A Rebuttal to Those Who Insist We Vote for Trump

David Harsanyi over at the Federalist has penned a good think-piece for those who insist Republicans have to vote for Trump now: If David Duke Won, Wouldn't Republicans Have to Vote for Him?

Beginning with the hypothetical of Duke winning the GOP presidential primary, he asks:

What if Duke promised to nominate conservative Supreme Court justices? Let’s say he drew up an extensive list of Federalist Society-approved justices that conservatives simply loved? Would they then vote for him then? Sean Spicer says no. Please don’t tell me you’re willing to surrender the court to a progressive agenda for a generation. If you don’t vote for Duke, it would be tantamount to abandoning law and order. As pro-Trump Republicans often stress, national elections are a binary choice.

It’s not just about justices, either. Duke would almost certainly build an impenetrable wall along the Mexican border to stop the flow of illegal immigration. ...

Duke would also limit Islamic immigration to keep America safe again.  ...

You know elitists would simply hate Duke. Probably because the Klansman refuses to be constrained by political correctness. ...

You get the idea. It's a thoughtful look at the issue.

UPDATE: I gave a taste of Harsanyi's opening above in the expectation that people would read his article for his conclusions. If you want his conclusions without clicking over to read the rest, I've discussed that a bit in the comments. It's the comment at 10:47 PM. Key point: Harsanyi is not claiming Trump is the same as Duke. He's just talking about the arguments often used against #NeverTrumpers.

AND ANOTHER THING: We've argued about who to vote for when both candidates are pretty sketchy, so this is intended to be part of that discussion. I will probably hold my nose and vote for Trump as the lesser evil. But that's me; my values push me in that direction.

Other people, whom I often agree with on the issues, have different values that push them in a different direction, and they can't vote for Trump. I don't have a problem with that. I don't think those people are bad or stupid for voting their own consciences instead of mine. So we vote differently this election; as far as I'm concerned, we're still on the same side.

But right now a lot of Republicans do seem to have a problem with the #NeverTrumpers, and I thought Harsanyi did a good job defending the #NeverTrump position from the conservative side.


Ymar Sakar said...

Duke being anti Jew would be great for certain segments, but Duke have had dealings with Iran, would not be. http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/219512/iran-david-duke-salute-presbyterian-church-usa-ryan-mauro

This political battle is merely a human power play. But what underlies it is the battle between good and evil, and thus by extension it is also a battle of 1st AD Christendom vs the heretics and apostates.

People have heard Republicans, finally call a Democrat evil, even if it is H Rod Damn Clinton. Now some of them even believe it, and they believe they are Christians. But the ultimate test will be whether they bow the knee to a Caesar, a King like Trum or some other politician, or whether their faith is based on the real deal.

Because this war between good and evil is over the civil wars of humanity. Even if America eliminates all Islamic men and women, if that means Christianity itself falls to evil, then Lucifer will have won. Humans are, after all, renewable resources to those spirits.

Eric Blair said...

Trump isn't fucking David Duke. Jesus, what a shitty argument. It is not thoughtful at all.

Tom said...

Did you read the article? Toward the end:

No, I’m not arguing that Trump’s aims and positions are indistinguishable from Duke’s. The Republican nominee has already rebuked Duke “as quick as you can say it.” If Trump’s positions and disposition please you, feel free to support him. What I am contending is that arguments made by Trump’s Republican allies meant to convince recalcitrant conservatives to vote for him are vacuous logical fallacies.

As a Duke candidacy proves, it’s possible to find people morally reprehensible, even if their views happen to intersect with yours on various issues. It is possible to sporadically agree with someone and also believe that this person undermines your cause in the long run. It is possible to believe that a candidate who confuses vulgarity and fury with political incorrectness will corrode the idealism of your movement and push away voters who might one day see it your way.

For me, although I find utilitarianism lacking on a broader scale, when it comes to my one vote, I'm pretty utilitarian. Unless new facts come to light, I won't have much problem voting for Trump. It's not that I think he's great; I simply think a Hilary presidency would be worse.

However, not everyone here is like that. Harsanyi's article helped me see that viewpoint a bit better.

Larry Sheldon said...

Let's suppose that it appears that neither of the leading two candidates is in any way, shape, or form worthy of our vote.

So you decide that the Right Thing To Do is to cast you vote for the minority party person best aligned with your view of correct.

But it also appears that one of the two leading candidates is likely to do a great deal more harm the other.

Before you cast your ballot, please do a little exercise for me.

Take a recent poll and add all the percentages reported. I just pick3ed on mostly becauese it had 4 numbers -- 43, 40, 6, and 3.

It seems to me that it is likely the one or the other of the higher numbers will carry the day, and on of them is a great deal worse than the other. The numbers total 92, or 8% unaccounted-for.

Let us say that it the person registering 6 that you think is best--let's give that person the 8%.

What will your action have done?

Anonymous said...

Here isa full answer to the article.

Donald Trump Press Conference 7/27/16
Trump starts at 30:30

The Washington Post published a transcript, and their "annotations.” I picked one annotation at random, and was less than impressed. They have well and truly stepped in it.

It is refreshing to see a press conference where the lights are on, and somebody's home.


Tom said...


I don't based on who is worthy. I vote based on what I think the outcome for the nation will be.

So, when you say, "But it also appears that one of the two leading candidates is likely to do a great deal more harm the other," I've already decided. I vote for the candidate who I think will do less harm.

But, to answer your question, I don't see any difference in voting for someone who cannot win and not voting at all.

Tom said...

Larry -- Sorry, that first sentence should be "I don't vote based on who is worthy".

Tom said...


I skimmed through the transcript and I don't see how it's a rebuttal of the article. Harsanyi's main point is simply that many of the current arguments for why #NeverTrump Republicans must vote for him don't work.

Also, I agree with you about the WaPo. I checked a maybe 12-15 of the annotations, and most of it was petty nitpicking, some of it seemed to deliberately miss the point, some of it just showed snarky replies on Twitter, and a couple seemed legitimate. It made me want to annotate the annotations.

Tom said...

I've added a significant update to the original post. I should have included that with the original -- I was posting in haste, so now I'm repenting at leisure.

Ymar Sakar said...

But, to answer your question, I don't see any difference in voting for someone who cannot win and not voting at all.

Even I don't have the sources to go around talking about who "can't win". In war, almost everyone that fights, can win.

Which is also why I didn't claim that Trum would lose, some odd months ago.

It would take predictive abilities equal to the prophets and saints of old, for someone to be capable of accurately seeing who will win a battle.