As more evidence comes out to confirm that Trump is exactly as awful as we all knew he was, Republicans who had attempted to remain faithful to the party are finally running for the lifeboats. These “unendorsements” unsurprisingly have triggered a classic Trump tantrum over the past two days, turning his Twitter account, communications team and supporter base against established and prospective Republican legislators vying for seats in November.
For instance, after Paul Ryan stated he would no longer campaign with Mr. Trump, Ben Shapiro notes:
That led Trump to tweet, “Paul Ryan should spend more time on balancing the budget, jobs and illegal immigration and not waste his time on fighting Republican nominee.” Of course, Trump could spend more of his time on not being the worst Republican candidate in history rather than bashing the man he needs in order to pass his agenda. But that wouldn’t be Trumpian, would it? Trump Doesn’t Care Whether The GOP Keeps Congress
At the end of The Hunt For Red October, Russian submarine captain Konovalov chooses a dangerous tactic in order to destroy the eponymous Red October: He removes safety systems from his weapons. Inevitably, his torpedo comes streaking back to strike the captain’s own submarine, to which his second-in-command Bonovia declares:
You arrogant ass. You’ve killed US!
While Trump continues his scorched earth strategy against the campaigns of “fellow” Republicans, I feel like Bonovia’s words are an appropriate appraisal and censure for those who have supported, encouraged, and played apologists for Trump and his candidacy.
Instead of losing just the presidency, the GOP will now likely also lose seats in both the House and Senate, and may lose control of one or both. This will cripple the ability of principled limited government politicians to restrain the excesses of a Clinton White House.
From the beginning of this race I have tried to emphasize to my friends and acquaintances that what matters is the coalition not a given candidate. One reason I support Gary Johnson is that I believe he does no damage to principled, limited government, down ballot candidates (of either party). These are invaluable partners in the coalition necessary for critical reform. I support a genuine and consistent, limited government candidate for president who is actively reaching out to likeminded Republicans and Democrats.
Johnson is reaching out to partner with Republicans, while the GOP’s own nominee’s spokesperson, Katrina Pierson, is undermining Republicans, tweeting:
I can’t keep my phone charged due to the mass volume of texts from people all over the country who will #VoteTrump but [down]ballot not so much.
I support Gary Johnson because I believe he represents the best chance of maintaining a legitimate limited government, classical liberal coalition in this country (in fact, his Libertarian credentials make him more credible as a bridge builder and reformer). I have believed from day one that Trump was antithetical to this philosophy and would damage the ability to progress towards more rational and effective government.
Well here we are… watching the #TrumpTrain take American conservatism off a cliff in real time.
This election is not about one man or a couple of Supreme Court appointments… Even if Trump somehow wins, if he causes Republicans to lose the Senate (which looks likely) he can’t get his nominees approved anyways… This election is now more than ever about whether any semblance of a honorable limited government coalition will survive this election or rise in it’s wake. A coalition necessary to promote and protect fiscal restraint, civil liberties, and a smaller, less intrusive, more respectful Federal government.
Standing up and giving voice and vote to Gary Johnson (or any small government candidate) gives momentum to that movement. It evidences to the professional politicos that the principles of limited government and individual liberties still hold sway with a major segment of the electorate. That you can win the next election and the one after, without appeal and submission to irrational populism and isolationist nationalism.
New national political partnerships and parties may arise after this election cycle, but their agendas will be framed by those who voted their conscience during this election cycle.
Are you part of the 60% of Americans who want less war (including ending the failed Drug War), responsible federal finances, strong protection of private property and other civil liberties, less protectionism in foreign trade and domestic regulations, ending crony capitalism, and a generally rational, restrained vision of government? Until you stand up and vote against the major party machines, they will keep chugging down the tracks without giving you a second’s bother. But if enough of us (and it starts with just a few) give voice and vote to a strong and truly different policy agenda, they will see and hear that. Win or lose, the parties will listen to that voice if it is loud enough, they will will move towards those votes.
A huckster knows they’ve got you when you won’t walk away no matter how bad the deal gets… The Dems and GOP have been selling us lemons for decades. Let’s quit being suckers and call them on their game.
We don’t have to deal with them anymore, we can walk away from the table and start remaking US politics in the flexible, lean, innovative, individual and entrepreneur friendly image necessary for our emerging 21st Century society.
Bonovia’s quote may be apt… Some of Trump’s supporters are definitely “arrogant asses” and the Republicans’ reckless choice of Trump may very well be what kills their own party and the limited government coalition they represented in the last century. But clearing away the rubble of Republican institutions and alliances may be exactly what is necessary to build the next coalition, stronger and recommitted to the values and principles of classical liberalism, of free people and free markets.
I hope people will seriously consider voting your conscience this November. Whether that vote is for is Gary Johnson, Evan McMullin, Darrell Castle, Jill Stein, Mickey Mouse, a write-in, or even (shudder) Trump or Clinton, it will be people finally taking concrete action to make their own choice (instead of being convinced of a false dichotomy by fear mongers and crony political insiders) that will get things moving in a different and hopeful direction.