I voted for you in the 2012 presidential election, and I still think you’d have made an uncommonly good president. I was pleased to hear that you’re running for the US Senate seat which Senator Orrin Hatch will vacate at the end of his term. I’ll be eager to see what you can accomplish.
I’m sure you want to make a difference for Utah itself, not just for the country. So I have an idea for you. First, I’ll tell you what it is. Then I’ll explain.
I propose that you change your party affiliation from Republican to United Utah, then run for that party’s nomination for US Senate.
If you do, I will join that party too, and many others will also, I expect.
You’ll have little difficulty getting their nomination. Right now their website lists no candidate for that office, but even if there is opposition, you have enough support in Utah to win. You could simply urge your supporters to join the United Utah Party, so they can vote for you in its primary. If they’re Republicans now, as I was from age 18 through August 2016, they probably already know that most of the Utah GOP leadership doesn’t want you or them. If they’re unaffiliated, as I am now, perhaps it’s because the feeling is mutual.
Once you’re on the general election ballot, party affiliation won’t matter much. You’ll win in a landslide, assuming you’ve campaigned effectively at all.
I can’t say it was my favorite birthday ever, or even a particularly good one, but it was an interesting evening. And long.
If you prefer to skip my due diligence — my recap of the races on my ballot and my predictions for them — and scroll down to the heading “Now What?” below, I won’t be hurt. Actually, I won’t even know.
As I write this, it’s unclear what the final electoral vote totals will be in the presidential race. They say a few races are still too close to call: New Hampshire (probably Clinton), Michigan (probably Trump), Minnesota (probably Clinton), and Arizona (probably Trump). The present totals without these states are 279 for Mr. Trump and 218 for Mrs. Clinton. A win is 270 or better, a majority. If the four states I named go as I indicated, he’ll finish with 306, and she with 232. It’s a resounding victory for Mr. Trump, even though the popular vote totals at the moment seem to have him up by only one-fifth of a percentage point. (See my notes on the Electoral College.)
Here’s my arguably handy, definitely idiosyncratic election guide for the 2016 general election. I considered posting it earlier for once, for the benefit (or at least bemusement) of early voters like myself, but Life Beyond the Blog (LBB) got in the way. Again.
I’ll tell you how I voted (or didn’t) in each race on my ballot, and I’ll tell you more or less briefly why. In some local or state matters, I’ll offer some detailed information along with my opinions. To the extent that the names and races on our respective ballots overlap, I hope my thoughts will at least be interesting. Or slightly and intermittently amusing. Or vexing. Or whatever works for you.
My friends, welcome to The Freedom Habit, where we gaze into the abyss and report back, so you won’t have to.
You’re welcome. I’ll tell you how to thank me later.
The second presidential debate was Sunday evening. It was calculated by some to be the end of Donald Trump’s campaign, in the wake of some lecherous old audio someone released last week. It wasn’t that. Whether he won or not, I don’t know, but he survived for the moment.
I won’t say it was pretty.
I’ll tell you what I thought, and some of what was said, but if you want to be comprehensive, you’ll have to contemplate the abyss yourself. Video and a transcript are easy to find on the web.
It’s up to you to decide which of my thoughts are subjective and which are objective. I simply represent them as what I thought, either during or after the spectacle.
We’ve entered the post-Labor Day season, during which, by tradition, many voters will begin taking our presidential race seriously.
Meanwhile, many of us have already been paying attention, and we like what we see far less than usual. We’re doing things like leaving our political parties and wondering if our deluded country isn’t worth our political exertions any more.
It’s time for me to make an announcement.
My friends, I am neither God nor the government, so I don’t expect you to think this is earthshaking, but . . .
I hereby grant you amnesty.
Perhaps I should explain.
To Whom and for What?
To all of you.
No, not for everything you may have done lately. For example, some of you primary voters got us a choice between Trump and Clinton. I’m not presently offering amnesty for that.
Today’s amnesty is mostly preemptive. It’s for your vote or lack thereof in the presidential race this November — and for any reasons, opinions, or gut feelings you may have or offer in support of that vote (or nonvote).
The “what” is in my title. Here’s the “why.” Why I’m no longer a member of the Republican Party, that is.
It may help if I explain why I was a Republican in the first place — officially for one-third of a century, and unofficially for several years before that.
Reagan and Me
I conducted my first political poll before the 1976 Republican presidential primary in Idaho. I was in fifth grade. As went my poll of voters’ children, so went the actual vote in my adopted home state: former California Governor Ronald Reagan won by a huge margin over incumbent President Gerald Ford. Ford went on to win the nomination, then lost to Democrat and former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter. Reagan was elected president in 1980 and reelected in 1984.
Even in 1976 I was aware that the GOP didn’t really want Ronald Reagan. He was too conservative for the party establishment. As we saw then and more strikingly in 1980, much of the rank and file felt differently.
Reagan was the biggest reason why, long before I could register to vote, I claimed to be a Republican. In a political sense at least, I was raised on his brief daily radio commentaries. His thinking made sense to me, and it still does. In 1984 I was pleased and proud to vote for him in my first presidential election and his last.
For me 2015 was, among other things, a year in which I didn’t blog as much as I hoped to, and didn’t finish some of the writing I started.
I’m trying to avoid that this year, in part by scaling back my expectations, but also by doing a little better outside of election season. There are things other than politics and government about which I want to write — am writing — elsewhere, but these things matter too.
I have fragments of an unpublished post from last year in which I predicted some things for the coming year. I thought it might be interesting to look back, forward, and around on the same topics one year later.
In August 2009 I first heard Mike Lee speak; this was before he declared himself a candidate for US Senate. My blog post about the experience was entitled, “I Think I Found a Great Candidate.” I’ve thought this before, and I’ve probably said this before, but . . .
I told you so.
At the same time, I was in the middle of publishing three lengthy essays on freedom in America. The second was entitled, “I Am a Tocqueville Conservative.” (I’ve lately republished those posts here at Freedom Habit.com.) The connections here are not obvious, but if you read my Tocqueville piece, then read this recent speech by Mike Lee, you’ll see why I liked him so much in the beginning, to say nothing of now. And you might think he is a Tocqueville conservative.
His speech is important. Even if you don’t read anything of mine, read his speech. Please.