Sunday, April 3, 2016

My plan for the Wisconsin presidential primary.

As you may or may not be aware, I live in Wisconsin. Next Tuesday is our primary election. As of right now, I think I know who I am going to vote for. And if you had told me that I would be voting for Donald Trump even a year ago, I would be flabbergasted. I still am utterly shocked myself that I don't have a better option. Right now there are five very deeply flawed candidates for president running, and I have problems with all of them. (I'm ignoring the fact that the Libertarian and Green parties also have candidates because I can't vote for them in this primary even if I wanted too).

When I first started thinking about this election, I had no idea who I was going to vote for. Indeed, I wasn't even sure of which party I was going to vote for in the primary. I am certainly no Democrat. Indeed, if I have a political ideology at all it is "be opposed to the Democrats at all times". But if the Republican candidacy was locked up and there was no point in voting on the Republican ballot, I could cross over to vote for one of the Democrats. Not because I like them but to try to limit the damage to the country by getting the best candidate on the ballot... or the worst. Wisconsin is an open primary after all, and you can vote for whoever you feel like regardless of party.

Indeed, I almost did vote in the Democratic primary back in 2008. For the record, I ended up voting for John McCain, which turned out to be a mistake. As disgusting as it is to admit it, I was going to vote for Hillary Clinton before I made that descion. Now I know I just put out an April Fool's day prank saying that I endorsed her, but don't think for a second I actually wanted her to be president. Instead, I really wanted Barack Obama to NOT be president. Even though I thought, and still think, that Hillary Clinton was (and is) a terrible person that shouldn't be allowed to run for President she still would have done a better job then Barack Obama. Which is damming by faint praise. I also thought she would be much easier to beat then Obama. I think I was right on both counts. Obama surpassed my greatest fears after he was elected, and I was already predicting war, chaos and destruction when he was running.

In this election, had we had a clear winner on the Republican side I would cross over to vote for one of the candidates. I am not sure which one though. I think that Bernie Sanders is hands down the better candidate and would make a better president then Clinton, but I also think that getting shot in the back of the head with a .357 Magnum is a better way to die then cancer. You will die either way, but one is much more pleasant then the other. Though Sanders would be a disaster as president, I think he's a better person then Clinton and is slightly more acceptable for me on the issues.

On the other hand, I think that Bernie Sanders is a lot more electable then Clinton. No matter how terrible the candidates are right now, I still think I want a Republican to win in November, and I think that Clinton is a MUCH weaker candidate then Sanders is. Her ethical problems alone should have disqualified her from running. And her health is failing rapidly and there is a decent chance that she could be arrested before November. As far as I am concerned that's the dream opponent to be facing. In any other year, I think if Clinton is the candidate, she loses in a landslide.

But this is not a normal year. In fact, it is a disaster for both parties. Indeed, when this is all said and done, I am not sure if either party survives in their current forms. The three Republicans that are left, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, are all deeply flawed candidates and, honestly, I don't know if any of them could win in November. The only reason they have a chance is because Sanders and Clinton are just as bad or even worse then they are!

Let's start with Kasich. The man should not be in the race at this point. He's been mathematically eliminated and stands no chance of winning the election outright. And even in a brokered convention, I don't see him getting the presidential nod. He's just not popular enough. Even after months and months of non-stop election coverage, nobody has heard of him. I don't think anyone has really sat down and thought what I Kasich presidency would be like

I have though, and I haven't liked what I have come up with. Kasich may talk a good game, with his down home gee whiz mannerisms and his friendly, no attacks, campaign style, but his actual policies are pretty much exactly everything that is wrong with the Republican party. He's for amnesty for illegal immigrants, which pretty much no person in the Republican Party outside of the elites wants, and his foreign policy ideas are just horrible. In short, Kasich is just another George Bush, only a slightly more coherent and well spoken one. That's not what I want, especially since I think his anti-Russia rhetoric could cause a major war if he follows through with what he wants to do.

And what about Ted Cruz? I have to say that I agree with Cruz on a lot of things. Even more then I do Donald Trump, I agree with Cruz on the issues. He's the only one that could reign in the NSA and he is pretty outspoken on his support for gun rights. I do dislike how he panders to evangelicals, but there is always going to be some manner of policy differences with the candidate, unless you yourself are running. Indeed, in any other year, if Cruz was the front runner I would probably vote for him, enthusiastically, if I had nothing else to go on.

But I do have something else to go on. Ted Cruz is, simply put, a snake. He's a bad person and he is willing to do anything to win. Sure that's true for any of the candidates, you don't run for president if you aren't at least a little bit of a snake, but Cruz takes it up to the next level.

I first started to turn on Ted Cruz after Iowa. I still believe that he cheated his way to victory there. He had his campaign tell everyone at the caucuses that Ben Carson had dropped out, even though Carson would last much longer in the campaign then just Iowa. Though the outcome of the Iowa caucuses may not have changed all that much, the fact remains that I thought that was sleazy as hell.

There is also the fact that he claims to be an evangelical and respects and cherishes women while at the moment he is involved in a major sex scandal. Sure, the accusations against Cruz have not been substantiated, as of this post, but he also hasn't, to my knowledge, said that they are false. He also hasn't tried to sue the people that wrote the story, which all adds up to a circumstantial case that the allegations are true. I have little in the way of evidence, but my gut says that he's lying about the scandal and at least some of the allegations are true.

Even if those allegations are not true, and it's important to note that I am using my gut and not the evidence, Cruz can hardly claim the high ground when it comes to his treatment of women. In Utah, Cruz's super pac released a photo add that basically called Donald Trump's wife a slut. She's a model, so it's not surprising that she had some suggestive photos out there, but bringing Trump's wife into it was a low blow. Of course, Trump can't claim the high ground here either because he re-tweeted an unflattering photo of Heidi Cruz, so there is plenty of sleaze to go around

But more then anything else, I think that Ted Cruz isn't electable. He's got a very punch-able face, and he's the kind of guy that may be smart but nobody really likes him. I think that Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders will wipe the floor with him, even if his campaign doesn't fall apart from the sex scandals. And I can't possibly vote for a guy that may have to drop out of the race when he hasn't done all that much to disprove the allegations. He hasn't even explicitly denied them as far as I know.

Ted Cruz just isn't someone who can win elections. He doesn't really excite anyone, and I can't see all that many independents and disgruntled Democrats crossing parties to vote for him. And if he doesn't win the delegate count outright, he's going to be replaced by whoever the GOP decides to put in at a brokered convention. I just don't see him winning outright with the delegate math the way it is.

That leaves me with just two choices. Either stay home in disgust or vote for Donald J. Trump. I'm not staying home, I've never believed that apathy is the way to be a good citizen. Trump may be crude, inexperienced and, in some ways, a scoundrel, but I just think the other two Republican candidates are too flawed to ever support at this point. Hell, if Trump drops dead between now and Tuesday, I almost certainly will vote in the Democrat primary for strategic reasons instead of voting for either Cruz or Kasich.

Finally, I felt a deep sense of betrayal from both Cruz and Kasich after the riot in Chicago that shut down a Donald Trump rally. That attack exposed everything wrong the political left in America today. The violence, the casual hatred of anyone who disagrees, and, worst of all, the deep desire to silence political speech. Any candidate I would support would have had to have denounced the actions of the protesters/rioters at that event.

 And too their eternal shame both Cruz and Kasich took the cowards way out. Instead of laying blame on the left who so richly deserved it, they attacked Donald Trump and, much more importantly, his supporters. They blamed the victims of the left while claiming to be opposed to them. This cowardice, more then any other factor, convinced me that I had to vote for Donald Trump. If for no other reason then he is the only person saying that these kinds of attacks are wrong and should stop. Riots and attempts to silence political voices can not become the status quo. No matter what.

I don't think Trump is a great candidate. Indeed, I don't even think he is all that good of one, but I think he has a better chance of winning then Ted Cruz or John Kasich. If he does manage to avoid the brokered convention, the GOP will fall in line, and above all else I want to avoid a brokered convention. Even if Trump isn't the delegate lead at that point, any candidate that isn't the front runner ending up as the candidate would end up losing. And the GOP would probably die in the chaos, and perhaps even violence, that would follow.

I also think that Donald Trump is uniquely qualified to take on Hillary Clinton. His debate style is well suited against her. Clinton's only option has been to play the sexism card. It has worked pretty well against Bernie Sanders, but it won't work against Trump. He will hit her harder then anyone has ever hit her and he will call her and her husband out on their treatment of women. He may be a scoundrel himself, but Donald Trump is the best person out there to hit Hillary Clinton.

Finally, I do agree with a lot of what Donald Trump has to say on foreign policy and immigration. Trump strikes me as someone who would avoid war if possible but do everything in his power to win once we were in one. That means the gloves would be off when it comes to ISIS but he wouldn't pick a fight with Syria, Russia or Iran. I am pretty sure that he is the only candidate that I can say that for.

And I agree with Trump on immigration. I used to be rather in favor open borders, but in the past couple of years some things happened in my life that forever changed my mind on the issue. I really, really, REALLY, can't go into what those things are. But you must believe me when I say that there are reasons to be opposed to further immigration, especially from Islamic countries, that go way beyond the threat of terrorism...

So that's it then. On Tuesday I plan to vote for Donald Trump, barring some kind of disaster. I am a reluctant voter to be sure, but I feel I have no other choice. What will happen in November is anybodies guess, but I think at this point Donald Trump is the best shot America has. As sad as it is, he's the only guy I can support in this primary.

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