The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, May 09, 2016

Least Worst

As I watch the primary season grind to a conclusion, I can only experience surprise tempered by disgust, leavened with trepidation. How can our country produce such poor candidates? Hillary Clinton provides us the the trifecta of traits—dishonesty, corruption and incompetence—that should disqualify her from running for president, much less being president. Bernie Sanders is a crypto-communist whose extreme views on the economy, private enterprise, government control, and "the rich" make him a better president for Venezuela that the United States. And then there's Donald Trump, a blowhard whose positions shift daily, who appears to be one question deep on most substantive issues, and who has adopted a "trust me" approach to governance that is suspect and concerning.

What a choice!

But a choice has to be made, and sadly, I'll adopt the general attitude of Bobby Jindal (a guy whose social policies I reject, but whose view of government's role in our lives I can live with). Jindal writes:
I was one of the earliest and loudest critics of Mr. Trump. I mocked his appearance, demeanor, ideology and ego in the strongest language I have ever used to publicly criticize anyone in politics. I worked harder than most, with little apparent effect, to stop his ascendancy. I have not experienced a sudden epiphany and am not here to detail an evolution in my perspective.

I believe this presidential election cycle favors Republicans, due more to President Obama’s shortcomings than to any of our virtues or cleverness. I also believe that Donald Trump will have the hardest time of any of the Republican candidates in winning. He has stubbornly stuck to the same outlandish behavior and tactics that have served him so well to date. Mr. Trump continues to have the last laugh at the expense of his critics and competitors, myself included.

I think electing Donald Trump would be the second-worst thing we could do this November, better only than electing Hillary Clinton to serve as the third term for the Obama administration’s radical policies. I am not pretending that Mr. Trump has suddenly become a conservative champion or even a reliable Republican: He is completely unpredictable. The problem is that Hillary is predictably liberal.
And therein is the problem. While Trump is an unknown, Clinton (and Sanders, if he were to pull off a major upset) are knowns. What we know about them is that government will continue to grow and become even more intrusive than it already is; our national debt will roar past $20 trillion and push this nation closer than ever to default; taxes will increase, crippling an economy that will stagger along as the private sector is bullied by big government bureaucrats; we will continue to project weakness overseas, increasing the likelihood of major wars, and dishonesty, corruption, and incompetence will all flourish. In essence, we'll have a continuation of the Obama era, an instant replay of the worst presidency in the past 100 years. Bummer.

Like Jindal, I have not experienced an epiphany. I really don't like Donald, but I like Hillary and Bernie even less.

Here's the thing—I do like my country. With all its faults, the United States provides enormous opportunity for those who are poor or lower middle class to rise and prosper. It used to encourage innovation, self-reliance, and personal responsibility. It discouraged dependency of big government, over regulation and extreme political correctness. That's changing. The United States is, despite the protestation of some progressives and almost all of the hard Left, a place where one is limited only by ability, enthusiasm, and drive. If you don't think so, ask yourself why immigrants, both legal and illegal, continue to flood across our borders.

In November, we'll have a choice between two negatives, and our job will be to elect the least worst. In my view, it's worth rolling the dice and going with a distasteful wildcard who just might do some good things—as opposed to an absolutely predictable candidate who will continue the sad and destructive legacy of Barack Obama.