Monday, May 9, 2016

The Demise of the Constitutional Republic

Since the world essentially crashed last Tuesday, I guess I should respond to that.

I’m referring to Ted Cruz suspending his campaign after the Indiana primary.

Ted Cruz suspends his campaign
image from here

Yes, I’m in mourning. As a lover of the US Constitution—and its purpose in getting us to freedom, prosperity, and civilization—Tuesday was the end of hope. There’s still the convention to come, technically, but….

I had hoped that the American people would have the opportunity to have a day-and-night clear choice between freedom, prosperity, and civilization versus tyranny, poverty, and savagery. That’s what the presidential election would have looked like with Ted Cruz on our side. He is the most consistently constitutional conservative candidate in my lifetime. The hope was for some recovery of the country we have been missing for at least a decade.

My realization, last week, was that my faith in the American people was misplaced. We hadn’t even moved toward the work of convincing Democrats that the Constitution was the way to get to prosperity and freedom. We got stuck at convincing some 40% of Republicans that the Constitution—and human decency—mattered enough to care about.

We didn’t win that debate. A plurality of Republicans joined with the totality of Democrats to choose some authoritarian, bullying, lying, pushy tyrant.

The choice has already been made. It doesn’t much matter who wins in November; the option of returning to the Constitution and getting out of the mire is now off the table.

But the pressure hasn’t ended. It’s coming at us Ted Cruz supporters from those who ought to be on our team, from our party. They’re saying if we don’t join them in voting for a progressive, lying, narcissistic tyrant, it will be our fault if we get a progressive, lying, narcissistic tyrant as our president. Ironic.

Here is what hasn’t happened: Donald Trump has not reached out to say he would welcome people like me. Instead, he has said there are some people he’d just as soon did not unite with his Republican Party:

I am confident that I can unite much of it. Some of it, I don't want. There were statements made about me that those people can go away and maybe come back in eight years after we serve two terms….
Honestly, there are some people I really don't want. I don't think it's necessary. People would be voting for me, they're not voting for the party.
So, if you didn’t fawn over him, you’re not welcome in the party of Reagan and Lincoln. Or whatever party it is now that he has made it anew.

Clearly it is not on me to forego my morals and join such a person. Unless I’m the kind of person who enjoys subjecting myself to abuse.

There are arguments from fellow Republicans, who suggest we must vote for Trump to avoid Hillary. Too late. But, let’s hear their arguments, out of respect. Because I really do respect many of these people, and keep looking to see if I’ve missed something.

Supreme Court: You have to vote for Trump, because the next president will get several chances to appoint Supreme Court justices, and we could lose the court for a generation or longer. This was a very good argument for voting for Cruz in our primary; he knows how to select a constitutional originalist. Trump does not; he seems unaware of the concept. Will his appointees be as anti-law as Hillary’s? I don’t know. But I expect there is zero possibility of getting any justices more law-abiding than Justice Kennedy. In other words, a vote for Trump guarantees we will lose the court for a generation or longer.

It’s done. We warned you. You didn’t think it was important enough to vote for Cruz instead of Trump. So, don’t blame us.

The Border: Hillary is going to continue the open-borders, invite-illegals-in status quo policy. Trump claims he will build a wall. And make Mexico pay for it. Which may be necessary, because he does nothing to work with Congress to provide him funding for whatever he wants to do. But his policy for illegals has been a temporarily-deport-and-invite-back policy that is more of a PR stunt than a solution. It's a lot of tough bully talk, but it isn’t an actual policy or plan.

Here in Texas we have been defending our own border for a while. Ted Cruz, a Texan, had a real plan. But we weren’t given that option. Because of Trump voters. It’s not on me. I’ll continue to work toward Texans protecting ourselves regardless of continued failure of the federal government to meet its obligations.

Foreign Policy: Hillary is a disaster in foreign policy: Benghazi. Russia. Arab Spring. No one in their right mind ought to trust her anywhere near foreign policy. Her cavalier failure to protect government secret documents is the final nail in that coffin. But Trump approves of Putin, likes his style. Thinks the deal with Iran might be OK, but he would have made a “better deal,” though without giving details. In other words, he doesn’t understand what principles to talk about related to the deal, but we should trust him because he knows about real estate. He threatens to annihilate ISIS members—and their families and children. Targeting noncombatants isn’t what we do, nor is torture, but he’s in favor of that, and he says the military will do whatever he orders them to do, “Believe me,” he says.

Hillary will be bad; but she will try to claim she’s doing good. Trump will be bad; and he’s telling you how bad. Is it all bravado? Maybe. But voting for someone because you don’t think they’ll do what they say is not wisdom. That’s not on me. Can he convince me otherwise? Not if he’s unwilling to try, because gaining the goodwill of people like me doesn’t matter to him.

The Economy: Hillary is a socialist. Hardcore in favor of controlling the economy. Get rid of capitalism. Let government decide who gets government’s favor or disapproval based on support of the administration’s preferences. Trump is a cronyist. Sometimes that’s called “crony capitalism,” but that confuses things. Crony capitalism isn’t free market capitalism; it’s government deciding who gets government’s favor or disapproval based on who supports the administration’s preferences. Sounds familiar.
Please don’t insult my intelligence by saying I should vote for Trump, because otherwise it’s a vote for Hillary, and that would be disastrous. Yes, I agree she would be disastrous; she’s clearly the worst candidate the Democrats have put forward in my life memory. Almost anyone the Republicans put forward should theoretically be able to beat her. 

But the Republicans didn’t choose a Republican; they chose Trump. I don’t believe Trump can beat her (she got about three times as many votes in his home state as he got in the primaries). And in a hypothetical world in which he actually won, I believe that would also be a disaster for America.

It’s already too late to bother about the presidency. There’s no silver lining. It is as bad and depressing as it sounds.

The principle should be to vote for the strongest anti-tyranny candidate you can. In this case, you get certain tyranny either way. So stop calling us “treasonous” for not jumping on the Trump train. 

I’m not giving up the quest for freedom, prosperity, and civilization. We vetted a lot of good people on our primary ballot in Texas, and we need to support those state and local candidates.
This past week I’ve begun looking at the level where it’s possible to make a difference. I’m fortunate to live in Texas. We’re big enough and strong enough to resist federal tyranny—if we can maintain the will.

Real Cruz supporters can't possibly support Trump. What we can do, however, is continue to stand for Cruz's (and our) principles: the conservative principles that have made America and every other Western country great.
Those principles work at any level. The higher the level where those principles are at work, the more freedom there is for the lower levels to work, without interference. Our founding fathers set that in motion for the nation, and we had a good long run. I mourn the loss of our constitutional republic. But maybe strengthening the lower levels will lead others to follow suit, leading to some future rebuilding and returning to the Constitution. So we may have lost, but we haven’t succumbed.

I expect to write very little about the presidential election after this, since it has become a moot point. I don’t intend to try to persuade people to my view. People are free to differ with me on what to do in November. I think I’ll look into procedures for write-ins, and take a look at third party candidates, just in case there’s an option better than leaving the presidential race blank. But I won’t stay home; I’ll vote, because the rest of my ballot was vetted by people who voted mostly for Cruz. The rest of the Republicans on the ballot will be far better choices than the Democrats, and they’ll deserve my vote.

I don't know what life looks like going forward. I wake up thinking, "So this is what people in other countries feel like." But there's still good that can be effected by continuing to work toward the northern hemisphere goal of freedom, prosperity, and civilization. And so far we're not prevented from speaking out and persuading others to join us in our efforts.

So, it's a time to mourn. But it's not a time to stop living.

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