On September 9, Bernie Marcus, co-founder of Home Depot, took to Fox Business to tell his fellow Republicans this message: “[If you are] going to stay neutral, you might as well vote for [Hillary Clinton] because your lack of vote for Donald means she’s going to get elected anyway.”
Ignoring the false dilemma, Marcus reminds America of the main argument to support Trump: Hillary is a corrupt, pathological liar, and therefore we need to vote for Donald to make sure she does not obtain more power than she already has.
Nearly all Republicans and Conservatives, including myself, can agree on the premise. From the ardent Trump supporters of Sean Hannity and Hugh Hewitt, to the Never Trumpers Glenn Beck and Ben Shapiro, we all agree Hillary is a terrible person. What we cannot agree on, however, is whether supporting Trump would be better for America.
That conversation is for another day. What I want to discuss is the disgusting politics that have infected the two-party system in America.
The lesser of two evils mentality is flooding the minds of voters on the “Trump Train” and the “Hillary Express.” As Marcus indirectly pointed out in the interview, vote for Trump because Hillary is bad. Hillary supporters say the same thing about Trump. If you are with her, you support a crook, and the only first lady to ever be fingerprinted by the FBI. If you want to make America great again, you support a lifelong Democrat who only decided three weeks ago to start acting like a human being, probably thanks to his new campaign CEO Steve Bannon (of Breitbart fame). But hey, at least you do not support that other person!
The problem with this logic is that it can justify literally any bad behaviour, because someone else did something worse. Let us use Trump’s tax returns and Hillary’s medical records as an example. Everyone is upset the candidates will not release those documents to the public for us to know. We are upset because it is not fair. What if Trump is actually hiding something sinister about his returns? Or perhaps he is not really worth what he claims to be. Same goes for Hillary: what if she dies two months into the presidency of God knows what, and America is stuck with Tim Kaine, whom the people did not actually vote for? Perhaps she will make a decision while sick, and her judgement will be impaired for it. In any case, supporters could justify for any candidate saying, “Well, the other candidate won’t release his / her records, so why should mine?”
If Trump were to hit a woman with a car and kill her, it would not make a difference to at least some supporters. After all, Ted Kennedy drove a car off a bridge, leaving a woman inside to drown, reported it nine hours later and still became Senate leader, and ran for president in 1980. The Trump Train did the exact same thing when he went soft on the KKK. All Trump supporters could say was Hillary saw Robert Byrd, a former member, as a mentor.
Like I said, any bad behaviour is justified because you can just say someone else did it, and then stand on your imaginary moral high ground. Whenever Barack Obama is criticized, I anticipate someone to suddenly mention George W. Bush. After Stephen Harper’s monarchy, I cannot wait to see how long it takes for Conservatives to finally rid the stain of his legacy. I can already hear his name echo in the Rocky Mountains whenever I complain about Justin Trudeau taking long vacations.
Now we all know about the dangers of thinking in terms of lesser versus greater evils. If you take away anything from what you have read, it should be this: voting for Lucifer because Satan is worse will still bring a terrible outcome. Lucifer may be better than Satan, but stop settling for someone bad to avoid someone worse. With 330 million Americans, they are left with a former Democrat turned Republican, a corrupt establishment Democrat, a Libertarian with few libertarian values, and a Green Party. That is what the lowest common denominator looks like.
So here is my solution: do not vote against people, vote for principles. It is childish to vote for someone to ensure their opponent’s failure. If Hillary truly supports your principles, and you believe she will do a good job of running the country, by all means vote for her. I neither align with her principles and policies, nor do I think she will run the country effectively, and I think she will tear down the constitution the first chance she gets. Same with Trump, but I think that he only cares about himself, and I think he will smear Republicans through the mud while perverting Conservative values. Also, when debating on the effectiveness of policies and administrators, do not take the easy road screaming Bush or Harper. All you’ll hear back is Trudeau; Obama, Woodrow Wilson, or Abbott; what is the relevance? You want to talk about those people, you can, but focus on the topics in front of you first.
If we throw away the relativistic idea of good and bad, we can stop voting for terrible candidates, and get someone good in the next election cycle. Otherwise, the candidates get a message saying they can do anything unacceptable, so long as they can point across the aisle.