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Wednesday, October 19, 2016
David Gelernter, Someone Yale Probably Wishes They Could Fire
I’ll vote for Mr. Trump—grimly. But there is no alternative, no shadow of a responsible alternative.
Mr. Trump’s candidacy is a message from the voters. He is the empty gin bottle they have chosen to toss through the window. The message begins with the fact that voters hear what the leaders and pundits don’t: the profound contempt for America and Americans that Mrs. Clinton and President Obama share and their frightening lack of emotional connection to this nation and its people.
Trump voters have noticed that, not just over Mr. Obama’s term but in recent decades, their own opinions have grown increasingly irrelevant. It’s something you feel, like encroaching numbness. Since when has the American public endorsed affirmative action? Yet it’s a major factor in the lives of every student and many workers. Since when did we decide that men and women are interchangeable in hand-to-hand combat on the front lines? Why do we insist on women in combat but not in the NFL? Because we take football seriously. That’s no joke; it’s the sad truth.
What is our nation and what will it be? Will America go on being America or turn into something else? That depends on who lives here—especially given our schools, which no longer condescend to teach Americanism...The liberal theory is that, other things being equal, all human beings have an equal right to settle in America...But it is also too ludicrous to defend. Does all mankind have a right to camp in your backyard, eat in your kitchen, work at your office and borrow your best jogging outfit? We fail in our duty if we don’t think carefully whom we want in this country, who would be best for America.
Hold on, some of my fellow conservatives say. Never mind Hillary. Trump would be dangerous. He would further endanger our national security and world position. He might start unnecessary wars. He might even push the nuclear button. These are important objections, but after thinking them through I’m unable to take them seriously, either in political terms or psychological ones...Ordinary politics says that Mr. Trump will not do crazy things or go off half-cocked, because Republicans in Congress will be eager to impeach him and put Mike Pence in charge. That was the subtext of the vice-presidential debate, though Mr. Pence himself (probably) didn’t intend it. When it’s my turn, you can all relax. Democrats, obviously, will be eager to help when the task is removing a Republican...Impeachment is Trump-voters’ ace in the hole. It’s an abnormal measure, but this is an abnormal year...But Mr. Trump...will be impeachment bait. So will Mrs. Clinton. Even some Democrats have had enough.
Nothing can stop Mr. Trump from shooting off his mouth, but that’s all right. I want America’s enemies off-balance and guessing. For eight years it’s been Humiliate America season—buzz our ships, capture and embarrass our men, murder an American ambassador—a resoundingly successful attempt to spit in our faces and tell each one of us to drop dead. Thanks, Mr. President. Enough is enough. You know that Hillary is Obama Part III. We can’t let that happen. Parts I and II have brought us close enough to catastrophe.
That is the problem for those whose integrity or nobility won’t allow them to vote for Mr. Trump despite their dislike of Mrs. Clinton. There is only one way to take part in protecting this nation from Hillary Clinton, and that is to vote for Donald Trump. A vote for anyone else or for no one might be an honest, admirable gesture in principle, but we don’t need conscientious objectors in this war for the country’s international standing and hence for the safety of the world and the American way of life. It’s too bad one has to vote for Mr. Trump. It will be an unhappy moment at best. Some people will feel dirty, or pained, or outright disgraced.
But when all is said and done, it’s no big deal of a sacrifice for your country. I can think of bigger ones.
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