I'd like to think of myself as having some degree of observational intelligence. That is, I'd like to think that I am capable of understanding who people are, what drives them, and where they're coming from in terms of their provocations and motivations.
But for the life of me I am really, honestly, legitimately struggling to understand the thinking and rationale behind a certain sector of our population heading into the November presidential election.
It's a given that though America doesn't have a monarch or totalitarian autocracy, we do have a national government policy that is largely directed by the president. With Congress perpetually gridlocked, modern presidents rely on executive orders (Obama's "pen and a phone" approach) to enact policy far more than signing bills into law. They direct our foreign policy, negotiate our treaties, appoint our federal judges, and prioritize our national budgets.
That's precisely why every four years we hear the same refrain: "This is the most important election of our lifetime." No doubt sincere in its proclamation, that statement merely reflects the "fierce urgency of now" felt by Americans to chart the proper course forward for our great nation.
It's why I fully understand the dogged devotion populists and MAGA Republicans feel towards President Trump despite any personal qualms they may have with his style.
It's why I totally get the desperate dedication progressives and liberals feel towards Joe Biden despite any nagging concerns about his mental acuity.
It's why I firmly grasp the logic behind a host of other groups as well:
- Those libertarians who will support their candidate or write-in another given their belief that both parties are steering us down a path of statism.
- Those libertarians who will vote Trump because they believe he is all that stands in the way of an aggressive statist takeover spearheaded by leftists should they gain power.
- Those radical socialists who feel betrayed by corporate Democrat backing for a lifelong politician committed to the status quo, and will therefore sit out the election.
- Those staunch conservatives who have personal disdain for President Trump's conduct and character yet will vote for him as the only viable defense against the undoing of the Constitution.
- Those staunch conservatives who regard moral character as a non-negotiable in voting and therefore feel compelled to write-in a 3rd party rather than tacitly supporting a president they see as politically preferable, but morally disqualifying.
I get every single one of those perspectives, and begrudge no one of the right to vote their conscience. Frankly, I can't imagine not supporting a man's right to be true to his conscience and thus inflicting an inner turmoil that would persist long after this election cycle is in history's rear view mirror.
But there is one group that no matter how hard I try, I can't possibly comprehend. Could someone - anyone - please explain to me even the tiniest shred of logic to be found in the mind of a man or woman who claims to be a conservative yet who casts a vote for Joe Biden?
Again, I get a staunch conservative not voting for either Trump or Biden. That's not who I'm talking about. I'm speaking specifically to the so-called group of "conservatives against Trump" or "Republican Voters Against Trump." Finding Trump personally offensive to the point you don't want to vote for him is one thing. But finding Trump personally offensive to the point you abandon all your convictions, and rush to embrace a candidate pledged to war against all you claim to value, just so Trump will lose? Is that not exposing a tragic character flaw in you far greater than the one you perceive to exist in Trump?
I don't need help understanding the argument that Trump is not conservative enough, and him being the face of conservatism sets the movement back. I get it. But please, someone help me understand the argument that Trump is not conservative enough, so to fix that we should cast a vote for:
- Abortion on demand
- Rifle banning
- Green New Deal
- D.C. statehood
- Economy-crippling lockdowns
- Tax hikes
- Liberal Supreme Court stacking
I don't claim to be a smart man, but I need to understand in what universe that approach even borders on making sense. Am I crazy to submit that it is so illogical, so absurd, so counterproductive and self-defeating, that those who choose it maybe aren't the conservatives they pretend to be?