Last year, conservatives like myself were anticipating a Presidential election that was looking increasingly promising for the Republican Party. The GOP had a fantastic array of talents running in the primaries, and the Democrats only had two serious candidates to choose from, both of whom had major political flaws. It seemed obvious to me that the eventual Republican nominee would win the White House, and set our nation on a new course of conservative policy.
Today, I find myself preparing to vote for Secretary Clinton, something the me of last year wouldn’t be able to comprehend. Casting this vote, and publicly announcing my intent to do so, carries all kinds of risk for someone hoping to have a future in conservative politics. However, the country is more important than my personal aspirations, and it’s critical that voters stop Donald Trump from coming within one inch of the Oval Office.
Currently, the knock on Hillary Clinton is that she’s corrupt, divisive, a poor communicator, and isn’t likely to deliver real change in Washington. I would add that in my view, her policies and court appointments will harm the nation and continue America’s slow, dangerous decline. In the face of all of this though, I will still support her, because she possesses the most basic and necessary trait an American President can have: stability.
We Americans are fortunate enough to live in one of the most politically stable countries on Earth. The United States is so stable in fact, that the rest of the world entrusts us with reserve currency status, among other international perks and responsibilities. Stability comes from the top, and an America run by Donald Trump would understandably terrify the rest of the world.
Many of his supporters may approve of this, due to their desire to see America in a stronger light on the global stage. However, the international community’s fear of Trump would not be borne out of respect for power or tough leadership. Rather, it’s the kind of fear that comes from mad men running the asylum. To put it plainly, Donald Trump’s supporters are not thinking through the potential economic, military and political risks of a Trump Presidency.
As any economist will tell you, instability is a massive impediment to economic growth. A President who openly embraces the notion of trade wars, and who thinks he can ‘renegotiate’ Treasury bonds is one who, knowingly or not, runs the risk of generating a new global depression. Mr. Trump doesn’t know the first thing about simple economic history, and the damage to people’s standard of living that enacting trade barriers has wrought. The Great Depression was deepened by just such a trade war, in a futile attempt to “protect” American producers. His embrace of extreme protectionism, and dangerous flirtations with our public debt bring along tremendous possibility of wealth destruction.
Furthermore, giving Donald Trump access to our military, our weapons, and our nuclear arsenal is an unacceptable risk, and an incredibly irresponsible act of any thinking voter. He has stated, on the record, that he will blow naval ships out of the water, potentially starting wars in response to “gestures.” Mr. Trump has asked repeatedly why it is that we can’t use nuclear weapons, and has refused to condemn Vladimir Putin when given a myriad of opportunities to do so.
In addition to all of this, Donald Trump has openly advocated for the killing of innocent civilians related to our enemies, having stated in a Fox & Friends interview “The other thing with the terrorists is you have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families…”
Such an action would turn our beloved military – an incredible force for good that has made the world tremendously better on net – into an organization with orders from the top to intentionally kill innocents. The American military does not kill innocents intentionally, and any suggestion that they should, even in passing, is a horrendous and disqualifying statement, one that Hillary Clinton would never be dumb enough to make, let alone implement as President.
Moreover, a man with such thin skin and a desire to punish his detractors will not hesitate to use the executive branch as a weapon. An IRS, FBI, and DOJ run directly or indirectly by a President Trump is a nightmare scenario, one that could make past instances of executive branch targetings look like child’s play. America cannot afford to have a man who has shown such disdain for the free press time and time again as its top officer. The bedrock of our republic is the free and open exchange of facts and opinions, even ones that make Donald Trump throw a tantrum.
To be sure, instability and immaturity are constant features of the Republican nominee. This is a man who is potentially weeks away from being President-elect of the most powerful and influential nation in world history, but will still resort to third-grade insults on social media when someone hurts his feelings. Presidents deal with criticism and hate throughout their term in the form of a non-stop barrage of insults and arguments alike. Trump is not emotionally prepared to let these attacks roll off his shoulders, in the way past Presidents have for years at a time, with minimal exceptions. He is an elementary school bully in a seventy-year old man’s body.
Finally, having a conspiracy theorist as President is indefensible, and will lower the bar for rational public discourse in our country even further going forward. For years, Donald Trump pushed the idiotic, easily disprovable, and clearly bigoted notion that Barack Obama was born in Africa before doing a weak, halfhearted non-apology when backed into a corner by the media. Whether Trump was pretending to believe the theories to attract a core group of supporters years before a Presidential run, or he was a true believer who still holds onto the notion to this day makes little difference.
There is no one, especially on the pro-Israel right, who wouldn’t call a conspiracy theory alleging that a Jewish President was born in Israel anti-semitic. The same logic applies to the first black president being accused of an African birth in the face of clear evidence to the contrary. And Hillary Clinton, as dirty as the 2008 Democratic primary got, did not start the birther rumors, despite constant attempts by dishonest members of the conservative press, and the Trump campaign, to rewrite history and pin it on her personally.
To be clear, Hillary Clinton does not have my vote because she has earned it. She has my vote because she is the only person stopping Mr. Trump from becoming President. This is why I am not voting third party, like so many others who can’t bring themselves to support the Republican nominee this cycle.
Voting third party gives you better options, yes. Whether you choose Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, or Evan McMullin, libertarians, progressives and conservatives have better, more pure, and less scandal-prone options than Secretary Clinton. However, I implore you to reconsider your protest vote. This is about more than policy, and more than merely making a statement. This is about your country, and perhaps the world.
Trumpism is an ugly, pathetic ideology, based on no core understanding of how things work, and no moral values to speak of. It must be stopped, and stopped forcefully. It is not “conservative” in any sense, and Trump’s “policies,” in so much as he has any, are mostly the words of others that he reads off of a script, or posts on his website. The only ideology the man truly possesses is a pure, distilled form of narcissism so strong that it sticks out among the highest levels of politicians.
Even though I agree with more of the policies that Donald Trump is supposedly running on, and even though I understand fully how destructive four more years of a Democratic President can be, I cannot in good conscience support the Republican nominee, and I cannot in good conscience vote for anyone besides the one person who can still beat him.