Our unacceptable choice in this presidential election

This presidential election is almost over, and it is abundantly clear we don’t like our choice this year.

Not choices. Choice.

The two major parties in 2016 managed to present not a pair of distinct candidates but two sides of the same out-of-circulation penny. Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have spent decades mixing politics and personal interests. Neither has a track record that, given even moderate scrutiny, speaks well of the experience they claim to bring to the table: business for him, government for her.

Clinton and Trump

Both will tell a lie when the truth would be easier, and better. Both harp on the grievances and identities of their supporters rather than ideas with broader appeal. Both, chillingly, want to change the law to silence their critics.

Both would increase taxes and business regulations — he through trade restrictions, she via more conventional means. Both would continue to expand executive power, contrary to the Constitution. Neither wants to get serious about the entitlement math that will doom our finances sooner than later. Both favor the kind of foreign policy that could get us into more questionable conflicts.

But neither those nasty similarities nor their various differences fully explains, I think, just why Americans find this pair so loathsome. That comes down to this:

Both are running backward-facing campaigns when many Americans feel an urgency, an anxiety, about the future.

It’s style (Trump’s “Make America Great Again“) and substance (the unchecked items from Democrats’ yellowed wish lists sprinkled among Clinton’s proposals). Altogether, it makes their respective visions for the future simply unbelievable. Trump’s has come and gone. Clinton’s is always said to be just around the corner — and always will be.

In truth, it was unlikely 2016 would have turned out any other way. Clinton’s only real rival in the primaries was a septuagenarian who proposed backtracking to that point in his youth where we forked off from our friends in Europe, and trying to catch up with them down that dead-end path.

Meanwhile, the more youthful Republicans challenging Trump were, at best, not quite finished thinking through how their principles might lead to them to novel solutions for contemporary problems. At worst, they weren’t even asking that question.

So we are left asking if either Trump or Clinton is acceptable in the present. Not to me.

There is nothing about Hillary Clinton that could lead me to vote for her. But when the best-case scenario given for Donald Trump is that he probably wouldn’t be nearly as bad as your worst nightmare, that’s nothing I can endorse, either.

Trump is ill-prepared in thought, word, deed and temperament to lead our country. He has shown little, if any, sign during this campaign that he is willing to change or even to learn anything new. His decades of public comments about our problems prior to running for president show him to have the instincts of a typical, big-government liberal (what Ted Cruz ostensibly meant when he derided Trump’s “New York values”). To this man, who has been all over the place on issues from abortion to gun control, a conservative is supposed to entrust the fate of the Supreme Court?

In this case, one candidate’s relatively worse qualities do not excuse the other’s deep flaws enough to deserve a vote. They both pass the threshold of unacceptability. They need not exceed it by the same distance.

Given this choice, I will be doing something I have never done in my life as a voter. I will be writing in the most conservative and honorable candidate remaining: Evan McMullin. That at least registers a measure of discontent with this choice. At this point, that’s all I have left.

Reader Comments 0

578 comments
Gramma Penny
Gramma Penny

I might NOT be a Trump Fan... but Hillary would be a "Death Sentence" for America.... Please... think.... and Vote TRUMP!

Dolores Thurmon
Dolores Thurmon

You all need to calm down. Hillary will be our next president. Like it or not!!!

Julia Johnson
Julia Johnson

Hillary, SA coming for sure.prepare for war is about right.

Yorker Johnson
Yorker Johnson

I'M VOTING FOR HILLARY CLINTON NOT DONALD DUMPED TRUMP RACIST SELF

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

Kyle, you are disappointing, however, I have paid my taxes, served honorably in our military, and tried to be a good citizen supporting your rights to make a bone headed decision.

If pigs could fly.

McMullin is a spoiler, so voting for him is like voting for Hillary.

In fact, voting for anyone other than Trump is voting for Hillary.

I've had it with the establishment types who have dug their own political grave by not supporting Trump.  It's over for them if Trump wins or loses.  Out completely if Trump wins, no base of support if he loses.

I've had it with the women who stupidly will vote for Hillary because Trump's sexual shenanigans offends them.  Yes, we all wish Trump was a better role model, but his sins are insignificant compared to what Hillary will do to the country.

Americans are suppose to be tough, winners regardless.

Yes, there are hard choices to make, but those that love this country as founded, love our way of life, will buckle down, make a hard choice and vote Trump.  

IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

@JohnnyReb Very well said. You may want to move this comment over to the new blog, where he's trying to re-burnish his conservative credentials after the major backstabbing.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@JohnnyReb Anyone who votes for Trump doesn't love this country


And is what is wrong with America.


We will be correcting that very soon.

Re Al A T
Re Al A T

Trump is Cheney with hair. Same ignorant mentality prevails. Will we ever stop running fools and imbeciles for public office?

lvg
lvg

Obama needs to yank Garland's nomination as soon as it is official that Hillary won.

Eye wonder
Eye wonder

@IReportYouWhine 

If you concede, today, that you lost your bet to me, I will reduce the amount owed by $10 and let you make the donation to the charity or cause of your choice. If you do not accept this offer today, the bet stands at its original amount ($50) and goes to a charity or cause of my choosing (which I've already said will be the military, though not necessarily the Marines).


IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

@Eye wonder @IReportYouWhine Why would I concede?


Did the British people concede the Brexit vote when the world elitists were telling them a no vote was imminent?


Did Trump concede when the Republican establishment was buying up their squishy and spineless delegates in an attempt to overrule the will of their voters at the convention?


I don't pay no mind to the polls put out by the anti American backstabbing rigged media organizations and you would do well for yourself by not believing them either.


Best prepare your lifeboat for when the swamp gets drained and you and your kind are sent down river.



Eye wonder
Eye wonder

@IReportYouWhine @Eye wonder

I'm making an offer where you can reduce the amount owed and direct its application 100%. If you believe Trump will win, don't accept it and take your chances. But the balance of probabilities suggests he will lose, therefore you can hedge and possibly minimize your loss and know it is going to a cause you support 100%. I don't care either way; I'm just trying to be nice.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

Stocks surge as FBI clears Clinton; Dow futures jump more than 200

Wall Street loves 'em some Hillary. She represents the(ir) status quo.

How that squares with liberals is beyond comprehension.  

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@FIGMO2 

How that squares with liberals is beyond comprehension. Not anymore, the rule of law, morality, national security etc. is no longer important to them. Far-left ideology is all that is important to them.

MarkVV
MarkVV

@FIGMO2 Had the Dow dropped, Hillary' opponents would point it out as another argument against her.  How they can write these drivels is beyond comprehension

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

Respectable, honorable choice you've made here, Kyle.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@Visual_Cortex

Evan McMullin is BIG on military intervention to address genocide around the globe. 

Just so 'ya know, VC.

whatsinthetaxes
whatsinthetaxes

The sad thing is that we'll never know what was being hidden in Trump's tax returns. Sad.

lvg
lvg

@whatsinthetaxes Hillary should have him indicted as soon as she takes office- investor fraud,consumer fraud, charity fraud, tax fraud, aiding an illegal alien in defrauding the INS, financial disclosure fraud, treason. Just pick one.

IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

As free individuals, we have the responsibility to act in concrete ways that are best for our neighbors and our posterity. Elshtain described this as “neighbor-regard.” Alexis de Tocqueville called it mutual affection within the civil society. This regard for others and for what is to come “in Christian moral thinking ranks concrete responsibility ahead of rigid rule-following.”



That’s because rigid moralism in response to a moral dilemma, such as the one we’re facing now, is really a kind of civil cowardice, as Dietrich Bonhoeffer calls it. It’s putting concern for your own reputation, or your political party, over what is best for your country and its future. It’s putting yourself before others, even your children.



https://pjmedia.com/blog/nevertrumpers-moral-laziness/


FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@IReportYouWhine

Embedded:

In 1979, Christopher Lasch published the epochal The Culture of Narcissism warning of the normalizing of narcissism in our society. Lasch may have understated it. 35 years later, in the Obama era—with its parade of endless, often inexplicable, scandals—we have a full blown epidemic of what has recently been called Moral Narcissism.

Forget Narcissus and his reflection, Moral Narcissism—the almost schizophrenic divide between intentions and results now pervading our culture—is the new method for feeling good about yourself. It no longer matters how anything turns out as long as your intentions were good, that you were “moral.” And, just as importantly, the only determinant of those intentions, the only one who defines that morality, is you.

Hear, hear!

jcatl
jcatl

Drumpf is done.

Angie Wentz
Angie Wentz

Dear self... Why did you go against your pledge of never reading the AJC's comments section? You know it's always full of stupid crap that people think is so smart but it's really nothing more than the rantings of the uninformed..... **sigh** you know better...

Vincent McQuinn
Vincent McQuinn

And you lured me into this mess with this comment!! \U0001f621\U0001f62d

lvg
lvg

Iraqi troops on the verge of liberating Mosul after bitter fighting all weekend. Cons wish Americans were doing the fighting and dying rather than Iraqis- go figure.Where in the Constitution does it say US should defend Iraq indefinitely?

whatsinthetaxes
whatsinthetaxes

We broke it under the Cheney administration so I guess we have to pitch in to fix it.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

Watching "60 Minutes" last night it was, at least, refreshing to see that many in Frank Luntz's focus group understood why folks were supporting Trump. "People are angry with the status quo in Washington and rightfully so." 

Richard Gauthier
Richard Gauthier

So enjoy the rise in taxes,rise in Obuma cera,45000 more terrorist that Hillary to import but no Christians

Callie Green
Callie Green

I want someone to tell me why they not vote for Hillary, just tell me what did she do , I have never anything bad she have done and the things they are talking about of lies, she is not to blame for what happens.

Adryan M Fambro
Adryan M Fambro

They are not voting for her because she is a woman. That is the reason. Because the only thing they keep bringing up is emails and she didn't even send those. They were sent to her.

Debbie Murphy
Debbie Murphy

If not voting either then your voting for Killiary just like the 4 million who didn't vote in 2012 Obama didn't win by 4 million so this author is an idiot moron and disgrace to all American especially women children especially the unborn and blacks!

IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

@lvg I can clearly understand what Debbie has to say. Maybe it's you, lvg?

lvg
lvg

Try blogging in clear English- your post is a bunch of gibberish.

Vincent McQuinn
Vincent McQuinn

\U0001f602\U0001f602\U0001f602 what? Is there a translator book I buy to decipher what you tried to say?

Debbie Murphy
Debbie Murphy

Vincent McQuinn Since you're an idiot liberal Killiary supporter you can't and won't understand! If you had a brain then you'd comprehend!