Why I am Still #NeverTrump Despite Despising Hillary

1 07 2016

We are all familiar with compromise. We’ve done a little compromising every time we’ve picked out a house, raise children or settled a dispute with our spouse.

Politically, voters are especially familiar with the concept. We compromise when we choose a candidate who has some ideas we identify with, and others we do not. There is always some element of compromise when somebody chooses a representative, as two human beings are unlikely to share every principle, ideal, foible and idiosyncrasy.

For me, George W. Bush was a compromise. While I agreed with many of his broader beliefs, I found his spending too liberal and his foreign-policy undecided and self-sabotaging.

For the 2016 election we had 17 candidates, 16 of which were compromises I was willing to make. Well, maybe 15. I’m not sure I could have voted for Chris Christie, but I might’ve been able to bring myself to do so in the face of Hillary presidency. Bush and Graham would have been huge compromises, while Fiorina, Cruz, Jindal and Rubio would have been pretty minor compromises.

For me, Donald Trump is not a compromise. He is not a man who shares some principles and ideals with me, and differs in others. He is a man who has, as far as I can tell, almost no ideals and principles of his own. He is a man consumed with himself, money and power. His opinions on almost any issue that matters to me have been little more than the tassels on a weather vane, trailing behind him as he searches for the most expedient belief of the moment; not once in a while, but consistently throughout his very public and well-documented life.

Those defending and advocating supporting Trump in this election like to say that Ronald Reagan used to be a Democrat and then changed direction in life when he “saw the light.” If we can accept that, why can’t we except Donald Trump? Let me tell you why. Reagan spent years supporting his “change” with actions before asking us to put our faith in his fidelity. Donald Trump changed directions on the same day he began his run for the presidency. That tells me that not one “change” he has made is likely to be genuine. Everything he does is calculated to get him the one power he hasn’t had in life yet; leadership of the free world.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think he’s necessarily a Manchurian candidate either. I’m not sure he ever believed any of the things he said previous to his run either. I don’t think he cares one way or another about abortion. I don’t think he understands or has a personal stake in what goes on in the world, or has one coherent policy or approach to foreign relations, trade or any other international issue, save that which might be good for his personal business practices or getting him elected. I don’t think he cares one way or another about gun ownership or personal freedoms, tax policy or LGBT access to public bathrooms. I don’t believe he has any principled understanding or reaction to immigration, legal or illegal. He has, by his own admission, greased the palms of both sides of the aisle. He is not loyal to one or the other, because he does not care.

He is not a political man, he is a businessman. Everyone seems to wholeheartedly embrace that as one of his best assets but they might want to consider that it is only so true because he does not care about any of the issues that voters like us become political over. It is our very ideals and principles that informs our vote, our party, our ideology … not every businessman is devoid of such things, but the Trump record suggests to me that he is.

A man like that is dangerous in my opinion. He might spend his term doing some things that I like and get out with very little damage. He also might do things unimaginably terrible in pursuit of his own legacy, out of his reactive ego or just out of his misguided sense of what will please the people and get him reelected.

And can I take a minute to say that in some cases, a spouse does have something to do with someone’s character. I have nothing against Mrs. Trump, and I have no objection to what she chooses to do with her life. That’s not what this is about. But a man who, by all appearances, chooses his life partner with such shallow parameters and so little loyalty does say something about himself. I’m not just talking about his current wife, but the previous ones. And also the very public history of how he treats women, even the ones he’s married to. How dare he take a swipe at Cruz, who chose a powerful, educated and independent woman to challenge him and serve as his partner in life when he himself has clearly had one and only one standard when choosing his own.

I know the question always posed to people like me is “but how can you let Hillary be president? Isn’t she worse? Aren’t you cutting off your nose to spite your own face? Don’t you know the evil she will do, while you only suspect the damage Trump will do?”

Sure; but all we can do is vote on what we suspect the outcome will be. At least Hillary Clinton is tethered buy her own political moorings. She is evil, corrupt, self-interested and amoral. However, she still kowtows to lobbyists, the electorate and the idea that she’d like to stay out of jail and enjoy all of the money her and Bill have amassed when her term is up. She knows how to play the game, so she will play within the confines of the rules and stay enough towards the middle to earn that second term.

In my opinion, Hillary Clinton is like a ravenous hyena on a leash while Trump is a the same animal without one. You are forced to be in the room with one or the or the other, and you don’t get to know how long that leash is. If it’s me, I guess I’m going to risk the one on a leash. Even if that leash turns out to be too long, at least I’d have the fighting chance to grab it and choke that thing out before it kills me. The other choice is to go with the unleashed animal and hope he doesn’t get hungry or grumpy.