Trump 2016. Notes from a democratic voter.

Here are some alternate titles for this post:

  • Why I think I might vote for Trump
  • A democrat voting for Trump?!
  • Why not Bernie or Hillary?

You see, I have voted democratic (or leaned democratic if I didn’t vote) in nearly every election since I started voting.

My Voting History

  • 1988: Bush 1 versus Dukakis
    I was 18 years old and at college in Utah. I didn’t vote and I didn’t pay too close attention to politics. I do remember thinking that Dukakis wasn’t too impressive. Bush certainly didn’t wow me either. I was pretty apathetic and certainly wasn’t interested in putting in any effort to register in Utah or do an absentee ballot, so I didn’t vote.
  • 1992: Bush 1 versus Clinton
    I was 22 years old and living in France. My mom sent me an absentee ballot. I remember filling it out and voting for Clinton. Since then, I have learned that absentee ballots are essentially never counted anyway.
  • 1996: Clinton versus Dole
    I was living in Utah and didn’t vote. But, I do remember thinking Dole was quite a chump. I would have voted for Clinton for sure had I voted.
  • 2000: Bush 2 versus Gore versus Nader
    I was still living in Utah. This was the year Nader got blamed for Gore’s loss. I remember buying into Nader’s description of both parties as equal. I remember thinking that they it didn’t matter who got elected because it would be “more of the same.” Had I voted, I would have voted for either Nader or Gore.
  • 2004: Bush 2 versus Kerry
    From 2000 to 2004, I decided that both parties were not the same. Bush was such a disaster and I wanted him to go. I decided that Nader was wrong–both parties are not the same. Surely Gore wouldn’t have gone to Iraq. Or, at least he wouldn’t have gone on false pretenses like Bush did. Surely a Democrat would not have instituted mass torture, started Guantanamo Bay prison or any of the nonsense Bush did. Like many, I was fed up with Bush, the Republicans, and their lies. I voted Kerry.
  • 2008: Obama versus McCain
    McCain turned from a reasonable man to a buffoon about the time he selected Sarah Palin as his running mate. And, Obama was so exciting. I had hope, like everyone else. I thought that Obama would go to Washington and turn around everything that Bush did. I believed Obama’s promises–get out of Iraq, shut down Guantanamo, restore our freedoms, etc. Of course, I voted for Obama and I had hope that we would get our country back (as if we ever had it).
  • 2012: Obama versus Romney
    I was still giving Obama the benefit of the doubt in 2012. I didn’t understand the significance of Benghazi (it was so new then). And besides, Romney was so clumsy with the media. I kind of liked him personally, but he looked like such an oaf. It wasn’t clear who was pulling his strings but it looked like someone was. I voted Obama. I even created a huge “anti-Romney Etch-A-Sketch” that I put in my front yard and put different silly things on it that Romney said.
One of the several Mitt Romney sayings I put up in my front yard in 2012.

A Single Issue Voter!

In 1999, I became a one issue voter. My single issue wasn’t abortion, the war, or guns. My issue was non-custodial parenting. I wanted a candidate to at least talk about non-custodial parents (and fathers, in particular) with some respect. I wanted someone to do something about the troubles that non-custodial parents faced! At a minimum, I wanted to hear a candidate admit that non-custodial parents are being shafted by the laws and the courts.

The closest I ever got to hearing a serious presidential candidate say anything was in 2008 when Hillary made some statement about a military father getting screwed by child support and the courts. I tried to find a link to this news story, but I couldn’t find one. I do clearly remember it happening and I decided that Hillary was my candidate. At least before Barack Obama beat her in the primaries that year.

Barack Obama and Claire McCaskill at a rally in St. Louis in 2006.
John Edwards at a rally in St. Louis in 2008. This is before he dropped out of the presidential race when he got his girl friend pregnant.
Hillary at a rally in St. Louis in late 2007.

On October 20, 2008, I went to a John McCain rally just outside of St. Louis. This was just days after I attended an exciting rally of over 100,000 at a Obama rally in St. Louis. While at the small and boring McCain rally, I was able to get close and ask McCain a question when he was shaking hands:

  • Me: “Is there anything you can do for divorced fathers to see their kids?”
  • McCain: “Yes sir.”
  • Me: “What can you do? What can you do for divorced fathers?”
  • McCain: [said nothing and walked off]

I was pretty sure this meant that McCain wasn’t going to do anything to help with my one issue.

Me and John McCain, right after McCain blew me off and ignored my question.
Me and John McCain, right after McCain blew me off and ignored my question.

Since 2008, I have slowly decided that there is, in fact, very little that the federal government is going to do to help non-custodial parents. Yes, I know, there have been some local (state) governments that have enacted better laws and even pushed for some judicial reforms. Yes, I still believe that a president could do something to help non-custodial parents. At the same time, I strongly believe that there will never be a president willing to say much in support of non-custodial parents. Perhaps, more importantly, my views on the government’s role in child custody situations has evolved over time. But, that is a story for another day.

Barack Obama

Since 2008, I have watched Obama not keep his promises. I have watched him not make the changes he promised to me and all the other voters. In fact, I have watched him increase the torture, double down on the war and let insurance companies write a health care bill that he keeps telling everyone is awesome.

I’m tired of the usual nonsense that I see from these politicians and it seems they are all the same. Yes, I’m back to believing what Ralph Nader convinced me of in 2000–the Democrats and the Republicans are all the same. I don’t want to vote for a Republicrat or a Demublican this time around. I certainly don’t want to vote for a member of an established Royal Family (like Hillary or Jeb Bush) or anyone else who has been part of politics for so long.

What about Bernie?

My Democratic friends (that is to say, most of my friends, as I expect essentially all of them to vote Democratic) are quick to tell me how different Bernie is. Well, maybe, but he’s been part of the problem in Washington since 1990. I do like Bernie’s passion and I find his goals of equality somewhat emotionally compelling. My problem is that his goals and methods to achieve them are not intellectually compelling. I have yet to hear what he’s going to do about our debt other than drastically add to it. All his solutions seem to be more government programs and more taxes. Especially more taxes for those evil corporations that are currently milking the government for more corporate welfare. These are, of course, the same corporations that bribe (I mean donate to) the politicians. Why not talk about eliminating the corporate welfare? And, Bernie will want more government programs, like all the earlier programs that have already completely mucked up all our lives. Bernie’s promises seem to be another Obama in 2008, but on steroids.

And, at this point, it looks like the Democratic nominee will be Hillary and not Bernie. Hillary is leading in the polls by about 15%. There is still a lot of time left and Hillary could always be indicted for her lying under oath or some other crime. We’ll have to wait and see how all this plays out, but it looks like Bernie still has a small chance to overcome Hillary.

Checklist of Issues and Concerns

Issue/Concern Favored Candidate
A single vote doesn't matter Any Candidate or No Candidate!
Republicans = Democrats Any Candidate or No Candidate!
The Establishment Sucks Not Hillary. Probably not Bernie either.
Hillary is a Liar! Not Hillary!
I love our government and want it bigger Bernie and Hillary!
I love that the US debt is $60K per person Bernie
I hate that the US debt is $60K per person Trump
Hated by both Democrats and Republicans Trump
I love the way the media treats politicians Hillary
I love when the media looks foolish Trump
I love bad hair Trump or Bernie
I like my president to receive money from corporations Hillary
I like my president to receive money from unions Bernie
I like my president to pay his/her own way Trump
I love immigrants and Sharia Law Hillary and Bernie
I'm concerned with immigrants and Sharia Law Trump
I'm concerned with fundamentalist religious cultures  Trump
I'm concerned with violence against children Trump

What about Other Candidates?

At the time of writing this, it looks like the only Democratic choices are going to be Bernie and Hillary. Martin O’Malley is still in the race but only polling at 2.4%, so he doesn’t have a chance.

There are more Republicans who might have a chance but they are well behind Trump: Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and Rand Paul. None are exciting. Ben Carson is the only other outsider. Carson might be good if you think watching a train wreck would be fun.

I guess I wish that “we the people” had a real choice. I don’t mean better candidates. I mean really selecting candidates, not having them selected for us by donors, corporations or political parties. We really only seem to get to choose between two dummies in November. Trump seems to be the most different, so it looks like I will vote for Trump!

Trump in 2016?!

The downsides of Trump

Sure there are downsides to Trump but I’m tired of reading article after article where the only complaint seems to be that he is gross or selfish. As if the other politicians aren’t! It seems to crazy to hear these sorts of comments.

I’m sure some are going to call him racist and sexist.  I’m so tired of those terms being thrown around like nuclear bombs. Those terms don’t carry the weight with me–I want to investigate the facts and I don’t see any smoking guns on the racism and sexism charges.

He isn’t great on many issues. Maybe even most issues. But……

The Upside of Trump

  1. Maybe Trump can expose the media and American can get a less-biased and more honest media. In any case, the way the media handle Trump is so entertaining that this entertainment alone might make having a President Trump worth it.
  2. Trump is appalled by spanking too! This is truly an inspiring thing to hear. I also understand that he has a good relationship with his children, despite his divorces and difficulties. You can read more about my concerns with spanking and bully parenting on my series of posts: Bully Parenting and Spanking.
  3. The insider Democrats and Republicans seem to hate him! How can you go wrong with such a person?

But Trump is such a $?#%!

I’m sure you’ve seen the social media posts. You know the ones with the basic argument: “Don’t vote for Trump because he’s so slimy” or “Trump is terrifying”. What I don’t understand is this. Are these kind people who are warning us of the dangers of Trump actually watching politics? Do they actually see the scumbags and liars that we currently have running this country? I’m sorry, but if you’re going to use the “Trump is Scary” argument with me, I’m going to need to know why you think he is actually worse than the people who are currently in office.

Trump in Person

I wrote a lot of the above before I had actually watched Trump speak or debate. Sure, I had seen clips that made fun of Trump on Facebook and Youtube. But, I hadn’t actually seen him speak. I finally watched Trump at the Republican primary debate on January 14 and he was more than I had hoped for. He was confident, had passion, had new ideas and made the rest of the Republicans look like a bunch of chumps. In fact, all the other candidates were so wimpy compared to Trump–submissive to both Trump and the debate moderators. After actually watching Trump in action I like him even more!

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