I thought RF’s article about Donald Trump raised a good many points of concern about The Donald. I had expressed some of my own fears about a putative Trump Administration earlier. I worry that with no ideological moorings, his desire to “make deals” and “get things done” could boomerang on us. I am also concerned about his comments on civil liberties such as the First Amendment. Informed in part by those concerns, as well as my own belief that Ted Cruz is the strongest Second Amendment advocate we could hope for, I have donated money to the Cruz campaign. When the primary for Pennsylvania rolls around next month, I will vote for ol’ Rafael, too. There. Full disclosure completed . . .
I am nothing if not a realist, however, and have always preferred harsh truth over pleasing lies. (Try coming of age as a half-Chicano with a dark-skinned mother, and a Mexican illegal immigrant grandmother, in a poor white community in rural Western Pennsylvania after the steel industry collapse, and see if you can keep your starry-eyed idealism!) I can see the handwriting on the wall quite clearly. Every instinct in my political bones tells me that the GOP nomination is going to Trump.
All I had to do was watch the news channels devote their time to covering The Donald’s victory speech/informercial for Trump Steak and the Trump Winery in lieu of Hillary’s celebration of her first-place win in Mississippi and her Rubio-style second-place ‘win’ in Michigan. I also knew it when I spoke with people outside the RKBA community last year who were relatively undecided. When asked about Cruz, I would hear them say things like: “Why does he look so weird?” Or: “Man, that guy gives me the creeps.” Not promising, to say the least.
Elections aren’t held in a vacuum. You have to make a choice between at least two candidates who usually represent a mixed bag of compromises and contradictions within themselves. Unless you’re running for office personally, no candidate’s views will ever match your own. Despite Bernie’s come-from-behind win in the Wolverine State last night, he’s still a long-shot to defeat Hillary, and despite his finding a modicum of a spine on guns in the last debate, he isn’t exactly someone who could be counted on in the breach on the Second Amendment either.
No, the wife of former President Bill Clinton is still likely to be the Democrat nominee because there are still enough dyed-in-the-wool Yellow Dog Democrats for whom, emotionally, it’s still first light on Tuesday, November 7, 2000, and they still have a chance to beat George W. Bush, to install Al Gore, and continue the good times of the 1990s. It’s quite farcical at this point, but clearly the dream lives on, because otherwise some other Democrat would have stepped up: Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, even Joe Freakin’ Biden.
Let me be clear on this point: a Hillary presidency would be an unmitigated disaster for those of us who care about the right to keep and bear arms.
Hillary was the one who forced down the nation’s throat the ineffective and useless ban on certain small-bore rifles that looked ‘evil’, and the concomitant (and equally useless) ban on certain boxes made of inert metal and plastic. (We only got rid of that ridiculous law because our advocates managed to put in a 10-year sunset provision and because we elected good people who were in Congress when the law expired. At the time, President George W. Bush said he would’ve been happy to sign a renewal. Yeah, thanks for nothing.)
Hillary has been an advocate against us for a generation in every forum.
You know the funny thing about President Obama? He wasn’t our friend, either…but apart from some occasional pro forma remarks (and the famous “bitter clingers” comment,) he didn’t really campaign on gun control in either 2008 or 2012. Hillary? She’s all in on civilian disarmament. Hell, she’s attacking Sanders — the honest-to-god Marxist — from the left on the issue.
If Hillary manages to gain the presidency, it will be rightly seen as a huge defeat for us. Everyone knows where she stands, the things she’s done to hurt us, and the things she would do in a heartbeat if given a bit of space.
I don’t want Hillary in the White House.
I don’t want Hillary appointing justices to the Supreme Court.
I don’t want Hillary appointing judges to the Appellate and District Courts.
I don’t want Hillary appointing people to run the unelected apparatchiks who run the bloated federal regulatory apparatus.
I don’t want Hillary signing executive orders on guns.
I don’t want Hillary setting policy priorities for the FBI or the BATFE on guns.
Last but not least, I don’t want Bloomberg or his minions to take heart and be encouraged by a Hillary administration. I don’t want people to point to a Hillary election and say to themselves, “Hey, maybe the pro-gun vote isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.” Perceptions have a funny way of translating into reality in politics.
Yes, there’s a huge (yuge?) risk in voting for Trump. He is talking a good game on guns, but he’s talking a good game on lots of issues, and anyone taking Trump propaganda to the bank needs to have their head examined. (Or, for that matter, just refer to chapter 4 of The Art of the Deal, in which he basically talks about a snow job to unload a property in Cincinnati on a young naive fellow representing a REIT.)
The Donald has said things that are very concerning. The gun ban for people on the terrorist watch list issue for one. His remarks on the First Amendment for another.
Of course, the same caution needs to be exercised with any politican, and doubly so for those reaching for the brass ring of the presidency. They’re all in it to some extent for the own ego, their own desire for power — even if that desire is gratified by doing things they honestly think will help people. The civil liberties candidate, Rand Paul, flamed out in January. This is not the libertarian moment we were hoping for.
Anyway, I know what Hillary will do. I don’t know what Trump will do. He says he’s with us. It’s a risk. But, on balance, I think I’d be willing to take that risk coupled with a Congress that distrusts him (regardless of which party controls it,) a news media that will be looking to expose any flaw, and a desire by the electorate to try to hold him to his words, however slippery they may be.
If I needed one more sign, it came from the decision of anti-gun, anti-civil liberties plutocrat Michael Bloomberg not to make a third party run this year. He says he was doing it to avoid handing the election to Trump(!) or Cruz(!!) What was left unsaid was his desire to make sure that the election was won by someone else. Who do you think that might be? And why do you think Mayor Mike — who thinks his work on banning guns has earned him a place in heaven — wants her to win?
Let me be clear about something else: this is not an endorsement for Trump. I speak only for the case where Hillary Clinton is the Democrat nominee; if anyone else is nominated, all bets are off. I also don’t presume to tell you what to do; you have access to the same information I have, and can make your own choices. To the extent one vote really matters (spoiler alert: it probably doesn’t,) I’ll cast my primary vote for Cruz next month, because he is a Second Amendment stalwart, and it pleases me to vote for Second Amendment stalwarts.
But I’m not going to pretend that Trump is some sort of moral outlier compared with the current crop of candidates — or, for that matter, that he’s somehow worse than most of the people who have held the office during my lifetime, from Richard M. Nixon on down. He’s an outlier in terms of his willingness to use earthy language on the stump, and his ability to overpower the news cycle, not from any excessive willingness to bribe the people, gull the people, and fool the people above and beyond the others. Or, as far as I can tell, his willingness to restrict civil liberties when it’s convenient for him politically.
If Trump is elected, we will need to watch him like a hawk. But we’re going to need to do that with any president — nay, every politician — no matter who is elected. To borrow from George Bernard Shaw: we know what they are; we’re now just haggling over price.
The price of a Hillary presidency, of a Clinton restoration, is too high for me. I won’t sit on my hands in this election if she’s nominated. I’m done with family legacy candidates from America’s bipartisan political aristocracy, especially when they have made it clear through their words and deeds they are the enemy of our civil liberties. So when it comes right down to it: Trump over Hillary. There, I said it.
If it turns out I’m wrong and a Trump presidency is somehow worse than Hillary would have been, you can print this out, hunt me down, and cram it in my throat. I will have deserved it.