Co-worker today: your tie's too long.

I straightened up, and the tie's point ended where it should.

Oh. I thought you were wearing it like Trump. You see how he wears his ties?

It's to compensate for his stubby fingers and his Hitler penis.

I thought you'd be a Trump guy.

Me? He's a racist, a nativist, an economic nationalist, a threat to the First Amendment and our industry, and a liar who may or not be lying about all those things.

She seemed a bit surprised. Even though nothing I've said or done would twin me with Trump. Unless there's an article back in there in the archives where I wanted to "open up the files" and see who really did 9/11.

To repeat what I said yesterday, because that was the top of this entry:

You start out with someone you like, and this person either fails or wins. If they fail you move along to someone else who's acceptable, but wasn't your first choice because of some stances on the issues, or just because you didn't like them very much. Or felt nothing. Emotion is important; it's not illogical. It's some buried part of your brain trying to align your sense of self with the other person, seeing if the wavelengths ever sync long enough for you to get behind someone. I tend to feel better about candidates who do not inspire an overwhelming amount of empathetic vibration, because they will always disappoint you. Passion for a political leader seems like a form of madness. It's one thing to have a hootin' an' a hollerin' time at the rally; that's part of life in the polis, if you have a pulse. But to find the spirit of a candidate inhabiting you and filling all the corners of your mind not reserved for work and eating, that's a damaged form of love.

Now. Everyone thinks that the other person's passion for their candidate is ill-advised, because of Action A or Quote Z. Because this matters, not that, and your guy's better on this, and if you don't care about this as much as you care about that, you're the problem. It's timeless and unchanging, the most obvious thing that ever happens in elections - and we never learn, because every election is different, and every election is the most important one ever. (Given the escalating problems of the world in the las 100 years, that's possibly true.) You have principles; they are sellouts. You truly apprehend the situation; they are delusional or willfully denying the truth. It's always that way, and at the end of the election cycle you either vote to be pure or vote out of rote allegiance or vote because all thing considered, A is better than B in the micro and macro sense.

This is why I've never understood the people who take their marbles and go home because the candidate is insufficiently pure - a squish, a moderate, a softy on this or that. When you point out that this hands full control to the very people whose ideas you abhor, you get one of two reactions: 1. don't care, the country deserves it, or 2. don't care, anyone but my guy is a sell-out, not to be trusted.

Which brings us to this: The Importance of Disclosing This Immediately

I will not vote for Donald Trump for President of the United States even if he is the Republican nominee.

The author, Erick Erikson, is suggesting? insisting? strongly recommending? that people declare now that they won't vote for Trump. The first part of the piece is a collection of reasons Trump is doomed, not conservative, and not particularly well-informed, but it's not exhaustive or particularly compelling compared to the hammer-and-tongs work done by Kevin Williamson and Charles CW at National Review. Then he says:

Donald Trump will not win in November. Period. End of story.

I'm not so sure. Really. It's a combination of the Pauline Kael and Jesse Ventura effects. You'd be surprised how many people who don't vote suddenly do vote they have a Champion who seems to be authentic, because unlike every other pol he reflects their culture, their language, their hates, their hopes. But "he can't win" is the least important reason not to vote for Trump.

But, on the off chance Satan pulls a grand slam out of hell and Trump were to do it, he would be an authoritarian despot, deeply destructive to the ideals of this nation and the constitutional principles of the republic,

If he could get anything done. Depends on the number of shoe-shiners he brings along. They've used that term to describe Chris Christie, by the way - an insult from "Goodfellas," where a guy who's just gotten out of prison tells Joe Pesci to "go get your shine box." The idea was reinforced by the video of Trump telling Christie to "get on the plane and go home." Some people took this as an insult. I figured it might be manly bluff expressions of gratitude. Awright, ya lug, get out of here. But I am delighting in the fact that Christie surely knows people think he was being dismissed like a bellboy.

and he would destroy the remains of the Republican Party and much of the conservative movement as conservatives whore themselves out to be close to power.

Well, that's no small revelation. I agree he would ruin the brand, as they say, by welding the public conception of the party with the worst elements of Trumpism, which are not necessarily conservative, or have defined "conservative" to mean blood and soil. They're there; 20% of the base on either side is barking mad, but if 20% of the right comes to define a party that ought to stand for the Constitution, rule of law, a civic identity instead of a racial identity, and a government that puts liberty and Federalism above coercion and Statism, then that's the GOP during the Time of Trump. (If Bernie Sanders is elected, and the left's form of tribalism, balkanized identity, state uber alles, and economic illiteracy results in a disastrous four years, it will not affect a whit the ideals of the left, because at least they cared.)

Nothing that conservatives will "whore themselves out to be close to power" is no doubt accurate for some, and it will be instructive to see who shows up on the streetcorners in hot pants leaning into car windows. If it's most, then it underlines the Trump faction's objections to the so-called "Establishment" - but this victory would be erased immediately once these reeds bend to the gusts of Trump. The accusations that the Congresspersons have no principles will be forgotten and absolved when their lack of convictions accommodates and enables the right guy.

In fact, if Trump secures the nomination, some of the first people to come out and demand we all kiss his ring will demand our fealty to a man who thinks judges sign bills, inasmuch as they believe that Trump's ignorance does not matter if he does the right thing. Trump might think Scalia is an opera house in Milan, but if he nominates another Scalia, they'll take it. I understand this, and it's part of the strategic calculation I mentioned above. There are greater things at stake. Vote for the crook, it's important, as the old Louisiana slogan had it when it was a shady pol vs. a Klansman.

And now, the meat:

It is absolutely important to disclose that we will not support Trump in the general election now. It shows that we are not sore losers whose nominee preference did not win, but rather are stating that if Trump does get the nomination, we will not support him and are making our declaration with enough time to stop him if his supporters listen to reason.

His supporters are impervious to this argument. They have already dealt with the arguments. They have factored every objection into their support, and for many the existence of an objection is proof that Trump is The Man. If Immigration is your #1 issue, and you believe Trump is the only person addressing the issue forthrightly, nothing else matters. It's chaff. Even on that issue, any contrary facts can be explained away, because he was doing what successful businessmen do. He can literally exemplify the thing you hate and be the solution to it. Who better to understand the impact of immigration on jobs than someone who had to hire people and chose immigrants?

Explicitly stating our opposition, before he secures the nomination, will not stop people from saying we cost him the nomination.

Well, no one will care about the people who say his opponents cost him the nomination.

But in the historic record it will be clear we saw the rise of an authoritarian jackass, rejected him, and gave people ample time to heed the warnings before jumping off the cliff.

They had time enow. The warnings were encouragements. They are not jumping off a cliff, but striding off the rock on to a bridge, a tremendous bridge, a luxurious bridge, really top quality, that will materialize an instant before their foot falls on empty air.

That line about the historic record, though. History's written by the victors, right? Not always. One of the most compelling (warning, Will Robinson! Godwinism in sector b-5!) accounts of life in Nazi Germany was the diary of Victor Klemperer, a Jew who lived through the ever-escalating constrictions and quotidian depredations of life in the 30s, and then the horrors of the 40s. It's a harrowing account of the metamorphosis of civilized society into an institutionalized murder machine, and NO. I. AM. NOT suggesting there are parallels, only saying that although Klemperer's history is invaluable, I wouldn't call him a victor. He lost almost everything. But larger forces prevailed; the victories of others enabled his story to survive.

Anyway: the "historic record," at best, might be citation #47 in a wikipedia entry. You can see yourself as a Cicero, speaking out in hopes your shade will hear the silent applause of some future generation, hoping that the nailing of your own hands on the Senate door will be metaphorical. Appealing to history assumes that the arc of our times bends upwards at some point, and hope in such a thing brings to mind the words of Matt Dillon: it's a chancy job, and makes a man watchful. And a little lonely. History loves the actors, the doers. History doesn't remember the Senators who applauded Caesar in the hopes they could blunt land distribution to Veterans; history remembers the last guy who stabbed him, and only then because Caesar said his name.

What's the author's basic point? This: declare. Whatever your reason, declare. Your previous calculations are useless in this situation, because a different sort of man has arise and grabbed the raw public molar with his rhetorical wrench. To participate in the usual calculations is to debase yourself. You may regard this as necessary for the triumph of certain ideas you hope Trump will deign to let live or allow to flourish, but you know that the vessel into which your pour these hopes is cracked and leaches lead, and that by supporting him for one thing you tacitly enable all the others. You hope this bargain shores up the timbers that keep the Republic standing.

I understand this, and I don't condemn it. I will not shout BEGONE, SINNER at friends who will go into the voting booth and chew their tongue and pull the lever. From the start of the Trump surge, though, I've heard people say "I can't stand him, but if he's the nominee I'll vote for him, because Hillary's worse," and the sentiment always felt like the hooked-half of a Velcro strip laid on a fine film of oil; it found no purchase in my heart or head. I couldn't see myself ticking that box. That was months ago. Blustery utterances now come daily, brash, crass, astonishing in their shameless ignorance, blared out to crowds that howl delight because another face has been added to list of mugs to be shoved in the mud.

AMAZON! YAY PUNISH THEM wait why oh well doesn't matter oh right the media YAY PUNISH THEM did I set the dvr to record this on CNN hope so

The illiberalism of the Trump alt-right to bloody the nose of the media is the exact mirrored image of the left's desire to ban "hate speech." Like all the other things that make America unique, we took a shared belief in these values for granted until the clever people realized there was a way to reposition rights as burdens, as impediments.

The person who figures out a good way to sell you that usually has the solution, and it feels liberating.

To vote for Trump is to validate; to vote for Trump is to participate. He is a crass, gutter-tongued, vulgar man whose self-regard blinds his ability to understand his own ignorance. A man who casually encourages the worst, enables the mediocre, and wafts aloft cartoon concepts of American greatness with gusts of flatulent banalities. It takes a certain kind of historical illiterate not to realize his facial postures are literally aping a second-rate Italian fascist.

Sorry for taking the long way; could have just linked and agreed. But the author's points deserve interrogation. Short version: no. Long version: hell no. On the off chance history makes marks in a ledger: I will not support Trump if he is the nominee. I will not vote for him. The devil you know is still a devil, and worse yet: you don't really know him at all.

 

(Note: corrected b/c I had the wrong Klemperer, although they were all related. Vic, Otto, Werner.)