Forget Super Tuesday. The Florida Republican Primary is March 15th and I cast my absentee ballot for Donald Trump, and nobody is more surprised than I am. If you had told me a few years ago that he would have been my candidate, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t…couldn’t have believed it. The loudmouthed TV guy; the birther? That’s my candidate? Clearly a lot of things have changed in the past couple years to lead me down this path.
First of all, Trump isn’t a perfect candidate; far from it. Prior to his entering the Presidential race, I was aware of who he was, but wasn’t otherwise interested in him or his mixture of business and celebrity; the Trump brand, or his show, The Apprentice. And I particularly wasn’t interested in his birtherism. I hate conspiracy theories and I hated the fact that a PUMA inspired Democratic conspiracy theory from the 2008 Democratic Primary race got pinned on Republicans. Too be sure a lot of people on the right fell for that malarkey, but Trump garnered a great deal of publicity by promoting it and playing it as if it was a well crafted publicity stunt, which I suppose to him, that’s exactly what it was.
Trump has continued to say things that are ridiculous on its face even this far into the Presidential race. Trump’s claim during the CBS debate that Bush lied about WMD in Iraq is absurd. However Rush Limbaugh’s theory, that it was a play for Democratic votes in an open primary state, does, have a ring of plausibility. In any case, I don’t regard it as a factually correct statement and that debate highlighted much of the criticism of Trump as legitimate, that he’s a thin skinned hot head who shouts before he thinks.
But…in spite of all of those flaws and many others, I voted for Trump in the primary.
The reasons are multiple, but I can jot down a few bullet points:
Trump might win; no other Republican can: For Conservatives, it’s over. I’ve noted multiple times that the demographic time bomb has gone off and all things being equal, Republicans won’t win another Presidential race. Donald Trump is the rare bolt of lightning that might actually flip that script. He’s bringing new voters into the primaries and has a good chance of doing that during the general election. He also has a platform that has cross party appeal. Would I like to have a more standard conservative to vote for? Sure, but we’ve already crossed the Rubicon on the ability of such a candidate to actually win a general election. It’s not a choice between Trump and Cruz, it’s a choice between Trump and Hillary.
If I ever want to see what a Presidency by someone who owes absolutely nothing to donors, this is my only chance. Given the freak out of GOPe, it’s obvious that many in the Republican establishment would much prefer a Hillary to a Trump. With Hillary, you get the same old same old, but with Trump, he owes no one in the establishment anything. It’s a totally unprecedented state of affairs in the political world; a President who actually owes nothing to the donor class. Imagine, ambassadors and other appointees selected because of qualifications instead of donations? We’ve never had anything like that, and are unlikely to have that again in my lifetime. So just once I would like to see how that would work in real life instead of fantasy.
Economic Nationalism. When Trump declared his candidacy, his political platform blew me away. He actually had a platform that was popular, and was untouched by any of the other multiple candidates; no amnesty and protecting jobs from bad trade deals. It seems a program ripe for cherry picking by one of the other candidates, yet no one did, because, as I predicted, there were no donors who were going to fund such a campaign.
No Amnesty, no how. I’m done voting for amnesty supporting Republicans. Sorry Rubio, but I’m not giving you another chance to betray me. Ted Cruz might not betray me on amnesty but he also would never be President. If through some miracle he were to get the nomination, he would go down in Goldwater like flames in the general election. But Trump bet his campaign on immigration, so I think he means it. I want the wall, and I don’t care if it has a giant T on it. The Cucks won’t build it, but Trump might.
I’m sure a Trump vote will be a hard vote to swallow for many conservatives, but think about this: What have conservatives actually conserved?
They’ve lost every battle, for decades. We’ve had multiple Republican Presidents and Republican lead Congresses, yet government is bigger, more controlling, and more expansive than ever. No promise Conservatives have made has lasted beyond Election Day. So I’m really not risking anything. Look at the Republican Congress and Senate I helped vote in. They’ve been busy as bees helping pay for Obamacare and fulfilling President Obama’s budget requests. So if that’s what I get with a Congress with a larger Republican majority since before the Great Depression, I don’t see that I’ve got anything to lose.
But potentially a lot to gain.