David Frum display his intellectual virtuosity by arguing all the possible conservative approaches to this year’s election. He gets mine pretty accurately.
â€œYou can resolve to live your life with integrity. Let your credo be this: Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me.â€ So wrote Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, one of this centuryâ€™s bravest voices for human freedom. Solzhenitsyn defied a police state to speak his truth. All thatâ€™s asked of us is to vote our consciences.
Your principles reject Hillary Clinton. Your values are offended by Donald Trump. Why choose either?
People sometimes tell you to vote as if your vote were the only one that mattered. But thatâ€™s just silly. Your vote is never the only one that matters, not even in Florida in 2000.
Voting is an expressive act. Itâ€™s your opportunity to send information to the political elites. Of course, youâ€™ll usually choose an imperfectly good enough choice over a worse choice. But sometimes the two choices are both so bad that you want to send a message to the whole system: Remember me! In 1912, nearly 1 million Americans voted for Eugene Victor Debs for president. Did they waste their votes? Debs was the only candidate promising unemployment insurance, a minimum wage, a half-day holiday on Saturdays, and old-age pensions. He lost. His ideas won. Did the Americans who voted for John Anderson in 1980 or Ross Perot in 1992 waste their votes? No, they changed politics. The Anderson voters punished the Democrats for nominating a candidate who was not liberal enough; the Perot voters punished the GOP for breaking its word on tax increases. Both parties learned their lessonsâ€”and did not repeat their mistakes.
For months, Paul Ryan urged you to swallow your distaste and vote for â€œthe nomineeâ€ in order to advance a Republican agenda through Congress. Look at Paul Ryanâ€™s face today. He has learned the hard way that Donald Trump cannot be trusted and will advance no agenda except his own.
Worse, Trump discredits and disgraces everything he touches. There likely wonâ€™t be a Republican party after 18 months of a Trump presidency, just a tangle of warring factions soon to be swept away by a Democratic wave in Congress in 2018. President Trump will then start making deals with the new Democratic majority, and probably more happily soâ€”he always was a Democrat at heart, as he has repeatedly said over the past 40 years. His only consistent interest is self-enrichment. Since heâ€™s so incompetent at business, his default mode of self-enrichment has become cheating and bilking people. Think of that in the Oval Office! Think of that at the head of the Republican Party.
Maybe youâ€™re pro-life? Trump obviously isnâ€™t, no matter what his surrogates preposterously assert today.
Maybe you take seriously those things you send back in 1999 and 2000 about restoring dignity to the presidency? Youâ€™ll be electing Trump despite his own on-the-record confession that he harasses and gropes women.
You recoil from the Clinton Foundation? Trumpâ€™s is sleazierâ€”and penny-ante, too.
Youâ€™re a patriot? Did you ever think Reaganâ€™s party would become Putinâ€™s poodle?
The Supreme Court? If thereâ€™s one lesson to learn from Trumpâ€™s career, it is to never trust his word for anything.
Yet you donâ€™t want to empower Hillary Clinton either! A President Clinton will probably face a Republican Congress. Sheâ€™ll do a super-Obama: act by executive order, subverting constitutional restraints in order to aggrandize government and advance the social and cultural transformation of America. You canâ€™t assent to that.
What you want to do is send a distinctly conservative protest against both Hillary Clintonâ€™s progressive ideology and Donald Trumpâ€™s con-man narcissism. The bigger the protest vote total, the more respect your conservative ideas can demand in future. Hoist the â€œDonâ€™t Tread on Meâ€ banner, and check out who else is on the ballot: Libertarian, Independent, or Constitution Party.