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Why I’ll reluctantly vote for Trump in 2020 — again

Kenneth D. Gough, Community Voices Columnist • Oct 20, 2018 at 7:45 AM

Donald Trump was my 17th choice for president in 2016, and the only reason I could bring myself to vote for a man I considered unsuited for the job was, the alternative was Hillary Clinton. No need to go through the reasons; it’s a long list, starting with cattle futures and proceeding to the corrupt-to-its-eyeballs Clinton Foundation. Say what you will about Trump (and there is so much to say), his wealth was earned in the private sector. The Clinton’s was “earned” by exploiting their political power, actual and potential.

We have a pretty good idea why Trump got the Republican nomination; his supporters see him as a rebuke to a ruling class that they believe (with more than a bit of justification) sees them as deplorable, and has abandoned them to a heartless, soulless globalism that denigrates the United States and them as its citizens. That’s the polite way of putting it. “Sharp stick in the eye” is probably closer to the mark. Looked at this way, Trump’s crudity (sexual and otherwise), ego and loud mouth aren’t bugs, they’re features, putting our “betters” in their place. The fact that he was anything but part of the Republican establishment was his biggest selling point, and, for that, his many faults and sins could and would be tolerated.

So how to explain Hillary Clinton? Even with her many faults and sins, she was quintessential Democratic establishment. Here was a woman at the very center of power for over 25 years, yet blatantly, obviously corrupt and arguably worse. The establishment is supposedly the best and brightest the party has to offer. Was she the best the Democrats could do? This is what I simply can’t understand. Were there no decent, more-or-less honest, moderately-liberal people in the Democratic Party to nominate? And, as we now know, even that had to be rigged by the powers-that-be to make sure Bernie Sanders didn’t get the nod, which he almost did, anyway. The evidence does more than suggest that, in the Democratic Party, it’s corruption all the way up.

To say that the American people deserved better than a choice between Clinton and Trump, while true, is beside the point. They are the candidates we the people nominated, and as the saying goes, democracy doesn’t give us the leaders we need, but the leaders we elect. Trump was the better choice between 2 bad alternatives, and I don’t regret having voted for him 2 years ago.

But that’s not why I’ll vote for him in 2020. (My fantasy is that he’ll declare victory and retire to New York, and the Republicans will nominate someone who doesn’t make me want to take a long, hot shower. But we all know that isn’t going to happen.)

First, in spite of the crudity, bombast and all the rest, he has governed pretty successfully as a moderately-conservative Republican, probably little different from the 16 people he defeated in the Republican primaries. I’m fine with that, even though I worry that his tactics will wind up doing serious damage internationally and domestically.

And second, because of Brett Kavanaugh. The travesty of his confirmation has confirmed my worst fears about the degradation of our political system, but most forcefully about the Democratic Party. The Democrats on the Judiciary Committee proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that they will stop at nothing, up to and including character assassination, to defeat a nominee with whom they disagree politically. That 2 of the Senators on the committee have been touted as presidential candidates makes it even worse; their performance was disgraceful (and in one case clownish) and should disqualify them from consideration. That Diane Feinstein, one of the party’s elders and (until now) one of its most-respected voices, should have been implicated in leaking unsubstantiated, devastating and (crucially) unprovable allegations is beyond comprehension or excuse. What happened was not the result of naiveté or inexperience or mistake; it was done with malice aforethought. It was cruel and vicious.

The Kavanaugh confirmation was clarifying. As Lindsey Graham said to his Democratic colleagues during a magnificent tirade, “Boy, ya’ll want power, God, I hope you never get it!”. And to Kavanaugh, “When you see Kagan and Sotomayor, tell them Lindsey said hello, because I voted for them.” And back to the Democrats, “I would never do to them what you’ve done to this man!”

And there you have it. This was all about power, and it exposed a Democratic Party so desperate to keep it that they will stop at nothing, short of murder. There is no better reason to vote for Trump than to stop them. As he would tweet, Sad!

Kenneth D. Gough of Elizabethton is a semi-retired businessman.

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