Some may be surprised to find that if given the choice, writing fiction is far and away my first love – as opposed to giving my puddle deep personal reactions to current political issues. If I’m ever less of a coward, I might actually act on those ambitions, but until that day comes, here I am, offering up my opinions on the world around me. That said, my admiration for the world of fiction has so often molded my perspective on the world, and I believe that the most penetrating ideas, theories, and useful metaphors are born in the musings of make believe. As Albert Camus once said, “Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.”
This week I was engaging in a countless number of political debates on social media – it was just one fight after the other. I eventually deleted a few points that I had made, because – while I had not crossed the Rubicon – I had gone up to the political discourse etiquette line and began flirting with the other side. My post (read here) was mild in nature, yet set off a vast row of tumbling dominoes, and in the end I was given the labels of “purist” and “cannibal” by those who once appreciated my unabashed honest take on politics.
In this situation, standing by my principles required that I go against my personal desires, which also meant going against the desires of many who follow me.
Rubio has said multiple times that he tried to defeat Trump, that he did his best in the primaries to stop him from blanketing the conservative movement with the nationalist, racist, and sexist ideals of an egomaniac who has the power to utterly destroy. I agree, Marco tried. But Marco’s 2016 election legacy won’t be that he tried, it will be that when his own agenda failed he waved the white flag. While many refuse to fault him for this, and even I can’t imagine what it must feel like to be in his shoes, I will not apologize for expecting more.
Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat: Donald Trump will not be winning the White House. On a scale from Charles Pinckney to George McGovern, I’m guessing that Donald Trump’s loss – in a general election – would be at best an Alf Landon, but most likely a Walter Mondale. Yes, he’s crazy, dangerous, etc., but the most this lunatic can do is give us Hillary and destroy the GOP, he will never be the leader of the United States.
We all sit back and hope that at the Cleveland Convention someone other than Trump or his
bedfellow opponent, Ted Cruz, walks away with the nomination. This is the best option for the future, full stop. However, what if that doesn’t happen? What if it comes down to Trump or Teddy? Pretty much everyone with a pulse would say, “Why, Ted Cruz of course!”
But upon closer look… well, we’ll get to that.
I’ve been saying – since day one – that Trump is a parasite to Conservatism, and I haven’t changed my views on this; however, conservatives are deeply wrong in regards to choosing the lesser evil and what it will do to the GOP as a whole. At this point, choosing the lesser evil between the two is like giving CPR to a corpse and expecting that after it’s all over no one is going to judge you for going full Weekend at Bernie’s with it first. The only way to salvage this election is to either pick a completely different candidate at the convention, or go third party – I’ll explain why below, with three possible scenarios.
I’m also going to tell you why Donald Trump would be better than Ted Cruz on the general ticket if, God forbid, it comes down to one of them. Why? Because I’m the friend that tells you what you might not want to hear.
Before getting to the meat of this post I just want to say that I’m incredibly proud of Marco Rubio and his campaign. I believe in Marco, and I saw how humble, passionate, and decent he was. In a better world a man of good character, such as Marco, would have an easier path to the White House. Unfortunately in today’s world, the rejection of the angry masses is a badge of honor.
I think the featured image (GIF) explains my mood on Wednesday. Who’s with me?
Now, to the post:
“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”
– Benjamin Franklin
You guys may be shocked to hear this [sarcasm], but I’m a rather stubborn person. From the time I was little I made choices and came to conclusions independently (to the displeasure of some) and, while I listened to others, if I didn’t agree I didn’t concede – regardless of their title (I owe a few pastors apologies). Oftentimes it wasn’t even concerning moral issues; if everyone dressed their Barbie in pink, but I didn’t like pink, I wasn’t going to put my Barbie in pink. Not out of defiance, but simply because – in my opinion – Barbie looked better in yellow.
So… That happened.
Yesterday was Super Tuesday and, oh boy, did it not live up to its name. I think the words “should drop out” saw more action in one 24 hour span than Jack Bauer saw in 8.5 seasons. Everyone stood around poking what they assumed was the dead carcass of The Republic proclaiming, “What did you do?!”
Fingers were pointed, accusations made, and every candidate left has absolutely no viable path to the White House, or so I’ve heard. Some are right, some are really, really, really wrong, and others are over in the corner with a yo-yo trying to figure what makes it go up and down; we’ll call them “Ben Carson’s remaining supporters.”
I’m going to agree with some of you, chastise others, and give my own analysis of the situation.
Unfortunately, conservative writers and commentators whom I truly respect are beginning to seriously question their activism. I’ve now watched four conservative bloggers close up shop, toss the keys to angry “conservatives,” say their farewells, let Jesus take the wheel, and now have cat memes and dinner recipes filling their timelines. While Republicans in government are not in the uproar we’d like to believe, conservatives themselves are caught in a toxic battle that bears a resemblance to, but is far worse than, the war between the right and the left. Been there, done that. Those who don’t particularly like your opinions quickly look for that button to press, the one we all have. “I’m over it,” and “what good am I doing?” are both theories thrown around by those bombarded with sermons from the pulpit of complacency. “Give me memes or give me death!” is the mantra of the 21st Century. “Agree with me or I’ll silence you!” is the universal opinion of the aged schoolyard bullies; albeit older in years physically, their deplorable maturity level sipped from the fountain of youth around the same time they shoved Billy in his locker.
The truth that goes unsaid in public, yet is whispered in private during moments of defeat, is that we could all walk away. The madding room of information bouncing wall to wall could be silenced, the gentle hum of Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN lingering on TVs while emotional quotes and stories of the daily grind fill the gaping hole where information once called home. We, both small – like myself – and large voices, could walk away and hand the reins over to the bitter and incompetent fools playing pretend in their own little political world of Gunfight at The O.K. Corral.
It’s true, we could.
Call off the angry mob, because it’s time to have a real conversation about Paul Ryan and the Omnibus. Many of my friends have taken various sides on the issue, why not throw mine out there, as well.
First and foremost, I apologize ahead of time for the length of this post, but there’s a lot to cover.
To begin with, we need to realize how ridiculously hasty we have become. Living in hysteria is exhausting; we’re weary of attempting to fetch the smelling salts for them, and they’ve got to be getting tired of declaring the death of our country every time a patriot pundit updates their status.
So, I recommend the following steps when political news breaks: Read the news, listen to a little Bob Marley, take a few days to read even more news from various perspectives on the issue, practice a few deep breathing exercises while you ponder, make a list of pros and cons, resist the urge to share that rage inducing image of Paul Ryan in a Nazi uniform from any Facebook page with the word “patriot” in the title. Most importantly, answer this short list of questions:
- What are we dealing with?
- What were the other options?
- What would happen if we went with the other options?
- Have I acknowledged the positives?
- Have I been manipulated?
- Do I understand this issue enough to put a curse on someone’s soul?
We shouldn’t need #6, but sometimes people can be irrational beings, doing what we sincerely hope is just their best impersonation of an inebriated Sybil, so it’s necessary. We live in the world of hysteria, where the brash response is celebrated. We’re the societal version of Who’s Line Is It Anyway: Everything’s made up, and the points don’t matter.
On Saturday morning I awoke to a changed world. I felt the shift, the pull of the earth into the darkness of a widening black hole eager to swallow us. The sky was black, and as my neighbors embraced each other for the coming end, I let out a tearful cry to the heavens…
I mean, you would have thought that’s what was happening. In reality, Trey Gowdy was just confirmed as the “special guest” who would be campaigning with Marco Rubio. We’ve known for quite a while that Trey was a fan of Rubio, but I guess for some it was like having an interest in someone they knew was interested in someone else, and then falling apart when they learned their person of interest was engaged to another woman.
It’s like a group of teenage girls who have just been broken up with; half of them cry into their journals and eat a gallon of ice cream, the other half downplay the significance of their relationship, and after a few days of crying and downplaying they all eventually move on to anger.
Ice cream and journals: