The Corner

Politics & Policy


Donald Trump is unfit to be president. He’s a braggart and a liar. And a serial adulterer. He’s behaved shamefully during the primary campaign. He wouldn’t recognize the Constitution if he tripped over it in the street. He doesn’t know even the Cliff Notes version of any policy issue. The idea that the party of Lincoln and Reagan, Coolidge and Eisenhower, Justice Harlan and Senator Taft has nominated Trump is appalling.

And I’m going to vote for him anyway.

I condemn no one for deciding otherwise. There are plausible arguments for not voting for him in November – to repudiate him and his style of politics, to uphold conservative principle. Staying home, voting for a third party, or writing someone in are all honorable alternatives. (Actually voting for Hillary is not.) And if you think his defeat is literally inevitable, these are easier choices to make.

But while his defeat is clearly likely, I do not think it inevitable. As president, Trump would not do half the things he’s promised his supporters, nor half the things his detractors fear. All the illegals aren’t going to be deported and the wall will be tied up in eminent domain litigation for years; likewise, he won’t nuke Belgium or seize the New York Times.

But he would make appointments, and personnel is policy, more so than ever in the post-constitutional era Obama has ushered in. There are hundreds of posts that matter, but two stand out. The first is obvious: the Supreme Court. We have no real idea whom Trump might nominate, but he or she could not help but be better than Hillary’s choices.

The second position is possibly even more powerful than the Supreme Court, albeit with shorter tenure: head of the Civil Rights Division in the Department of Justice. The division is Left’s most potent weapon in imposing its will on every city and town, every baker and florist, every church and synagogue in the nation. The current acting director is an ACLU lawyer – I don’t mean a lawyer who happens to belong to the group, but the ACLU’s actual Deputy Legal Director. Under President Clinton the Second, the ACLU would continue to wage lawfare against Americans on Americans’ own dime, irreversibly altering the fabric of our society. Whatever his manifold shortcomings, this would not be the case in a Trump administration.

I would have preferred Cruz. He’s manifestly a better human being and would certainly have made a better president. But that’s over now. Either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump is going to be sworn in as president in January. It’s not crazy to argue that Hillary would be less destructive in the long run, but it’s an argument I do not find persuasive.

So my reluctant conclusion is this: Vote for the bloviating megalomaniac – it’s important.


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