I have long been arguing that the way to get back to a free society is not to find some magical third-party candidate who will magically give us all back our freedom magically in a single election. And been scorned and called names by the Paulbots and other “Big ‘L’” types (an interesting take on “win friends and influence people” but there you are).
The same tactics of look for someone who has a reasonable chance of winning, who gives you at least a little bit of what you want who might even give up a bit in one area to gain in another so long as you can get a net gain that the Left has been using against us can be used right back at them.
In 2008 I could point out that McCain had a history of voting “pro gun” twice as often as Obama (Out of 4 votes on gun issues Obama voted “pro gun” once–yeah, surprised me too. McCain voted “pro gun” about half the time). He also had a history of supporting more conservative picks for judges. Just a couple of examples that come to mind. Thus, there were actual areas where McCain for all his faults–and they were legion–was better than Obama.
In 2012, I could point out that 11th Article of Faith (statement of some of the core beliefs of the LDS religion) that’s basically a statement of freedom of religion and that unlike, say, Reid, he actually seems to follow his religion. We would, therefore, expect him to support freedom of religion, unlike Obama. Just one example that comes to mind. So there, too, I could point to actual areas where Romney for all his faults–and they were legion–was better than Obama.
Now it’s 2016 and we’ve got Trump (or are about to get him but nothing can stop him now). Um. Well, there’s some campaign rhetoric most of which he’s already walked back (and when questioned on those walkbacks he said that he’s not president and what he says is “just flexible suggestions”, basically admitting that his word is worthless) but his actual history of supporting positions and politicians or actions with any kind of tangible effect… Um. Sorry. Coming up blank here. In the past I could admit to a lot of overlap between the two parties–has to be; they both want a majority so they have to compete for at least some of the same voters, but I could also point to differences. Now? Hillary with a combover. I can’t think of a single policy position where I can expect Trump to be better than Hillary on anything.
When I ask others for reasons to support Trump I get variations on:
“Trump said…” (That’s nice. But see above. His word is worthless, self-admittedly so. Doesn’t really matter what he says when you can’t believe a word of it.)
“But…Hillary’s bad.” (Yes. Stipulated. Hillary’s bad. Hillary’s horrible. But show me where, on policy and given something, anything, I can trust even a little bit, where Trump is better.”
“Trump can’t possibly be worse.” (Have you ever cracked open a history book?)
And my favorite: “There are solid reasons to support Trump but I’m not going to tell you for…reasons.” (Uh, whatever works for you, but that’s not exactly a compelling argument.”
At the moment, I’m probably going Libertarian, not because I expect it to help but because while we really do have “Hillary” vs. “Hillary with a spray tan” there is absolutely nothing to be gained by voting either of the main parties. Eventually it is my hope that either the GOP will break up and a new “major” party will emerge and I can get some difference even if only a little bit, or, it will get its head out of its collective rear and I can start working on the “get even a little net gain, then build on that to get a little more” that has worked so well for the opposition. Otherwise, well, I’ll be marking time to the final collapse of this Grand Experiment.
Couple of on-the-way things.
1) A lot of people in writing and other fields who are non-liberal are “in the closet” regarding their politics for fear that editors, directors, producers, whoever has power over them in the field will not work with them. (See the reaction of a lot of “professionals” in the field to the recent Sad Puppies campaigns to learn the truth of that. No the Puppies are not racist, misogynist, white supremacist, or even monolithic. They’re just folk who want “story” to come before “message”. Who think message is okay so long as its wrapped in an entertaining story, but that when it’s allowed to take the place of story you have a problem.) I, however, have always been “out” politically as a libertarian leaning conservative. I can never be otherwise. Entirely too forthright. So, I guess I’m at least one of your tripwires. Use it well.
2) Not giving up my guns. Not turning them in. No way. No how. If Hillary does manage to “get the NRA shut down” (First Amendment? What First Amendment?) and get handguns (among others, I’m sure) banned? Not gonna comply. Decision already made. Let the chips on that fall where they may.
Will we succeed or not in the end? Don’t know. Like to think we will but feeling very discouraged at the moment. Still doesn’t mean quitting. If it means going down fighting well, I’m good with that.