Let's Revise the "Generations" Business
Bob Dylan: Rough and Rowdy Ways

Trump: Yes, No, Maybe

Three writers at National Review give their opinions on voting for him, or not. I hope these links work. They may be subscriber-only.

Yes: Andrew McCarthy

No: Ramesh Ponnuru

Maybe: Charles Cooke

Of the three, I'm most nearly in agreement with Cooke. However, unless something dramatic happens between now and November 3--and I can't imagine what that could be--I'm going to "vote for Trump." That is, I'm going to vote against Biden/Harris. 

It's a Scylla and Charybdis choice. As I may have said here in a comment a while back, I had been thinking of that analogy, but in a mistaken way. I was thinking that Ulysses somehow steered between them, and that our position is worse because we have to choose one or the other. But I was misremembering. Ulysses chose to steer closer to Scylla (monster), who would inevitably eat some of his sailors, rather than to Charybdis (whirlpool), which would result in the loss of the entire ship. 

So the analogy is actually precise. I think the damage that will almost inevitably be done by Trump is less than that which the Democrats actively intend.

It's not that I think Trump is a better man than Biden (I think they're both pretty sorry, actually). My great-grandfather was active in Pennsylvania politics as a Democrat, and his daughter, my great-aunt Ann, once told me that he advised her to forget the conventional counsel that one should vote for the man and not the party. On the contrary, he said, voting for (or against) the party is more important, because individual politicians come and go but the party persists and, at least in theory, shares your political principles, at least the most important ones. Here again it's a question of voting against: I don't want the Republican Party's principles, such as they are (whatever they are), to prevail, but I believe the Democrats as a party no longer believe in our form of government, but want to "fundamentally transform" it. I don't. That's a bigger problem and a deeper disagreement than anything involving specific policies. 

As Cooke says:

If the Democrats were sensible, I would likely sit this one out. But the Democrats are not sensible. The Democrats are threatening to blow up the American constitutional order in ways that would make President Trump’s execrable excesses seem quaint. 


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Well, I read the Yes and the Maybe, but it cut me off at the No.

All I can say is, "I hate this, I hate this, I hate this!"


That's a pretty reasonable reaction.

Ugh. I'm not sure I hate anything more than US politics.

Not even college football?

LOL - perhaps rap music! College football I can just ignore, but if rap music is playing nearby that's a different story. ;-)

How culturally insensitive can you get!

This is very helpful. I am sharing it with my kids.


I've made efforts to find rap that I like. Only very limited success.

It is culturally insensitive when people play rap music loud enough for me to hear, I agree! Where's the love for middle-aged white men?

That's a serious point, really. Ever since various portable music players that could play fairly loud became widespread, people inflicting the often extremely unwelcome music on others has been a problem. And somehow it's always the inflicter whose rights seem to get more sympathy.

I remember back in the '60s in college, when students who wanted to study complained about rock bands playing a few hundred feet from the library on a weekend afternoon. They were mocked but even though I was out there listening to the bands I secretly thought they had a pretty good point.

And the volume at which people play their music is always, somehow, inversely proportional to the quality of the music. This is a nearly infallible rule.

"And somehow it's always the inflicter whose rights seem to get more sympathy."

Baby boomer entitlement. They're not called boomboxes for nothing. :)


But as with so many boomer things, it's been adopted enthusiastically by everyone who came after.

That's true, Craig. The only exceptions I can think of are not actually exceptions, because they're private. I'm thinking of my aunt who played her classical records at volumes that caused her children to complain.

You know, I watched some of the Republican convention and it seemed like as much of a pro life rally as a political convention. It opened with Cardinal Dolan asking Gods blessings on many-and he specifically included the unborn.
Later you had a former Planned Parenthood director who spoke of the evils of abortion.
Then a nun who said that president Trump was the “most pro life president we have ever had”.
I would say there were at least 12 different speakers who spoke against the killing of our most vulnerable.
I can easily see that if a Democrat was in charge and had appointed the last two justices that the “Little Sisters of the Poor” would be mandated by law to dispense “birth control” . This was attempted by the last administration. By the way, they were pleasant and kind in their approach-as they are when speaking of ripping the head off of a baby perfectly able to survive otherwise-and able to feel pain as fully as any other human. If they don’t respect that child that is unable to vote, do you think this may be an indicator of how they would approach other issues?
Look at Amy Barrett. Will she somehow stand against this barbaric practice? I hope so. What are the chances a judge appointed by a Democrat would?
Vice president Biden just came out and stated he would support a sex transformation of a 8 year old girl. Again, he seems so sensitive and well mannered when speaking of this. Until a few years ago Christendom-actually any healthy person- would have been aghast at such an abomination.

I wish FDR hadn’t had an affair-exhorting the country to loyalty while sleeping in the arms of another woman. This was a violation of a solemn oath to God and to his wife. I still have pain in my heart from finding that out. Nevertheless I have to say his policy choices to support Churchill and the war have been vindicated. I think the people who elected him to office did the right thing.

As much as I agree with your basic view, I don't want Judge Barrett to "stand against this barbaric practice." I just want her to follow the constitution and duly enacted laws. That would or at least could return abortion law to the states, which at least would keep the issue from tearing the country apart. So much of our current division goes back to that.

I said when Trump was elected that if he appointed good judges and didn't start a nuclear war, I would consider it a win. So far so good....

I like this from George Weigel: "And it will not do to blame our current national distress on two septuagenarians acting like four-year-olds while contending for the world’s greatest public office (although they surely disgraced themselves and embarrassed the country in their first “debate”)."

I actually signed that statement that Weigel is referring to and have been planning to do a post about it. I don't agree with every single word in it but it's close enough.

Well, I just wrote a long comment which was partly a further reply to John D above (he's my brother by the way), and then accidentally hit a key combination that caused it to disappear. So, very short version: good for Trump supporting the anti-abortion cause and other good things; bad for Trump for being so nasty and flaky that it's possible he'll going to do as much harm as good in the longer run.

" I don't agree with every single word in it but it's close enough."

"Maclin Horton Obscure Writer". Ha! :)

I saw that in your Facebook page and had the same reaction as Robert.


I didn’t want to put “retired” something or other on the statement, and I certainly don’t have anything impressive to claim. So I put that and was pleased that they left it. Then later I was on Facebook and realized I was tired of seeing “Former...” so I changed it too.

Further note on Trump: my criticisms of him are not about his private behavior. Things like FDR's adulterous affair are not applicable comparisons. It's about his public behavior. One chief example for me is his treatment of Jeff Sessions. It's been despicable. If Alabama still has a Democratic senator after this election, it will be in some part thanks to Trump. If we don't have a Democratic senator, we'll have a football coach who barely even qualifies as a resident and obviously has no clue what he's doing. And that will be thanks to Trump, who could not get past the nasty spite he holds for Sessions, whom he helped to defeat in the Republican primary and who probably would have beaten the Democrat pretty easily. I say "could not" but there's no reason to think he tried. One thing in which Trump is consistent is that he seems to place personal devotion to him over just about everything.

"I said when Trump was elected that if he appointed good judges and didn't start a nuclear war, I would consider it a win. So far so good...."

Yeah, I was afraid to vote for him in 2016 because I thought he'd be far too much of a loose cannon foreign policy-wise. As it turns out that hasn't been all that bad. It's been on the homefront where he's been less than stellar.

Rod Dreher has told the story of some election or other where the incumbent was a known embezzler or something but his challenger was a white supremacist. A popular bumpersticker read "Vote for the Crook. It's Important." I think that one could be applicable to this election which read "Vote for the Jerk. It's Important."

Having said that, I feel like if I do end up voting for DT, I'd be voting more against Team D than against Biden as a candidate. I dislike both parties immensely, for different reasons, and while the GOP will in a sense always be a threat because of its commitment to market fundamentalism, to me the Dems are the bigger immediate threat, to religious liberty especially. If I lived in a state that was locked up one way or another I'd vote ASP, but Pa. is a swing state so there's a sense in which my vote actually means something.

One thing's for sure -- if DT loses I hope the GOP keeps the Senate. Likewise if he wins I'd want to see the Dems keep the House. A one-party government at this time would be awful no matter which side it was.

For the reasons I mentioned above, Trump could end up being directly responsible for the Republicans losing the Senate. I realized that I'm assuming people know the situation in Alabama: Sessions resigned from the Senate, and in the special election to replace him the Republicans nominated Roy Moore, who is widely considered, even by conservatives, to be a nut. The national media further assisted his Democrat opponent, Doug Jones, by trumpeting a story about Moore's romantic interest in under-age girls when he was in his 30s. Jones won by a fairly narrow margin.

Now Jones is up for re-election. Sessions ran in the Republican primary but Trump trashed him at every opportunity and endorsed Tommy Tuberville, a former football coach whose only qualifications consist mainly of that endorsement. Tuberville won, but he's like Roy Moore in that a significant number of otherwise fairly conservative people think he's a ridiculous candidate. I think he's ahead of Jones in the polls, but if Jones wins we will have Donald Trump to thank.

Dreher's story was about a Louisiana governor's race. The crook, iirc, was opposed by David Duke.

"If I lived in a state that was locked up one way or another I'd vote ASP..."

That's what I did in 2016. But the Democrats' scheme for nullifying the electoral college makes my vote count in a way that it otherwise wouldn't.

Yes, but that scheme has been around for a while, before 2016.

The thing about voting ASP, and I am leaning that way, is that I don't see myself voting for Carroll if there was any chance he could win. I don't dislike him; I just don't think he is qualified to be President.

But, maybe I am wrong.


If ASP would nominate a serious candidate for president, they might get some traction.

Where is Dr. Emmett Brown when you need him?

Who is Emmett Brown?

However long the electoral college scheme has been around, it's a real danger now. Apparently a lot of Democrats feel confident that they are now and will be for a long time the numerical majority in the country, so they see this as a real chance for making their dominance permanent. It's an example of what I mean about them no longer believing in our form of government. I can't overstate my opposition to it.

Voting third party is a respectable choice, but no one should be under the illusion that one can win.

For what it's worth, btw, someone I know (and I think you do, too, Janet) says that the ASP is in the hands of nutty people. This person is a sort of political convert from right to left but is seriously Catholic and in sympathy with ASP's stated principles. But he was warning against it on Facebook the other day. I have no idea whether he's right or not.

They do seem to be getting a bit more attention. They are on the ballot in Mississippi, where they had zero presence last year. But what I didn't se was any concerted effort between 2016 and 2019.

They do need to get someone better known and qualified to run.

If we still have a country after the election.


Btw I voted ASP in 2016. Decided against it this time for the reasons I've already given.

Well, darn it. There may be no escape.


A friend just posted on Facebook that she saw a Kafka/Orwell 2020 bumper sticker today.


"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."

ASP is on our ballot in WI. I voted for them last time, but won't this time. Even though Carroll is on the ballot in more states, it seems more like an out-of-the-garage operation this time.

I think Charles Camosey, formerly of Democrats for Life, is backing ASP this time around.

Emmett Brown.

That didn't work. Well, go here. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emmett_Brown#/media/File:Doc_Brown.JPG


I can see that nuttiness might be a problem. Some of the comments from followers make me distinctly nervous. There was a discussion about relying more on neo-Calvinism and less on Catholic Social Teaching, and the guy in the KoC uniform who seems to have some authority was interested.

Not that I am saying that neo-Calvinism is nutty. I don't know, but I don't want to go there.


"a lot of Democrats feel confident that they are now and will be for a long time the numerical majority in the country, so they see this as a real chance for making their dominance permanent. It's an example of what I mean about them no longer believing in our form of government."

Yes, and as they are explicitly an anti-traditionalist Christian and pro-Sexual Revolution party, it makes the threat of one-party dominance even more frightening than it would be if the shoe were on the other foot. As Tony Esolen put it in 2016, no matter what the problems with the GOP are, at least they don't hate me and everything I stand for. I think the GOP considers us traddies a nuisance, perhaps a sizable one, but not much worse than that.

By the way, even if I don't end up voting for Trump, I do plan to vote straight GOP down-ticket, since I think it's vital to have some opposition in the Congress in case Biden wins.

Ok, I finally looked at Robert's link. :-) Yeah, that's the problem, or at least the unfortunate tendency.

"no matter what the problems with the GOP are, at least they don't hate me and everything I stand for."

That's what it comes down to. There are a lot of Christians in the Democratic party, but as an institution it's effectively anti-Christian. In part that's because it's dominated by people who have a different religion, a decadent version of classical liberalism, which cannot coexist on an equal footing with other religions.

There's a somewhat eccentric and brilliant guy that I somehow became Facebook friends with who posted a nice succinct list of liberalism's claims. This is the first two items:

1) It has no metaphysics
2) Everyone must convert to its non-metaphysics

Can you point me to what you are reading about nullifying the electoral college. I am not questioning you or anything. I just want to see more discussion of it.



Thanks for the link, but I read that when you first posted about it. I got the idea from what you said that you had come across more recent discussion of it. That is what I am interested in.


Oh...well, no, I can't think of anything I've seen recently. I assume that if we have another situation like 2016 there will be some effort to trigger it. I do see occasional demands from leftists to "abolish the electoral college!", which they seem to think someone somewhere could just up and do if it were demanded loud enough.

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