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When the two biggest options are bad, why not go for the third option?
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George Caleb Bingham created this positive portrayal of a candidate canvassing in the United States in 1852. (Link) ©2017 Wikipedia
It's Fix or Fail time for the GOP.
We accepted Senator John McCain, and turned out to vote for him, in spite of the fact that he has spent years working against conservatives. How did he thank us? By spearheading the Gang of 8, trying to ram amnesty through Congress, and by looking down his nose at conservative voters and Senators.
We accepted Governor Mitt Romney, and turned out to vote for him, in spite of the fact that he signed into law the very socialized medicine program upon which Obamacare was based. We were shocked when he spent the last debate of the campaign agreeing with everything President Obama said. We were shocked when he lost; for years we've been told that moderates were the key to victory, but this moderate couldn't even overcome the massive negatives of Obama's first 4 years.
We voted for Republican Congressmen and Senators, voting in majorities in two historic Tea Party waves in 2010 and 2014. Then, we could do little more than watch as the leadership stabbed us in the back, enabling President Obama's agenda, refusing to stand and fight, belittling their newly-elected conservative colleagues for having the audacity to stand on principle.
So maybe it's conservatives' fault for enabling this type of behavior - after all, the only establishment politicians who seem reluctant to (or who refuse to) endorse Donald Trump are the ones who might have an inkling as to what kind of damage a mass-exodus of conservatives would do to the Republican Party.
But to hear many of the snide calls for unity, and how those of us who refuse to kneel at the throne of The Donald are so reviled, it makes me chuckle a bit. After all, many conservatives were saying for months that they would not be voting for Donald Trump under any circumstances…but as soon as Ted Cruz dropped out, they started asking, "So, are you really #NeverTrump, or were you just saying that?"
And then they act shocked that when we said "Never," we actually meant it.
For years, conservative commentators have talked about the double-standard that exists in American politics - Democrats can get away with just about anything (just look at Hillary's long list of high crimes and misdemeanors), while Republicans are always thrown to the wolves for relatively minor missteps. But if you want to end corruption, how does it make sense to nominate a man who has been part of that corruption for decades? If you want to bring accountability to Washington, how does it make sense to nominate a man who hasn't been held accountable for any of his ridiculous statements or bald-faced lies?
That is perhaps the biggest thing about nominating Donald Trump: it just doesn't make sense.
"Get off your high horse," I've been told more than once. What high horse? I'm calling it like I see it. I'm telling it like it is. It's supposed to be so great when Trump does it, so why can't I? Donald Trump used lies and deceit to get to where he is now. He used Christianity to appeal to Christians, who bought it even though Trump couldn't even express a basic understanding of the Christian faith. He used 9/11 and the first responders to distract from the fact that he's a New York liberal. Throughout his campaign, he has shown only the shallowest of understanding on issues both foreign and domestic, yet whenever another candidate came anywhere close to threatening him in the polls, he would go into overdrive coming up with lies and insults to spew forth on Twitter, with the aid of his friends at the National Inquirer. He has shown more talent for coming up with insulting nicknames for the other candidates than he has for proving that he really understands any of the issues.
My other favorite gem that has been dragged back into prominence during this primary is "Elections have consequences." Yes, they most certainly do. And when thousands of conservatives declared that "Despicable Donald" wouldn't get their vote in the general election, that was a message. Its meaning was that if Donald Trump wins the GOP nomination, he would lose conservative voters. Elections do have consequences. The message sent to conservatives by the GOP is that their "big tent" has room for pretty much everyone, as long as they don't actually believe in the Republican Party's platform. Conservatives have become to the Republican Party what black voters too often are to the Democrat Party - they'll tell us what they think we want to hear during election season, point at the scary bogeyman on the other side to scare us into falling into line, and then the rest of the time, their only focus is on growing their own money and power.
It's time to break ourselves out of the false dichotomy presented to us by the Big 2 parties. There are other, better options out there. We don't have to try and choose which corrupt lying liberal will do less damage to the nation. The Republicans and the Democrats have grown fat and happy by promoting the tribalism that continues to get them elected. They fiddle while America descends to the flames. When the two biggest options are bad, why not go for the third option?
So I'll tell you what: instead of continuing this insipid game of finger-pointing and name-calling, let's change it up a bit.
You vote for whomever you want to vote for.
I'll vote for whomever I want to vote for.
After all, that's how democracy is supposed to work.
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...)