I’ve voted in 7 different presidential elections, from 1988 to 2012. In those elections, I have never voted for a Democrat, and every Republican I’ve voted for had the last name “Bush” (don’t judge me!). In three of the elections, I either voted a write-in or third-party candidate. Here is my voting record:
1988 (Bush/Dukakis): I had just turned 18 and didn’t know much, but knew I was not a liberal, so I voted for Bush.
1992 (Clinton/Bush): Didn’t know a whole lot more, but knew Bush would be better than this upstart Arkansas governor.
1996 (Clinton/Dole): This was the first time I didn’t vote for the GOP candidate. I thought Dole was a terrible candidate and only got the nomination as a gift for decades of service to the party. I voted for some third-party candidate I now can’t remember.
2000 (Bush/Gore): I believed Bush when he said he was a conservative. At the time, I wasn’t as suspicious of government power as I am now, but I figured Bush would be a limited government guy, which was good. Oops.
2004 (Bush/Kerry): I voted for Bush again, but honestly I don’t know why. I didn’t support the Iraq War and thought Bush was way too big government. I regret this vote.
2008 (Obama/McCain): At this point I soured completely on the GOP and thought McCain would be a worse version of Bush. So I voted third-party, again for someone I can’t now remember.
2012 (Obama/Romney): See 2008, but this time I wrote in Ron Paul.
But in the past couple of years I came to the conclusion that I would almost certainly vote for the GOP candidate in 2016. Not that I’m a fan of the GOP – they have drifted further and further away from my libertarianish/social conservative views. But after seeing the damage Obama has done in the past few years (particularly with Obamacare and the attack on religious liberty), I was willing to hold my nose and vote for the lesser of two evils. My candidate is Rand Paul, who is closest to my views, but I would vote for just about any GOP candidate in the field…even another Bush (sigh).
But then Donald Trump came along.
Like everyone, I didn’t take Trump seriously for months. I figured he would fade and would drop out of the race before Iowa. But now we are only a week out of primary season and he is the clear front-runner, with a great chance to win the GOP nomination. So much for my resolution to vote GOP.
If Trump wins the GOP nomination, I absolutely, positively, without exception, will NOT vote for him. I don’t care if he is running against Hillary (yikes!) or Sanders (double yikes!), I will not cast my ballot to him.
1) Trump is a Wild Card
With Clinton, Sanders, Cruz, Rubio, Paul, etc., you basically know what you are getting. You might not like it, but there won’t be any surprises. With Trump, you have no idea who you are voting for. Will he be conservative or liberal? Big government or small government? There is no way to know, because he will just be whatever is best for him, not for the country.
2) How He Treats His Opposition
The way Trump treats those who oppose him (like Megyn Kelly, who I didn’t even know before her fracas with Trump) shows someone who will destroy others if they get in his way. Is this really someone we want with the full power of the presidency behind him? Frankly, Trump seems to have the heart of a fascist. I shutter at the thought of the IRS, NSA, FBI, CIA, and Homeland Security under his power.
3) I See No Reason to Vote for Him
Is Trump for small government? No. Is he pro-life? Doubtful. Is he against the Surveillance State? Absolutely not. What about him makes me want to vote for him? Nothing. I understand voting against a certain candidate, but I need at least one reason to vote for someone as well.
I guess my days of voting for quixotic, no-chance candidates might not be at an end, after all…