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The Lesser of Two Evils Is Still Evil

Hillary Clinton
AP
• August 1, 2016 12:14 pm

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There's an argument emanating from certain corners of the left that goes something like this: "If you Never Trump people don't vote for Hillary, you're actually supporting Trump." Amusingly, this is an exact mirror image of the argument made by the right-wingers supporting Trump: "If you don't vote for Trump, you're backing Hillary."

This is an unconvincing case for a variety of reasons, some of them spelled out by Kevin Williamson here. An absence of support for one person does not mean a surplus of support for another.

Anyway, the argument is especially entertaining coming from liberals, given that they have made roughly no effort to reach out to conservatives in a substantive way. Ross Douthat, writing in the New York Times, articulated this point well in his column this weekend:

Yes, the convention’s showmanship was strikingly unifying, bipartisan, moderate — but Hillary Clinton’s domestic agenda is not. She’s running as a liberal, full stop, with a platform well to the left of where her party stood five or 10 or 20 years ago.

She’s happy to make right-leaning voters feel a little better about fleeing Trump, but she isn’t offering them substantive concessions, or seeking a grand centrist coalition. Instead she’s telling them: It’s me or Trump, and you know you can’t put the nuclear codes in his undersize hands, so my offer is … nothing. 

But here’s a flag to cheer you up.

In other words, Hillary and the Democrats think they can play Michael Corleone because Trump is so obviously unfit to be president. They think they can wave away our concerns about Hillary's paranoia-induced lack of respect for national security and shame college-educated whites into voting for her because he's an unmitigated disaster, not because they're trying to build a broader coalition.

I don't blame them for doing so! If I were in their shoes, I'd go for the kill-shot too. But all the shaming about passively allowing Trump to become president—all the reminders that he seems dead set on destroying both the military and also the economic international order that has maintained American supremacy for the last 50 years or so—isn't going to get me to pull the lever for Hillary.

Not when Hillary's Supreme Court nominees would be certain to roll back free speech rights just as soon as they can reverse Citizens United. Not when Hillary's Supreme Court nominees would be certain to roll back gun rights just as soon as they can reverse Heller. Not when Hillary's immigration policy is about as far left as Trump's is right.

I may disagree with Hugh Hewitt when he says that "it's the Supreme Court, stupid," but I understand the position.* Hillary would be a disaster domestically; her one saving grace would be all the warmongering neoliberalism abroad. Similarly, Trump would be an unmitigated disaster abroad, but his domestic policy (especially with regard to basic constitutional rights as they are interpreted by the Supreme Court) would certainly be preferable to Hillary's. I'll write in Grand Moff Tarkin before I vote for the turd sandwich or the giant douche.

So I'll ask my liberal friends** to spare me the righteous rants about the duty of "reasonable conservatives" to vote for Hillary to keep Trump out of the Oval Office. It ain't gonna happen, at least in my case. If she loses, she loses. I won't shed a single tear. The lesser of two evils is still evil.

*It would be easier to accept this argument if I hadn't heard so many anti-Rubio folks saying they'd sit this one out rather than vote for him. 

**It's true, I am a dirty dirty RINO traitor to conservatism because I consort with the enemy on the reg.