Saturday, July 23, 2016

Republicans Nailed for Hypocrisy (and rightly so)

The Republican primary has come and gone. I can't say I was terribly excited by it. Were I still a Republican I still wouldn't be excited. The day I became a Libertarian was the day I recognized my own hypocrisy and decided to give it up. Being driven by the core principles of Classical Liberalism that have been abandoned in part by both the Left and Right, I can't march lock-step with either side. That hypocrisy that I rejected was in full display among those who have remained with the GOP.

Jon Stewart recently joined Stephen Colbert and gave the Republicans hell regarding their hypocritical treatment of Donald Trump.

"Inexperienced." "Divisive." "Thin-skinned." "Straightforwardly authoritarian." "Raging narcissist who has no grip on reality." On everything from the aforementioned list to being out of touch with average Americans to the use of teleprompters, Republicans have been excusing -- and even praising -- Trump for things for which they ridiculed Obama. In Jon Stewart's rant, he singles out Sean Hannity for doing one about-face after another on a range of issues regarding Trump. But it's not just Hannity. I'd list examples, but I really don't need to. Watch Stewart do it.

I ridiculed Obama for those things, too. But having done so, I also criticize Trump for the same. But that's not the case with the Party Faithful. Being now in the position of having a candidate who embodies the worst character traits they derided, they're now forced to embrace those same traits. And they do it. As I have mentioned before, even fundamentalist Christians rationalize that "God worked through flawed individuals like King David," and make the unwarranted mental leap that Trump must therefore be doing God's work. It's astonishing in that the mental contortions are so blatant and public.

So at this moment, as the Republicans are getting raked over the coals for hypocrisy, I consider that it's well-earned. I'm sure the Democrats are going to earn the same treatment next week at their convention.


Personally, I wasn't bowled over by Trump's keynote speech. It was carefully prepared by expert speechwriters who were not Trump, and it sounded exactly like that. He read it carefully from a teleprompter, and it sounded exactly like that. It was deliberately manipulative in a populist way, and it sounded exactly like that.

For the most part, his facts were correct; I can certainly imagine that this was at his insistence. After Jeffrey Lord's disastrous comments of last month, Trump would not want it picked apart by fact-checkers in the following days. Sadly, that's unavoidable; nits will always be picked (even though some of's own facts should be "checked"). But as I demonstrated in my last post even when his facts are in order, his assumptions and conclusions may not be.

Trump's not wrong on everything. Nobody is. But I have found that there is a candidate available -- Gary Johnson -- who is also not-wrong on those things, and is right about a lot more, besides. Furthermore, the issues on which we disagree would most assuredly not get worse during his tenure. I have no such confidence regarding Trump. His speech was eerily similar to rhetoric I have heard before. Given my family history, it did not comfort me. And frankly, if I'm going to take a chance this election, I'm going to take a chance on Liberty. I'm certainly not going the oddly self-contradictory route of taking a chance on the kind of "security" that Trump offers.

Lincoln won the 1860 election with a mere 39.8% of the popular vote. He was a third-party candidate from the infant Republican party, which was only six years old at the time of that election. Those who insist that a third party has no chance do not know their own history. If you are a Republican, I would urge you to re-read your Constitution and consistently apply its principles not just to yourself, but also to those with whom you disagree. I also urge you to read up on the history of the Republican party... why it was founded. Ask yourself if you can truly call yourself "conservative" if you are not adhering to those principles. I did exactly that. I changed my mind, stepped away from the two-party false dichotomy and toward a more consistent expression of the principles that built this Nation. We may not win this election (although the Chicago Tribune admits it's possible), but one thing is sure: it can not happen if people lack the courage and will to do what I'm doing. If you really want to make America great, in the same way that the Founders envisioned, with true Liberty and Justice for all, I urge you to do the same.

"Wasting your vote is voting for someone you don't believe in."

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