So tomorrow is the General Election.
I thought about posting this as General Disaster Day, which his sort of how I feel about it. Perhaps that's too glum. But the nation, today, will pick, because it cannot seem to accept that more than two parties can compete in an election, and because years of lying to the electorate has created situation in which the Republican party was overtaken by the populist revolt lead by a person of questionable qualifications (to the say the least) and the Democratic party barely survived a hostile takeover to emerge with its 1970s Democratic Princess intact, but barely. The diehard supporters of Trump hope he'll burn everything down and the diehard supports of Clinton are hoping for the Coronation of Queen Maud. Everyone else is left wondering how we got here.
The results stand to be bad for the country, probably, no matter what happens.
If Princess Hillary is elected Queen Maud, the result will be the complete takeover of aggressively secular humanism in a liberal form in the United States Supreme Court. That will enshrine a version of the Constitution in Yoga Pants and Birkenstock's for at least a generation, if not permanently.
If Mogul Donald is elected, well who the heck knows? At least there would be reason to hope that the Supreme Court would be able to actual read the Constitution, as opposed to having more of the likes of Justice Kennedy who can't seem to find his copy.
This grim situation puts really conscientious votes into a pretty depressing place. For serious Catholic voters (as well as Orthodox voters, and others, for example) the situation is summed up by Monsignor Charles Pope pretty well:
Among the moral issues that have been most politicized are non-negotiable issues for any Catholic: abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, and same sex “marriage.” These are non-negotiable issues because there is no room for nuance or degree of support. You are either for them or against them. There is no middle ground. They are outright forbidden by Church teaching and no Catholic may agree with or support abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research or same-sex “marriage” in any degree whatsoever. This goes for every Catholic from the highest political officials to the lowliest and most unknown Catholic in the pew. This precedes politics, party loyalties, political leanings or any such thing.
But did I mention Satan is no idiot? Indeed, he has convinced many that Catholics who clearly articulate Catholic moral teaching on these non-negotiable issues are merely “talking about politics; and how dare they!” And cowed by this satanic trick and lie many clergy and other Catholics sadly cave and run for cover in speaking to these issues at all, not just in political seasons. Other dissenting Catholics buy Satan’s lie because it gives them cover and helps to silence foes.
To again be clear, abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, and same-sex “marriage” are moral issues, and the Church must teach against them no matter where the political lines fall.
The Catholic position on these matters currently coincides with one political party’s platform over another. But this not the intention or fault of the Catholic Church. These are matters that most Americans once agreed on and are now matters that have divided out along political lines.That effectively means that, for really the first time in decades, maybe well over a century, voters in this class basically are placed in the position of voting for somebody they might outright despise because moral issues leave them no other choice.
Likewise, many serious conservatives who otherwise detest Trump are left with no other option. Where are supports of the Second Amendment left to go? Nowhere, really. Where are those who have a serious philosophical view of a limited government to go? Well, they have no place at all to go, but they really can't go to Clinton.
This dismisses, of course, the third party choices.
If we did not have an anti democratic two party system neither of these poor choices would cross the bar. However, over the course of two centuries we've built a belief into our system that there can only be two parties, and have actually supported this legislatively, such that for most voters there doesn't seem to be more than two choices and for those in swing states, given the moral issues, there isn't.
But perhaps we can hope for more, and perhaps this election may serve to do that.
For those in swing states, their choice is between Trump and Clinton. The moral issues are too great to pretend otherwise. But for those in states that are going to go for one or the other with a certainty this is the election to register the protest. These voters, if they are not for Trump or Clinton can truly say enough. And they should.
And in doing so, they don't have to pick seemingly clueless Johnson or wacky Stein. Indeed, it's ironic that our two best known third parties are pretty repugnant in and of themselves. Libertarianism, in the form that exist in the Libertarian Party, is a political philosophy best left to the subreddits of the politically naive, who never really hope their ideas come into fruition. Stein's seems so far off the rails that she could be mistaken for somebody dedicated not to being elected.
These aren't the only third parties by any means. There's the highly conservative Constitution Party, which seems conservative on a national level, if wacky on a local level. There's the new Christian Democratic Party the American Solidarity Party. And there are others. In the age of Google, it's pretty easy to learn about them.
So, perhaps in the non swing states we will get a record "enough" vote that will have some impact.
And perhaps we can hope that whoever wins, Congress won't change much in the makeup, but will in its sense of responsibility. That would mean four years, basically, of "Tim, I don't think so" for whomever is President.
Which, sadly, is the best we can hope for.