This blog post is not a Biden commercial. I mean, if you’re asking me who I think you should vote for in the upcoming presidential election, I think it’s Joe Biden. But I also realize that if you’re a lifelong Republican voter, a Biden vote might not be something you’re considering.
But that’s okay! I’m not here to convince you to vote for Joe Biden. Vote for Independent candidate Brock Pierce! Vote for Libertarian Jo Jorgensen! Vote for Kanye West! Write in Mickey Mouse! Leave all the bubbles in the presidential part of your ballot blank! But, please, just please, don’t vote to re-elect Donald Trump.
I write this post only because I have faith in most conservative people. I firmly believe that Trump’s 2016 electoral victory couldn’t have happened without the support of a significant number of kind-hearted, rational-minded conservatives who—in spite of their skepticism towards Trump—voted for him because he was the only Republican on the ballot. My hope is that after the disaster that was the last four years and the potential reclamation opportunity that lies ahead in the post-Trump Republican Party, those people are willing to consider doing something different in 2020.
I should mention here that if you’re considering voting for Donald Trump not in spite of his racist dog-whistling but because of it, then this blog post isn’t for you. If you truly believe that this country is being destroyed by Mexicans, Muslims, and urban blacks hellbent on burning down suburbia, then give your vote to Trump. He’s certainly worked hard for it.
But if you’re one of the conservatives that’s more representative of the conservatives that I know and respect in my life—the conservatives who believe in things like traditional Christian values and limited government—then I’m here to tell you that Donald Trump not only is not the lesser of two evils, but is instead the gravest threat to the ideals you hold most dear.
I’m not a Christian myself, but I have a lot of Christians in my life, most of whom are better people than I am. They’re kind, compassionate, and committed to living a life modeled on the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. But knowing what I know about Jesus, it’s hard for me to understand how any self-proclaimed Christian can vote for a candidate like Trump.
If you’ve ever asked yourself, “What would Jesus do?” the answer is, “the opposite of Trump.” Can you imagine Jesus doling out mean nicknames on Twitter? Can you imagine Jesus demonizing the frightened human beings seeking refuge at our borders or the non-violent activists crusading for social justice? Can you imagine Jesus interrupting Joe Biden’s tribute to his dead son in order to mock his other son’s past struggles with substance abuse? Jesus was a humble servant of the poor and the oppressed. Donald Trump is a self-absorbed narcissist who has repeatedly demonstrated an inability to empathize with the plight of the less fortunate.
I mean, do we even believe Trump is really a “Christian”? He mocks evangelicals behind their backs, he can’t quote a single Bible verse, and when it comes to perhaps the most important issue to many devout Christians—the issue of abortion—Trump used to be pro-choice!
But even if he has “evolved” to a more staunchly anti-abortion stance, Donald Trump is not pro-life—not for struggling Americans, not for desperate refugees, and not for the unnecessary victims that have died from COVID-19 under Trump’s abysmal leadership during the pandemic. Donald Trump will say what he thinks he needs to say and do what he thinks he needs to do in order to win votes—whether that’s throwing red meat to his racist supporters or tear-gassing protestors to clear the way for a photo op in front of a church that he doesn’t attend. But for these reasons, even if Donald Trump does believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ, his words and actions still make him one sorry excuse for a Christian.
But not all Republican voters are devoutly religious. Many are motivated by a secular ideology based on free markets, fiscal responsibility, and limited government. Once again, I’m here to tell you that while Joe Biden may not be your guy (unless you want him to be 😉), Trump is not your guy either.
Trump can’t go a day without screaming about the “radical socialists” that he believes to be in control of the Democratic Party, but the truth is that the size and scope of government has only expanded under Trump. After three years in office, Trump had already ran up nearly double the deficits of second-term Obama, and that was before he signed the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill—the largest economic aid package in American history. Just the other day, Trump tweeted his support for another “go big or go home” stimulus package that could be just as sizable as the first.
To be fair, I support both of these stimulus packages, and I’m glad our president does, too. But I’m not a fiscal conservative, and clearly, neither is Trump.
Donald Trump’s demonization of “socialism” is also comical considering that he has more authoritarian tendencies than any president in modern history. Remember the days when Congressional Republicans used to excoriate Barack Obama for signing treaties with Iran or shaking hands with Raúl Castro? Where the fuck were they when Trump was sucking up to Vladimir Putin or exchanging love letters with Kim Jong Un?
Trump’s expressed admiration for dictators abroad and constitutional abuses at home are far more dangerous than anything coming from the “radical left”. I mean, I have a certain respect for libertarian ideology, but honestly, when it comes to the things threatening our liberty, what should we be more afraid of—Biden using tax dollars to give healthcare to poor people or Trump ordering unsolicited federal troops to invade American cities? As Joe Biden would say, “C’mon!”
And all this stuff barely cracks the surface of the deep trench of terrible that is Donald Trump. I haven’t even got into his incessant lying, his baffling ignorance, his promulgation of conspiracy theories, and his subversive attacks on journalists, scientists, and soldiers. And even though I think most sensible conservatives agree that at the very least Donald Trump has moved the Republican Party in an undesirable direction, I still fear that too many of them will hold their noses for another Trump vote in 2020.
And that would be a huge mistake.
A vote for Donald Trump would solidify the Trumpist takeover of the Republican Party, launching them further down the terrifying path of authoritarian populism and dog-whistle politics. It would also be a potentially lethal blow to the Republican reclamation project that would almost certainly take place in the event of a Biden victory—a project aimed at returning the party to a more honorable brand of politics like those practiced by small-government libertarians and compassionate Christian conservatives. It would be a heck of an opportunity, too, considering the likelihood that Joe Biden would only be a one-term president.
And I would be so happy to see the return of that Republican Party. Not because it would turn me into a regular Republican voter—I’m too big of a “libtard” for that—but because I’d be so happy to return to the days in which both of the dominant parties can at least occasionally feign legitimacy. The days in which, in spite of my differing opinions on certain issues, I can at least claim to have an intellectual and philosophical respect for the leading voices on the other side of the proverbial aisle. But that cannot happen without first getting rid of the man whose illegitimacy makes that impossible.
A third-party candidate or a blank section on a ballot is not a wasted vote—it’s a protest vote. It’s sending a message to the two dominant parties that if they want to earn your support in the future, they need to nominate candidates that better reflect your values. The Republican Party needs to hear that message this year, and they need to hear it from their own. They need to hear it from you. The stronger the disavowal of Trumpism, the more swiftly the Republican reclamation project can begin. I’m going to use my vote to help make that happen, and whether it’s Biden, Brock, Mickey, or Kanye, I hope that Republicans will, too.