As a #NeverTrumper, I keep being accused of being a Democrat, or at a minimum, of supporting Hillary, simply because I’m not going to vote for Trump. Logical arguments proving this is complete and total nonsense notwithstanding, I feel I should otherwise address the critiques. I should preface this by saying that in my opinion, anyone lobbing such criticisms at the #NeverTrumpers are a) not true conservatives, and/or b) bullies. That said, I will address their baseless accusations anyway.
I won’t bore you with my conservative credentials, as I feel that I represent a wide swath of others who bear the hashtag with pride, and we are all different. I will just say for my purposes here that I haven’t for a single day in my life ever had a remotely liberal ideology. That said, in this election, since I have been forced to entertain the premise that because I am against Trump, I therefore am for Hillary, I have come to a few conclusions on this count.
I absolutely do not support Hillary and do not plan to vote for her, so it pains me to say that, at least from what I have seen of Trump so far, I believe that she would be less destructive to the country. I agree with bestselling author Brad Thor when he said that he thinks “Trump is an extinction-level event potentially for our republic, for democracy.” More recently, Trump’s ghostwriter (or according to Trump, “co-author”) for The Art of the Deal, Tony Schwartz, said that he “genuinely believe[s] that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization.” Schwartz spent 18 months living in Trump’s inner circle, so although he’s a liberal, I will give him a little benefit here of knowing more about Trump than most of us.
I would like to make my point more specifically on issues, not Trump’s favorite subject. First, I am as pro-life as they come, but a Hillary presidency does not scare me here. Things can only get marginally worse on this front than they are now. Conversely, I do not trust Trump’s uncomfortable, ill-informed position on this subject, and have no confidence that he would be appointing true pro-life judges. This issue can hold for a future administration.
On guns, I agree that Hillary would be a disaster. What she could not do is repeal the 2nd amendment. Any restrictions that she did manage to get passed would be bad, but could also be easily reversed in a future administration. Again, I do not see Trump as a true friend of the 2nd amendment. His support of preventing people on the no-fly list from buying guns proves this. I see this issue as a push at worst, and only slightly in Trump’s favor at best, but not one worth worrying too much about right now.
What is far more dangerous than an infringement of the 2nd amendment, however, is an infringement on the 1st amendment, and Trump is far worse than Hillary on this issue. This alone is enough of a reason for me to never vote for Trump, especially given that any serious infringements now on the 1st amendment will cause damage that could not be easily reversed, and could take decades to recover from. His vow to open up libel laws; his attempts to silence critics with threats and blackmail; his lawsuits or threats to sue people who speak out against him; and his veiled threats to reveal damaging secrets against those who oppose him, are all direct threats to the 1st amendment freedom of speech that is far more dangerous than any infringement of the right to bear arms. The 1st amendment can be used to incite revolutions, riots, and worse, making it far more dangerous than the 2nd amendment. Infringements on the 1st amendment that Trump has consistently pushed if not actually employed are reminiscent of the tactics of El Caudillo, or a Latin American strong-arm dictator. Infringing on freedom of speech is one of the most dangerous acts that a president could undertake, leading us down a dark road from which there is little hope of return without the ability to speak out against it. Hillary would like to overturn Citizens United, which is a disgrace, but is a far cry from the grave danger to freedom of speech that Trump represents.
Former Libertarian presidential candidate Austin Petersen made some great points about why Hillary is better for liberty than Trump recently. He pointed out that the CATO Institute has shown that government grows less when there is a divided government. Therefore, assuming that the decimated Republican party could maintain control of the House and Senate, a democrat in the Executive branch would more likely lead to slower growth of government than Trump winning, especially given his clear preference for more spending and larger government.
More important is Petersen’s answer to the never-ending cries that we MUST support Trump because SCOTUS. He very astutely points out not only that George W. Bush gave us John Roberts, but also that Ronald Reagan gave us Seventh Circuit federal Judge Richard Posner, who recently stated that he sees “no value” in studying the Constitution, because it is no longer relevant to contemporary society. At best, I would strongly question Trump’s ability to actually nominate a truly conservative justice, and as we can see from history, even Reagan didn’t always get it right anyway.
For all of these reasons, I thank the low-information voters, and the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, who have continually denigrated the #NeverTrumpers choice to stand on their principles instead of supporting arguably the most flawed candidate in modern history. Because of your incessant bullying, I was forced to look much deeper into my decision, and I have found myself more comfortable than ever in refusing to vote for Trump, even if that were to mean, despite all logical fallacies to the contrary, that I was therefore supporting Hillary Clinton as our next president. Vote for Trump if you feel that you must, and I won’t berate you for it. Now please, stop belittling me for my choice, which is much more highly researched, informed, and supported than most of yours seem to be.