The 2016 Presidential Election

On the presidential ballet this November, there is no morally acceptable candidate.  A vote for Hillary or Trump is a vote for a morally unacceptable leader, an assent to the decision of a nation whose capacity for moral (good) decision making is broken.  There is a point, and we have reached it here, when participating in a “lesser of two evils” political calculation is unacceptable.  Good people must unite, and must unite in saying that this is wrong, that this is not good enough.  A vote is always a compromise, but there is a point when the compromises required to vote cause us to abandon fundamental moral commitments.  And abandoning our basic commitments, for whatever perceived political calculus, is anathema to any person of sound conscience, and perhaps more significantly, our democracy.

There is present in the arguments for Trump a fatalism, an assent to the liberal view of government:  a belief that this election and retention of the office of the presidency is all that matters, that it is our best hope for salvaging what is left of Christian culture and law.  But this is untrue.  The presidency is but one office in our republican government.  The president is not yet our King. There are other avenues for enacting good law.  There will be other elections, there will be other presidents.  By abstaining from voting for the office of the president, I will be able to stand before my fellow countrymen and say with total honesty that I rejected the evil choice with which I was presented in the year 2016. 

I encourage all fellow Christians, and men and women of good will, to do the same. 


Trump needs to step down.

Trump needs to step down.  Get out of the race.  Get out of politics, get out of the American public's eye, go away.  Shame on the Republican party and shame on all Trump's supporters.  This man is a national disgrace. 


what this election is about

Over the past half century, the Reagan years notwithstanding, our ruling class’s changing preferences and habits have transformed public and private life in America. As John Marini shows in his essay, “Donald Trump and the American Crisis,” this has resulted in citizens morphing into either this class’s “stakeholders” or its subjects. And, as Publius Decius Mus argues, “America and the West” now are so firmly “on a trajectory toward something very bad” that it is no longer reasonable to hope that “all human outcomes are still possible,” by which he means restoration of the public and private practices that made the American republic. In fact, the 2016 election is sealing the United States’s transition from that republic to some kind of empire.
Electing either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump cannot change that trajectory. Because each candidate represents constituencies hostile to republicanism, each in its own way, these individuals are not what this election is about. This election is about whether the Democratic Party, the ruling class’s enforcer, will impose its tastes more strongly and arbitrarily than ever, or whether constituencies opposed to that rule will get some ill-defined chance to strike back. Regardless of the election’s outcome, the republic established by America’s Founders is probably gone. But since the Democratic Party’s constituencies differ radically from their opponents’, and since the character of imperial governance depends inherently on the emperor, the election’s result will make a big difference in our lives.
Angelo Codevilla at Claremont