tomorrow, and forever. As Ted Cruz, a politician I have harbored a great deal of mistrust stated from the podium, "vote your conscience." That is what I will do. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are both unacceptable for America. He's worse though, believe it or not, and I am shocked that I am finding myself watching a whole lot more MSNBC than Fox News over this convention season, just because I want to hear as much Trump bashing as possible and am basically sickened by people who defend him. I know 2020 calculations were part of the equation, but bravo Ted Cruz for being the sole voice not to give in. I like you a lot more than I did before. I do not think I will support you in the next primary, but I am dismayed by the way that many Republicans have turned on him. They just make Trump look bad. I suppose they know that they cannot vote for him with a clear conscience and that he is not a candidate who would defend liberty and the Constitution, so they have to boo, out of guilt, anyone who might force themselves to look at it from that perspective. They acted as if he said anything remotely negative about Trump from the stage, when he clearly did not. I believe that after November, when Trump is humiliated at the polls, he is going to publicly blast every Republican he can find, and take none of the blame upon himself. He will tell the Republican Party to go to hell, and Ted Cruz will have been proven right about him. Of course, some of us, unlike Cruz, spoke out about the dangers of Trump from Day 1. It will always aggrieve us that we were not successful in stopping him from being nominated.

From both a policy and a moral standpoint, many good things were said from the podium of the Republican National Convention. There were many things I could have stood and cheered for, but when the foundation of the house is faulty to the core, there is no way to go along with the party. The Grand Old Party has lost its way. People are supporting Trump, in different ways, and for different reasons, but in every tradition of both the party , and the country, they are wrong to do so. I am not a person who demands ideological purity or has ever been a sore loser when my candidate or candidates lost a primary, but morality matters to me, and the future of the country, in 2017 and beyond, is far more important than just ignoring the realities of the current day. American is desperately in need of a new President and a new direction, but the direction that Trump would take America would bring about the darkest days this country has ever known.

So in the meantime, people can line up with a shrieking  tyrant, and drink all the Orange Kool Aid, they think they need to. They can pretend plagiarism is just a coincidence and that a convention and a message, massively mismanaged, do not matter, and would not be a sign of how a general election will ultimately wind up, or theoretically how an Administration would serve. They, including the Vice Presidential nominee, can throw away all their principles on issues such a trade and the treatment of immigrants and religious minorities to go along with a reactionary populist fervor. They can ignore the fact that G-d was not mentioned one time in the acceptance speech, in which the nominee declared his candidacy more for Batman than for the Presidency. There were no mentions of "liberty" or "freedom", just the theme of "law and order", in which Trump himself declared that he alone, without the need to spell out basic details,  can save America.When the day after he accepts the nomination, he is still fighting old battles against vanquished GOP opponents and making up details about National Enquirer stories to insist that the father of his closest primary rival's father might have been part of killing a President. Donald Trump is either a fraud perpetuating a never-ending act on America, or he is truly a psychopath. It may be both.

This is the not the party I wish to belong to and the America he described and envisioned is not the one I pledged allegiance to as a child in school or now. One day, in the near future, we will know if the Republican Party truly died this past week in Cleveland or if it was just a temporary illness that there will eventually be a remedy for. For the sake of America, I hope it is the latter.


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