I just sat through an entire week of illustrious party luminaries attempting to scare me. In the course of trying to get me and people like me on board with voting for Trump, there was almost nothing offered in the way of reasons why voting for Trump is a good thing, but only repeated assurances that if Hillary Clinton gets elected, THE REPUBLIC WILL BE OVER.
In a bit of hilarious lack of self-awareness, elected Republicans on television repeatedly intoned that the election of Hillary Clinton would be “a third Obama term,” apparently blissfully unaware that Barack Obama is way more popular than Hillary Clinton, and even more popular relative to Trump.
Look, I’m a grown adult. I don’t look under my bed at night for the boogeyman and I don’t require a night light to sleep. I’ve watched with relative interest every Presidential election since 1984. I know the game. I have heard every election that the Republicans try to scare people with all the horrible things that will happen if the Democrats are elected, and Democrats try to scare the public with all the horrible things that will happen if the Republican is elected. It’s a time-honored political tradition and I suppose it works on some people, but I am not a bleating sheep who is without a functional long term memory. I’ve lived through both Republican and Democrat administrations that were not to my liking.
Heck, I remember the first Clinton administration well. Obviously, a lot of stuff happened that was not what I would have preferred politically, but the country soldiered on. Democrats acted like George W. Bush was evil incarnate, but the country lived through that as well. Obama’s been a bad President too, but the country is still here. The country will survive Hillary Clinton. It will probably be worse off than it was before, but that’s the choice Republicans made when they nominated Donald Trump. I don’t like it, but I’ve been on the losing side of elections before and the next day the sun still rises in the East. Save your scaremongering for someone who can be convinced that these aren’t the droids you’re looking for.
This tactic rings especially hollow in this election, given that the Republican alternative is doubtless much scarier, in terms of the potential damage he can do to the country, the Republican party, and the world as a whole. Just this week, his rhetoric on Estonia caused us to again wonder exactly how cozy with Vladimir Putin he really is.
But even worse, as streiff just pointed out, Trump celebrated his nomination at the RNC with a bizarre, unhinged, homeless-person-pushing a cart rant that once again dredged up the facially insane conspiracy theories about Ted Cruz’s father being involved in JFK’s assassination. Again, this is not ideological disagreement territory, this is “Trump is mentally unhinged” territory. If Trump is willing to believe and publicly espouse crazy stuff that he reads in the National Enquirer, what might he do as President, with the command of the whole military at his fingertips?
That’s scary. Sorry, it’s way scarier than whatever Hillary Clinton might do – even though what Clinton might do would be bad. However, as P.J. O’Rourke has noted, while Clinton is wrong about almost everything, she’s “wrong within normal parameters.” Trump is not. And you can’t scare me with Clinton when the alternative you are offering is pretty much obviously worse.