I’ve noticed that the conservatives and everyday Republicans on my facebook feed have been silent ever since Trump won the primaries. I think I can practically see them silently mouthing “no. no. no” in growing horror as the race goes on. But I haven’t heard anything from them.
I also haven’t heard anything pro-Trump. In fact, I don’t think I personally know any Trump supporters. I probably went to high school with some (but we probably weren’t in the same class); I’ve probably passed some on the street or faced them from across the checkout counter. Two weeks ago I was talking to a blond embassy wife here who looks very much the (friendly, nice) suburban Republican when the elections came up. “I usually vote Republican,” she said, “but I don’t know what I’m going to do this time”.
First off, if you’re still considering voting for Trump, then you clearly need to read this accurate assessment of his capabilities from this brilliant brit:
Notwithstanding the prior existence in European politics of pervy, orange billionaires – hello, Silvio Berlusconi! – it was almost impossible to take Donald Trump seriously. The hair! The word salad! The absence of any political positions! The bizarrely cheap-looking suits!
Surely, surely, the religious right had to object to a three-times married modeliser with a history of leching to Howard Stern? And why the fuck would ANYONE believe a self-proclaimed billionare who goes to the White House Correspondents Association Dinner and the Met Gala and invited the Clintons to his wedding is an anti-establishment candidate on the side of the poor folk? How could a man whose ex-model wife has a heavy accent – and whose model agency appears to have broken immigration laws – go out there and rant about immigration? It just didn’t make any sense.
Obviously, if you’re like the average GOP voter I encountered in Bishkek, Trump just isn’t a decent candidate. And he isn’t at all a sensible candidate for ‘the little man’. But we all know that already. But what I have to say is, don’t just not vote! I know, I know, some of you may not like Hillary. To be honest, she’s steel-faced and not very likable. But that’s ok! We don’t need a likable president. We just need one who can enduringly command respect and make decisions that, though we may not like them at the time, we at least have to admit were made with sound logic and after a bit of actual research. We need a president who can be trusted to represent America in international conferences without pissing off half the world’s elected (and non-elected) leaders. We need a president who can actually conduct themselves properly in public. We need a president who will actually care about developing good policy (even if their idea of good policy isn’t the same as yours). In short, we need a president who will actually try to do a decent job as president and has the temperament and experience necessary to follow through.
So please, instead of not voting (or casting your vote for some third party candidate we all know won’t win, which is almost the same as not voting), vote for the one candidate who has some actual experience and will predictably take us through the next four years.