Thursday, October 27, 2016

Bill Weld Does the Right Thing


Gary Johnson's running mate - the one who actually has a clue what day it is - did something incredible the other day. Bill Weld issued a statement that every "undecided" voter toying with the idea of voting third party or Republican should read carefully and take to heart.

No, it was not an endorsement of Hillary Clinton, as many progressive websites are intimating; and no Weld is not stepping down as Johnson's running mate, nor is he urging Johnson to end his candidacy. But Weld did the next best thing: he made it crystal clear just how dangerous a Donald Trump presidency would be.
From the beginning of his campaign, Mr. Trump has conjured up enemies. First it was eleven million criminals in our midst, all bent on obtaining the benefits of citizenship, at our expense. Over time, the enemies became any trading partner of the United States. He says they are nothing but foreigners seeking to threaten our livelihoods. Now we have reached the point where his idea of America’s enemies includes almost anyone who talks or looks different from him. The goal of the Trump campaign, from the outset, has been to stir up envy, resentment, and group hatred. 
This is the worst of American politics. I fear for our cohesion as a nation, and for our place in the world, if this man who is unwilling to say he will abide by the result of our national election becomes our President. 
This great nation has weathered policy differences throughout our history, and we will do so again. Not in my lifetime, though, has there been a candidate for President who actually makes me fear for the ultimate well-being of the country, a candidate who might in fact put at risk the solid foundation of America that allows us to endure even ill-advised policies and the normal ebb and flow of politics. 
In the final days of this very close race, every citizen must be aware of the power and responsibility of each individual vote. This is not the time to cast a jocular or feel-good vote for a man whom you may have briefly found entertaining. Donald Trump should not, cannot, and must not be elected President of the United States.
I'll say this for Weld, he doesn't mince his words. He cuts right to the chase. And the fact that Weld has heretofore made no similar statement regarding Hillary, should imply that he does not view a Clinton presidency as a "lesser of two evils," as so many people have been foolishly saying. In fact, in an interview with Chuck Todd, Weld said, "I'm not sure anyone's more qualified to be President of the United States than Hillary Clinton."

Throughout this campaign, a number of Republicans have done the unthinkable: they've soundly rejected Donald Trump. It is an unprecedented move in American politics to have so many members of a major political party turn their backs on the party nominee for president. Not even Goldwater in '64 had such a defection.

To be clear, Hillary Clinton has many flaws and even more enemies, most of them Republicans. And you don't need to be a rocket scientist to conclude that there is no love loss between her and the GOP, or for that matter the vast majority of conservative writers and pundits, many of whom have spent the better part of the last quarter century trashing her. So it is nothing less than extraordinary that anyone within this lot would even contemplate not voting for Trump, knowing what that could mean.

What that tells you is that while they may hate her, they're terrified of him. In Trump, they see someone who doesn't just pose a threat to their party, but to the country as a whole. The fact that Bill Weld has now added his name to the growing list of conscientious objectors, hopefully will induce most if not all the fence sitters and third-party fanciers to wake up and smell the caffeine.

If the running mate of a presidential candidate who didn't know what Aleppo was and couldn't name a single world leader he admired could figure it out, no one has any excuses.

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