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An alternative Republican view of the election

| Tuesday, September 20, 2016

I recently read a letter to the editor by Dylan Stevenson, the vice president of the College Republicans, titled “A Republican’s right of reply”, and I’d like to offer an alternative view on the 2016 election beyond blind partisanship.

Before I get lumped in with the average College Democrat, let me make clear that I am by no means “with her.” For credibility, I was the chairman of the short-lived “Students for Rubio” organization on campus, and I was a dues-paying member of the College Republicans my freshman year. I fell away from the club because I wasn’t a huge fan of some of the personalities that headed the group, but they did a lot to campaign for local candidates and spread awareness, and I respected the group enough for that. Moreover, we agree on at least one thing: A Clinton presidency would be something like an alcohol enema: unwanted, uncomfortable, invasive and, no matter what that obnoxious down-the-hall says, quite certainly bad for you.

Now, Mr. Stevenson would have you look at that and say, “Yeah, no thanks to the enema, Trump it is!” While that seems great from a not-injecting-fluids-into-where-you-don’t-want-them-to-be perspective, what you don’t realize in that moment is that you’re rejecting an alcohol enema in favor of what turns out to be a battery acid enema. Whoops!

Mr. Stevenson justifies this inglorious burning of your backside with some pretty shallow, classic-Republican talking points (I know, I’m a republican, I’ve used these too). Aside from failing to convincingly argue the merit of Trump’s positions, he amusingly chooses many positions on which Mr. Trump has shamelessly flip-flopped after planting his flag even with (or even farther left than) former Secretary Clinton. On gun control, Trump supported an assault weapons ban until he started positioning himself for 2016, and when he does talk about the Second Amendment, he reveals himself as totally out of touch with the issue, like back in August when he suggested that the Second Amendment supporters should stage an armed rebellion against a Clinton presidency (he was just “joking” of course, because we collectively judge Trump on the standards of a petulant toddler). He has no idea why people believe in a strict interpretation of the right to bear arms, because deep down he’s just like Hillary (to whom he made multiple campaign donations) and thinks every conservative is a gun-nut lunatic unworthy of his New York sensibilities.

On trade, Donald Trump has lifted a giant middle finger to the conservative traditions of capitalism and free enterprise by suggesting ignorant policies only Bernie Sanders would agree with, and, absent of all sense, former die-hard free traders like Mike Pence are falling in line behind the leftist lunacy. On taxes, Mr. Trump has already admitted he didn’t believe in the first tax plan he put out, and while he put out another one just this week, there’s little reason to believe he has any more fidelity to the newer version. This is the same guy who, while attempting to gain the presidential nomination of the Reform Party, once proposed a one-time 14 percent tax on the net-worth wealthy. But sure, he’s definitely going to take small government seriously. On most policies, Donald Trump is a big, orange, bloated mess, and to take the word of an obvious partisan that he’ll follow any sort of conservative orthodoxy is, at best, naive, and at worst, insane.

The letter ends with the honest admission that Mr. Trump is a jackass, and on this, I come in solid agreement. However, it’s a Yuuuge mistake to just glide past that fact. Character matters, especially for the leader of the free world. The orange-crusted mouth breather that heads our party has insulted minorities, the disabled, women, has cheated people through his sham of a university, has advocated for war crimes, praised dictators, suggested 9/11 was an inside job and so. Much. More.

People like Mr. Stevenson want you to believe this election is a binary choice between being eaten by a shark or a velociraptor, but we should definitely choose the velociraptor because hey, “He’s on our team!” Wrong. I defy anyone to tell me that it’s my responsibility to support that incompetent liberal or that lunatic con man. The indisputable fact is that you owe your vote to no one.

If you vote for a third-party candidate, you will not be voting for the person that will be the next president.

So what?

You’ll be a part of the more than one-third of 18–24-year-olds (based off recent polling) who are too smart for this b——- election and won’t have either candidate. Vote Johnson. Vote McMullin. Write in your cat. Regardless, if you don’t believe that our country needs either a failed secretary of state or a pudgy ignoramus, then make your stand. Declare your opposition. Be heard. Nothing will come of your acquiescence to blind partisanship, because either major-party candidate will be an absolutely garbage president. The parenthetical “R” that Trump has adopted behind his name does nothing to excuse his vileness, stupidity and gross intellectual unpreparedness for office. So rise above it, let the head of state be someone we can freely oppose, and let the world know that our generation does not endorse lies, does not endorse hate and will not tolerate a party system that peddles either.

Nicholas Jeffers


Sept. 19

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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