Anyone But Trump

Even if you're not sure who you should vote for, it's obvious who you shouldn't vote for.

anyone-but-trump-2016

As I made clear last week, after forty-some years of following elections, working on campaigns, and thinking and learning about politics, nothing has burned me out more than the 2016 Presidential election. Those who know me might say I’ve been cynical about politics for quite a long time, and they’d be largely correct. In addition to the fact that I was raised in a largely Republican household, I spent most of  my adult years considering myself to at least nominally be ‘Republican’ because it was the GOP that, at least rhetorically, was closest to the things I believe in such as limited government, individual liberty, and economic policies that allow the free market to work the way it’s supposed to, for the benefit of everyone rather than just the benefit of the politically connected and politically favored. I also drifted into the Republican camp when I started voting because it seemed clear to me that the Democratic Party of the 1970s and 1980s was naive when it came to how to deal with the threat posed by the Soviet Union and the dangers of nuclear war. At times, it seemed as though many Democrats considered an American President, Ronald Reagan, to be more of a threat to world peace than the leaders of the Soviet Union which, even as late as 1979 was making clear that it was willing to violate the sovereignty of nations like Afghanistan to expand its influence. Yes, it was true that the United States made its own mistakes in connection with the Cold War, and our largely bipartisan Cold War foreign policy was often far too willing to back authoritarian leaders in the name of fighting keeping the Soviets in check. On balance, though, it seemed clear to me who the good guys and the bad guys were during the Cold War and Democrats seemed to be far too willing to give the bad guys the benefit of the doubt, whether we’re talking about so-called revolutionaries like Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Ho Chi Minh, Mao Tse Tung, and Daniel Ortega or outright terrorists like Yassir Arafat. Even as the Cold War spun to a close, the contrasts between the GOP and Democrats in this area was apparent enough to me as a first-time voter in 1986 and 1988 that voting Republican (with one notable exception that I’ll get to momentarily) seemed like an easy choice.

Even as this was happening, though, the seeds of my eventual disdain for what the Republican Party has become were being planted. On the recommendation of a friend  I’d met while volunteering on a local race, I started reading National Review, which for the first time exposed me to thinking of politics as a set of ideas rather than just a quadrennial or biennial spectator sport. While I quickly found that the brand of religious conservatism that Bill Buckley and most of his writers believed in didn’t appeal to me, largely because this was also the point in my life when I started moving away from religion or the belief in any supernatural entity, there were others who wrote about policy that I found particularly appealing. Milton Friedman, Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams and others like them were writing mostly about economics and principles and ideas that I found myself agreeing to gradually drew me away from ‘conservativism’ per se toward what I soon learned was called libertarianism. More importantly, it started drawing me away from the Republican Party because it made clear just how short the GOP was falling from its rhetoric about favoring a smaller and more restrained government, fiscal sanity, and a sane foreign policy. The more I looked, the clearer it became that the GOP was not the party that it claimed to be. I started reading more in this area and, thanks in no small part to my frustration with George H.W. Bush’s campaign for President that I ended up casting my first protest vote, for the nominee of the Libertarian Party, which happened to be a Texas Congressman named Ron Paul. It was the beginning of the process that eventually pulled me away from the GOP nearly completely.

Despite this, I largely remained nominally Republican at least throughout most of the 90s even though it became harder and harder as the Clinton years went on due to the fact that the GOP seemed to be drawn into a fever swamp of conspiracy theories and vitriol that was become more irrational by the day. The obsession with conspiracy theories about the Clinton’s, the endless investigations, the government shutdown, and finally the move to impeach President Clinton all struck me as overreaching on the part of Republicans acting not in the legitimate defense of the nation but out of resentment and hatred for a President that made even the worst of what Democrats said about President Reagan seem tame by comparison. Additionally, the end of the Cold War brought with it the hope that America could turn its attention to fixing its own problems rather than worrying about the fate of the world. Instead, it seemed as though we just went out in search of new enemies, whether they were in the Middle East or in the Balkans, and when those forces started attacking us there was little examination of the possibility that our own policies were responsible for what was happening.  The September 11th attacks, of course, changed all that and it was clear from that moment that we had entered a different world, but it was nonetheless the Bush Administration that confirmed that little had actually changed. Instead of concentrating American foreign policy on dealing with radical Islamist terrorism, President Bush led us into a foolish war in Iraq while at the same time pursuing a domestic policy that included increased spending on the social safety net and tax cuts, all of which seemed destined to lead to economic disaster.

Throughout all of this, my political cynicism continued to grow, as did my sense that there was little substantive difference between the Republican and Democratic Parties. They may have stood for radically different ideas, but when the time came to govern the actual differences were minimal at best and the only people who seemed to benefit from their policies were the people who were politically connected, such as big business, or the people who were politically favored. The vast majority of Americans not only weren’t benefiting from the policies of the Federal Government, they were actually falling behind. Hence, the sense that there was no real difference between the two major parties was born, and it has guided my voting decisions for several of the most recent Presidential elections.

2016 is different, though, because there is a real difference between the major party candidates.

On the one hand, we have Hillary Clinton, a woman who I’ve described, often to the frustration of her supporters, as ‘ethically challenged’ and ‘of limited accomplishment.’ It’s a description that a feel to be largely accurate, though. Whether it’s the way that she set up a private email server that she had sole control over to use while serving in one of the most important positions in the Federal Government, the manner in which the Foundation that bears the name of her husband and daughter along with her own solicited donations from foreign governments and companies even as she was serving in that position, and the seemingly endless examples of flawed judgment on her part that make it seem as though she was far more concerned with protecting herself than she was with important ideas like transparency and accountability. As for her accomplishments, while I’ll admit that her resume is impressive it’s hard to disagree with the idea that she wouldn’t have become a Senator, Secretary of State, or contender for President of the United States if it weren’t for the fact that she was married to Bill Clinton. Beyond that, it’s rather clear that I would have serious policy disagreements with a President Hillary Clinton on economic and foreign policy and that I’d probably have many criticisms about her selections for Federal Judgeships and the Supreme Court. On the domestic side, she advocates more of the same spend, spend, spend, tax, tax, tax ideas that we’ve seen from Democrats for years, and which have utterly failed to either produce acceptable economic growth or fix any of the real structural problems with the American economy and Federal Budget. In foreign policy, the fact that she supported the Iraq War and the incursion into Libya, and supported the seemingly foolish idea of arming Syrian rebels that clearly cannot be trusted seemingly guarantees four to eight more years of what is increasingly becoming an endless war in the Middle East that threatens to spread across the globe. As with President Obama, there will be some areas where I probably end up agreeing with her, but on balance I expect that a second Clinton Presidency will be as disappointing as her two immediate predecessors.

For all her flaws, though, Clinton is head and shoulders above the Republican nominee for President, who is perhaps the worst nominee of a major party in American history. From the time that he entered the race for President, I have documented the extent to which Donald Trump has pushed the boundaries of decency and sanity in American politics. From the start of his campaign to the end, he has insulted Mexicans, women, Muslims, disabled people, the news media, and anyone who criticizes him. He has advocated policy ideas that are either ridiculously foolish, such as a wall at the Mexican border that the Mexican government will pay for, an ill-conceived proposal to ban Muslims from coming to the United States, reduced American commitment to NATO at a time when Russia is actively threatening our allies in Eastern Europe, and an attitude toward nuclear weapons that can only be described as shockingly blase. He has drawn to his side supporters representing many of the worst aspects of the American polity, including racists, xenophobes, anti-immigrant activists, and he has lent credibility to a movement of racists that threatens to bring into the mainstream of American politics forces that have, fortunately, been largely relegated to the fringe for decades. All of this has happened right under the nose of the Republican Party, which largely cowered in fear as he rose in the polls in the months before the primaries and reacted far too late to try to stop him when it became apparent that he was likely to win the nomination and that those of us who had been pointing out his flaws from the beginning were right. At that point, it was, I will admit, quite nice to be able to say ‘I told you so,’ but the fact that the GOP has largely lined up behind Trump even after expressing shock every time he said has just caused my frustration with the GOP to grow. The one redeeming fact has been the rise of the “Never Trump” movement, which has largely remained consistent in its opposition to Trump’s poison. As James Joyner pointed out the other day, though, this movement has largely consisted of Republican and conservative insiders, pundits, bloggers, and intellectuals. The GOP base and nearly every Republican elected official decided to sell their soul to support Trump despite everything he’s said and done. What all of this means, of course, is that there is not only a chance that Donald Trump could become President, but that in doing so he would give political credibility to a movement that poses a real threat to individual liberty, equality, and much of what America has stood for since the end of the Civil War.

All of this has made clear that the priority for 2016 must be to ensure that Donald Trump is not elected President of the United States. The consequences of handing a victory to this man should be apparent to anyone who has been paying attention for the past year and a half, or to Donald Trump’s flirtation with the media over the past three decades. Allowing Trump into power means giving a blessing to bigotry, demagoguery, and hatred. It means giving the power of the most powerful office in the world to a man who has made clear that he thinks little of limitations on his power and that he would barely feel restrained by things such as the Constitution or the fact that, as President, his power should be restrained by an active and aggressive Congress. It means handing power over to a man who knows seemingly little about some of the most important issues that a President ought know who also makes it clear that he doesn’t really intend on listening to advisers. It means handing over the power to go to war to a man who is inclined to stay up until 3am engaging in Twitter wars with members of the media or Rosie O’Donnell while simultaneously sharing material from obviously racist sources. And, it means giving legitimacy to a political movement based on bigotry, hatred, and xenophobia, including outright racists such as David Duke who have acknowledged that they see in Trump the prospect of their ideas being a part of the mainstream of American politics. It would be the dreams of Father Coughlin, Huey Long, and George Wallace come true,  with a little bit of Joseph McCarthy thrown in for good measure all embodied in a man who is clearly the most psychologically unfit person to serve as President since Richard Nixon roamed the White House talking to the portraits of long-dead Presidents.

The natural question, then, is who one should vote for if not for Trump. It’s rare for me to actually endorse a candidate, and I’m not going to do that now, but I wll say that you should most assuredly vote for someone other than Donald Trump even if you are the slightest bit inclined to vote Republican this year, at least when it comes to voting for President. It doesn’t matter to me if you vote for Evan McMullin, Jill Stein, Gary Johnson, Hillary Clinton, or nobody, just don’t vote for Trump, because our country simply cannot afford to have that man in the Oval Office.

Regular readers of OTB, of course, will want to know who I’m supporting now that we’ve reached the do-or-die point of the election. I’m inclined not to say either way because, well, it’s really nobody’s business but my own. In a year like this, though, it feels like it’s more important than ever to take a stand, and to perhaps lead by example. Off the bat, I will say that I can’t bring myself to support either Evan McMullin or Jill Stein. Some of what McMullin says appeals to me, but he is clearly not running a serious campaign for President and the fact that he isn’t even on enough ballots to account for 270 Electoral Votes means that, except perhaps as a spoiler in Utah where he could up-end Trump’s entire campaign, he will have no real impact on the race at all. Stein is the nominee of a party that advocates ridiculous ideas that shouldn’t be taken seriously outside of a college campus and she personally supports ideas such as discredited theories about vaccines causing autism. Regular readers and friends know that I have spent the better part of the year supporting former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, the nominee of the Libertarian Party. I voted for Johnson in 2012 and was a strong supporter of his running again due to the fact that he was the most qualified candidate the LP had ever run and because he was, and by and large remains, the most effective spokesperson for the party’s ideas that I have seen in a long time. His selection of Bill Weld, a candidate that Libertarians have been trying to recruit since the 1980s, was simply icing on the cake and created what is arguably the most qualified Presidential ticket of any third-party in recent memory. That being said, Johnson has had his embarrassing moments during the campaign. I cringed, for example, at the “What Is Aleppo?” moment, which I saw unfold live on television. If someone is running for President of the United States, they ought to be sufficiently familiar with what’s going on in the world.The refugee crisis in Syria is one of the most serious problems in the world today and it will have an impact on us regardless of who the President is. The fact that Johnson got stumped the way that he did was embarrassing, and at the very least a sign that the campaign staff was not preparing the candidate sufficiently for the type of things he’d be asked about during the course of the campaign. Johnson will do far better than an LP candidate ever has, and better than any 3rd party candidate since Ross Perot, but in the end, I doubt he will end up with more than 5% of the nationwide popular vote, and if current polls are right he’ll be lucky to get that. Despite that, I continued to support Johnson as the best option in a bad field. Finally, there’s the idea of voting for Hillary Clinton, a possibility I have openly rejected on multiple occasions for many of the reasons I related above regarding her character and qualifications. As the election has drawn to a close, though, and the polls have closed I’ve found myself realizing that the comfort I used to take in the idea that Donald Trump would not win the White House was perhaps a bit premature.

The polls are closing, and the possibility that Trump could pull off a narrow victory, while still unlikely, is becoming just a little more likely. The more I reflect on it, the clearer it is that waking up on November 9th to a President-Elect Hillary Clinton wouldn’t be nearly as bad as waking up to the reality of a President-Elect Donald Trump and a Republican Party dominated by the ‘alt, right.’ Additionally, I must say that I found James Joyner’s argument in his post yesterday regarding why he’s voting for Hillary Clinton to be compelling and thought-provoking in a way I was not expecting. So, while I still support Governor Johnson and wish him well, I find it necessary to support, for the first time at the Presidential level, a Democrat and get behind Hillary Clinton. My Republican friends will question me, of course, and my libertarian friends will likely be surprised. Clinton is a crook? Isn’t she? Well, even if I believed that my response to them would be simple — Vote for the Crook. It’s important. Last night we set our clocks back an hour. If Trump wins on Tuesday we’ll be setting our calendars back eighty years and moving to something resembling pre-war Central Europe. I advise my fellow Americans to proceed accordingly. If you live in a state where it’s clear that one of the two major party candidates will win no matter how you vote, feel free to vote your conscience, but if you live in a state that is in the least bit considered a battleground, though, a vote for anyone other than Clinton is risking the possibility that Trump will win the state, and that simply can’t be allowed to happen. To the end, remember, “Never Trump” is the objective.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Politicians, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Argon says:

    In addition to the fact that I was raised in a largely Republican household, I spent most of my adult years considering myself to at least nominally be ‘Republican’ because it was the GOP that, at least rhetorically, was closest to the things I believe in such as limited government, individual liberty, and economic policies that allow the free market to work the way it’s supposed to, for the benefit of everyone rather than just the benefit of the politically connected and politically favored.

    I don’t think that’s been the close to the actual reality for at least 3-4 decades.

  2. Mikey says:

    Jason Chaffetz just tweeted this:

    FBI Dir just informed us “Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Sec Clinton”

  3. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Doug

    As for her accomplishments, while I’ll admit that her resume is impressive it’s hard to disagree with the idea that she wouldn’t have become a Senator, Secretary of State, or contender for President of the United States if it weren’t for the fact that she was married to Bill Clinton.

    Really?

    Wouldn’t you say that she carries a better resume than Trump? (oh, you did above.)

    Wouldn’t you say that her resume is greater (in longevity and task) than President Obama’s?

    Clearly, there is no argument that she is more qualified than GW Bush.

    I’ll give you tied with Bill Clinton. They tag teamed on a lot, but of course he was POTUS.

    So that means 1993- 2016 … she is as good as or better qualified than the presidents of the last 20-+ years.

    Is it because she’s a woman?

    No. That isn’t it.

    It’s more likely the republican echo chamber stories that still make you shake your head. After all, it looks like the core of the argument of what bothers you boils down to “She’s Ambitious”. And, in politics, how many at that level are not?

    BUT YES !!! there is no question…

    …the clearer it is that waking up on November 9th to a President-Elect Hillary Clinton wouldn’t be nearly as bad as waking up to the reality of a President-Elect Donald Trump and a Republican Party dominated by the ‘alt, right.’

    Welcome to the lifeboat.

  4. Todd says:

    @Liberal Capitalist: Oh FFS! … I predicted (in my head) that this would happen here in the comments section. Take the win, Doug said he’s voting for Hillary Clinton. There’s no reason to bicker with him about anything else he wrote.

  5. Mikey says:

    Bravo, Doug. As I said to James, I figured you’d get here eventually. You are also a true patriot and I knew you wouldn’t be able to abide a Trump presidency.

  6. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Todd:

    Oh FFS! … I predicted (in my head) that this would happen here in the comments section.

    Todd, I am just saying that she’s aptly qualified, and looking back, even more so than others who have served.

    Sorry that it makes you spit vinegar.

  7. JohnMcC says:

    Gosh! Did the top contributors have a self-examination retreat?

    As with Dr Joyner, thank you for the depth and seriousness of the post. I’ve always appreciated that the principals here show respect for their readers.

  8. Andrew says:

    @Argon:

    I agree.

    Supply side, or Voodoo, economics pretty much tilted that small government in favor of supporting large government for the right benefactors. Yet, it’s held as some pure economic ideal that will keep government out of the way (…for those who are more deserving of it.) Of course around that same time we have the War on Drugs, War on welfare, War on Unions, and other government initiatives that came down on those that did not fall into the desired group for trickle down.

    It’s small government!!
    for those that can afford it.

    It’s the best healthcare in the world!!
    for those that can afford it.

    It’s the best government in the world!!
    for those that can afford it.

    Anyone else seeing a trend to why it is that its laughable when modern day republicans say they are worried about the blue color worker?

    Trump is a very big benefactor of all these policies, as it always meant more money in his pocket. If anyone thinks a man of Trump’s…caliber is honestly saying these policies needs to changed to suit Joe Blue Collar…I have a bridge to sell you.
    It’s a few decades of pissing on the working class, and convincing them it’s raining. Low wages, crappier working conditions, expensive medical insurances etc etc.
    Maybe if Republicans spent half the amount of time not destroying unions, and giving tax breaks to big money donors…maybe they would not have ended up with a Mr. Donald J. Trump.

    As other have said.
    Better late than never Mr. Joyner and Mr. Mataconis. Hilary not be the same caliber of candidate as President Obama. She is however, NOT Trump.

  9. Kari Q says:

    I’m truly impressed by this essay. This was clearly a difficult choice for you to make and I respect the struggles you went through and the courage to state openly a decision you had previously rejected.

    As I said to James yesterday, 20 years ago I would have sworn I would never vote for a Clinton. I didn’t vote for Bill, I didn’t vote for Hillary in 2008. But this year, like you, I believe she is the only viable choice.

  10. john430 says:

    Somehow Hillary reminds me of a Ray Bradbury title…”Something wicked this way comes.”

  11. PJ says:

    @Todd:

    Oh FFS! … I predicted (in my head) that this would happen here in the comments section. Take the win, Doug said he’s voting for Hillary Clinton. There’s no reason to bicker with him about anything else he wrote.

    Fully agree.

  12. Todd says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    Todd, I am just saying that she’s aptly qualified, and looking back, even more so than others who have served.

    It just reminds me of a conversation I had with my mom this summer. I said I was supporting and voting for Hillary Clinton, but my mom still wanted to argue with me because I wouldn’t agree that ALL of the criticisms of Clinton were “unfair” and/or simply Republican witch hunts.

    Just take the win.

  13. Paul L. says:

    Big shocker: Doug supports the Democrat.
    I remember he said that the Republicans should put up a moderate in previous elections.
    But when those moderates (Romney and McCain) pandered to the Republican base, Doug would say they are too Rightwing extremist to vote for.

  14. James Joyner says:

    @Todd: Oddly, I had the opposite conversation with my mother this morning. She can’t believe I’m voting for Hillary and not Trump.

  15. Gustopher says:

    Oh, god, I’m voting for the same person as the libertarian crank…

    Seriously, though, I am sorry it came to this. Trump is not just unqualified, but dangerous (we’ve had unqualified presidents before, and we could stumble along with another). A short tempered racist demagogue with significant support, entirely within striking range of victory.

    You’re making the right choice, but I wish you didn’t have to. If the Democrats ever nominate someone equally dangerous, I hope that I can see it and force myself to vote for even the most hated Republican or Libertarian of the less dangerous variety.

    .

  16. barbintheboonies says:

    Let`s face it We were screwed in 2016. Nobody wins. Millions upon millions spent for a big goose egg. Let`s put tears on lady liberty, because our country is dying a disease of power. What a shame.

  17. Todd says:

    @James Joyner:

    Oddly, I had the opposite conversation with my mother this morning. She can’t believe I’m voting for Hillary and not Trump.

    My mom can be a little over the top with her politics sometimes. But given my own views, I do fairly often express thanks that if my parents had to catch the political bug, they appear to have contracted the Rachel Maddow strain rather than the more virulent Breitbart variety that seems to afflict many senior citizens. 🙂

  18. CSK says:

    When Trump asked his military advisers three times during the same conversation why nukes couldn’t be used against ISIS, and they explained to him three times why nukes were not an option, and he didn’t get it, any remaining remotely sane Trumpkin should have abandoned him immediately.

  19. gVOR08 says:

    As with James the intellectual honesty and candor are appreciated.

    Back to snark tomorrow, or maybe later tonight depending on how comments run.

  20. Blue Galangal says:

    @James Joyner: My mom’s not speaking to me because she asked me to meet her for dinner last night; I said I couldn’t because I was canvassing. She said, ‘For who? :)” Like she didn’t know. So I lost my temper and responded, “Trying to keep a rapist of 13 year olds and sentient septic tank out of the White House. Who knows how that’ll turn out. No one ever went broke underestimating the stupidity of the American public.” (h/t to Rachael Bloom and HL92 for the link.)

    I should mention: my mom has a 13 year old granddaughter. But she’s still voting for Trump. Because emails benghazi kenyan socialism coverups crooked!

    Anyway. Haven’t heard from her since. If When HRC wins, I may not hear from her for months.

  21. Barry says:

    Thanks, Doug.

  22. dxq says:

    the things I believe in such as limited government, individual liberty, and economic policies that allow the free market to work the way it’s supposed to, for the benefit of everyone rather than just the benefit of the politically connected and politically favored.

    the problem is a free market naturally heads toward monopoly, rent-seeking, etc. Macro 101. It’s right there in the equations in the first few chapters of your Macro 101 book.

    For a market to work for consumers, you have to have strong environmental regulation, collective labor power, trustbusting, etc. We don’t have that at this point. We lost some critical stuff around the 70’s.

    And we have people with a blind ideology that more limited government means better market. That’s wrong. Simply wrong. As wrong as Supply Side prescriptions.

    Although there’s a lotta money that puts right-wing economists on tv to say the opposite. Because the current system is not benefiting the average worker. But it’s benefiting some very rich people who know propaganda works.

  23. dxq says:

    If conservatives are ever going to recover intellectually, which they won’t, for years, they’ll have to firmly and aggressively jettison this half-wit voodoo Reaganomics bullshit.

    Like I said, it’ll be years.

  24. dxq says:

    among about half a dozen other basic intellectual topics they fumbled the ball on ages ago.

  25. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Gustopher:

    Oh, god, I’m voting for the same person as the libertarian crank…

    I’m glad at least one of the liberal commenters here has the courage to continue insulting Doug. The comments in thread by people who spent the last few months hurling every possible insult they could come up with at Doug suddenly opining about how “serious” and “patriotic” he is now that he’s voting for their preferred candidate was rather gag inducing.

    As for myself, while I toyed with thoughts of voting for Gary Johnson for a while, he seems to have successfully squandered the Libertarian Party’s once in a generation opportunity, so I’m back to my original plan of going to my polling pace tomorrow and pushing the “Cast Blank Ballot” button.

    To me this election has ultimately been an exercise in internal character building: to stop clinging to my delusions of control and truly accept that government is just something I have absolutely no effect on. I’d be happier if I focused more on deciding how to live with whatever the government is than futily trying to bend it to my will.

    i.e. “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change / Courage to change the things I can / And wisdom to know the difference.”

    I think 2016 has finally ground in the wisdom part of the equation with regards to politics. Come Wednesday, regardless of outcome, I can begin working on the serenity party.

  26. DrDaveT says:

    @dxq:

    And we have people with a blind ideology that more limited government means better market. That’s wrong. Simply wrong. As wrong as Supply Side prescriptions.

    It would be funny if it weren’t so sad — Adam Smith himself, the Founding Father of free market economics and the inventor of the “invisible hand” metaphor, went to great lengths in An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations to explain that government regulation of markets is essential, in order to break up monopolies, prevent collusion, empower labor to bargain for market wages, etc.

    Odd that modern conservatives never mention that, eh?

  27. dxq says:

    Powerful, rich market forces like limited government because it enables lots of market dysfunctions like externalities, monopoly, monopsony, that benefit the already wealthy, at the expense of everyone else, for the short-term. Oh look that’s what we’ve gotten for 40 years WHOCOODANODE!

  28. An Interested Party says:

    …if it weren’t for the fact that she was married to Bill Clinton.

    In a country with a long history of misogyny, it is hardly surprising that the first female president would need some help of this kind to get there…the fact that she is married to Bill Clinton takes nothing away from her own accomplishments and qualifications…

  29. Terrye Cravens says:

    I voted and it was not for Trump. I would not vote for Trump if you put a gun to my head.

  30. MarkedMan says:

    Doug, appreciate the candor and the insight into your thought processes. I may be naive but I truly believe that whatever disagreements we have US, we can still prosper as a country as long as there are enough people that will accept facts as reality. I diasagree strongly with your political philosophy but mostly agree with your political goals. So it’s not where we are going, but how we get there.

  31. Skookum says:

    Thank you, Doug.

  32. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Blue Galangal:

    You’re welcome. I actually ran across it sitting in traffic on the FDR. Listened to is all the way home and laughed until I had tears in my eyes.

    Sidenote: doesn’t Amber Rose just look stunning in that video?

  33. PJ says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    As for her accomplishments, while I’ll admit that her resume is impressive it’s hard to disagree with the idea that she wouldn’t have become a Senator, Secretary of State, or contender for President of the United States if it weren’t for the fact that she was married to Bill Clinton.

    Were would Bill be without Hillary?
    Obviously, after she had gotten Bill elected as the Attorney General of Arkansas and then the Governor of Arkansas (twice), and finally elected and reelected as President, there really wasn’t anything else she could do for him.

    So, it was time for her to focus on herself. While waiting for voters to become more accepting of electing a woman as President, she decided to add to her resume and run for a Senate seat.

    Then 2008 arrived and she hit a certain historic roadblock. Now she would have to wait another eight years, so instead of just idling away, she decided add more to resume and spend a couple of years as the SoS.

    And now it’s 2016, voters are ready to elect a woman, and she will finally get her reward for getting Bill elected all those times years ago.

  34. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Need someone to vote for? How about Rocky?

    Welcome to the dark side Doug.

  35. Gustopher says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    I’m glad at least one of the liberal commenters here has the courage to continue insulting Doug. The comments in thread by people who spent the last few months hurling every possible insult they could come up with at Doug suddenly opining about how “serious” and “patriotic” he is now that he’s voting for their preferred candidate was rather gag inducing.

    I’m pretty sure Doug likes being called a crank.

    As for myself, while I toyed with thoughts of voting for Gary Johnson for a while, he seems to have successfully squandered the Libertarian Party’s once in a generation opportunity, so I’m back to my original plan of going to my polling pace tomorrow and pushing the “Cast Blank Ballot” button.

    Before leaving the ballot blank, I would encourage you to vote for Johnson, if you have a libertarian bent. He’s not prepared to be president, but he’s not really running for president, so that shouldn’t be disqualifying.

    He’s running to hit the 5% mark so the next Libertarian Party candidate has a shot at sitting at the big kid’s table. If the Republican Party is going to be saved or replaced, it needs pressure from a right-leaning third party — and right now, that’s the Libertarian Party.

    If you live in a swing state, then voting Clinton is the best way to avoid a Trump presidency, but if you don’t live in a swing state, or you cannot bring yourself to vote for Clinton now that she isn’t going to be indicted*, then vote to help build the party you want.

    (* I think there are probably a lot of people with Clinton Derangement Syndrome who would be more inclined to vote for Clinton if they thought she wouldn’t be able to serve. I mean, Tim Kaine might be fine…)

  36. Franklin says:

    Maybe McMullin with more experience would be a reasonable candidate in the future. But I agree with Doug, the best candidate this cycle is Hillary and the worst candidate ever is Trump.

  37. Lit3Bolt says:

    Doug Mataconis:

    Achievement Unlocked!!

    **Well, I Guess The Liberals Were Right All Along***

    Thank you for coming to the rational position 16 months too late.

    Now you know how Neville Chamberlin feels, right Doug? There’s nothing you can do or say to appease the Trumpkins. Pro tip: Authoritarians bow down to authority. And also, violence.

  38. michael reynolds says:

    Well-written, Doug. And I’ll second what @Mikey: said: it is a patriotic moment. I’ve been shocked at how small a role simple patriotism plays in people’s electoral decisions. This is our country. It’s supposed to mean something. Its’ still meant to be an experiment in defending and expanding our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I mean, things have gotten confused lately, but we should all agree on that, right?

    It’s just not possible to rationally square that goal with a vote for Trump. I mean, maybe you could be suffering a stroke, I don’t know, and convince yourself it made sense, but no, sorry, no, you cannot get from A to B without some hate in the middle.

    I was out canvassing for Hillary today in Las Vegas (Sure, I could have gone to say, Charlotte, North Carolina. . .) and basically running down a list of registered Democrats, but since it’s Vegas no one is ever where they’re supposed to be, so in the course of a couple days I ran into three self-identified Trump supporters.

    Only two of the three were stone-cold racists. The other one didn’t say much. He might have been a lovely guy. Who just gave so little of a sh!t for anyone with the wrong skin or the wrong gender that he thought he’d best serve the United States of America by electing a man whose best-known quote will always be, “Grab ’em by the pussy.”

    Here’s the thing. Everyone I saw was poor or working class. Mostly Hispanic, some Africa-American, some whites, the occasional random Asian, but nobody was jetting off to Bermuda. I know these places, they’re where I grew up, and I used to do the jobs they did, at that level it was a nice reminder. (Invest wisely, Michael.) But the thing is almost all of these folks were polite and decent. People who were asleep because they’d pulled graveyard at some Casino housekeeping gig, and woke to find big bald white dude at the door – the third annoying Democrat canvasser in a week — were at worst mildly grumpy.

    Except the Trump people. They were aszholes. And maybe that’s the core difference between Dems and Reps. I think we may be dopes but we are not aszholes. And they really, really are.

  39. Pch101 says:

    @Gustopher:

    If the Republican Party is going to be saved or replaced, it needs pressure from a right-leaning third party

    If you want to see a shake up in the GOP, then Republican voters need to cross lines in substantial numbers to the Democrats. It would be the ultimate slap in the face to have Republicans voting for a Democrat who the GOP has been vilifying for decades, and it would send a clear message in favor of moderation — voting for Johnson may send the message that the GOP needs to move even further to the right.

  40. Franklin says:

    @An Interested Party: It would be interesting to see the alternate universe where Hillary and Bill didn’t get married. Hillary would still be bright and ambitious … where would she have gone?

  41. Tyrell says:

    The leaders of the Democratic party have taken it far out in left field. The local Democrat party here is still very strong and runs candidates who are conservative moderates in the southern tradition. IF Hillary does get elected she will need to move to centrist positions or see a McGovern type disaster. She cannot afford to appear socialist and weak. People do not want any more years of Obama type policies and politics.

  42. rachel says:

    @Gustopher: If the Libertarians want my vote, they need to run someone with better foreign policy chops and who doesn’t act so goofy. The ticket would have been better with Weld at the top of it. Johnson has been a huge disappointment.

  43. Jc says:

    Glad to hear this, Doug. If anyone questions why I voted for HRC, I will just tell them “because I am an adult.” I don’t think much else needs to be said. Perhaps this election will lead to a Moderate GOP revolution, but I doubt it, because they seem to continue to listen to the loudest and angriest part of their party and not to the majority of Americans.

  44. SC_Birdflyte says:

    Even a “right” decision is a calculated risk; but it’s better than indulging in utter foolhardiness. The former is Dwight D. Eisenhower ordering “Go” on the Normandy invasion. The latter is George Armstrong Custer deciding to attack the Sioux camp on the Little Big Horn.

  45. Stormy Dragon says:

    @rachel:

    The ticket would have been better with Weld at the top of it.

    I’m sure you’d like every party better if they nominated candidates who actually spent the entire campaign telling people to vote for the Democratic nominee.

  46. Rafer Janders says:

    @Tyrell:

    The local Democrat party here is still very strong and runs candidates who are conservative moderates in the southern tradition.

    No, it’s not. No, they don’t. There is not one Democratic congressman from the South seated in Congress who is not African-American. There is not one single solitary white Southern Democratic congressman holding office today.

  47. DrDaveT says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    There is not one Democratic congressman from the South seated in Congress who is not African-American.

    I assume that by ‘local’ @Tyrell meant the people running for sheriff, school board, and dog-catcher. Maybe mayor.

    Of course, anyone who can say with a (presumably) straight face that the Dems have moved way to the left in recent years is clearly smoking something soon to be legal in a state near you. If Hillary were farther to the left in economic or foreign policy, she’d be Richard Nixon. So, presumably, Tyrell is dog-whistling (possibly without even knowing it) about those pesky civil rights and how you just can’t get good help these days, or go bash a fag when the mood strikes.

  48. Davebo says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    There’s that, and the whole sex with a mountain, what’s Aleppo and all the other silly stuff that comes out of his mouth.

    And don’t ever, EVER tell him he’s a spoiler.

  49. gVOR08 says:

    @SC_Birdflyte:

    The former (calculated risk) is Dwight D. Eisenhower ordering “Go” on the Normandy invasion. The latter (foolhardiness) is George Armstrong Custer deciding to attack the Sioux camp on the Little Big Horn.

    Right. Eisenhower had way, way better reconnaissance.

  50. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Davebo:

    As I said, while I was once considering voting for Johnson, he lost my vote for squandering a once in a generation chance because of a lack of self-control and laziness.

    He’s still head and shoulders above Weld, a fraud who conned millions of dollars out of Libertarians and used it to campaign for the Democrats.

    I’m just waiting to find out what the quid pro quo he was offered is.

  51. Stonetools says:

    Just wanted to give Doug credit for a rational, patriotic decision. Good on ya, mate!
    This really isn’t the time for a protest vote. It’s Clinton or a big lunge down the road to fascism. Time to get serious. Glad Doug got to the right place. Disappointing that SD didn’t. Disappointed , but not surprised.
    Oh well, looks like there are enough rational patriots out there to save the system- and SD’s sorry butt. You’re welcome.

  52. Ed says:

    AN EXHAUSTIVE COMPILATION OF HILLARY’S: CRIMES, LIES, HYPOCRISIES AND DUBIOUS CONNECTIONS http://thelibertarianadvisor.com/2016/11/07/an-exhaustive-compilation-of-hillarys-crimes-lies-hypocrisies-and-connections/

  53. DrDaveT says:

    @Ed:

    AN EXHAUSTIVE COMPILATION OF HILLARY’S: CRIMES, LIES, HYPOCRISIES AND DUBIOUS CONNECTIONS

    Yes, yes, but you haven’t done the second half of the challenge yet — the part where you then score Donald Trump’s history and proclivities on the same issue, for each of the entries.

  54. Ed says:

    @DrDaveT: Because Doug Mataconis did such a poor job of it?

  55. An Interested Party says:

    AN EXHAUSTIVE COMPILATION OF HILLARY’S: CRIMES, LIES, HYPOCRISIES AND DUBIOUS CONNECTIONS

    Hmm…that load of horseshit is best read while wearing a tinfoil hat…it’s no wonder she’s going to win tomorrow, if this is the level of her competition…

  56. Ed says:

    @An Interested Party: You make no argument.
    It’s amazing how similar Hillary supporters are to her.

  57. An Interested Party says:

    You make no argument.

    When someone puts forth the idea that Hillary Clinton had something to do with the death of Vince Foster, the only argument to be made is which mental hospital should house that person…

  58. Ed says:

    For the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country … not just because Donald has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change. “I have been desperate to see our country moving in that direction and just not feeling so alone in my frustration and disappointment.