On Holding My Nose and Voting for Trump

Monday, November 02, 2020

In the last election, my vote was -- and could realistically only be -- symbolic. I lived in deep blue Maryland and cast the following protest vote: straight Republican except for President, from which I abstained.

My vote matters a great deal more this time around, since I live in Florida, where both parties are competitive. In fact, I cast it in early voting last week in case illness kept me at home. It was for Trump and Republicans across the board this time. I am no fan of the President, as any search of my blog can demonstrate; the best I can say is that his heart is arguably in the right place on many issues.

Indeed, the title of a recent piece by Mark da Cunha in Capitalism Magazine suggests a better characterization of how I voted: I voted against the Democrats.

I did this for two major reasons: First, if media polling has been anywhere close to accurate, we are in dire danger of the Democrats controlling the Presidency and both houses of Congress.

This prospect would be alarming enough without the pandemic or the anger about Amy Barrett's confirmation to the Supreme Court, and for at least three reasons, any of which would ordinarily make a Presidential ticket all but unacceptable on its own:

I, too, wish people voted more thoughtfully, but doing this is not possible. (Image by Jose M., via Unsplash, license.)
  1. Biden has voiced support for a ban on fracking, which has helped America achieve energy independence. He is also sympathetic to the Green New Deal, which his running mate and likely successor co-sponsored with Bernie Sanders.
  2. Both members of the Democratic ticket support nationalizing the horrendous, job-killing AB-5 contracting ban that California's one-party state has passed and will not entertain repealing, despite its vast unpopularity and despite that state's very high pandemic unemployment rate. And again, Kamala Harris has co-sponsored a national version of this law -- which also endangers the franchising business model -- with Bernie Sanders.
  3. Biden plans to further the march towards fully socialized medicine that he started when he helped pass ObamaCare.
And since the pandemic started, you can add severely weakening law enforcement and the threat of a national coronavirus "lockdown" to the mix.

But that's not all. The confirmation of Amy Barrett to the Supreme Court has given the obviously power-hungry Democrats an excuse to consider "packing" the Supreme Court, making it little better than a rubber stamp for the Democrats and admitting the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico into the union for the obvious purpose of adding four perpetually Democratic seats to the Senate.

If any one of the above reasons would make the Democrats unacceptable, so would any combination or all, and that's without the party openly discussing how to make one-party rule permanent.

And this leads to my essential reason for voting the way I have, and advising others to do the same. It includes the concern, voiced so well by da Cunha that:
[T]he Democrats will sweep everything, and the academics in American Universities and their rioting offspring in the streets will determine policy.
On a deeper level, I see the political situation as similar to the way it was in 2012, which Leonard Peikoff summarized as the "non-entity," pragmatist Romney vs. the "anti-entity," nihilist Obama. In my words, I see in Donald Trump someone I can't trust. But in Biden/Harris I see someone I do trust: to enact policies -- especially on energy and effectively restructuring the federal government -- that, if they aren't intended to pose an existential threat to our republic, they might as well be.

I do not deny that Donald Trump has been an immediate-term disaster as President, especially in terms of his mishandling of the pandemic. And the religious right indeed poses a great long-term threat to the country.

But I regard the Democrats -- as we can see in miniature in California and in preview in the protracted so-called "lockdowns" of Gavin Newsom, Gretchen Whitmer, and Andrew Cuomo -- as such a dire immediate threat that I like America's odds better with the current President in charge for four more years, as exhausting as he is, and as difficult as his influence on the Republican Party will make the future fight for liberty.

-- CAV


Snedcat said...

Yo, Gus, you might have just alienated all your readership besides me with this post. In any case, yeah, voting for Trump's a holding action, while voting for the Dems is suicide.

Peter Smith said...

I hear where you're coming from but for what it's worth I have to disagree.
In merely one term in office Trump has returned tariffs, setting free trade back a century, bankrupted farmers, requiring record breaking bailouts, let loose gov spending in general, breaking all previous records in human history and called for more "big and bold" infrastructure spending. Not to mention concentration camps where children are being kept in cages for the crime of going about their business.
He has engaged in brazen corruption that would make a Clinton blush, from Ukraine to Turkey, to just using his office as a money printing machine to enrich his family with no end of conflicts of interest that would end any other Presidency.
He has corrupted every level of government which now exists only to serve keeping him in power, as opposed to a check on his power.
He has engaged in disastrous foreign policy, praising dictators, appeasing all of America's enemies, outright surrendering in the Middle East while at the same time trying to take credit for any achievement there and even raised North Korea to new levels with summits of unprecedented delusion and idiocy. At the end of his first term the entire world is a tinder box waiting to explode, from China/India, Armenia, South China Sea and the Middle East is as bad as ever, and because no one takes America seriously anymore.
And now as we approach the election he has refused to commit to conceding a defeat and continuously calls the election rigged (unless he wins presumably) and thereby has announced that he cannot be legally removed from office. He is also calling for extra judicial arrests of his political opponents. We've never seen anything like this before. It's completely nuts.

Whatever plans Biden may have, he isn't this.
This election should be about getting Trump out of the Oval Office at all cost.

Although sadly I think Trump is going to win because we are simply far too gone.

Gus Van Horn said...


Your summary of my position is an accurate one. Believe it or not, I have heard support from other fellow travellers.


I have time for two quotes: "Whatever plans Biden may have, he isn't this [bad?]." Agreed. I think he is even worse -- because of his plans, which are already farther to the left than most think, and because he is quite likely to be replaced by Harris, who is very far left. The Democrats sense a moment and are particularly dangerous this election cycle: I'll take the economic illiterate who boot-licks thugs as the lesser of two evils. (I don't grant EVERYTHING you allege, but I don't have to: Trump's greatest sin in paving the way for censorship. If I could believe the Democrats weren't even more eager for the same thing, I could consider voting for Biden, but I don't.

"This election should be about getting Trump out of the Oval Office at all cost." At ALL costs? I doubt you mean that, but I'd be on board -- if it weren't for the danger of the Democrats running the table.


Peter Smith said...

Try this trick: pretend Biden is running as a Republican and Trump is running as the Democrat and then tell me you're still going to vote for Trump.

Gus Van Horn said...


I want to like that idea as a thought experiment, but it drops context. For starters: Would the far-left Harris still be Biden's running mate? That would be reason enough to vote for Trump since he's hardly a spring chicken.

I've said here before that, in many respects, Trump is basically an old-fashioned Democrat. That said, he at least has the virtue of not actively hating America or wanting to overhaul its institutions. I'm not sure I can say the same for Biden.


Peter Smith said...

I hate to be that guy but as I watch Trump declare the election both a fraud, demand vote counting stops and claims victory all at the same time, I can't help but ask in the I-told-you-so voice, what were you saying again about Biden being a threat to our institutions?

The real context dropping has been around just how truly catastrophic Trump is as too many people can't bring themselves to vote democrat because they don't want to believe that republicans are as bad if not worse. Well, here we are.

We're watching the end of the American Republic live on television courtesy of this nut.

Gus Van Horn said...

As if the Democrats won't do exactly this. (And haven't been preparing to for months with their rioting and credible threats to do so if they don't win/"win".)

The hard part of this election has been that now, we may see the GOP begin to act childish or worse about election outcomes.