Taking counsel of my fears

The following may be the result of depression, and therefore irrational. I’ll check back when I’m feeling more cheerful, to see how it holds up. But I’ve come to a kind of peace with the 2016 election cycle. It’s the kind of peace described by Tacitus, who said of the Romans in Britain, “they make a desert, and call it peace.”

I’ve decided that (barring changes in the strategic situation which are entirely possible) I’m going to vote for Trump this year. Not out of principle, not out of patriotism, but out of despair.

Signs of the Times

I read three articles online this morning, which all together helped me to clear my mind. They were these:

The first comes from Commentarama Politics, and was written by Andrew Price. His view is that the conservative movement needs to retrench, and part of that retrenchment should be to ditch “The Religious Right.” He also has a category for “Rational Religious Conservatives/Traditionalists” whom he would spare from the axe, but I rather think he’d sort me with the Religious Right, since I still think abortion and same sex marriage are important issues.

Then along the same lines, over at Gene Edward Veith’s Cranach blog, Dr. Veith links to an article from the Washington Post about conservative Christians who (like me) figure they no longer have a home in either party.

And finally, just to get the objective academic view, this article from Touchstone’s Mere Comments blog: Harvard Prof Urges Liberals to Treat Evangelical Christians Like Nazis.


After reading these, I felt my thoughts crystalize. I realized we’ve come to a watershed. Everything has changed in America.

It’s like, I suppose, being a member of the working class who’s been proud all his life of “never taking welfare.” Then he (or she, we must be inclusive) loses his/her job during the Obama Recovery, and eventually the unemployment runs out. Then he or she looks at the kids and realizes they have to be fed and are going to need shoes soon, and so goes down and applies for Public Assistance. Principles are great when they’re realistic, but sometimes you’ve just got to survive.

In the past, I’ve always tried to vote my convictions. I’ve asked myself which candidate best represents the principles of constitutionalism, small government, and the Bill of Rights. Then I’ve voted for that person, not because I thought it would make much difference in my own life, but for the sake of the nation.

But, it seems to me, that nation is gone.

New Rules

We’re no longer the “moral and religious” people John Adams declared the Constitution to be designed for. We are those people’s degenerate descendants, too selfish and lazy to sustain a republic.

And thus we find before us the presidential choice of two appalling human beings, neither of whom displays any devotion to constitutional principles whatever.

What do I do in that situation?

I vote for my own self-interest.

I think (my mind might change, depending on events) that the vestigial connections between the Republican Party and the religious right make it probable that “the Donald” is slightly less likely to send people like me to a reeducation camp than Hillary is.

Third party? Just a way to give the election to Hillary.

This year, I’m voting my fears.

6 thoughts on “Taking counsel of my fears”

  1. “…slightly less likely to send…me to a reeducation camp…” Within 4 years this may begin, in some innocuous way, by sending a few radical religious extremists (Pro-life, pro -traditional marriage) to a night class somewhere at a local high school.
    Have you read any commentaries about Pope John Paul’s book “Theology of the Body”? I say commentaries because I am unable to read his dense writings with any understanding. It’s about traditional marriage, and the genders, and the the “Body” part of the title means the physical human body. To me, it is an astounding revelation of what’s been there all along, but never quite picked out from the background.

  2. People talk about choosing the lesser of two evil in elections often, but this is the first time I really feel it. Rush Limbaugh frequently says that if people are presented with a clear vision of conservative principles applied to a civil problem, they will love it and embrace it. I heard him say that the other day and I wanted to call and ask him that if that’s true, why didn’t Cruz or Rubio or a few of the other candidates dominate the primary? Conservatism hasn’t won this time. Maybe it will down ticket, but we’ll see.

    I’m not sure I will vote for Trump, but I’ve been hearing of those who will vote Trump over Hillary (who shouldn’t be allowed to be a candidate at all), so I’m starting to think Trump will win no matter what.

  3. I’m going to exercise my Texas privilege(1) and vote for the Libertarian candidate, simply to make the politicians less comfortable.

    (1) The state will go to the Republicans anyway, so my vote is meaningless

  4. I’m much closer to the #NeverTrump camp, but I have to say that Scott Adams’ discussions of Trump’s persuasive style at dilbert.com are some of the best analysis I’ve seen , and make me more sanguine that Trump isn’t a nut or a fool.

    Sad that that’s the best thing I can say about the better candidate.

  5. I don’t think I’ll be physically able to pull the lever for either, but I live in a red state and Trump probably won’t need my vote to win, and if Hillary wins my state it was never possible anyway. But even if I lived in a swing state there’s just no way I can vote for him. I think he’s too unpredictable (plus he’s a sadistic blackguard) and with her I figure we’ll get a combo of Obama and Bill Clinton, just with far less political skills. In other words, same gridlock and loyal opposition and time to regroup for 2020. In other words, I can picture Trump on the reviewing stand with goose stepping jack boots on parade as slightly more likely than HRC, because I don’t think she will have the political skills to pull off a successful tyranny. But I’ve been so wrong before. I appreciate this post and respect your decision

    1. I have some good news for you. One group that Trump can’t seem to persuade is the military (active and recent veterans). In other words, the very people a tyrant would need the most.

      Not that they like Hillary, or that they’ll disobey lawful orders, but jackboots likely aren’t on the menu.

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