Make the Case
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There's always a better option than the false dichotomy that we get stuck with every election cycle.
On the cover:
Donald John Trump, Sr., born June 14, 1946, is an American business magnate, investor, television personality, author, and 2016 US Presidential candidate.
Want my vote? Don't badger me, convince me.
I turned 18 in 2000, just a few months before the big Bush/Gore election. I didn't have a great command of the issues back then, but I knew enough to know that I wasn't a fan of what the Democrat Party had to offer. While traveling internationally in high school, during the height of the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal, and feeling embarrassed to be an American seeing headlines about the blue dress plastered all over the front page of international newspapers, I knew that there was no way I would be voting for anyone allied with the Clinton administration. I gladly cast my ballot for George W. Bush.
By 2004, I was wishing for another option, but I understood the reality of the situation. While there were several areas where I had begun to disagree with President Bush, the War on Terror was the overriding issue, and while John Kerry would make a horrible president at any time, he would be especially bad in wartime. By my second presidential election, I wasn't voting for a candidate as much as I was voting against his opponent.
Unfortunately, the same ended up being true in 2008. Outside of the heroism he showed as a soldier, I had never been impressed with John McCain, and didn't want to vote for him. By this time I had become fairly disgusted with the Republican Party under the leadership of President Bush, especially with "compassionate conservatism" and the bail-outs that came at the end of his presidency, but I knew that Barack Obama would be a worse choice. My vote for McCain was a vote against Barack Obama.
And in 2012, history repeated itself. Throughout the primary, we were told that we couldn't go with a real conservative - only a mushy-middle RINO could win the general election...and since we are now looking for a replacement for President Romney, we can see how that worked out. I voted for Romney (and even donated a little money after he won the primary) not because I thought he was the best candidate in the field, but because, yet again, he was the GOP candidate, and I believed in stopping Barack Obama's progressive agenda.
Mitt Romney's loss in 2012 was extremely disheartening, and it was that loss, combined with continued betrayals by Republicans in Congress, that convinced me that I would no longer buy into the lie that real conservatives are incapable of winning national elections in the United States. They only lose if we don't vote for them.
2016 is a whole new election. Like myself, millions of American conservatives aren't buying the bullshit line that only a moderate RINO can win.
Finally, we have a conservative candidate whom none can reasonably deny could win the White House...and yet I am constantly told that I should vote for Donald Trump.
Trump is anti-establishment, they say, yet the establishment extends far beyond just those corrupt politicians in Washington - the politicians hold the power, but the big businessmen and the labor unions hold the money that keeps them in power. For years, Donald Trump has been one of those big businessmen, paying off politicians for favors (as his supporters say, "the cost of doing business,") and also for ideology. Donald Trump is a great businessman, they say, yet why should we celebrate a businessman who for decades has been part of the corruption that has caused so many of our nation's troubles? Big business's unholy alliance with politicians is one of the big problems in our nation, so why should I vote for Donald Trump?
Contrast this with Ted Cruz, who built his career fighting for Constitutional principles, and stood, many times alone, in the Senate fighting the corruption in both political parties. Who else has had the guts to call out their own Majority Leader when he told bald-faced lies?
Donald Trump is a crude, rude left-wing progressive authoritarian. Every time he's faced questions as to the specifics of his policies, he can't provide them...but he can tell you the latest poll results, whether you ask for them or not. The way his positions have shifted over the years, and tend to shift based on what crowd he's talking to at any particular time, it's difficult to say what, exactly, he believes in, other than his own supposed greatness.
Case in point, here is an excerpt from a recent interview:
Q: Mr. Trump, what is your position on same-sex marriage?
TRUMP: Well I've made it very, very strong. We have a policy on it, and I've said it very, very strongly. I think you know it. It's all done. How many times do I have to say it? It's like an example, what is my position on 900 different things? I've said it 150 times. We're not here for discussing that, but everyone knows how I feel on it.
Personally, I have no idea what Donald Trump's stance is on same-sex marriage, so if that was an issue I cared about and I was hearing his response to it for the first time, I would find his answer both confusing and disappointing...and this is the guy who supposedly tells it like it is.
One thing Donald Trump never seems to talk about is freedom. He says that he will "make America great again," but he doesn't seem to understand that in order to do that, we need to make America free again. On domestic policy, he has spoken about how great Planned Parenthood is, advocates for ending free trade, said he would give soldiers illegal orders, and that "They won’t refuse. They’re not going to refuse me. Believe me." (this was a stance his campaign immediately walked back, once they had realized how incredibly awful it sounded). He advocated for destroying the First Amendment so that he can sue anyone who says something negative about him. People who disagree with Donald Trump aren't met with debate, Trump tries to destroy them.
He uses vague language, going to some lengths to avoid getting too specific on most topics, much like Barack Obama did back in 2008 - in this way, he can be all things to all people (or everything to everybody who doesn't know anything). Such tabula rasa candidates are dangerous, as many learned with the election of President Obama - by the time you learn your chosen candidate isn't all that you thought he was, it's too late; you're stuck with him.
Ted Cruz is a known quantity. He has spent years fighting for the Constitution, and for our freedoms, first as Solicitor General in Texas, and then as a part of the Tea Party wave that has begun (and hopefully will continue) a revolution of conservative leaders rising up in the Republican Party. The fight has been difficult; true conservatives are few and far between in Washington DC, and they face opposition from both sides of the aisle.
Cruz has a brilliant resume, and a long history of arguing for conservative values and the Constitution - including before the U.S. Supreme Court. He is the conservative candidate I've been hoping for.
We have a conservative, pro-Constitution, pro-freedom candidate who, it is now more than clear, can win, and not just in the primary - he is a champion debater, he lacks the negatives of Donald Trump, and he could easily wipe the floor with Hillary Clinton in the general election.
I consider myself to be a 1-issue voter. I try to weigh all issues on one scale: that of freedom. Will the law I'm being asked to vote on make me more free, or less? Will the candidate increase the nation's liberty, or diminish it?
I am repeatedly told that if Donald Trump wins the Republican nomination, and if I refuse to vote for him in the general election, then I will be to blame if/when Hillary Clinton becomes our next president. Personally, I find the assertion ridiculous - as a lover of freedom, why should I value one narcissistic progressive authoritarian over another? Donald Trump claims to be a Christian - even to the point that he speculated that he was being persecuted by the IRS because he's such a "strong Christian," yet the man has little, if any, understanding of even the basics of Christianity, and for someone with such a strong Christian faith, it is extremely difficult to see it playing out anywhere in his life.
Donald J. Trump represents nearly everything I have come to despise about politics in America; the only issue where he stands out is immigration, and he is waffling even on that! What, exactly, makes him superior to any of the other politicians who preach love for country, then do nothing but profit from their positions of power? How is he any different from any other politician who will say whatever it takes to get (and keep) power?
In short, what makes Donald Trump any better than Hillary Clinton? If it's a choice between the two of them, why should I care which inept dictator will rule over me?
There is always a better option than the false dichotomy that gets shoved down our throats each and every election cycle. Choose the better option, or convince me why your guy isn't what he gives every indication of being...but don't try to badger me into voting for a tyrant because you think the other tyrant will be worse.
Robert Cleveland, Senior Conservative Editor: Robert Cleveland is the IT Director for a document management services company. When he isn't working on computers and scanners, he's spending time with his wife and kids, or writing about just how jacked-up Washington politics is. He is a strong believer that hard work and freedom are what make America the greatest nation on the planet, and it is of the utmost importance that we never lose those values. Robert's other writing can be found at his blog, more...)