When I wrote this post, I knew it would cause some consternation, and it did. I wrote it after becoming disgusted with Alyssa Milano, Kamala Harris, and all the other passionate #MeToo advocates who insisted that a decades-old, recovered memory, conveniently-timed, recited-in-a-baby-voice accusation against a distinguished judge nominated for the Supreme Court was sufficient to disqualified him for that office because respecting “women/victims/survivors” was a paramount and non-negotiable value in our society, but that a more credible accusation by a Presidential candidate’s former staffer alleging a more serious sexual assault by that man should be shrugged off because beating Donald Trump is more important than those same values we were told could not be outweighed.
I realized, as every day the latest outrageous trick, lie or plot from the Axis of Unethical Conduct (that’s Democrats, the “resistance”, and the news media) dragged me closer to a decision to vote to re-elect the President, that if I reached that decision I would be doing exactly what the #MeToo hypocrites are doing.
Oh, I could rationalize a difference: their convictions regarding Trump are based on propaganda, Big Lies and impeachment cabals, and they are, in the case of the Milano types, ignorant of the threat to democracy that today’s Left poses, and in the case of Harris, Klobuchar, Pelosi, Warren, and the rest, they are part of it. My problem is different, as it stems from the fact that while one choice this November is undeniably worse than the other from an ethical perspective, making either choice requires me, as an ethicist, to contradict the principles and values I spend all day and all year trying to promote.
I have to pick an ethics system, and after reviewing the ethics decision-making models, I believe in my case, where integrity is crucial, the system to be applied is Absolutism, where the Rule of Universality applies. The only other choice is the most brutal form of utilitarianism, the ends justify the means. I feel that if I choose that I should author an apology to all of Biden’s #MeToo supporters (and Bill Clinton’s too) and pack it in. Kill Ethics Alarms, close down ProEthics, and become a porn flick director.
Here is Humble Talent’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Declaration: I Know Who I Won’t Be Voting For In November, And Why:
I think that as a Canadian, I can take a step back and look at this from a different view from people in America.
Frankly, I get this. 100%. I’ve been really struggling talking to some of the people I used to talk with constantly, because I find them… aggravating. It’s like there’s an Anti Trump-Derangement Derangement, where people that have held conservative beliefs for their entire life all of a sudden turn on a dime to defend Trump from what they would have called out 10 minutes ago from anyone else. i get how it happens, Trump has been under siege for years and it’s sometimes hard to figure out whether or not the criticism laid at his feet is legitimate or not. But frankly, sometimes it isn’t hard at all to point out when the criticism is legitimate or not, it is, and the response from previously thoughtful commentators is so obviously mired in this deep morass of tribalism, except instead of a left-right tribalism, the crux of the differentiation is a type of blind loyalty to Trump. I don’t find that interesting, intelligent, thoughtful, or even particularly honest.
Loyalty to Trump is not a defining principle of conservatism. It’s even less of a defining principle to any other ideology, other than Trump’s cult of personality.
That said… I think the issue here is that you’re acting like a single issue voter, but in reality, no one is. The math on this would be a little different if there was even the outside possibility of a third party candidate gaining a plurality, but there isn’t. Not this time. Frankly, Trump has been too good at his job, and his supporters are to energetic to peel much off from the right, and the people that hate him hate him with a burning passion that rivals the sun, and they’ll vote for a poorly animated corpse to beat Trump.
So your choices, for better or worse, are:
1) To hold your nose and vote for Trump, both to stave off the progressive left for another four years, and because you haven’t turned your back on every principle you hold outside of ethics.
2) To stand on the principle of ethics, and vote third party, secretly hoping that enough other people will do The Dirty Thing and vote for Trump, because really… You don’t want Joe to win.
3) Jump in a vat of acid, because fuck everything.
I have real empathy for number three right now. But failing that, while I hate what Trump has done to the political discourse, and while I’m constantly annoyed by the problems he makes for himself by being a poorly spoken boor with at least the affectations of a lack of intelligence, the fact of the matter is that he has actually done a pretty good job; His judicial appointments have been excellent, his work at de-regulating… basically everything… was long overdue, his tax reform was effective, and the most meaningful tax reform done in my lifetime… Even the things that I disliked, like the conditions in the border camps, he fixed those! Progressives are still butthurt that they exist, but the conditions are better now, and I still think the camps are necessary. There is precious little that I can point to and say: “Y’know what? He really dropped the ball there.” And I think there’s something to be said for that raw level of effectiveness.
The question is if the stand on ethics is more important than ceding all that to a barely coherent walking corpse and the president-to-be of his VP, which will end up being whatever black woman pops up first on Craigslist.
In 2016, I said that were I an American, I would hold my nose and vote for Trump, because Hillary deserved to lose. I had great reservations on whether or not Trump would govern conservatively, because frankly he’d been a New York Liberal all his life, and he wasn’t exactly your normal “family values” candidate.
In 2020, we’ve seen what Trump is, Joe deserves to lose, and I have much less reservation on Trump’s ability to govern, or the leanings of his policies.
Just imagine if he hadn’t spent the last four years fighting Russian Collusions or Ukrainian phone calls.