I intend to vote for Donald Trump, and just typing those words makes me throw up a little. Make that a lot, and for distance. Yeah, I know Trump is a clown, but so is Hillary Clinton, and while he’s sort of an irascible and tacky Ronald McDonald, she is freaking Pennywise.
Now, if you want to see my Trump-slamming bona fides, you can Google my CNN appearances where I was the go-to conservative who would reliably trash the loudmouth Republican nominee until I dared attack Hillary and mussed their carefully coiffed narrative. But I haven't changed my mind about anything I said. Trump is terrible. It's just that I believe Hillary is infinitely worse.
About 90% of my friends are in the #NeverTrump category. Hell, my wife is #NeverTrump. This is understandable since I hang with a lot of hard-core conservatives and similar quality people. They tell me it's an act of principle to refuse to vote for Trump, and I agree - completely and without reservation. No sarcasm here – believe me, I get it.
So don't look at me to argue with them. We all have limits as to what we can stomach, and Trump is the acid reflux disease of Republican politics. Maybe being a trial lawyer has immunized me to weaponized stupidity, but Trump is still a grassy knoll conspiracy theory or two away from me doing the ostrich thing until about January 2021.
What would I argue to my principled anti-Trump friends even if I were so inclined? That he's not more liberal than I like? That he's not a vulgar buffoon? That he's the heir to Ronald Reagan? Not remotely. No, if Trump wants their votes, he can rebuild the bridges out of the ashes he created.
But I have principles too, and a key one is not electing a man-hating progressive fascist who has the liberal infrastructure behind her that can make her goose-stepping dreams actually come true. Trump is a one-off loner who Congress could contain. Hillary Clinton has eager allies and potentially the Senate and, God forbid, the House behind her. She's just malignant and stupid enough to start people shooting, while all Trump could do is get us yelling. Slight advantage, Trump.
Sadly, the #NeverTrump crew has inherited some of the establishment clowns who created the opening for The Donald. They are less upset about ideology than saving their place at the trough. When in this century did the likes of Common Core advocate Jeb “Act of Love” Bush ever fight for actual conservatism? The despicable Lindsey Graham broke his promise to support the GOP nominee, a promise he made knowing it might mean he would have to support Trump. Both Lindsey and I were colonels – maybe I’m old-fashioned, but in my military, officers are expected to keep their word. Regardless, way to go, Little Lord Lindsey – you showed those GOP voters who are sick of being lied to by politicians who say one thing during the campaign then shamelessly do the exact opposite afterwards that they were entirely right. If the principles of #NeverTrump include breaking your word – and I don’t believe they do – then I’m clearly not cut out for it. Even the harshest anti-Trump diehard needs to step up and repudiate this fork-tongued weasel.
A couple of people on Twitter announced they won't follow me anymore because I'm not #NeverTrump. The loss of their cat-related tweets is a sacrifice I will make. A majority of my friends disagree with me and kind of shake their heads, but none have given me any grief. They aren't jerks.
Nor will I be a jerk, at least not more than usual, though I disagree with their strategy and tactics. I'm not going to be condescending and say that I expect a significant number of them to change their minds over the next few months as the socialist nightmare of Hillary's America comes more sharply into view. I don’t, though it could happen. And Trump could easily go an idiocy too far and I could join #NeverTrump.
I think Trump has a significant chance of actually winning the election because of the way he breaks the rules. Of course, the way he breaks the rules is also the way he most annoys me. I cast my first presidential vote for Ronald Reagan, but sadly the Gipper is not on the ticket, nor are any of his heirs. I don't regret the thousands of dollars I gave to Ted Cruz, but in November I will have a choice, and I will eagerly embrace the one least likely to plunge our country into the darkness of perpetual socialism and violent convulsions.
In law, one of the two sides always loses. In war, bad things happen and you are left with suboptimal courses of action. We didn't ask to be dealt these cards, but here they are – we drew a six and a joker and the dealer is showing a ten. So the question presented is whether are we going to let Hillary win by default, or whether are we going to try and help Trump.
I choose to vote for Trump not because I like the cut of his jib but because Hillary Clinton is an extinction-level menace who is likely to literally destroy the United States of America. We're strong enough to deal with an idiot. I don't think our culture is strong enough to deal with a committed, focused leftist monster like her. That’s my reasoning. That’s why he will get my vote. That’s the only reason he will get my vote.
Funny, but I'm in California so my vote really won't matter, and it would've been easy to just call myself #NeverTrump and not take any grief. But besides defeating Hillary, my other principle is not being a wuss and hiding what I think.
So if you decide unfollow me on social media, that's your loss because I'm absolutely hysterical. But it's also your loss in a larger sense, because someday there's going to be another election and we're all going to need to work together. Trump fans, Trump foes – it may not seem like it in the days following the departure of a true hero like Ted Cruz but we have much, much more in common than what divides us. 2020 is coming no matter what happens. We’ll need to stand together again then. But right now, you have to follow your conscience and I have to follow mine. Even if I have to keep down my lunch.