This will be my last blog post about the current election until November 9.
You cannot rationalize with irrational people.
A therapist once told me that and, as I grow older, I find that this little maxim becomes more and more true.
It applies to the current political landscape. A gulf has emerged, as symbolized by the feud between pro-Trump pundits like Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham and #NeverTrumpers like Bret Stephens and Jonah Goldberg. These folks were once on the same side, bound together by common principles and political enemies, but the invasion of Trump into this election has thrown everything and everyone asunder.
It’s one thing for the left and the right to come into conflicts of personalities. This is the natural outcome of a system that was designed to be adversarial. The left excels at name-calling and dirty attacks. But when Republicans start doing it to each other, it’s time to withdraw. There is nothing to be gained by below-the-belt fighting. These tactics may suit Donald Trump, but I thought Hannity was better than that. Obviously, I was wrong.
This kind of dirty pool has even crept into my personal life. Several friends and family members have started to sharpen their arguments with personal coercion when I state that I will not vote for Donald Trump. This disappoints me, but it is indicative of a larger truth that has shown its ugly head this year. It is best expressed by Bill Kristol who says, “Trumpism corrupts.” There is ample evidence of the truth of this statement. I have never seen an election so rife with pettiness and ranker than this one. Yes, that includes the Bush/Gore fiasco in 2000.
So, as of right now, I am done. I am finished posting various rants and raves about a political contest that started in the basement and has graduated to the sewer. I am following my dad’s example and am going to be a class act in the face of further bullying from the Trump camp. I am secure in my decision not to vote for Trump and have nothing to prove to anyone. I suggest those of you #NeverTrumpers adopt the same mentality. Hunker down and ride out the next two-and-a-half months quietly and gracefully.
I will impart one final truth before I conclude. In a free and open society, no one is obligated to vote for a candidate. A vote is the most valuable form of political currency. The best politicians learn how to woo voters, not bully them. In other words, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Sadly, Donald Trump never learned this very basic lesson and it will be his undoing (and that of his loyal base) in November.
If you want to continue to take an interest in my political machinations, you can follow me on Twitter at RyanO218.
Finally, a note of hope in these murky times. Despite the fear and anger from both the right and left, our country will survive, no matter the outcome in November.