Forget Gary Johnson – I would vote for the Naked Libertarian Fat Guy over Hillary. And it’s not even close. Sure, he’s way hotter, but more importantly NLFG is less likely to flush America down the sewer into violent conflict than that vindictive, man-hating half-wit. I can bear the bare bear, but I can never condone the commie crone.
But I’ll support Donald Trump, because even though his antics provoke me to rerun my dinner, that cackling libfascist is way worse. Yet Bill Kristol – a patriot whose conservative credentials are beyond question even if we differ on this one issue – is hinting that there may be another alternative. He may have found a third party candidate to commit ritual suicide in a kamikaze mission against the guy who actually won the GOP nomination. This is great, because it will help Trump, and by helping Trump it will hurt Hillary, and anything that hurts Hillary helps America.
That’s really what it’s all about. Hell, I’d buy the “Best of Limp Bizkit” if it hurt Hillary, even if they still pressed 7” singles.
So who is this human sacrifice who is going to give up his career in a losing quest for the Holy Fail of ensuring that the (intermittently conservative) Republican nominee loses? As of my deadline, who knows? The big names seem to have dropped out. Mitt Romney is famously politically tone deaf, but even he’s passing on this long walk off a short pier. General James Mattis didn’t get his reputation as a military stud, and earn the ultimate accolade of being canned by Obama, for losing battles. Ben Sasse, who I will eagerly support should he someday win the GOP nomination, recognizes that he’d spend the rest of his short time in politics as the guy with a “Property of President Hillary Clinton” tramp-stamped over his coccyx.
No, I’m expecting some burned-out retread crank, someone like the tiresome Alan Simpson – you know, an ancient, condescending, and annoying old school GOP tax collector for the welfare state enticed out of retirement by the opportunity to spend a few months in the twilight explaining to Republican voters how they are stupid and should bend to the will of their self-designated betters.
And I can’t wait, because this is going to help Trump, which means it hurts Hillary, and all I care about is ensuring that we cure the White House of the political leprosy of committed, ideological leftism. And yes, I get that this means we might have to suffer the occasional liberal spasms of a guy who treats his commitment to conservative principles like Bill Clinton treats his marriage vows.
You see, a nominally Republican third party candidate will perform a vital function. Most people worry that Kristol’s cat’s paw will draw voters from Trump and usher Hillary into the Oval Humidor. But that’s not necessarily so. It’s quite possible it will hurt Hillary more.
Now, the people like me who prioritize sidelining Hillary will overcome their distaste for Trump and vote for him. We are not going to switch to some third party Don Quixote because our calculus is that Trump has a shot at winning and the third party guy doesn’t. And some of us are also repelled by the implicit “Well, then I’m taking my ball and going home!” vibe – after all, Trump played by the rules and won, fair and square. But for whatever reason, the third party option is not going to draw votes from this well.
The third party option is going to draw votes from the #NeverTrump crowd, variously estimated at between 5% and 30% of the GOP electorate. You see, I understand and respect the #NeverTrump crew even if I disagree with their tactics and/or strategy. When they say “Never Trump,” they mean “Never Trump.” Which means they are either not going to vote or (gag me with a server) are going to vote for Hillary. Which means Trump won’t lose votes to a third party guy because he never would have had those votes in the first place.
I get the not voting. The Sit-It-Out Squad wants nothing to do with Trump and won’t soil their ballots checking the Trump box. We could use them for Trump, but they aren’t coming. However, they will happily vote for a third party option, and those already forgone votes are no net loss. Plus, they’ll show up for the down ballot races.
No, what is important is the group that has bafflingly crossed the line into actively supporting Hillary. A few are open about their bizarre heresy, and some unknown number are covert. Hugh Hewitt calls them the “shy Tories,” right-inclined voters who will vote for that fascist monster but won’t admit it. Now, I think the real Shy Tory effect (or, if you prefer, a non-racial Bradley Effect) will favor Trump – I know well the hassle that comes with publicly admitting you will vote for The Donald. But regardless, there are conservative people who have employed some bizarre thought process to conclude that Trump is such a menace that electing Hillary is demonstrably better. No, I don’t get it, but then there are also people who like Fear the Walking Dead and/or Mumford & Sons, and I’d don’t get them either.
Regardless, these are votes that Trump was never going to get, some of which would have gone to Hillary. Now, some portion of them will be drained away from Hillary and gloriously squandered on Mr. Lost Cause.
So I’m fine with a center-right third party gambit. I’m happy to see him draw off some of the misguided votes Hillary would have inherited. And I can’t wait to see him in the undercard debate with the Naked Libertarian Fat Guy.