“Oh God, no.” Those were the first words I said to myself late Tuesday as I followed the incoming results on Twitter of the GOP Super Tuesday primaries. No, not this. Is this really where we’re at as a country? At the precipice of the end of our beloved Republic? No. It can’t be.
Are we seriously going to elect a criminal, scandal-ridden do-nothing or a self-service con-man? Out of a population of over 300 million, this is the best we can do? After last night, the answer is apparently: yes. At least, that’s how it felt reading through my Twitter timeline from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. Wednesday morning.
As a small “L” libertarian, this is the most painful election I can remember in my young 30-plus years on earth. I was a Republican. I was an Independent. I was a Libertarian. Now I’m a Republican again. Not because I believe in their party or their platform, but because I believe in Rand Paul and wanted to have a say in the Kentucky caucus to get him the nomination.
That Ledge Looks Awfully Tempting
Unfortunately, Paul graciously stepped aside before I got the chance. So, what am I supposed to do? Vote for Ted Cruz, whose love of the Constitution I share? Vote for Marco Rubio, because I believe he’s most electable? Or do I still vote for Paul because he’s the one candidate I agree with more than 90 percent of the time? One thing is for sure: I will never vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Ever.
Chances are, my vote won’t mean anything like it does every other election, primary or general. Kentucky is a red state and will go for whomever the GOP nominee is this November. Most likely, my one vote for Paul won’t affect Cruz’s or Rubio’s respective delegate totals.
Regardless, this is a dilemma many like me are facing. The GOP is having an existential crisis and many, like myself, feel the party has left us behind. It’s still unbelievable to me that the party is so incompetent that it’s seriously considering an Obama-like demagogue as its nominee.
But, here we are. Like Scott Stapp, I’m six feet from the edge and thinking, Maybe six feet ain’t so far down.” My friends and family want to throw in the towel and just say “Screw it.” Some are in denial, others are ready to celebrate the end of our republic. “We’ve had a good run!” If these are our choices, why not let it all burn to the ground?
Four More Years Is All
Here’s why: we can survive this. It’s not as dire as it seems. Wait, before you walk out, listen to me. We survived Jimmy Carter. We’ve survived Barack Obama (barely). We survived a freaking Civil War. We are the greatest country in the history of the world.
Four. Years. That’s it. That’s all we have to get through, regardless of whether it’s Clinton or Trump. Neither one will be re-elected. If it’s Clinton, the new GOP can go back to its deep bench and easily produce an electable alternative. If it’s Trump, surely the Democratic Party will come back to earth and stop bringing forward uber-Left socialists that I can support in the general. (Actually, on second thought, that’s not going to happen.)
My point is that our republic can withstand a terrible presidency. We’ve already had two in my short lifetime (Bush 43 and Obama). “But Congress will be decimated!” Fear not. The straight-party ticket will not be what it usually is this election cycle. Party loyalty is at an all-time low. Locally, just look at the election of Matt Bevin as governor of Kentucky. Kentuckians voted for who they wanted for each respective position, regardless of if they had an R or D next to their names. I feel this will be the same nationally come November.
The United States will still be around when my son, who’s less than five months old, is four years old. The republic will not fall. Yes, it’s going to be hard and it’s going to be painful. But I still believe Americans love liberty and will eventually come to their senses. Both parties are in for a rude awakening this November, whether it’s President Clinton or President Trump giving the inauguration speech in January 2017. We will survive.
And if not? We’ve had a good run!