I cast my vote in South Carolina’s Republican presidential primary via email yesterday. Because when you consider the polar opposite amounts of competence and corruption in our current government, exercising your civic duty with the same communication mode that all your dad’s friends use to forward around conspiracy theories and bad jokes just seems like the secure way to go. I’m sure [cough, cough] that my vote will be counted. At least I tried.
To be clear, I would not count the email with the subject Fwd:Fwd:Fwd:Fwd: DEMOCRATS MURDERED ANTONIN SCALIA as one of those conspiracy theories. I’d file that one as Within The Realm of Reasonable Possibilities. Is it really that hard to believe that they would murder in the pursuit of their cause? For decades they’ve been actively encouraging the killing of millions of defenseless babies in pursuit of their sexual jollies. Why not Scalia, too?
And that brings us back to Saturday’s presidential primary. Who do you trust to nominate someone like Scalia to the Supreme Court? Who has the guts for that type of fight—because he’s going to have to fight both the Democrats and the weak-stomached Republicans. Speaking of weak-stomached Republicans, just asking these questions assumes that the GOP Senate will not fold up like origami elephant for the rest of Obama’s term. That is a BIG assumption.
This leads to another question. Who is not like those weak-stomached Republicans, who bend whichever way the Washington political class tells them to? That leaves Cruz and Trump. If you read my satire piece yesterday, then you’ll see why I can’t vote Trump. It turns out that once your scratch past most of Trump’s bluster, he is too much like the rest of the GOP establishment class—amoral, self-interested, and all-to-willing to compromise on core principles.
So I cast my lot with Cruz. I still had to hold my nose at a few things, most notably his awkward pauses and squinting. I also don’t care for his inflated defense budget or his bad habit of putting a red, white, and blue veneer on Christianity. But overall, I think he is the best guy left. He’s a proven conservative, undeniably pro-life, has a brilliant legal mind, is a constitutionalist, has a tolerable foreign policy, and will drive progressives batty. In this field, that’s enough for my vote.
But nobody in Washington likes him; he’s a nasty guy! The fact that people in Washington do not like Ted Cruz is at the top of my list of reasons of why I do like Ted Cruz.
What about the other guys? I’ll try to sum up the other candidates in a few sentences each, which should make it obvious why I don’t think they are up for being president.
Ben Carson—I’m not sure if he is running for president of the United States or of Mars. He always seems to be unaware of what’s going on around him, occasionally bringing his attention back to earth to make another bad joke about not getting enough speaking time during the debates. He’s a nice guy, with some good ideas, and will make a great surgeon general.
Marco Rubio—Honestly, I wanted to devote a whole post to the baffling question of why people fawn over Rubio. Of course, the answer is that he is young, ethnic, handsome, and has a cool last name. He’s the Republican Obama. Never mind that he is a people-pleaser who changes his positions on key issues so that the Important People will like him. Never mind that he is rehashing old George W. nation-building foreign policies—you know, the kind that led to ISIS; the kind that will get us into another war to overthrow a leader, this time in Syria. Never mind the lame tagline, “A New American Century.” And never mind that he wants to conscript your daughters for war.
Jeb!—”Geez, I mean, come on guys.” That’s really all I hear from Jeb! He really should replace the exclamation point and be Jeb:/ He’s a big lump of boring. And he’ll be open borders and open war. I’m fascinated by the Bush family. But no thanks, not again.
John Kasich—John Kasich is like a televangelist. He’s full of smiles and positive vibes and we-can-do-this! platitudes. And all the while he’s taking your money and spending it elsewhere. Kasich is a Government Believer; this is a time for a skeptic, someone recognizes the limits of what a government is able to do.
Tomorrow my fellow South Carolinians will go to the polls to do their part in selecting the next president. I’m hoping everyone wakes up from their Trump-drunk stupor, but I’m not counting on it. People are angry—and rightfully so—and Trump personifies their anger. Unfortunately, he does not personify our ideals. Still, South Carolina will probably vote Trump.
And that makes about as much sense as trusting your email ballot will be counted.