Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Election Regret

It's hard to admit when you were wrong. Or so I've heard. (That's a joke, son.)

Grant Stinchfield regrets voting for Donald Trump, and in this article he details in a pretty comprehensive way the reasons he voted for him, and he demonstrates how to express your failings with humility. Excerpt:

I fell victim to my own hatred. Donald Trump offered me a vehicle to stick it to the bloviating bureaucrats I despise. I dedicated my life to exposing self-promoting career politicians and their love of big government programs. Trump was the guy who was going to scare the hell out of the “establishment,” the guy who was going to turn Washington on its head. So I voted with anger in my heart. I gave my vote to Trump with expectation he would find his way by putting smart constitutional conservatives by his side. Trump didn’t find his way; he got lost.

Sadly, I did exactly what my mother always warned me not to do. I made an important decision while in an emotionally fragile state of anger and despair. My vote for Trump amounted to a vendetta against the ruling class of DC career politicians. I made a mistake.

It’s why I am publicly apologizing to governors Rick Perry and Scott Walker. I abandoned them way too early. I now realize their level-headed grasp on conservative values and principles would have made them the perfect candidates to carry a torch of limited government straight into the White House.

Hatred, anger, despair.... These things characterize every Trump voter I know personally. This is a brief, honest article by someone who came to their senses although too late. They "gave in to the dark side." Where's Yoda when you need him?



Stinchfield ends by acknowledging that he will vote for whoever gets the GOP nomination in the general election, including Trump. I will do the same. It's just a shame to be forced to vote for someone so woefully unprepared for running in a general Presidential election, let alone actually being President. But we will never have to suffer through that tragedy. He will never win.

23 comments:

  1. Well, I voted for Marco Rubio. I wonder what he's going to do with his delegates.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope it matters.

      On the main post, I foresee a lot of Trumpian buyers' remorse in the near future.

      #neverTrump

      Delete
    2. If there's to be remorse, I'd like the politicians who backed Trump for their personal benefit rather than the common good to feel their fair share.

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. I'm disappointed in Boehner -- big time. And I'm glad he's gone. What is to be gained by this kind of rhetoric? Didn't Cruz make a remark that Boehner was channeling his "inner Trump" by saying that?

      I was never a Boehner-hater in his days as speaker, but I can truly say I'm glad he's gone now. He was loose-lipped in the past, but this is beyond... he obviously wants his "golf buddy" to win.

      Biggest irony is that those politicians supporting Trump are the biggest examples of elite, gravy-train, crony-capitalists out there and the fact that Trump and his supporters continues to decry the "corrupt system" is the height of hypocrisy.

      Delete
    2. Boehner lost me when he cried on being elected as Speaker. What that told me is that it was all about him and his achievement, and not in the least about the Nation or those whom he (theoretically) was supposed to serve. And his actions as Speaker proved that to be very much the case.

      Between he and Hastert, Paul Ryan was certainly presented with some very small shoes to fill.

      Delete
  3. Come to the #NeverTrump side. We have cookies.

    ReplyDelete
  4. In the aftermath of the Trump "victory", this piece summarizes things quite well for me.

    But of particular interest for this blog is the first comment to the piece. The commenter quotes a Trumpist conveying his rationale for Trump as (emphasis added by me):

    None of us care if Trump even does A SINGLE GODDAMN THING that he promises. This is about vengeance and hatred. We will laugh as we watch you die.

    And I can’t wait. Watching the Neocon Establishment, with it’s pointless wars, disgusting consumerism, and constant refusal to actually fight the left wither and fade away will be the ultimate justice.


    This Trumpian thought should sound familiar to those of us around here who have subjected ourselves to Dreher's political "philosophy". Today's installment is one of many in which Dreher wallows in schadenfreude -- because Bush, Iraq war, Wall Street, conspicuous consumption, whatever --:

    But you know, I don’t feel nearly as bad as most of my conservative friends do tonight. It’s been clear for a long time that this was coming. The Republican Party brought it all on itself; read this if you wonder why. If you are the sort of conservative who has given up political hope for this country, the Trumpening goes down much easier than it might otherwise.

    "Sort of conservative" of course wildly overstates Dreher's conservatism. Anyway, I wag my finger at closet-Trumpist Dreher and the rest of Trumpists with the above-quoted commenter's sign-off:

    This is what you have aligned yourselves with, Trump supporters. Have fun practicing your rationalizations. You’re going to need to.

    #NeverTrump forever.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The real world can be a terribly unfair place in which to live. To risk being murdered by Visiogoths in the village or being eaten by wolves in the forest? Donald Trump, or Hillary Clinton?

    But since Bill Buckley cranked up National Review, probably, ideologies on both the right and the left have come to imagine their respective realms of conservatism and liberalism as actually political in some sort of undefined way rather than ideological, as if there were actually a Conservative Party and a Liberal Party at large in the political landscape they really could vote for once they located it wherever it lurked in the twilight margins.

    But there aren't. Such imaginings are built on Benedict Option logic. In the real world, to strike a sharp contrast, there are only the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, and third party footnotes.

    Ideally, one raises one's real world political preference to the status of nominee of one of those two major, real world political parties. This time, all but Donald Trump's primary supporters failed in that task. Those politicians who do not become the nominee of one of the two major parties do not make good Presidents at all. As I mentioned, the real world can be terribly unfair; imagine how Jeb Bush feels.

    At this point (real world, real time), anything other than a vote for Trump is either a vote for Hillary or a deliberate choice not to cancel a corresponding Democrat vote for Hillary. I believe both Erick Erickson and Jonah Goldberg have publicly declared they will be pursuing the latter course. In actual, real world political terms, first, and, second, with respect to pursuing any remotely real world-anchored interest in conservatism, this leaves them both in the condition we technically refer to as being "writers". That is, their real world interest in promoting conservatism has been self-gelded to the activity of word writing only. As their consolation, they can spend whatever time they choose in the non-political activity of cleverly characterizing, even demonizing, either Trump or Trump supporters or both however they wish.

    That's pretty much it. Rod Dreher is our touchstone of someone who fully inhabits an alternative, non-political reality, one completely bounded by the walls of his own mind and, as such, completely malleable to his emotional needs of the moment.

    I'm very much unlike Rod Dreher. I live very much in our harsh, real world of imperfect choices, and I very clearly understand that a vote for Hillary or a deliberate choice not to cancel a corresponding Democrat vote for Hillary is the worst of all possible choices actually available to me in my very real world outside the writing mind.

    I voted for Marco Rubio in my state's primary as my best provisional choice for President and, assuming Trump is now the Republican nominee, I will now eagerly vote for Trump as the Republican nominee for President come November. Because all the alternatives to Trump failed in the real world political arena. As every extinct animal knows, natural selection can be a bitch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In response (ignoring the implied insult that not favoring Trump is being like Rod Dreher), the problem I have is that Trump is a Republican in the sense that Dreher is a conservative. Which is to say that he is not one in the common understanding of the word.

      There is nothing Trump has said (credibly or otherwise) or ever done to indicate that under a Trump administration the federal government would do anything other than become larger, more powerful, and less tethered by the rule of law. Nor is there anything that Trump has credibly said that shows any support for traditional conservative, and yes Republican, values and ideals. There is no policy issue that leads me to vote for Trump, and several that lead me away from doing so. Certainly his character and integrity don't cut it -- they're no better than Hillary's and arguably worse.

      In short, Trump as a candidate falls short of meeting my minimal standards for holding my nose and voting for him. So I choose not to -- call it a vote for Hillary (which I will likewise not cast) if you want. I don't care.

      As far as the Republican party goes, by nominating Trump it will show that it stands for nothing -- not for life, not for free trade, and not for limited government. And thus has no reason to exist.

      Delete
    2. Pik, don't insert straw man insults where there are none, and don't insult me by passive-aggressively trying to intimidate-slap me with your straw voodoo doll.

      What I wrote perfectly clearly and still mean was:

      "Rod Dreher is our touchstone of someone who fully inhabits an alternative, non-political reality, one completely bounded by the walls of his own mind and, as such, completely malleable to his emotional needs of the moment."

      Does that describe you? If so, sorry - for you. If not, cut it out.

      If your principled feelings as articulated above are important enough to you to not at a minimum cancel a corresponding Democrat vote for Hillary, that is certainly your prerogative.

      But real world politics is a battle of attrition between opposing armies of ants. Pairs of opposing ants mutually cancel each other out. The team with the most ants still standing wins.

      In a free country without a mandatory franchise like ours, though, every one is equally free to relegate to someone else the political actions and decisions which govern them.

      Delete
    3. AFAIAC, reasonable people may differ on the question of whether to vote Trump as the lesser of two evils. I get that -- no worries.

      Your comment doesn't reflect that, tho, nor does your response. Rather, you've set up the question as a Dreher/fantasyland vs. Not-Dreher/real-world dichotomy, with no room outside of that.

      I don't accept that to be the case, so I said what I said and I stand by it. Just because I have no allegiance to the team merely for the team's sake doesn't put me in "an alternative, non-political reality, one completely bounded by the walls of [my] own mind". My eyes are wide open.

      But I will accept you didn't intend insult, so none taken.

      Delete
    4. Rooting through the wreckage for positives, we can hope that, after this year, the number of Republicans who offer that absurd old "not to vote for our bum is to vote for their bum" chestnut should decline.

      Delete
  6. Pik, you and anyone else are obviously free to mentally process the zero sum political choice you're faced with between either politically favoring Hillary Clinton or politically favoring Donald Trump, with respect to abortion, national security (Benghazi, national security/email), public corruption, or anything else, however you choose to. Whatever you choose to do, however you decide to characterize it to yourself, though, you will nonetheless be choosing to objectively advantage either one or the other of those two zero sum political options. I leave you all to cultivate whatever mental garden suits you best.

    Tom - I'm a life long Independent, btw, if that matters - feel free to turn your brief, impotent blog comment into an actual logical argument.

    No vote for Hillary politically favors Trump, someone with actually no prior record in the federal government; no vote for Trump politically favors Hillary, someone with quite an extensive prior record in the federal government, one even now under criminal investigation. There is nothing outside that either/or political Sophie's Choice, though, regardless of whatever moral self-satisfaction or psychological self-gratification one might pretend offers an objective alternative to that possibly unpleasant reality.

    Considering my only alternative, I myself remain more than pleased to be able to strike a meaningful blow against Hillary, even with a candidate as imperfect as Donald Trump. Everyone else is also free to, actively or passively, pull either one or the other of those two either/or political levers, Trump for President, or Hillary for President.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, Keith, I thought my meaning was clear. I was expressing my hope that Republicans who abstain or vote third party this November won't in the future make the absurd claim that to abstain or to vote third party is to vote Democratic.

      If you want a logical argument that "To abstain or to vote third party is to vote for the Democrat" is an absurd claim, here you go:

      "To abstain or to vote third party is to vote for the Democrat" is true if and only if "To abstain or to vote third party is to vote for the Republican" is true. But to vote for the Democrat and to vote for the Republican are contrary acts. Therefore "To abstain or to vote third party is to vote for the Democrat" and "To abstain or to vote third party is to vote for the Republican" are not both true. Therefore "To abstain or to vote third party is to vote for the Democrat" is not true.

      It's a valid enough argument for a comment thread. Its soundness hinges on the truth of the first proposition, which falls out of any attempt to argue that "To abstain or to vote third party is to vote for the Democrat," because any argument that "To abstain or to vote third party is to vote for the Democrat" is, mutatis mutandis (i.e., changing "Democrat" to "Republican" and swapping out the questions that are begged), an argument that "To abstain or to vote third party is to vote for the Republican."

      Delete
    2. What Tom said.

      My vote is not to be assumed to be anyone's without them earning it. To assume that my vote is Republican such that if I am hit by a truck I am casting a vote for a Democrat is absurd. It is insulting for the Republicans to nominate a ham sandwich and assume from my characteristics that I will tag along. I demand more.

      I do not favor Trump's policies or his leadership qualities, so I do not want him to be President. Nor do I favor Hillary's, nor do I want her to be President. There is no adequate choice between the two for me to cast a vote for one or the other. Fascist vs. Socialist leaves no good choice.

      Perhaps I can lend my small voice to a third party candidate. Or perhaps I can use my small voice as a protest by voting for down-ballot Republicans but not Trump. That's what elections are for.

      Delete
    3. Tom, I think we're likely to see a lot of the sort of logic chopping you're offering here as a way of dealing psychologically with the reality that Donald Trump is now the Republican nominee for President.

      As abstractly correct (to vote for a not-Democrat is to not vote for a Democrat) and equally irrelevant as your comments are, I claimed something different which endures as true: to not vote for Trump - now the single, only serious challenger to the Democrat Hillary Clinton - is to not cancel a vote for Hillary in an environment where self-identified Democratic voters margilally outnumber self-identified Republican voters.

      So here's a syllogism for you:

      1. X claims they are against abortion

      2. Hillary Clinton - a radically liberal woman - is more pro-abortion than Donald Trump is pro-abortion

      3. X chooses not to vote for the only candidate capable of defeating the most pro-abortion candidate in the race

      4. In doing so, X knowingly chooses not to cancel a corresponding Democrat vote for the most pro-abortion candidate in the race

      This is what's great about blogging: it's the perfect latrine for abstract, meaningless virtue signalling, requiring none of the never good action options of real world politics.

      Delete
    4. If you can't deal with a logical argument that what you say is not true, then don't ask for one.

      Delete
    5. I don't want to vote for Trump, and I might not. He might be worse than Hillary on foreign policy. But it doesn't matter because he can't win. He sealed his doom when he didn't condemn David Duke and then told two lies about it. I might be wrong, but that's the way I see it.

      Delete
    6. Tom, you originally commented:

      Rooting through the wreckage for positives, we can hope that, after this year, the number of Republicans who offer that absurd old "not to vote for our bum is to vote for their bum" chestnut should decline.

      I assumed, correctly or not, that that was an indirect effort to rewrite what I had quite differently said into your own formulation, in other words that I had claimed that to not vote for Trump was to vote for Hillary. You then proceeded to ornately prove your own original tautology, that a vote for not-X is not a vote for X.

      I countered with my original, different argument, that not a vote for X was a deliberate choice not to cancel a competing vote for Y, thus actively favoring Y's election chances via a conscious, deliberative choice (not voting for X because one was in a coma would still favor Y's election chances, but only passively and innocently. Sixth-graders running for class president grasp this easily).

      You're now confirming my original supposition by directly claiming what you had only insinuated originally:

      If you can't deal with a logical argument that what you say is not true, then don't ask for one.

      This is known as a straw man argument - you posed a claim I didn't make, then refuted it - and is generally regarded as desperately muddled thinking when it is not outright intellectual dishonesty.

      Try logically refuting the claim I did make. You can't.

      You don't have to, of course. You can simply embrace the necessary consequences described and declare you're fine with that.

      What you can't credibly do, at least not outside your own psyche, is to use sophistry, fallacy, and bluster to claim you can, too, have your argumentative cake and eat it, too.

      (Off topic: I'll be away for a week or so, but I might have an interesting picture or two to share when I return.)

      Delete
    7. The problem is that my voting for Trump requires me to "simply embrace" those consequences and declare not only that I'm "fine with that", but that (for our sixth grade readers) I actively, via a conscious, deliberative choice, desire those consequences.

      No.

      Delete
  7. I have company. (As does Tom's logic above.)

    People tell me that, if I don’t vote for either Trump or Hillary, I’m voting for Hillary. My first response is, “So?” My second response is, “What are you smoking?” If it’s true that, if I don’t vote for either Trump or Hillary, I’m voting for Hillary, why isn’t it equally true that I’m voting for Trump? You see what I mean? How come Trump doesn’t get my non-vote? Why does just Hillary get it? Am I missing something? Perhaps it’s this: Perhaps people think that Trump has some kind of claim on my vote, because I’m a conservative (and, until earlier this week, I was a Republican). I do not regard Trump as a conservative. I’m not even sure he’s a democrat. He strikes me as a big-government strongman, or would-be strongman: a prospective American Putin or Ch├ívez...."

    ReplyDelete