The Czar lives in a heavily Republican enclave in a deeply red county in Illinois; in fact, the Mandarin and the Czar often trade jibes with each other over whose home county is more conservative. It’s pretty much a tie.So it is with some interest that the Czar hears from countless neighbors about Donald Trump. While there is wide support for both Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio in about equal measure, and while we are surprised to hear Gov. John Kasich gets so much support in our county, we have yet to find anyone who is supporting Donald Trump except for a 12-year-old conspiracy theorist who attends the Цесаревич’s school. We hear similar stories from our many contacts around the country.
Yes, we know about the fictitious Pauline Kael quote, but the truth is that when you put a lot of Republicans together—whether in a couple of Illinois counties or in the virtual hell that is Twitter—the support for Trump is evidently lacking. This could of course explain why his popularity struggles to get above 35%, and why he struggles with closed ballot primaries.
Thus, we understand the frustration he presents: Trump does not represent the interests of a majority of Republicans. His actual support among Republicans may indeed be far less than the 35% he seems to maintain, if you subtract non-registered Republicans from his support. The point is that there seems to be a gnawing panic that someone who represents a small piece of Republicans could be the next nominee, if not even the next President. Further, we smell a general fear that a Trump presidency could destroy the Republicans right at the moment they were ascending in record popularity—as if this was Bill Clinton’s parting masterminded gift to the Democrats.
Well, now, look who is being the conspiracy theorist; although, the idea that Bill Clinton has ingeniously found a way to destroy the Republicans does explain a lot. But whatever. Oh, and there might be some evidence of his handiwork in Trump’s candidacy, but moving on.
So what is to be done, you ask? After a weekend of brainstorming with some pretty informed and intelligent folks, we noticed some patterns worth mentioning.
Trump does not have the nomination locked up, yet. But he’s getting close, and this will be the only way to stop him—actually stop—before a general election.
Everyone, from novice wank to degreed pundit, seems to acknowledge that if a single alternative were to emerge (either Cruz or Rubio), the rest of the party would coalesce around him and enjoy 65% support. There is enough time for that to happen before the primaries end, thereby terminating Trump’s candidacy by default.
Alas, we seem to be voting against that. We are voting for Cruz in enough numbers to make him a close second; and we are voting for Rubio in enough numbers to sustain his ongoing support. Plus, the polls continue to show a Rubio/Clinton match-up being an almost landslide for the Republicans with a guaranteed House and Senate to match.
So here is what you need to do if your state’s primaries are still approaching: find out who is running behind Trump and vote for him. Yes, Rubio fans: if Cruz is in second place behind Trump in your state, you vote for Cruz. If Rubio is behind Trump, you vote for Rubio. And Ohio voters—assuming Kasich stays in second place behind Trump going into Election Day—you vote for Kasich.
Look, you have to choose here. You may be a die-hard Cruz supporter. Rubio may be the greatest thing every for you. You might like or detest Kasich. But odds are you cannot abide the thought of a Trump presidency even worse.
Let’s be honest: a President Cruz wouldn’t be that bad. A President Rubio would be very good, too. Even a President Kasich would be acceptable. If they somehow won the nomination without Trump, you would cheerfully pull that lever in the General, right?
Do what you need to do to get Trump in second place in your state primary.
All right, none of you listened. The Cruz-heads all voted for Cruz; the Rubio fans all voted for Rubio, and no one voted for Kasich. Trump gets enough delegates to prevent a brokered convention. Thanks a lot: just remember your fingers pulled the trigger on this circular firing squad. Ya’ll bitch about and wear tee-shirts and slap on bumper stickers about how America is done for; you have only yourselves to blame.
It’s Trump versus Hillary. What are your choices now?
Option 1: The Republican Veep
Pay particular attention to who the vice-presidential candidate is for Trump, because it’s not inconceivable that President Trump will become tired of this shiny object and bail. Or he’ll be arrested and expunged within two years. There’s a reasonable chance that his running mate will wind up being the actual president.
And if not, he or she could be the acting president when President Trump whispers in the Oval Office that he has no clue what he’s doing and needs advice. One way or another, Trump’s running mate will wind up in either real or effective control of the country.
That could be a reason for disgusted Republicans to take a deep breath and vote for Trump, assuming he picks a really good partner. And with his history, well, it could go either way.
Note: Gov. Chris Christie? Probably not, Chris, given that there are sound historical reasons to pick a vice-president from a totally different part of the country. Two loud-mouths from the greater New York area? Clinton wins easily.
Option 2: Going for Hillary
Well, a Republican would have to really detest Trump to vote for Hillary, but there are rumblings that many of us do hate him enough. Devil you know, and so forth.
Okay, but this is going to sound just like Option 1: you better know who the vice-president will be, because that person will almost certainly become President. Since a president cannot pardon herself, and with funnel clouds appearing in her storm cloud horizon, Hillary Clinton will not enjoy an Inaugural honeymoon: she will almost certainly and immediately become bogged down in perhaps the most obvious scandal in presidential history. To mix metaphors further, she’s listing badly before even leaving port, like the Eastland disaster.
If you vote for Clinton, just be really sure who the vice-president is going to be for the first six months, because odds are good that’s your actual president in the seventh month.
Option 3: Not Voting
Oh sure, you’ll fill in your circles for your local senators and representatives and county commissioners, and all that, but you will leave the presidential circle clean and unblemished. This is supposed to make you feel better about things. “Oh, I didn’t vote for Trump,” you’ll say, sleeping better at night as we get hit with a horrible recession and the rest of the world riots. Assuming Trump or Clinton wins.
Anyway, that is a choice, and while it technically is not the same as not voting at all, it isn’t going to save you any more than a Coexist bumper sticker will save you from a carjacking.
But whatever you want to do, pal. By the way, the Czar hasn’t ruled this out for himself.
Option 4: Third Party
This would actually work, provided we all agreed on what that third party should be. Libertarians? Maybe, but the Czar thinks they’re childishly naive on foreign policy. The Constitution Party? Maybe, but they aren’t formally putting a candidate out there. And the other parties are too single-issue to be of much good.
As you recall, the Czar dislikes third parties because of this, and indeed even if we all agreed to do this, we’d vote for different parties. Hell, we couldn’t even decide between Rubio and Cruz, who are more alike than dissimilar on every real issue. How do we think this is going to work?
Well, you might do this, if you’d like to see some of these smaller parties get a little more attention and funding in 2020. Assuming there’s an election that year; one doesn’t know anymore.
Option 5: Write ‘Em In!
This one seems to be gathering some momentum, and makes a lot of sense. You could have Trump get 40% of the vote and a write-in candidate get 60% of it, which might be enough to defeat Clinton.
Or it might not, depending on how the Democrats get people motivated enough to vote for her. (Hint: right now, they’re not.)
But who will the write-in candidate be? Well, folks are whispering Mitt Romney, and others Paul Ryan. Unfortunately, however, the actual choice is up to you, and your inability to vote for Rubio or Cruz in the primary is what got us here.
Just don’t write in “Mickey Mouse” or other gag answers. A lot of curmudgeons think this is funny, but in fact the tired and bored vote counter who see it will just throw your vote away. Your so-called protest vote? It has zero effect and won’t even register on the consciousness of the election official who voted for Sanders.
“Dear Lord, Fred McVanderPastel of Macon, Georgia, wrote in He-Man for President. Such sarcasm! We must immediately purge the GOP of all these non-serious influences and stock ourselves full of Coolidges!” Doesn’t ever happen.
If you’re going to write in, pick the person you actually want.
But don’t think the Czar believes for a second your backup plans in the General will matter if we keep screwing up the Primaries.