Monday, November 7, 2016

Memo to ‘Reaganites for Clinton’: Don’t Forget the Dem Agenda. Vote for a GOP Congress

New Jersey Star-Ledger Guest Columnist Alan J. Steinberg declared, I'm a Reaganite who served under Bush and Whitman: I'm voting Clinton:

As a Reaganite conservative Republican, I have distinct differences with Clinton on significant issues, namely judicial philosophy, tax policy and the Second Amendment. If the Republicans had nominated for president Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, John Kasich or Marco Rubio, I would be voting for the GOP candidate for the White House.

Unfortunately, due to the alt-right hostile takeover of the Republican Party in 2016, the GOP candidate is Donald Trump, a contemptible national negative exemplar of bigotry, misogyny, nativism and issue illiteracy. His authoritarian nature will make him a mortal threat to civil liberty and our constitutional system of government.

Thus, Steinberg declares, “On Nov. 8, I will be voting for Hillary Clinton for president — the first time in my adult life that I have not voted for the Republican presidential candidate.” (I’ll pass on Steinberg's references to the “alt-right.” It’s a new term, and it’s probably another package deal designed to discredit good pro-liberty ideas by lumping them together with bad ideas. But at this point I don’t know enough about the alt-right to comment.)

Steinberg won’t get an argument from me about his characterization of Trump. I won’t defend Trump. Steinberg has a lot of company. But is he and like-minded voters underestimating the Democrats’ own authoritarianism and “mortal threat to . . . our constitutional system of government?”

I left these comments, somewhat expanded:

One of the most tragic aspects of the Trump nomination is that actual issues have been pushed to the periphery of the electoral stage. This means that the horrendously statist political agenda of the Democratic Party—its anti-reliable energy, its anti-industrial, anti-humanist environmentalism; its economic agenda that seeks to turn the middle class into a welfare class; its neo-communist egalitarianism that enforces economic equality at the expense individual diversity and achievement, individual rights, political equality, and economic progress; its sharp turn against freedom of speech, including its neo-fascist prosecutorial attack on dissenters from the Left’s climate catastrophist dogma; its lack of serious concern for national security; its nomination of “living constitution” (read a-constitutional) judicial nominees, and more—is largely getting a free pass.

It shouldn’t.

Hillary may once have been a “pragmatic center-left” Democrat. In fact, I once believed she was an Old Left Democrat along the lines of Scoop Jackson, Daniel Moynahan, and even John Kennedy. That wouldn’t be so bad. But no more. I believe her primary rhetoric was more than just “appealing to the Democrats’ base.” I think her swing to the hard Left is largely sincere. This makes the Democrats’ hard-Left policy agenda, which features a deeper authoritarianism than even Donald Trump represents, a much more real possibility.

It’s easy for the pro-liberty, pro-free market capitalist voter to get discouraged. After all, we have no realistic alternative. But we shouldn’t give up on this election. We mustn’t forget that there is more to this election than a presidential ballot. There is Congress. And on this score, there are potentially brighter skies, because there are many good Republicans down-ballot. Clinton needn’t have “coattails.” Even a big Clinton win does not necessarily mean an electoral sweep. In 1972, Richard Nixon won a landslide against a horrendous Democratic nominee, George McGovern. But Nixon had no coattails, as Democrats held onto comfortable margins in Congress.

Indeed, As RealClearPolitics polling indicates, Even if Donald Trump loses handily to Hillary Clinton as polls imply, Republicans are not doomed to suffer big losses in Congress. As Jeffry Bartash reported for MarketWatch on 10/20/16:

The reluctance of voters to concentrate all the political power in the hands of one party may be helping Republicans in 2016. The party is expected to lose seats in the House but retain majority control. They might even hold onto the Senate, but if they do, it’s likely to be by a razor’s edge.

So, for the right, there is reason to keep our pessimism down, if not room for optimism. This is not the time to be so discouraged that we sit home on election day. And remember, the party that holds the White House usually loses congressional seats in the mid-term elections—which means 2018. So, if the GOP can “hold the fort” for two years, it could be in an even stronger position to restrain Clinton. (Granted, the Republicans are not exactly the most consistent defenders of limited government and individual rights. But, as of now, they’re all we’ve got.)

Today we have the opposite situation of 1972. And we need a ticket-splitting repeat, in reverse. Ever since the GOP nominated Donald Trump—in my view a disastrous choice—I have agonized over my presidential vote. Do I hold my nose and vote for Trump—or not? I am not alone. Many pro-liberty people are facing the same dilemma. This year’s presidential dilemma makes congressional elections more crucial than ever. We need another 1972-type ticket-spitting election.

As a Republican-leaning, pro-liberty, pro-economic progress Independent, I urge all Republicans, Independents, “Reagan Democrats,” and anyone else who feels they must vote for Hillary Clinton to stop Donald Trump to vote Republican down-ballot to retain the GOP hold on Congress—both in the Senate and the House. This will force Hillary into bi-partisan mode, and blunt the dehumanizing hard Left collectivist/statist designs of the Democratic Party. Need to vote for Hillary? Then vote straight Republican down-ballot.

Related Reading:

Election 2016: Forget the Lies. It’s About the Issues

1 comment:

Mike Kevitt said...

If the Democrats get both the White House and the Senate, they'll also have the Supreme Court. Then, they won't need the House of Reps.; that'll be an irrelevant appendage; Ms. H. Clinton can bypass it with executive orders; the people will eagerly swallow it anus deep, as legitimate. So, there we'll be. But, well, maybe your hopeful scenario will play out so we can hold another 4 yrs. But, we've held for quite a while in recent times. How long can we hold before we either get remission of 'gvt.' toward its proper bounds, or it breaks out to its decisive assault upon humanity?