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Presidential Horse Race 2016: Heaping a little junior-high level peer pressure on the #NeverTrump crowd

Taking a look at the presidential race as a whole and the Republican race specifically, one thing I’m continually amazed by is the intransigence of some folks in the #NeverTrump camp.

Of course there are the Bill Kristols of the movement who think they’re clever by repeatedly claiming they’ll bring forth an independent candidate who has credibility, financing and name recognition and then trot out David French as the embodiment of that ideal. French may be a fine man, a constitutional scholar and a war veteran, Peer pressurebut hardly anyone has a clue who he is.

(Note: Maybe French came to his senses…he announced he will not run.)

The #NeverTrumpers would be much better off urging someone like Peyton Manning to run – he’s a Republican (or at least he appears to be), he’s available now that he’s no longer throwing footballs for a living, he’s independently wealthy because of his huge playing contracts and lucrative endorsement deals and even that tiny percentage of people who don’t identify him as a quarterback probably have seen his catchy Nationwide or Papa John’s commercials.

He’s also used to making speeches and answering invasive dumb questions from the media.

Uh-oh, I might have just planted a seed in the #NeverTrump brains. But then again, Manning probably already supports Trump like his longtime rival Tom Brady.

Regardless of the candidates, #NeverTrumpers are still insisting it doesn’t matter who’s on the ballot because failing to cast a vote for The Donald does NOT mean they’re helping Hillary.

Leon H. Wolf of RedState writes, “One of the things that pundits of marginal intellectual heft who are mostly into politics for the bloodsport like to say is that anyone who votes for a third party candidate in November is basically voting for Hillary…

“The argument, if you can call it that, would not be tremendously persuasive if it were true. In fact, it doesn’t really pretend to be persuasive; it’s just naked junior-high level peer pressure that proceeds from the erroneous assumption that the Republican nominee is somehow owed votes from anyone who has ever voted Republican before (like me).

“However, we don’t really even have to engage that, because it turns out that it’s not true. In order to believe that this were actually true, you’d have to just not understand how elections work in America.”

Count me as one of those with “marginal intellect” employing “junior-high level peer pressure” and failing to “understand how elections work” in this country, because I truly believe a vote for someone other than one of the two major party candidates in a national election equates to a vote for the side with the poorer candidate.

Trying not to sound condescending here, but in the United States, the Democrats and Republicans (who were essentially the descendants of the Whig party of the 1830’s and 40’s) have won every single presidential election since the founding of the Republic. True, the parties weren’t perfectly formed in the earliest days, but even back then the factions were coming together.

George Washington disavowed many a friend because they were too involved with parties, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in particular. It’s a fact – look it up.

Simply put, in America, you must choose between the two major party candidates if you want your vote to matter. Most years, people complain endlessly about those two choices since it’s more than likely their preferred candidate was elbowed out of the process rather forcibly by the establishment favorite of their party.

If you don’t believe it, ask a Bernie bro about his faith in the system this year.

I personally liked Ted Cruz very early in the process and decided he was the best candidate about halfway through the fall of last year. I made arguments in support of his candidacy every which way in trying to move people towards Ted, including lengthy dissertations against Donald Trump’s dirty tactics on numerous occasions.

It was all to no avail. Trump won. He’s an imperfect candidate whose statements are all over the map and his demeanor is unorthodox to say the least. There’s no guarantee he’ll be a good president seeing as many like me are still unsure he’s a very good man.

But one thing’s for certain: he is superior to Hillary Clinton, and in our system of government, that makes him the only other candidate on the ballot in my mind.

The #NeverTrumpers seem to forget that the office of the presidency means much more than just what transpires in the Oval Office. As the head of the executive branch, the president appoints hordes of people who will make decisions of their own on how to run the government. They’ll decode statutes. They’ll handle administrative law questions, make interpretations and rulings that will impact every one of us.

These are the unelected people staffing all those federal buildings in downtown Washington DC and across the country that grind the enormous gears of the federal government. The president is only the top of the proverbial food chain there – the rest of the folks do all the work.

I may only have a “marginal intellect” according to Mr. Wolf, but I am aware that it is better having conservatives and in some cases Republicans making those decisions than left-wing ideologues who pretend to know more than anyone else acting in the same capacity. People who are driven by agendas that have nothing to do with making sure the American People are served well and our liberties protected.

Then there’s the Supreme Court, military, etc. to consider. Whomever Trump appoints to those positions has got a near 100 percent chance of being higher in character, beliefs and capability to whomever Hillary would put in those places.

So yes, #NeverTrumpers, a vote for anyone other than Donald Trump does equate to a vote for Hillary. If Trump falls one vote short of winning a state and its electoral votes, it means those disgruntled Trump non-voters could have influenced the REAL outcome in the election. And because of it, someone like Loretta Lynch or Eric Holder is going to be in charge of enforcing federal laws for the next four years.

As Richard Viguerie said so eloquently last week, “If you are #NeverTrump you are #4Hillary”.

So perhaps it’s time to take a piece of Wolf’s advice and head back in time to our junior high peer pressure days when things were a little simpler and we were able to see right from wrong -- if not always choose to do it. I’m ready to play some kickball right about now.

Hillary says Government has a “right” to place limits on the Second Amendment

For those holdouts who still insist their vote for a third-party candidate would not aid in Hillary Clinton’s quest for complete government control, consider the almost certain Democrat nominee’s stance on the Second Amendment.

Gabby Morrongiello of the Washington Examiner reports Hillary told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Sunday in addressing the subject, “I think that for most of our history, there was a nuanced reading of the Second Amendment until the decision by the late Justice [Antonin] Scalia, and there was no argument until then that localities and states and the federal government had a right (emphasis added), as we do with every amendment, to impose reasonable regulations.

“So I believe we can have common-sense gun safety measures consistent with the Second Amendment.”

Wait a second. Government has a “right” to impose reasonable regulations? Citizens have rights. Government has duties. What a twisted piece of logic. Pathetic. And this woman is a lawyer, too.

Hillary went on to say some of the earliest laws passed concerned firearms. She’s right. Every citizen was required to own guns in the Colonial Days. Again, look it up.

I don’t believe even the most ardent Second Amendment supporter would argue there are absolutely no limits on the right to bear arms, but the restrictions Hillary is talking about are not the same as you’d find on other constitutional rights, such as refraining from yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater as a limit on free speech or granting reasonable leeway for police to search and investigate under the Fourth Amendment.

The only absolutes are those unalienable rights granted by God, namely, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Property (Ed note: thank you to my friends at Colonial Williamsburg for clarifying the subject).

The Right to Bear Arms is a freedom the Constitution provides citizens for their protection against an overbearing government. Hillary, on the other hand, adopts the modern view of the subject, basically that guns are only for hunting and there’s no reason anyone should have them except for outdoor sport or in very limited and heavily federally regulated cases, personal and home protection.

As one of the favorite punching bags of the Left, gun owners are depicted as wacko potential sociopaths. As if the only reason to own a firearm is to kill someone.

Maybe in Chicago that’s true, but then again, all of those murders are from illegal guns anyway.

Donald Trump has wavered on the subject over the years, but it’s clear now he is better on the issue than Hillary. If keeping your right to bear arms is important to you, there IS a clear choice in this election.

I would love to hear the #NeverTrump people dispute that fact.

Trump switches from “Lyin’ Ted” to “Lyin’ Hillary”

You had to know it was only a matter of time, but Donald Trump is no longer calling Ted Cruz names and is back to telling people about what a great guy the Texas senator really is.

Kerry Pickett of the Daily Caller reports Trump told a California audience last week, “’So we started off with 17. When you have 14, 12, 10, 9, 6 people, even in New York, I had three. Two good guys — Ted Cruz and John Kasich, but I had three.’

“Trump appeared to notice some in his crowd were calling Cruz ‘Lyin’ Ted Cruz,’ the moniker he branded the Texas Republican with.

“’No, I want to save that now for Hillary — lyin’, lyin’ Hillary — lyin’. She is such a liar. Ted Cruz is no longer a liar. We don’t say Lyin’ Ted anymore. We love Ted,’ said Trump, as the crowd cheered louder. ‘We love him. Right? We love him.’”

Before your jaw drops with Trump’s rapid change of heart and tone from just a little over a month ago, consider he always does this type of behavior. He’ll say something outlandish to keep attention on himself and the other person off-balance, then come back and fix it sometime after.

His words don’t exactly constitute an apology, but for Trump to say he “loves” Ted Cruz now is something to behold. Isn’t politics grand?

I’m not sure Cruz himself will be so quick to forgive, but time heals all wounds. At some point I think Ted will realize he didn’t lose in the primaries because Trump persisted in calling him a liar. Trump won because he was the outsider people gravitated to this cycle.

Everyone knows Ted Cruz is still one of the most respected conservatives in the country. We don’t need Donald Trump or his “love” to confirm it.

Politics never stops. Potential 2020 candidates are sidestepping the issue of Trump

Finally today, if you already believe the endless coverage of the 2016 election has been excessive, get ready for the barrage about to begin for the next presidential election. You know from the start there are going to be a lot of references to 2020 being a “vision” election where we’ll need to “see clearly” into the future.

I can almost see the “20-20 vision” ads now. It’s going to be an interesting one, that’s for sure.

At any rate, some Republicans are apparently already setting the wheels in motion for a run.

Alex Isenstadt of Politico reports, “The 2016 GOP convention is still weeks away, but would-be contenders – from Ted Cruz to Tom Cotton -- are already laying groundwork for the next Republican presidential primary. While some are lining up blue chip staff, scheduling trips to early primary states, and setting up political action committees, others are huddling with the party’s biggest financiers.

“But they’re all struggling with the same conundrum: How to get around Donald Trump.”

Isenstadt’s article details the preparatory activities of several potential 2020 candidates, speculating a great deal on who might run and what they’re doing to build a campaign base.

Of course Ted Cruz is one of them. Freshman senators Ben Sasse and Tom Cotton are two others.

I think this type of crystal ball political soothsaying is a tad premature, especially since there’s no way to know at this point whether Donald Trump is going to win in November, and if he does, if he’ll decide to run for reelection after one term.

Simply put, if The Donald likes being president, I would think he’ll give it another go. He’s already talked openly about a second term, so we know he’s thinking about eight years in office, not four. While there’s no way to know how popular or unpopular he’d be in 2020, it wouldn’t make sense for him not to run again.

Guessing about potential rivals’ thought process on whether or not to support Trump now to avoid ramifications in several years is the epitome of putting the cart before the horse. Let’s revisit the subject again after we know whether Trump will be measuring the drapes for the Oval Office in November.

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No not voting for Trump is NOT the same as voting for Hillary. Serious Constitutional Conservatives have repeatedly said NO to Trump. Those in support of him said they did not believe as we do they could get him elected without our vote. Do it! No party voting this time, no lessor of two evils. #NeverTrump means no lowering values or throwing the Constitution in the toilet. My vote, My right.

The Constitution

The only ones throwing the Constitution in the toilet is the Congress, one Congress after another has allowed both the Executive and the judicial branches to gain more authority over the Congress.
When Congress ignores the Constitution and the power it gives them and not use that power then the Constitution becomes meaningless.
Both parties have allowed this to happen over the past decades.
People get elected to Congress to represent the people not the President even of their own party. Party loyalty has to be pushed aside when any President of either party exceeds their authority as described in the Constitution of the United States of America.

Half a vote?

Switching a vote from A to B changes the difference between their totals by two votes.
Changing a vote from A to C reduces A's vote total relative to B by one vote.
So maybe a vote for a certain loser like Perot, Nader, Gary Johnson, or David French counts as a half vote for Hillary, but it improves her position just as surely.

Just ask Romney, who lost by roughly the number of voters who John H Sununu pissed off at the 2012 convention, when the party moved to shut out Ron Paul's supporters rather than let the ballots play out.
Before the convention, the libertarians would mostly have voted for the winner - after the convention, they were certain to stay home.

Never Trump = Always Dumb!

I have reservations about a President Trump, but I am as certain as I can be that we don't want the Red Queen in charge!

Why #NeverTrump = #4Hillary

True it is your vote and your right, but when Hillary starts trying to take our guns and close our churches then its a problem for all of us; mine if I lower my standards and vote for Trump and yours even if you don't...

It is still necessary to confront The Donald via Ted Cruz...

...for he risks losing unless he chooses the CORRECT Veep, and he invites the ongoing pressure from Conservatives when he continues to act divisively.

Third Party votes

As a 65 year old registered democrat that could never bring myself to vote for a democratic Presidential Candidate but did vote for the third party candidate ever since I registered back in 1972. I viewed my vote as a protest vote.
I could not vote for the democratic Presidential candidate because of the direction they were taking the country in. It has gotten worse in every election cycle.
I could not vote for many of the Republican Presidential candidates because I did not want my vote to validate the republican views that the problems we face as a nation are a result of the so called entitlement programs.
I find it very distasteful to hear the likes of paul ryan say on the one hand that Social Security and Medicare are destroying our economy but on the other hand say that we need more immigration to fill jobs that Americans supposedly do not want to perform. The only jobs that should cover by that claim is in the agriculture industry. The hospitality, construction, meat packing and other industries that were once filled by American citizens are now guaranteed to immigrants both legal and illegal.
Yes, by all means paul ryan lets do away with Social Security and Medicare and keep the benefits for all the aristocratic political elite like paul ryan and harry reid soon to be collecting a wonderful retirement package at the expense of the American working taxpayers. Bring in more immigrants and put them to work because they will work for less then we do not have to worry if they make enough to replenish the funds in either of the programs.
So this election will be the first election that I can actually vote for a republican and say THIS IS MY PROTEST VOTE against the aristocratic political elite establishment. I would have rather been able to vote for Senator Cruz as my protest vote but I guess trump will have to do.

So perceptive

I think a whole bunch of consistent voters can identify with you, jon. They will ALL show up to vote.