Election day, to the extent it hasn’t been election month since the notion of election day seems almost archaic, is upon us. Don’t ask who I’m voting for. I won’t tell and there’s no reason in the world why you should care. Half the guys at Volokh Conspiracy have given their votes, some even explaining their choice of the least despicable candidate. Like them, I too vote for the second worst candidate. Who that is, to me, shouldn’t matter to you.
What does matter is that watching the campaign from the seat of disgust enables me to see the choices uncolored by belief. What I see are two sides that look remarkably similar in many ways, combined with their denial that they’re anything like the other side. I see hypocrisy and lies, ignorance and self-dealing, all wrapped in a bow of utter bullshit. What I see is the inability of people who pretend to be smart enough to pick a president incapable of understanding why anyone would pick the other person.
That is worse than the choice itself, that people cannot fathom how anyone can see virtue, or not see outrage, in any choice but their own. More than anything else, this characterizes what America has become. And whether we can be bigger than this, overcome this, is the question to be presented tomorrow.
The Clinton supporters call Trump supporters haters. Indeed, the New York Times, ever blind to any thought but their own self-righteousness, leads off its conciliatory editorial with this gem:
Hate sells. Racism, bigotry and misogyny, Donald Trump has proved, can energize a national campaign. Mr. Trump has shown it is feasible to recruit the alt-right, conspiracy theorists, white supremacists and anti-Semites as ferocious allies without alienating reliable Republican voters.
Beyond the irony that the Times has dedicated its editorial pages to its own hate for the past six months, it chooses election day to dump yet more hate onto its pages. Sure, there are some Trump supporters who are neo-Nazis and white supremacists, haters by any definition. But then, they are the same self-serving haters who shriek names at anyone who doesn’t blindly adhere to their progressive orthodoxy. Name-callers both, doing the same thing, and yet its invisible if one side of the haters is your side, because then you can excuse their spewing hate because it’s “right” hate.
What they cannot see is the Trump supporters who believe that the political (and media) establishment has failed, and will never be capable of serving the interest of ordinary Americans. There are millions of Americans who are more concerned with feeding their families than with sacrificing their children to the social justice flavor of the day.
Whether they believe Trump has a plan, or even the capacity to help, may be secondary to the belief that something has to change. Persisting with failed politics cannot continue, even if the option is to close one’s eyes and hope that Trump has a far, far better grasp of law, civics, governance and Constitution than he’s demonstrated up to now.
On the flip side, the shrieking SJWs are merely the counterpart to the radical Trumpalos. Others realize that Hillary Clinton can’t tell the truth and has engaged in impropriety. But for all the mistrust rightfully dumped on her, she at least brings a working knowledge of government and law that Trump appears to lack. For the “but he’s a billionaire” argument, that doesn’t translate into being a president any more than being a great running back means one can hit a curve ball.
The same things that many find attractive about Trump, that he speaks extemporaneously, often coarsely, sometimes nastily, much like the ordinary person, is what endears and distinguishes him from politicians. People like that he’s not a politician, and that he doesn’t moderate his speech as politicians do. Juxtapose Clinton spewing her flavor of hate at Trump supporters, the deplorables, but using more calculated words, and the difference becomes apparent. The only thing you need to see the obvious parallels is to not believe too hard that your sides faults are righteous.
As for the “historic” aspect of a First Woman President, the novelty will be gone on day two, just as it was with the first black president. Sure, we should have a woman president, but the question is whether Hillary Clinton is that woman. To base a vote on a vagina, either way, is puny.
After the nominations, I suggested (based on my highly unscientific gut) that ten percent of America affirmatively supported Trump and ten percent affirmative supported Hillary Clinton. Eighty percent of America was disgusted to find its choice limited to two candidates nobody wants as president. The noise that drives both sides is the screaming of their extremes; that noise does not reflect the views or interests of the vast majority of Americans.
One thing is certain: neither candidate will have a mandate to push the extreme end of their agenda, to the extent either has an agenda. This doesn’t appear to be the case according to the media and the screamers, who have convinced themselves that their hate is the good hate. Most of us don’t want to hate anyone. We just want government to work, to function and not to suck all joy out of our existence. Most Americans will hold their nose while they vote.
The people who support the other candidate are not bad people, evil haters, deplorable. They are the same nice people you meet everyday, work with, play with, like and dislike, who have simply reached a different choice than you. They have valued something differently than you have. Their values aren’t necessarily wrong, but different. If you can’t accept the premise that anyone’s values can differ from your values, then you are the hater.
Vote for whomever you want. Don’t hate people who vote for someone else. Stop lying to yourself that your values, and yours alone, are righteous. Regardless of who wins, we have the capacity to rise above this election. Don’t let the candidates, or their extremist supporters, undermine the Republic. Be better than the worst of us.