Monday, November 7, 2016
THE CONSERVATIVE CASE FOR VOTING FOR CLINTON
Conservative pundit, David Frum, senior editor of The Atlantic, puts forth an impassioned argument for voting for Hillary Clinton.
It is well worth the time to read it. The preservation of our democracy depends on it.
Here are some highlights.
Please read the entire essay.
Why support a candidate who rejects your preferences and offends your opinions? Don’t do it for her—do it for the republic, and the Constitution.
If the polls are correct, many disaffected Republicans are making their peace with Donald Trump in the final hours of the 2016 campaign. The usual term for this process is “returning home.” This time, we need a new phrase. The familiar Republican home has been bulldozed and replaced by a Trump-branded edifice. It will require long and hard work to restore and rebuild what has been lost.
Yes, I fear Clinton’s grudge-holding. Should I fear it so much that I rally to a candidate who has already explicitly promised to deploy antitrust and libel law against his critics and opponents? Who incited violence at his rallies? Who ejects reporters from his events if he objects to their coverage? Who told a huge audience in Australia that his top life advice was: "Get even with people. If they screw you, screw them back 10 times as hard. I really believe it”? Who idealizes Vladimir Putin, Saddam Hussein, and the butchers of Tiananmen as strong leaders to be admired and emulated?
Should I be so appalled by the Clinton family’s access-selling that I prefer instead a president who boasts of a lifetime of bribing politicians to further his business career? Who defaults on debts and contracts as an ordinary business method, and who avoids taxes by deducting the losses he inflicted on others as if he had suffered them himself? Who cheated the illegal laborers he employed at Trump Tower out of their humble hourly wage? Who owes hundreds of millions of dollars to the Bank of China? Who refuses to disclose his tax returns, perhaps to conceal his business dealings with Vladimir Putin’s inner circle?
America's first president cautioned his posterity against succumbing to such internecine hatreds: “The spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension … leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.” George Washington’s farewell warning resounds with reverberating relevance in this election year.
I have no illusions about Hillary Clinton. I expect policies that will seem to me at best counter-productive, at worst actively harmful. America needs more private-market competition in healthcare, not less; lighter regulation of enterprise, not heavier; reduced immigration, not expanded; lower taxes, not higher. On almost every domestic issue, I stand on one side; she stands on the other. I do not imagine that she will meet me, or those who think like me, anywhere within a country mile of half-way.
But she is a patriot.
She will uphold the sovereignty and independence of the United States. She will defend allies. She will execute the laws with reasonable impartiality. She may bend some rules for her own and her supporters’ advantage. She will not outright defy legality altogether. Above all, she can govern herself; the first indispensable qualification for governing others.
I appreciate that Donald Trump is too slovenly and incompetent to qualify as a true dictator. This country is not so broken as to allow a President Trump to arrest opponents or silence the media. Trump is a man without political ideas. Trump's main interest has been and will continue to be self-enrichment by any means, no matter how crooked. His next interest after that is never to be criticized by anybody for any reason, no matter how justified—maybe most especially when justified. Yet Trump does not need to achieve a dictatorship to subvert democracy.
This is the age of “illiberal democracy,” as Fareed Zakaria calls it, and across the world we’ve seen formally elected leaders corrode democratic systems from within. Surely the American system of government is more robust than the Turkish or Hungarian or Polish or Malaysian or Italian systems. But that is not automatically true. It is true because of the active vigilance of freedom-loving citizens who put country first, party second.
Not in many decades has that vigilance been required as it is required now. Your hand may hesitate to put a mark beside the name, Hillary Clinton. You’re not doing it for her.
The vote you cast is for the republic and the Constitution.