It is often said that Presidential elections are about choosing the lesser of two evils. As Thomas Sowell explains time and again, “we can make our choices only among the alternatives actually available.”
This year, I intend to vote for the Republican candidate for President. Unfortunately, that candidate is Donald Trump. Millions of Americans, including prominent Republicans, as well as some of my colleagues, friends, and members of my own family believe he is the worst, if not the most dangerous candidate for President, ever in our history. He is branded with the most frightening and hateful terms, including: misogynist, racist, fascist, islamophobic, homophobic, even nazi sympathizer. I disagree with those labels, but I admit he is a demagogue of the first order. He says ugly things that can’t be defended. Many of his policy ideas are half-baked. Politically, his track record contains nothing to prove he is a Republican, much less a conservative. He is problematic in so many ways, it’s impossible to list them all in a short blog.
So why would anyone vote for such an “evil” as Trump?
For me, it’s not a vote for Trump, but instead a vote for the ticket that offers the best chance at preserving the Constitution.
Why the Constitution?
The Declaration of Independence acknowledged certain truths to be self-evident, established unalienable rights, and affirmed those rights are given to us by our Creator, not by government. The Constitution enshrined those rights, and codified the framework and function of a new form of government, one designed to be limited in scope, and feature a separation of powers that checked and balanced one another, thus protecting liberty from tyranny.
Without the Constitution, liberty erodes, and we succumb to an ever-expanding and increasingly unaccountable government bureaucracy. Tyranny by the State may be more benign than an outright dictator, but not for long.
There are single-issue voters concerned with individual causes or firsts in this election. But since our fundamental form of government itself is at risk, the Constitution should be our main concern. Not that Trump is by any means a Constitutionalist. But, in a paradoxical twist, the accused would-be tyrant might actually return us to Constitutional liberty. I believe there are four crisis areas where a Trump presidency will either directly benefit the Constitution, or will generate reactions by Democrats, such that the Constitution still prevails.
#1 Judicial Appointments
Federal judges, and more importantly Supreme Court appointments made by a President Trump will be far more conservative than anyone selected by Hillary. The battle to fill the vacancy left by the late Justice Antonin Scalia will determine whether the Court will practice textualism where the original text matters, or if it will follow the more activist styles of Justice Breyer and Ginsburg in which the majority decide what the “Living Constitution” means on any particular day. If Americans value the rule of law, then we must have judges who adjudicate by the law, and not by their own notions of social justice. Trump’s list of 11 potential nominees represents a win for the Constitution. If he tries a bait & switch and ditches the list in favor of cronyism, then Congress will surely block his appointments (see #2).
Under Hillary, however, I expect judicial appointments will be made on the basis of nominees being on the “right side of history.” Hillary’s trail of scandals, including foreign donations, raking in millions of dollars in private speeches for big banks, and the recent DNC email leak makes it clear that it is likely, if not inevitable, that even a seat on the bench can go to the highest bidder under a Hillary administration.
#2 Congressional Oversight
One of the fears Republicans have with Trump in November, is that the party will lose the down-ballot races, thus returning control of the Congress to Democrats. If that should happen, those Democrats will block a President Trump’s agenda. But in doing so, they will restore the Congress to its rightful position as an equal branch of government, providing proper checks & balance to the Executive Office as defined in the Constitution. Even if Republicans retain majorities in Congress, there are still plenty of #NeverTrump’ers who will provide rigorous oversight. Just imagine the howling from the House and Senate floors, should a President Trump take up the same “pen & phone” Obama used to work around the Congress via Executive Order!
If Hillary becomes President, the Republicans in Congress can either go-along-to-get-along, or challenge her pen & phone. But when Democrats sing We Shall Overcome they become national heroes. Whereas when Republicans filibuster, they are ridiculed or demonized as obstructionists who shut down the government.
Thanks to a complicit media (see #3), Republicans always take the blame, and voters get angry. Riding that wave, Democrats might easily sweep both houses at the mid-term, and then their victory will be complete. At that point, a Republican minority will not be able to stop Hillary and the Democrats from giving the vote to millions of illegal immigrants who will in turn vote in more Democrats. After that, there will never again be a Republican President. The already fragile checks and balances of the Constitution will become a thing of the past under Hillary.
#3 Media Oversight
A free press is critical to any democracy. But the first amendment has been under dangerous assault during the Obama administration. Journalism has given way to entertainment, and the vast majority of so-called “news” outlets have a strong bias to the Left. Only with a Republican in the White House will this left-wing media machine actually do its job, and demand transparency from a Trump administration. If Trump ever claimed there was “not a smidgen of corruption,” legions of “journalists” would fact-check his every breath.
Could we say the same about Hillary? When was the last time Hillary was questioned with any seriousness beyond 140 characters? Does anyone expect Hillary to be subjected to the same media scrutiny as Trump while President? How is it that Hillary can go 200 days without a press conference, or keep the press at bay by literally roping them into a coral?
What lies will Hillary get away with in the White House? The left-wing media barely acknowledges Hillary’s history of blatant fabrications, including sniper fire in Bosnia, her claim that a YouTube video caused the attack in Benghazi, or her lies about classified emails on her bathroom server. Who holds Hillary accountable as she simply laughs off charges of being in the pocket of big banks: “Well, I don’t know. That’s what they offered.” And what exactly did she say during those private speeches to Wall Street? None of the left-wing media outlets have ever demanded to see the transcripts, so I guess we’ll never know.
#4 Military & Foreign Policy
As Commander in Chief, the first and foremost job of the President is to protect and defend the Constitution. The instruments of such protection are the US military and foreign policy. America must restore worldwide respect in its military might. Yes, our nation may currently be the strongest in the world, but our military is only “marginally able to meet the demands of defending America’s vital national interests.” Eight years of “leading from behind” has demonstrated weakness to our enemies, emboldened Chinese expansion in the Pacific and Russian aggression in Ukraine, allowed Assad to cross red lines and worsen the tragedy in Syria, enabled the “JV” team ISIS to fester into a worldwide menace, and given a nuclear free pass to the world’s largest state sponsor of terror, theocratic Iran. The United States faces adversarial militaries that are modernizing and growing. To “speak softly and carry a big stick” only works when people fear that stick. People fear Donald Trump.
Despite his provocative language, Trump has also touched a nerve on the issue of closing the borders to Islamic jihadists. Regardless of how insensitive it was phrased, Trump is the one leading the national discussion on the very real and complex issues of illegal immigration and radical Islamic jihadist terrorism. Hillary’s flip-flops pay nothing but lip service to the border, and thanks to the Obama administration’s Pravda-esque revision of intelligence manuals, she couldn’t even say the words “Islamic jihad” before Trump came along.
Hillary has a clear record of failed foreign policies, including the Russian “overcharge” (aka reset), Libya (Benghazi in particular), Syria, and Egypt. Voters worry that Trump might drag the United States into disastrous wars. But, as Senator and Secretary of State, Hillary has actually voted for US wars and overseen its conflicts. Why should we expect anything less disastrous with her in the Oval Office?
No matter how awful our choices are in this election cycle, there are still only two options available. As paradoxical as it may seem, Trump as President is a win for the Constitution. With Hillary, the document fades away, and so does our liberty. If there is to be any hope of preserving it for the next generation, there must be a vote for the Constitution, and that means a vote for the Republican candidate, which, unfortunately, is a vote for Donald Trump. The alternative would truly be a disaster for the Constitution.