I would describe my voting pattern as a soft Republican.
For most of my life I have tolerated objectionable segments of the GOP. I have never felt comfortable with the evangelical movement and their ethnocentrism even after they shifted to become the largest supporter of Israel. I have tolerated the moralizers who espouse anti-gay sentiments but I reject their views. I recognize the sincere moral concern of the abortion divide and recognize the concern of women who object to having this decision in the hands of government officials.
I have tolerated the leviathan Republicans who think that big government and cronyism is OK as long as they have their hands on the levers. I have ignored the wingnuts who are unable to speak civilly of the president and his family while remaining in disagreement with his policies, actions and style. I have ignored the conspiracy nuts who went from birthers to Islamic conspiracy theorists.
I never bought into the claims of Republican being anti women, racist, or against the working man. These were always just juvenile demonizers from the ignorant left.
But I have largely voted Republican for two reasons. I thought they were far better on the economic issues, embracing the best elements of capitalism and respected the Constitution and its principles.
If Donald Trump is the GOP candidate those two reasons do not hold, and I have no reason left to vote Republican. Trump in the epitome of the pragmatist without principles. His view of the constitution (like Ross Perot’s before) is as Progressive as Hillary’s. In fact Hillary may have more respect for the Constitution than Donald.
There is still little to make me a Democrat. While I may agree on LGBT issues I have little else in common. Their Progressive adherence to the Administrative and Welfare state without any limits is the road to slow growth which may cause more instability than the inequality they so abhor. In fact slow growth is the cause of growing inequality.
For the Progressive left the constitution is not a document to protect individual liberty by restricting government power; it is a historical obstructionist relic that prohibit big government from doing whatever they need or want to do. Behind this Progressive pragmatism is an ‘ends justifying the means’ mentality. They are free to intentionally misinform and lie to accomplish their objectives. Jonathan Gruber was so glib about the need to lie to the American people about Obamacare because of their stupidity. There was never 46 million uninsured Americans as we were told.
It is no wonder that an epic liar like Hillary Clinton can be their candidate.
The Democrats’ sense of pragmatism entails a sense that the truth is whatever gives them power. They have no problem restricting Constitutional rights if it serves their aim. The only Bill of Rights their cherish is the Fifth. They have no problem with 9 unelected judges writing laws and creating new rights. They have no problem with the President usurping Congress with executive orders. At least not until a Republican is in office.
There has always been hypocrisy in politics. But there must also be compromise. When Ted Cruz starts to list his points on which he will not compromise I could only think he is in the wrong job. When he is willing to shut down the government on “his” litmus test issues are we to tolerate similar tactics on others’ litmus test issues?
At least Ted Cruz, unlike Trump, has a stand on some principles I share. But what good is it if you so alienate your party that you cannot get anything done.
The strength of the Democrats is their unity. The Republicans, like the Democrats, is a loose union of principles and ideas and issues, but this campaign has destroyed what fragile sense of unity they may have ever possessed and it has long been weaker in this regard than the Democrats.
It is possible that Hillary’s lies and deceptions can so cripple her that she could lose to Trump. Like Trump she has followers more rationalizing than rational.
If the GOP did not learn from the last campaign I don’t know they will learn from this humiliation either. There needs to be some major reform in the party and they need some adults in charge.