A Libertarian’s Letter to Republicans Friends Who Can’t Trumpet Trump

This article was originally published at http://www.politicalstorm.com/libertarians-letter-republicans-friends-cant-trumpet-trump/

So Donald Trump really did it.  He captured (or hijacked) your Republican Party’s nomination for President of the United States.

You may still be looking for a loophole at the convention which could permit (but will it justify ?) nominating someone else.  At this point, anything’s worth a look.   But with the Republican heavyweights falling into line – first Ryan and then McCain (and I thought picking Palin was amazing), and now Corker (running for Veep, we hear) – there seems little prospect of that.

Hold your breath, if you wish, and bookmark this for later, when at the end of July, Trump keeps his grip on the GOP’s nomination and the Democrats nominate Hillary Clinton.  Only Trump versus Hil would be a dismal choice.

Providentially, in my view, it won’t be only Trump versus Hillary.   There will also be Gary Johnson, former governor of New Mexico, running with Bill Weld, former governor of Massachusetts, for VP.  On the Libertarian ballot line.

You don’t want to vote for Trump.  In your heart, you know he’s wrong.

At best, he’s all coarse narcissism, the tasteless superficiality of “reality TV” (an oxymoron if I ever heard one).   He brings no experience with governing, no grasp of foreign affairs (which is termed “diplomacy” for a reason).  He lacks the temperament, knowledge, demeanor or gravitas to be a president, either at home or abroad (and he’s proud of it).  He’s no exemplar of traditional Republican values, fiscal discipline, personal rectitude and common respect for others.

That’s the “at best.”  At worst, he really is the jingoist, racist and misogynist he appears to be.   What we see is what we’ll get.

I have great confidence in the strength of our stabilizing institutions, our checks-and-balances, allegiance to the rule of law, commitment to the Constitution and Bill of Rights . . . but is it wise to stress-test them?

The Hitler comparison is extreme, I admit.  It feels like Chicken Little hysteria.   But see Trump’s scapegoating . . . his lashing out at opposition (or tough questions, or unfavorable court rulings) . . . his obsession over race, ethnicity and religion . . . his tolerance of physical confrontation in the context of politics (which should be about expressing ideas, in words) . . . his diatribes, equal parts vague and bellicose, about becoming “great again” – and one wonders.

Hitler wasn’t Hitler until he was . . . “He has a point,” some said, “Germany did make ‘bad’ peace treaties.”   “We can keep him in check,” thought von Hindenburg, the heaviest heavyweight of his time, who fell in line and appointed him Chancellor.  Then the Brownshirts came out.  And then Hitler turned on them . . .

It does sound extreme, as I admit.  Our institutions are stronger, aren’t they?  But he got the Republican nomination, somehow.  And these parallels are uncanny.

One needn’t go so far.   It’s enough to see the tragic irony of a Republican party’s standard bearer so purposefully rejecting Lincoln’s vision of a nation “touched by the better angels of our nature.”

I doubt you’ll vote for Hillary, though.   For decades now we’ve watched her careerist striving for power through cronyism, connections, insider deals, identity group politics, half-truths (and untruths) and dissembling.  Together with Bill –  relegated to the shadows, but brought out when her poll numbers needed goosing – they preside over dark pools of unaccounted-for money, driven by shady secrecy, accomplishing little beyond making her rich and famous.   With Hil, we get a third Obama term domestically, ever-bigger Government laced with an ill-considered, adventurist foreign policy, and Bill back in the White House.  That’s a government steered by a lack of character at the helm.

But, but, you ask, can Johnson-Weld really win?  The flippant answer is:  if they get enough votes to get enough electors, yes, they win.  The political answer is: if they get enough electors to send the election to the Republican House of Representatives, which won’t choose Hillary and may be too scared to choose Trump, yes, Johnson-Weld can win.

Long shots, both, I admit.

So, is voting Libertarian a “no” vote?

Yes, in a sense, but it’s not a throwaway vote.  It’s a “no” to a Trump personality cult, fueled by gratuitous divisiveness that’s at odds with what’s good in America.    It’s a “no” to Hillary’s contrived ascendance to the peak of a rarified, out-of-touch political power class that she’s no agent to change.

It’s a protest vote against a duopoly-controlled electoral process so thoroughly dysfunctional that it elevated two profoundly flawed and unpopular candidates, and now foists them on us as an ultimatum, as though we have no choice.

         So, yes, vote “no.”

        And if Gary Johnson and Bill Weld get enough “no” votes . . . we get to “Yes.”