Your Vote Is Not About Your Vanity

Trump vs Clinton

Simply, liberals will rally around their own while conservatives tear each other to shreds (generally speaking, of course).  No one is advocating lock-step conformity, and dissension in the ranks certainly has its benefits.  Nonetheless, any effective movement requires a degree of unity and cohesion or it will eventually dissolve.  This may not entirely explain why Democrats have won the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections, but it helps.

As conservatives, we’ve all heard this dandy:  The best thing that could happen to the Republican Party would be to lose big. Give them time to regroup and see the error of their ways.  By then, voters will come begging the Republicans to save us from liberalism.  Some conservatives still believe this foolishness.  Many Ted Cruz supporters are actively rooting for a Trump defeat (the slogan ‘My Vision is 2020’ keeps popping up on social media), forgetting that eight years of Barack Obama did not exactly send voters flocking to Ted Cruz begging for his leadership.  Yet somehow four years of Hillary will.

Do you ever hear liberals talk that way?  Liberals will coalesce behind Hillary, knowing that she is a fraud.  It bears repeating, no one is condoning that kind of conformity.  At the same time, not getting a modern-day Reagan or Churchill is no reason to stay home.  Neither of these men was perfect, either.  As a little aside here, Churchill and his forked tongue could make Donald Trump sound like a choirboy,  so let’s man up a little here.  A razor-sharp battle plan requires a thick skin.

Liberals, as a rule, vote strategically.  They don’t stubbornly wait for the ideal candidate who will guarantee them 90% of what they want.  They will settle for 80 or 70 or even 60%.  They will bide their time, enacting their agenda incrementally, either through the courts or regulatory agencies.  With same-sex marriage, they weathered rejection at the ballot box by reshaping the culture and clenched victory with the aid of (predominantly) liberal judges, but let’s let Hillary appoint even MORE.  I mean, what could go wrong?

While the liberal uses his/her vote as a chess move, a pawn in a grand, strategic offense, the conservative, far too often, sees voting as an act unto itself, a display of vanity, employing laughable implausibilities to justify self-important fantasies.  Consider, again, the Cruz-supporting Never-Trumpers, who want everyone to know that they refuse to settle for the lesser of two evils because they are more principled than you, and Ted Cruz told them to vote their conscience and blah, blah, blah. . .  They are actively flirting with third parties, reminding us that, hey, Lincoln was from a new party, so anything can happen.  Some are encouraging Democrats to support Jill Stein of the Green Party, hoping that an unsettled election will force Congress to pick a winner, someone other than Trump or Hillary.

One is more likely to win the lottery, a Super Bowl ring and get struck by lightning in the same day than to see either one of these scenarios materialize.  But they don’t plot victory, they wow one another with the latest arguments against voting for the lesser of two evils.  For instance, should a woman marry a man who just slaps her over a man who hits her, since the first one is the lesser of two evils.  Well, no one is asking you to marry Donald Trump (who, to my knowledge, has never struck a woman).  Besides, day-to-day life requires that we interact with individuals and groups with whom we disagree ideologically.  Life seldom gives us the luxury of choosing  between Satan and Superman.  There could be a pile of manure behind Door A AND Door B.  We choose carefully and we pick our battles.

But not the Never-Trumpers.  Every encounter is an epic showdown, where the details get lost in the grand sweep of emotion.  Donald Trump, for all his faults, picked a Cruz supporter for his VP, named a slate of Originalists as potential Supreme Court nominees and just unveiled an economic plan that some (commentator Debbie Schlussel, for one, who is not a huge Trump fan) call Reaganesque.  If he fails to win the White House, Hillary Clinton is president.  Is your vanity that important?  Is your vote meant to advance a greater cause or to fluff your ego?  Finally, ask yourself, would I rather take a chance on getting SOME of what I want or elect a guarantee of getting NONE of what I want?

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The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by iPatriot.com.

David Bozeman

52. Single. Fayetteville, NC. Lifelong political activist, including two runs for state house (once as a Libertarian and then as a Republican). I have written for landofthefree.net, conservativecrusader.com, among others. My work has been reprinted on numerous websites and in newspapers nationwide. My work has been cited by a member of congress. I also have written for Liberty Features, the media wing of Americans for Limited Government. Writing about politics and current events is my passion.

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