By guest author Kevin Horgan.
First, the man we love to not love… Donald Trump. I confess that I base my vote on a single topic. I know he is pro-life, at least has been for five or six years, which is fine if it is sincere in his heart, even better that he acts on it, but his stand in this and other issues is only a political calculation, and one I support. He has sacrificed nothing to make it. Pro-lifers make a sacrifice supporting him and are a crucial part of his base.
I see politics like this: of 100 people, 45 will vote for the democrat, and 45 will vote for the republican. This is a fairly consistent model, and get-out-the-vote efforts target these fairly reliable numbers.
But it’s the middle 10 percent who run the country. They run our businesses, our towns, our councils. They coach kids and volunteer at the food bank, they go to work every day and hope they’ll make it home in one piece. The middle 10 percent check on their neighbors after storms, watch each other’s kids cross streets, sacrifice and save, and pray just like reliable democratic and republican voters… but they do not see themselves as partisan.
Most people believe they are in that middle 10 percent. But the numbers don’t lie. And here we are. A woman ran for president in 2016 and should have won in a walk. She had more money, was more serious on issues, had been a political insider and expert on these issues for over a generation, and had the media behind her… the same media that created her opponent.
But she didn’t sell the middle 10 percent in the right states. Say what you will about Trump, a man who always manages to find a personal insult in every discussion, whose bark is thunderous to himself but whose bite lacks intellectual teeth, who is morally indefensible, a really icky dude, well, he hit the 10 percent hard.
So did President Obama in ’08 and ’12. Look at the demographics. The people who elected Obama twice, a fraction of that middle 10 percent, went for Trump. Same people. Not all of them, certainly, but enough of them. In our generation we have seen two huge examples of this: Florida in 2000, and the election of 2016. Every vote counts.
Both parties recruit. The trick is getting people to consider going against their idea of the moment in order to preserve their interests now and in the future… and in their children’s future.
Politics is mostly a 50 meter target: necessary to hit first, even easy targets, but sometimes failing to acknowledge the farther targets that pose a threat. Even existential ones. We should not get wrapped up in the day to day too much… it clouds judgment if all we do is react. And then people protest for someone whose name they forgot, and throw a brick for no reason at all, or scream expletives at cops like that makes them tough guys… or gals… It’s the unreasoning of it that I believe is evil. Yes, ignorance and rage are evil.
As an aside, ever notice that the biggest mouthpieces, the people apologizing to and supporting the ones masked up throwing crap and harassing people? They are predominantly white, left wing, and have had the benefit of an affluence and education. I am not saying a good education, just an expensive one.
Our nation does not need a lecturer in chief, and has never had a moralizer. We need effective execution of well-debated and thought out legislation, with judicial discretion of the unintended and unanticipated. People, good citizens, need freedom to act and have confidence in the laws that govern all.
Our discourse has swirled into a toilet of shouting matches exacerbated by the media.
A media blatantly in the tank as anti- Trump. Yes, fake news not only exists, it thrives. There is no more even handed reporting… you are either for us, or agin us.
What we need, and I am happy to press it, is an Article V constitutional convention. It comes about if two thirds of state legislatures, or a two thirds vote in BOTH the US House and US Senate, call for it.
Bring the state leadership together and debate it all: term limits, a balanced budget, gerrymandering, senate composition, the electoral college, and yes, the Bill of Rights.
I suspect we will find more common ground than ever. We may decide that what we have is pretty darn good.
Our system ain’t perfect, but it is designed for equality, and the ultimate arbiter of that is the vote. Lets all vote for the level of civility we know we can aspire to.
Kevin Horgan is an author, retired attorney and Marine. His work can be found on his blog Our Culture Inchoate, and his books, including his most recent novel A Face on the Flag, are available at Amazon.
This article was originally published by Our Culture Inchoate on 7/24/20.