Saturday, June 10, 2023

Nope, You Don't Get It....

     In my unpublished comments, the Law of Excluded Middle rules: If I'm not out wildly cheering for Republicans, I must be a Democrat, though they like to precede the party name with various epithets.

     This is patent nonsense.  I haven't voted in a party primary since Gerald Ford got the Republican nomination for President and failed of election.  "Not entirely awful" is the highest mark I have given any President or Presidential candidate ever, people who I believe would not start WW III if elected or sell the country's secrets.  I don't think most of them are crooks; I think they're egotistical bumblers to varying degrees.

     That is not a widely-held opinion.  Most people appear to want to believe that their party's pick is a person beyond reproach, who will usher in an age of milk and honey, while the other party's choice is despicable villain, out to ruin everything because badness.  Me, I think most of them struggle madly to keep up and the best of them -- the very best -- manage to not look like complete clods in the doing.  A few Presidents during my lifetime have been highly effective cheerleaders, at the cost of some level of a cult of personality.  One of them was a certain crook, and at least one was ethically suspect.  But they're all Just Some Guy.

     None of them -- but one! -- lied about the outcome of an election, and kept lying as every lie was debunked, nor whipped up a mob to storm the Capital and interfere in the counting of Electoral College votes, injuring police officers, sending both houses of Congress and the Vice president running for safety and doing millions of dollars of damage.  Only one of them kept on lying about the process and results for years after the election was over.  No President in my lifetime had winked at racists and home-grown authoritarians until Mr. Trump.  And I am not at all inclined to forgive his behavior, nor the party that continues to tolerate, even celebrate it.

     But that doesn't automatically make me a Democrat.  I'm voting, somewhat reluctantly, for Democrat Presidential candidates in the general election* and I shall do so until a better alternative presents itself; but a vote for a Republican for that office means a vote in favor of insurrection, authoritarianism, and disregard for the U. S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  I disagree with Democrat polices on multiple things, but the GOP didn't even bother to have a platform listing any policies in 2020 and what their leading candidate has expressed is unconstitutional, unAmerican, intolerant and plainly horrific, pledges of "retribution" and sending Federal troops unasked into cities to take over police work.  I will not consider any of their candidates until they repudiate Mr. Trump and his insane take on Federal governance.

     The President of the United States is Just Some Guy and the best of them have managed to remember that most of the time during their term of office.  Mr. Trump doesn't believe it, and acts like the autocrats he admired so often when he held the White House.

     Is he guilty of any crimes?  That's up to the courts to decide.  But as a voter, my mind is made up: he's got no business in the highest office in the land.  That doesn't make me a Democrat; it makes me someone who is not at all impressed by bluster and BS.

     Gads, I hate to think of the inflated prices Mr. Trump's fans must be paying for used cars, if they are so easily bowled over by fast talk and handwaving, by fear-mongering bluster and enthralling lies.
* For years, I voted for the LP's pick.  Occasionally, I thought they were the best of a bad pool, and even when they were not, it was a useful protest vote and a way to help keep a multiparty system afloat.  For most of my life, the Republicans were good on the Second Amendment, squishy on the First (except for some aspects of Freedom of Religion), lousy on the Fourth and Ninth, adequate on the Tenth, while the Democrats were abysmal on the Second, generally good on the First, Fourth and Ninth, squishy on the Tenth.  They tended to keep one another between the guardrails.
     How Congress and the Supreme Court was leaning had a lot of influence on which party's candidate posed the biggest risk, and the respective campaign platforms filled in the details, but there wasn't a real difference in how much they could screw things up.
     With the present Supreme Court, there's little a Democrat President can do to mess with the Second Amendment even if that party held both chambers of Congress, which they don't.  On the other hand, Congressional margins are narrow and the highest court is likely to go along with a Republican President.  Since the current pool consists mainly of Mr. Trump and his Across the Trumpverse counterparts, Younger-Trumpier Trump, Trump With Breasts, Techy-guy Trump, Religious Trump, Trump of the North, African-American Trumps I and II, a handful of nobodies and a couple of more-or-less normal OG Republicans who haven't got a chance (Chris Christie and Asa Hutchinson, respectively the "more" and "less" normal), and their party is asking for an unconditional pledge to support the nominee even if it's Mr. Trump, the GOP is off the table.
     The post-COVID Libertarian Party has decided to embrace the craziest of crazy -- and since one of the two big parties now presents a much greater danger than the other, a protest vote is no longer viable.  So I'll continue to sit out the primary and vote in the general election for the Democrat Presidential candidate to block, counting on the conservative-dominated Supreme Court and a House and Senate likely to remain in knife-edge balance for the next several election cycles to keep him from following his party's wackier thinkers too far to the Left.


Anonymous said...

Re Primary votes: I've always voted for the most conservative Democrat (starting off in a family that's voted Democratic for three generations, then live in Democratic-dominated places) in hopes of marginally pushing it away from the Left. A similar strategy might work in GOP primaries, to vote for the sanest/least Trumpy candidate on offer to try pushing it back to what it once was.
Jeffrey Smith

Joe in PNG said...

The problem of Trump is that he has sold the erstwhile Conservatives an ideological package that has nothing to do with the principles that underlie our nation.
He's flagwashed & apple pie'd the sort of Putinist strong man absolutism that the authors of our Constitution were trying to protect against. And sadly, people who think themselves as Constitutional Conservatives really believe it to be True American Values.
And you get people who would are openly against moral relativism preaching moral relativism when Trump is involved.

Roberta X said...

Jeffrey, I don't know if that party can be saved. I just want to keep them away from the levers of power as long as they're so full of violent fantasies. A lot of GOP rhetoric these days is simply unmoored from reality, and it will either crumble beneath them or give rise to some form of warfare, internal or external.

The two parties we have now aren't the parties the country started with -- the Democrats can make a claim to continuity with Jefferson's Republican-Democrats but their party has seen huge changes at the hands of Andrew Jackson, the odious Woodrow Wilson, FDR and the exit of the Dixiecrats. The Republicans date back to not long before the Civil War, as the Whigs crumbled -- and the Whigs had replaced the National Republicans and anti-Masonic parties, who in turn had taken over from the Federalists, in each case with far less than 100% of the preceding party's membership.

So maybe we're due for a new party. Or a few new ones. What form they might take, I don't know.