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.
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.