Is It Immoral To Refuse To Vote For Donald Trump?

by William Teach | August 12, 2016 7:13 am

I’ve noted for quite some time now that I am not #NeverTrump, but, I flip back and forth between being willing to check the box for Trump as a vote against Hillary, because she, like Obama, stands foresquare against almost everything I believe. She would continue the Obama policies that have damaged the country, and double down on some, as well as instituting her own damaging policies. My vote is simply assumed by Trump and the Trumpites, rather than being earned. There is little to no attempt to woo my vote. Instead, Trump, and especially the Trumpites, work hard to denigrate people who aren’t on the Trump train. I’ve been called a traitor and unpatriotic more times in the last 3 months than I’ve been called that by liberals on chat boards, in comments, and in Twitter since I got involved with politics on the Internet back in 2002. Add to that things like RINO, cuckservative, Democrat, and host of nasty terms.

So, the question is, is it immoral to not vote for Trump? Ben Shapiro takes this on

Hannity, Ingraham Say It’s Immoral Not To Vote Trump. Here Are 3 Reasons They’re Wrong.[1]

On Wednesday night, Fox News’ Sean Hannity, apparently desperate to begin casting blame for Donald Trump’s November election loss in August, called out conservatives unwilling to vote for Donald Trump. “Get my point, all you stubborn Republicans?” Hannity ranted. “Hillary Clinton, well, she’s proven she does not have the character, she does not have the temperament to be the President of the United States.” He then accused Republicans of “sabotage” and brought on Trump RNC speaker Laura Ingraham to agree: “They are clearly cheerleading Hillary Clinton, there’s no doubt about it…if you call yourself a conservative and a Republican, it’s actually immoral not to vote for Donald Trump, if only for the reason of the Supreme Court.” She concluded, “I mean, it’s so selfish.”

It’s rather ridiculous to hear from the respective Trump Train conductor and engineer that Trump losing will be due to conservatives not coming out for him. A strong part of their argument for Trump was that Trump supporters stayed home for Mitt Romney in 2012, and that Trump would bring them forth; at no point did they blame the New Trump Voters™ for the last four years of Obama. And Hannity and Ingraham assured Americans that Trump wouldn’t just be competitive against Hillary Clinton, he’d defeat her because he knew how to play the game in a different way than other Republicans.

Certainly, some Republicans have thrown their support to Hillary. Most, though, are simply choosing to sit it out, with many hoping that Trump will give them a reason to check the box with his name as a vote against Hillary. Excoriating Republicans for refusing to abandon all their beliefs to vote Trump doesn’t help. We just don’t trust him. He can talk a good game, but, does he really believe what he says? He reminds me of the old Spinal Tap gag about turning the amplifier up to 11. He’s so over-the-top that I have a hard to believing in his sincerity. Add to that the number of times that I see things like the US needing an authoritarian to get to liberty (that’s a serious WTF moment) and a rising meme is that this election is about globalism (everyone else) vs nationalism (Trump and the Trumpites). No, no, there’s nothing ominous about nationalism.

But let’s take the argument on its own merits: it’s immoral not to support Trump. Here’s the logic: Trump would be preferable to Hillary Clinton, warts and all. Therefore, it would be immoral not to support Trump.

We get

1. Trump As President Will Damage The Country More Long-Term. If you believe that only small-government conservatism will save the country, having a big government corporatist nationalist with no underlying conservative principles hijack the only supposedly conservative party in America is a recipe for disaster. Trump isn’t going to fulfill his promises to conservatives. And as I’ve written at National Review[2]:

I’ll leave it to you to hit the link, but, let me say this: Trump may or may not be bad for the country. Heck, there’s always the possibility that he would be a great president. We do not have the policy history to know. But, he has been horrible for conservatism, especially with so many Trumpites dumping it for nationalist populism. I’m sure liberals are happy campers over this.

The second reason is that, if (when?) Trump gets blown out, it will be hard to get the stink of supporting him off you. I wonder how many Trump supporters will run for the hills when they see the epic blowout coming. Because the state polls are not trending well. National polls are almost meaningless, since it comes down to the electoral college, based on the state votes. Georgia is in play. Utah is in play. Other states that should be easy are in play. That’s not good.

Then we get the biggest

3. Your Vote Is A Moral Endorsement, Not Just An Instrument Of Policy. Yes, your vote is a choice between Hillary and Trump. But it’s something else, too, particularly for Republicans talking about the election regularly: it’s a statement of principle. You are willing to vote for a longtime Hillary Clinton donor and supporter, but with an R by his name. That’s the new standard for conservatism and Republicanism and morality. So long as a candidate is “not a Democrat,” that’s enough. It doesn’t matter if he’s embraced the vast majority of the Democratic platform at one point or another. It doesn’t matter if he’s personally disreputable, a moral junkyard, a congenital liar and unstable narcissist. All that matters is beating Hillary, and that only matters because anything is better than Hillary.

As Shapiro goes on to note, you can have your morality. For those not supporting Trump, most do not support Trump either, because she doesn’t fit our morality.

Regarding this piece, Allahpundit[3] wonders if there are lines a Republican candidate would cross that would make Republicans withhold their votes? Of course there are.

Two: How much responsibility does Trump bear for his current electoral problems? The blame game we’re playing between Trump fans and #NeverTrumpers is fun but it conveniently obscures the question of how much blame the man himself should be charged with. Even Hannity scolded[4] him recently for attacking Republicans on the stump instead of focusing on Clinton, and most Trumpers, I’m sure, would stipulate as an abstract matter that there are things he could be doing better. But that’s a boilerplate admission. Every candidate can always be doing things better. What I’m interested in is why the tone from fans like Hannity is so much sharper when criticizing anti-Trumpers than it is when criticizing the man himself. Trump is, after all, in the process of blowing a once-in-a-lifetime chance for a populist “outsider” to swoop in and win the presidency…..

There’s a whole bunch more to that paragraph, well worth the read.

Votes must be earned, not assumed. Hillary will not earn the majority of votes from the non-Trump folks. But, Trump isn’t earning ours. And the more Trump supporters attack us, denigrate us, slur us, the less likely we are to hold our noses to check the box for Trump.

And, yes, the Supreme Court is important. So are all the federal judgeship appointments. That’s a main argument made. If that’s the case, then why not earn our vote? There comes a point where principles override political pragmatism. There are only so many principles that can be dumped before the line is crossed.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove[5]. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach[6].

  1. Hannity, Ingraham Say It’s Immoral Not To Vote Trump. Here Are 3 Reasons They’re Wrong.:
  2. National Review:
  3. Allahpundit:
  4. scolded:
  5. Pirate’s Cove:
  6. @WilliamTeach:

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