“Fuck Your Vote!”

That’s what I have been hearing ever since the morning after the presidential election. That what I keep hearing on most cable television and on National Public Radio. That’s what I see in most of what I read, and that’s what I am told is being published in the liberal print media I stopped reading long ago. That’s also what I find when I go slumming in left-wing sectors of Facebook.

No one has actually told me directly, in those exact words, “Fuck your vote,” not yet, but that’s what the ceaseless hounding of Pres. Trump means: My vote for him ought to be ignored; it can’t possibly count. If you had not had any news for six months, you would think that there had been a coup in the United States; that a horrid, caricature capitalist had taken over the country by stealth and by force, both. You would guess that the intellectually and morally live segments of American society were resisting a brutal takeover as best as they could. You would not guess there had been a hotly disputed election, fielding 16 viable candidates on one side.

A grass-root movement with a strategy

The verbal lynching to which Pres. Trump is subjected on a 24-hr cycle is not a conspiracy. There is no secrecy to it. It’s all overboard. It’s a regrouping of the political establishment, of the 90% leftist media, of the 90% leftist academia, of the vast tribe of government bureaucrats, of the many others who live off tax revenue, of the labor unions leaders, of the teachers’ unions, especially. So, after a fashion, it’s a genuine grass root movement. It’s a grass root movement of the well-bred and of the semi-educated who spend all their time – always did – feeling “appalled.”

It’s not a conspiracy but it’s a deliberate plot. It has a strategy: Hound him until he loses his cool completely. Harass him to the point where he cannot govern at all. At worst, we can keep him so busy his intended policies kind of vanish. The Santa Cruz AM station where I had a political show for three years has its own well-known, semi-official leftist caller, “Billy.” Billy thinks he is well informed and a genuine, deep-thinking intellectual because he is leisurely. In fact, he does not work for a living; he lives off his rich wife instead. (I would not make this up.) He called the station about two weeks before this writing to sound off on one thing or another that the president had done or said. Then, he declared straightforwardly, “We are hounding him out of office,” and also, with commendable clarity, “It’s a slow coup.” I would not have dared used these words in my conservative (“libéral” en Français) polemical writing, too provocative, possibly exaggerated.

Or take this short, childishly coded message I picked out from from an ordinary left-liberal’s Facebook page:

“47 could end up being Pelosi if we drag it out til 18.”

Translation: the current minority leader in the House could become the next president (the 47th). If we drag what out? For overseas readers and for American readers who went to the beach when the US Constitution was taught in high school: What has to happen before the minority leader of the House of Representatives becomes president outside of a presidential election? The constitutional order of succession if the president dies, in any way of manner, or becomes incapacitated, or is remove from office for any reason is this: Vice-President, Speaker of the House. In the partial elections of 2018, Nancy Pelosi may become Speaker of the House again. She would automatically become president if and only if both President Trump and Vice-President Pence were eliminated. Hence the FB message: Keep up the harassment. Note: Some readers might think I am making this up. I will give the name and FB address of the person from whom this is taken to anyone asking me privately.

What does not revolt me: Donald Trump is a bad person

What is it that makes me angry? Let me begin by telling you what does not make me deeply angry.

First, everyone here and abroad has every right to dislike Mr Trump personally, Trump the man. There is a lot I don’t like about the man myself. He talks too much; he is ignorant of many things; his ignorance does not stand in the way of his having strong opinions about the very same things; he often talks before he thinks; he brags too much; he is too frequently crude. (Actually, I am of two minds about the latter. Official crudeness may be the form that starting to roll back political correctness must take.)

I did not vote for Donald Trump because I loved him but mostly because of the character of the only, single alternative to him at the time of the presidential election. (Keep in mind that Sen. Sanders was not on the ballot. Remember what happened to him?) I had no illusions from day one. I knew that Mr Trump is not at all like suave President Obama, for example, who was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize within barely ten months of taking office.* I voted for Trump also for policy reasons. I thought there was a good chance he would appoint a conservative Supreme Court Justice, as promised. He did, within days. I thought he would deregulate to some extent. He is doing just that. I thought we stood a better chance of having serious tax cuts with him than with the Democratic candidate. I still think so. Tax cuts are the most direct path to vigorous economic growth, I believe. (Shoot me!)

A short digression: As I was writing this cri du coeur, the liberal media were exulting about President Trump’s loss of a few points of general approval. (Actually, it’s about the same as Bill Clinton’s at the same period in their presidencies.) They don’t mention that there is zero evidence that he has lost any ground among those who voted for him, that they feel any voter remorse. Myself, I like him better than I did when I voted for him. He has begun to make America stand up again. He has been a bulwark against several forms of hysteria – including Endofworldism – to a greater extent than I counted on.

What does not revolt me: Opponents trying to stop and sink his program

The second thing to which I do not object in the treatment of President Trump is legislative maneuvering. Democrats and dissident Republicans have every right to block and undermine Mr Trump’s legislative programs, be they tax cuts or “the wall.” (Personally, I want the first ones and think of the second as a silly idea.) The media have every right and sometimes an obligation to support this exercise in checks and balances between executive and legislative that is at the heart of the US constitution. No problem there either. I understand that when you win the presidency, in the American system, that’s all you have got, the presidency. After that, you have to convince Congress to pay for what you want, for what you (conditionally) promised.

What annoys me without revolting me: the courts’ usurpation

The Founding Fathers decided that courts had to be able to curtail or block just about any executive or legislative action. This, to make extra sure that neither branch of government could ever create unconstitutional law. This, to avoid the tyranny of the majority. It often rankles but that’s how our constitutional democracy works. Accordingly, the third going on that annoys me but that I accept is the several courts’ endeavors to stop the president from taking the measures he thinks necessary to keep the country safe. (I try to distinguish between dislike and a negative judgment of illegitimacy. This distinction is a the heart of the problem about which I am writing.) I accept, for example the decisions of the two or three courts who stopped the presidential executive order banning the admission of peoples from a handful of countries. I accept them, although:

Public opinion and – I think – one court, call it a ban “on Muslims,” even if only 9% of all Muslims worldwide would be affected; although half of those are citizens of a country – Iran – that is the declared enemy of the US and officially a sponsor of terrorism as far as we (Americans) are concerned.** and ***.

I accept it although there is nothing in the Constitution that prevents the executive branch from stopping people entering the US based on their religion.

I accept it although there is no part of the US Constitution that recognizes any rights to foreigners who are neither under American jurisdiction nor at war with the US.

I accept it although there is a statute, a law, that explicitly gives the president the right to ban the entry of anyone for any reason.

I accept these court orders but my acceptance is a testimony to my strong commitment to constitutional democracy.

Now, on to what I object to deeply and irreversibly in the attacks on the president.

Extirpating electoral legitimacy

What really, really disturbs me are the nearly daily attempts at removing, at extirpating the legitimacy of the 2016 presidential election results, the desperate and brutal, unscrupulous attempts to make people believe that Mr Trump is not really president. They make me livid because they are not attacks on Mr Trump but rather, they are attacks on me. They are assaults on my right to exercise my constitutional right to cast my vote and to have it counted. And also the rights of sixty-three million Americans**** who voted as I did. The slow coup against Mr Trump defies reason and it resembles nothing I have seen in fifty years in this country. It does remind me of several historical precedents though. (Look up “March on Rome,” you will be amazed.)

More than the mechanics of democracy is at stake. The principle of government by the consent of the governed itself is under assault, the attack is systematic and unrelenting. When I cast one of approximately sixty-three million votes for Donald Trump, I thought I was choosing the lesser of two evils. That’s nothing new; I don’t remember ever voting in a national election for someone who inspired enthusiasm in me. And perhaps, that’s the way it should be. Enthusiasm about a person may not be even compatible with democracy. Free men and women don’t need saviors and they are leery of leaders, even of leadership itself. Be it as it may, I cast my vote as I did and no one (that’s “no”) has the right to try and nullify it, to cancel it. As I write this self-evident truth, I fear that many of the people still having hysteria about the 2016 Democrats’ failure are not sophisticated enough to understand the difference between opposing the consequences of my vote through accepted, traditional parliamentary and judicial maneuvers on the one hand, and nullifying my vote, on the other hand.

Fascism is neither of the left or of the right. It thrives on moral confusion and on bad logic. Hysteria is its main sustenance.

“The Russians” made them lose everything

The daily assault on the Trump legitimacy changes form almost every day. Right now, it has been focusing for several weeks on alleged Russian intervention in the presidential election.

It matters not to the Trump haters that in 2016 Democrats lost everything they could lose besides the presidential election: governor races, state legislatures, Congress. This swath of defeats seems to me to indicate that the Democratic Party in general was not popular, forget Trump. If “the Russians” had actually handed out the presidency to Mr Trump, there would still be a need to explain the Democrat routs at all other levels. Did “the Russians” also organize the rout, including of county boards of supervisors, and at all other minute local levels?

It does not matter that Mrs Clinton was never made to explain how and why she caused to erase or ditch 30,000 emails belonging to the government, a cynical suppression of evidence if there was ever one.

A considerable work of imagination

Thus far, the mud has been thrown at Mr Trump and at his whole team, at any one who has ever met him perhaps in connection with “Russian” interference in the presidential election. Mud has no shape; it’s amorphous. I don’t know about him but when I suspect someone of something, the something has a shape, at least a rough description. You never say, “I suspect you,” but, “I suspect you of X or of Y.” The Trump accusers have never been able to reach even that primitive level of concreteness. None of them has (yet) been stupid enough to suggest that the Russian secret services hacked or tricked up the voting machines in the hundreds of jurisdictions that would be needed to make a difference. So, what have “the Russians” done, really?

The most tangible thing they have against the Trump campaign to-date is a supposition, a product of the collective imagination, and it need not even involve Trump or his agents at all. What we know is that someone hacked the Democratic National Committee emails. Some contents were leaked by Wikileaks which did not say where it got it from. Wikileaks has friendly links with Russia. It’s possible Russians hackers gave it the info. If this is what happened, here is what we still don’t know:

We don’t know that those imagined Russian hackers worked for Pres. Putin. Entrepreneurial Russian hackers have been dazzling us for twenty years. The DNC email seems to have been poorly protected, anyway. A Putin intervention is superfluous in this story.

Furthermore: Do you remember what Wikileaks disclosed (thanks to “the Russians.”)? It showed that the Democratic establishment engineered, by cheating, the defeat of candidate Sanders in the Democratic primary elections. In my book, the anonymous, perhaps Russian, hackers deserve a medal, an American medal for casting light on dysfunction and plain dishonesty within an American political party. The Congressional Medal of Honor is not out of the question, in my book.

Moreover: The leftist media keep referring to “collusion” between members of the Trump campaign and some unnamed Russians. Sounds sinister, alright. But as the Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, – a Democrat – pointed out recently, “collusion” is not illegal. It’s what you collude to do (rob a bank) that makes it criminal. Colluding to eat a pizza is not criminal. Mr Trump and his entourage are daily accused -without proof – of having committed acts that are not illegal.

The first Comey testimony

The 06/08/17 open, public Senate Judiciary hearing of dismissed FBI Director Comey was awaited by the left and media, and also by some genteel Republicans, like the Roman plebe awaited the lions’ feasting on the Christians. That hearing was a disappointment too. I am writing here as if I thought every word uttered by Mr Comey were exactly true (100% true) although there is no reason to do so. The hearing showed ex-FBI Director to be a leaky wimp, of shaky integrity caught in corrupt and difficult circumstances, first under Obama with the Clinton Follies, then with the unpredictable Trump presidency. It did showcase a great deal of inappropriate behavior by President Trump. But the hearing did not even begin to point to any illegal behavior on the part of the president, not to a single whiff of illegality. If you don’t trust my legal judgment (although I watch many crime shows on TV), refer again to Democrat and Harvard Law School professor Dershowitz who thinks as I do on this issue. The fact is that hardly anyone, possibly no one, voted for Mr Trump because of the appropriateness of his behavior or of his statements. If anyone was about to do so during the election, the airing by the Clinton campaign of a tape describing Mr Trump’s manual approach to seduction would have cured that illusion.

Next?

Personally, I think there is nothing to investigate. Nevertheless, I hope the Special Counsel (a friend of Comey’s, it turns out) will do his job of investigating the possibility that President Trump did whatever he is supposed to have done with I know not what Russians. There is a chance that merely having a single person in charge – what the left demanded – will reduce the daily din of anti-Trump insults. There is even a possibility that it will allow Pres. Trump to get to work on some more of the projects***** for which I gave him my vote. If the investigation reveals real illegal behavior by Mr Trump, felony-level crimes, I think he should be peaceably removed from office, with Vice-President Pence taking over as required by the US Constitution. Anything else, any other succession would be a form of fascism. Any other scenario of Trump removal turns my attention to the Second Amendment (me and hundreds of thousands of gun-crazy, church going “deplorables.”)

How it will end

I don’t see a reasonable finish to all this unless the president is found guilty of something. When the smoke finally clears, when the investigation of President Trump’s collusion to do whatever with whatever Russians ends, I think there is no chance that the matter will be finally put to rest. If the Special Counsel that liberals clamored for concludes that Mr Trump and his whole entourage never committed any illegal act in connection with the 2016 election, there will still be voices pointing out that an intern on Trump’s campaign once ate Russian caviar on a date, which raises serious questions! Or something.

The undisputed fact, that Mr Trump’s improprieties revolt many who voted for the only real alternative, is not an argument for overthrowing an elected government. They are the same people who tried to elect – directly or indirectly – an old woman apparently in failing health, a lackluster former Secretary of State, at best, a person who campaigned incompetently, a candidate for the highest office who never managed to articulate her vision of government, a person who cheated during the primary election, one who ended up losing against a rank political amateur who spent less than half the money she spent on campaigning. With a large majority of voters guilty of such a poor choice, this country has bigger fish to fry, I would think, than presidential rudeness and/or insensitivity.

Conclusion

Dear Trump–hating fellow citizens: One thing that did not cross my mind when I voted was that should my candidate win – a long shot at the time – there would be a massive, multi-pronged endeavor to make believe that I had not voted, or that I had voted other than the way I voted, or that my vote somehow did not count. I thought I was living in a democracy. I assumed the democracy was lodged not only in the rules we follow to form governments but in the hearts of my fellow-citizens. I assumed that the rules were internalized, that they were part of the moral baggage of everyone including those whose vote countered mine.

If you will not accede to the modest wish that my vote should be honored, why bother with elections at all? They are costly and disruptive, they often disappoint, sometimes more than half of the population, and they provide many opportunities for the expression of deplorable taste. Why not, for example, convene a governing directory selected by an assembly of university professors, of well-bred employees’ union leaders, of Democratic politicians, and of media personalities (excluding Fox, and also Rush Limbaugh, of course), all chaired by the Editor-in-Chief of the New York Times?


* Just because you ask, I will tell you that I am guessing that the silly old men of the Norwegian Nobel Committee actually thought they were giving the Prize to the American left electorate for electing a Negro (“neger,” in Norwegian). It’s also a fact that Mr Obama always looks good in a suit.

** To my overseas readers: It was not Pres. Trump who designated officially Iran as a sponsor of terrorism. It happened several presidential administrations back, many years ago.

*** I wonder if the said executive order would have been acceptable to the courts if President Trump had thrown in say, a Buddhist country or two, and a pair of Catholic countries from South America, for example, like this: ban on admission to the US for citizens of Somalia, Yemen, Laos, Syria, Paraguay, Iran, etc.

**** Note to my overseas readers: That’s 2.8 million fewer than won by candidate Clinton. In the US system the candidate who obtains the largest number of votes cast by citizens (the “popular vote”) does not necessarily win the presidency. We have indirect elections instead. This may seem strange but the fact is that neither big party has ever really tried to change the constitution in this respect. So, after the two Obama victories, no one in the Democratic party said, “We have to change this system to make sure the popular vote prevails.” And if we had a popular vote system, all candidates would have campaigned differently. Mr Trump might have won the popular vote handily, or Mrs Clinton may have won with a margin of ten million votes or more; or the Libertarian Party may have received enough votes to deny either candidate a majority. There are many other possibilities in the world of “what if….”

***** Some of his campaign promises are being fulfilled at a fast clip in spite of the ceaseless persecution to which the president is subjected. The loosening of the regulatory hands of the Federal Government on the economy’s neck, for example, is going well.

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14 thoughts on ““Fuck Your Vote!”

  1. Wow. It’s taken me a while to decide how to react. Best way is to play it straight, no snark or anything. I’m sorry that politics has been so traumatic for you. I have no advice to give.

  2. No reply expected. I tried to go beyond the universally contemptuous and fallacious media treatment of Trump voters. “Traumatic” is not the word. I am not crying (like a snowflake). I don’t even want to think yet about the next step.

  3. My two cents: the media is doing a great job. It is sometimes embarrassing (Russia), but overall you want a rabid, even hostile, media when it comes to government.

    Too bad criticism is non-existent when a Democrat is in office…

  4. “Too bad criticism is non-existent when a Democrat is in office…”

    C’mon let’s try to keep this a sarcasm free thread. I empathize with Jacques’ pain and rage. Democrats dealt with Fuck-Your-Vote for 8 years from 2008 through 2016. Alternatively think back to idjits telling Libertarians that voting for Johnson was a foolish waste of your vote.

    • I understand your point, and I agree with your assessment. Republicans are hypocrites.

      Can you agree that the mainstream press is also hypocritical? (Because it tilts Left but claims not to.)

  5. “Can you agree that the mainstream press is also hypocritical? (Because it tilts Left but claims not to.)”

    Yes, but with 2 important caveats. The first is that the big content providers have largely gone the ‘infotainment’ route in pursuit of ratings and money. Why provide information when you can have a panel of well coiffed bubbleheads talking over one another. IMO, the tilt to the left is far outweighed by the tilt to inanity. The second is that the very term ‘mainstream press’ has less meaning every day. I’m a geezer so I remember the days of 3 tv networks and a handful of big daily newspapers. My kids find the very thought amusing. Tons of different info sources….makes it very easy for everyone to live in their own bubble of confirmation….

    • I can buy that, for sure, but remember which age demographic overwhelmingly represents the US: geezers. Decades of having only “3 tv networks and a handful of big daily newspapers” (thanks to government rather than market regulation) produced a lot of angry people.

      On the one hand I can blame them for Trump, on the other I totally understand where they’re coming from.

      • If there’s anyone left to analyze you in 2050, I hope they’ll be a little more gentle than you were on your forebears. The tiny handful of government-enabled megacorps that controls our internet access and normative boundaries is far more powerful now than they were in 1917.

      • Hmmm.

        Demographic realities that can be quantified and expanded upon theoretically or “tiny handful of government-enabled megacorps that controls our internet access and normative boundaries.”

        I’ll take unicorns and fairy dust for $500, Alex.

        That was bitchy, I know. In the interest of serious discussion, I’m open to your theory of government-enabled megacorps (the US used to have only 3 TV networks, after all), but I’d need examples. ABC, NBC, and CBS can be quantified. Which companies (a “handful,” which would mean 5, correct?) control our internet access and normative boundaries?

      • A number of superficial factors probably cause us to think we’re disagreeing, when we’re really not. You could go on Google as easily as anyone else could, and look up the parent companies that control the “television and newspapers,” which you have identified as heavily consolidated, and you could along the way notice that those same parent companies also control a commensurate share of “the internet.”

        In 2017, the control that those companies enjoy over internet hosting and access is not complete. In all technicality, local sub-sub-subsidiaries could hold legal title to some subdivision of the internet and/or internet access. The same has always been true, though, of the old-fashioned media you decried earlier. There have always been pitiable faux-equivalents of non-mainstream access to communications media: independent or public-access television and radio; CB and Ham radio; handing out VHS or audio cassette tapes; printing cheap pamphlets or independent newspapers, et cetera.

        Your perspective, from 2017, enables you to look back on that era and see that all of the supposed independence and freedom was actually a fake. By controlling radio device interference statutes and regulations, airwave licensing, the distribution of public funds to paper publishers, and the coordinated dissemination of predetermined news topics, the conglomerates were functionally able to dictate what the vast majority of people knew and talked about, despite the technical ability of independent pamphleteers to print and distribute their own viewpoints. Things are much the same today, where we perceive a vast freedom in the internet due to theoretically independent hosting and comments sections, while in fact, we lack the power to collect and channel public opinion toward non-mainstream topics. We’re so ecstatic at “our” success in making and using the internet that we’re sure things are completely different now than when those ignorant geezers had nothing but a few channels and two local papers to choose from.

        The ability still possessed by the media cartels–the ability to coordinate news from multiple sources worldwide, while overtly or subtly disparaging alternative sources, and to establish via public education standards the intergenerational inherent mockery of what is no longer or never was mainstream–makes the internet function no differently than industrial mass media ever has.

      • “The ability still possessed by the media cartels–the ability to coordinate news from multiple sources worldwide, while overtly or subtly disparaging alternative sources, and to establish via public education standards the intergenerational inherent mockery of what is no longer or never was mainstream–makes the internet function no differently than industrial mass media ever has.”

        Holy shit, I haven’t seen a 1 sentence paragraph in quite a while. You should consider reading this asap….

        “Consequences of erudite vernacular utilized irrespective of necessity: problems with using long words needlessly”. Applied Cognitive Psychology. 2006. 20: 139-156.

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/acp.1178/full

      • With an angry flash of buttocks, the dominant male vacated the premises. I recognized the behavior, but not the motivation for it. Only when I reviewed Wilson’s notes from the prior expedition did I realize that my failure to make a sufficient show of deference to the alpha had been at fault. After that mistake, my ensuing actions could only be taken by such beings as hostility. This challenged the group’s presumptions of authority, making it still more difficult for them to concentrate. A certain young male in particular began to throw hardened feces which he had collected in a pile beneath the waughanut tree. I will admit to any who read this account, as these mahogany missiles rained down, I had some doubts about the integrity of my profession, but these were later assuaged by Samantha’s most capable attentions.

        Dwelling as they were on the edge of the volcano, there was little need to speculate as to the reasons for their developing a belief in, and corresponding fear of, the “fire spirits” that filled their wanton dreams. Indeed, lacking this motivation, their seasonal dances would probably not have been held at all. I slept close to the old blunderbuss that night, fearing a punitive raid, but when I awoke in the early hours, there was only the quiet rustle of bala-bala leaves, and the ever-present rumble of fire in the volcano’s throat.

      • Wow, that’s good. Really good. In my opinion you’ve come very close to replacing Professor Pinnochio as the preeminent spinner of fiction on NOL. In one swell foop no less. He will be tough to dislodge though….are you familiar with his work on Viking Cowboys in Greenland?

  6. I’ve read about this in guidebooks, but never actually seen it firsthand, so please excuse my naïveté. My understanding is that some centuries ago, the sons of the mighty god Britannicus were endowed with the power to create a contract binding upon all peoples who lived in the center of the North American landmass, and that this contract granted to such peoples various guarantees, called “rights,” that were enforceable by some manner of ethereal means. What has me confused is that the demigods are reported to be deceased, and the power to enforce the contract and its guarantees seems to be exercised in an arbitrary and capricious nature. The post’s original author wrote that he was “offended” by a violation of his hypothetical guarantees appurtenant to said legendary agreement. My question is this: is this statement of offense a means by which one hopes to conjure the demigods’ return from the afterworld, to enforce their will? Or is it an attempt to convince other believers of the need to rally an army to enforce those guarantees itself, without awaiting salvation from Britannicus or his purported offspring?

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