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That’s All, Folks

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Donald Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee for president, so congratulations to him. And congratulations to me, because his nomination absolves me of a habit I’ve had since I was first able to vote – voting for the Republican.

Before I get too deep, know I live in Maryland, so my vote is irrelevant. Hillary Clinton could lay out her plan to murder every middle child and seize everyone’s assets, and she’d still pull 60 percent of the vote in Maryland. My state’s outcome being a foregone conclusion affords me the freedom to maintain my conservative principles by not voting for Clinton or her patron.

That said, not voting for Donald Trump would’ve been an easy decision if I lived in a swing state. It’s not that I don’t agree with some of the things Trump has said. I agree with about half of them. But the half I disagree with just happen to be the same issues. That’s because Trump has been on both sides of every issue, sometimes within the same day.

Just as I wouldn’t order “mystery meat” off a menu, I wouldn’t vote for mystery candidate “so we can find out what’s in him,” to borrow a phrase from Nancy Pelosi.

Trump’s loyalty is to everything and everyone named Trump … except some of those who came by the name by marrying him. Call me old fashioned, but that’s not good enough for me.

Now that Ted Cruz has suspended his campaign, the only option for the Republicans is Trump. Unless – and this is a long shot – Ohio Gov. John Kasich follows something unconventional I suggested on Twitter: the one state campaign.

This isn’t going to happen, but the reaction to the idea showed there was, at least at the time, an appetite for it and shocking lack of understanding of how our electoral process works.

Kasich, or anyone else, could run for president in the state of Ohio, and only Ohio. If he could win Ohio, which he did in the primary and presumably would have an easier time in a three-way general election race, he could deny either Clinton or Trump the necessary majority. That would throw the election into the House of Representatives, where each state’s congressional delegation gets one vote. Get a majority of that, which he could given Republicans control both houses of Congress, and he would be the next president.

It’s unlikely, Ohio has sore loser laws keeping people who’ve run and lost a party’s nomination from running independently for that office, but it’s not impossible. The law could be challenged in court, which could go either way.

More than likely, our choice will be between two progressives, one with a D after her name and one with an R.

Do you want tax hikes with a minimum wage increase or do you want selective tax hikes with a minimum wage increase? Do you want someone who will knowingly bypass the constitutional separation of powers to impose the agenda, or do you want someone who will unknowingly bypass the constitutional separation of powers to impose the agenda? Do you want a trade war or do you want a trade war?

Neither are going to address the crushing debt or the tidal wave of unfunded liabilities related to Social Security and Medicare. Neither have a clue or plan on how to deal with ISIS, Russia, or any of our other looming foreign policy challenges.

Sure, Hillary has her experience as Secretary of State to fall back on, in which she made so many mistakes she now seems way overdue to get something right.

And Trump claims to have a “secret plan” to deal with ISIS, but given his inability to articulate a coherent plan on any issue, I suspect we’ll see his tax returns before we know what it is.

In short, barring a miracle, we’re screwed. I can’t be a part of it.

What I believe in always has superseded party loyalty. It just so happened the Venn diagram of my principles overlapped enough with Republican candidates, especially on big picture issues, to allow me to maintain my beliefs. That’s not the case in 2016.

My choice was made both easy and difficult by the voters in Indiana. It won’t be Hillary, I am vehemently opposed to her and what she stands for, but it won’t be Trump either. So who will it be? Should the Libertarian Party field what it has been unable to in the past – a viable, strong candidate – I will go with that. Failing that, and if history is any indication they will fail that, I have to choose between everyone who ever existed and any fictional character because I will be writing in one them.

Imagine if enough people did that, so much so to the point neither candidate reaches 50 percent of the popular vote. Whoever emerged, and I suspect it still would be Hillary, would be so weakened and have so little political capital, much of the power amassed in the Executive Branch in recent years would be regained by Congress.

It’s a pipedream, but that dream is much more appealing than the other nightmare options we’re facing…

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