I happen to live in the county in the U.S. which has most often picked correctly the winning Presidential candidate in U.S. Presidential elections over the past 100+ years. And it seems that Donald Trump, who is running as a Republican despite his past positions trending more toward the Democratic party platform, is pretty popular in this county. This worries me, and not just because our votes might accurately predict the winner of the election if Trump were to be the Republican nominee.
The other thing that worries me is that in a recent discussion, a Trump supporter proposed to me that we should seriously consider voting for Trump because he was an outsider candidate who could put a stop to business as usual in Washington. I think this is a good reason to vote for a candidate, actually. I have consistently cast votes against the existing corruption for the past ten years.
I have voted for 3rd parties frequently as a means of doing so, because I see little difference between the acts of wasting my vote on voting for a Democratic Presidential candidate like Hillary Clinton in Indiana and wasting my vote on voting for a 3rd party candidate who will also not win. At least I have a clear conscience from voting my conscience, and given that it’s all I can get out of casting a vote, why not take it?
So it might seem like Trump would be an ideal candidate for a rugged individualist outsider voter like me. If Trump could stop business as usual in Washington, then I think he’d be worth a try. It’s just that all the evidence I find suggests that Trump would just do business as usual bigger and flashier than Washington currently does it. It turns out that Trump is neither a political outsider or breaking the establishment politician mold. If anything, he’s just putting some tasteful gold plating on it and ordering it a wife from Eastern Europe.
The establishment candidates carefully massage their positions to mitigate their chances of being called on flip-flopping. The establishment candidates pander with carefully chosen phrases to different voter demographics to make sure they are all open to voting for the candidate later. The establishment candidates promise ridiculous things like immigration reform to keep those darn illegals from stealing our jobs or stricter gun control laws that will save lives across the land, secure in the knowledge that they can always blame the other party when those things don’t pass.
Trump is not so subtle. He flip-flops on issues more brazenly, he panders more flagrantly, he promises even less plausible things, and he has a history of bribing both parties to get good deals for his business interests, even when those good deals would hurt regular Americans through the use of eminent domain. So Trump’s “Business As Usual, Bigger” strategy will not be getting my vote. It doesn’t matter how much I enjoy seeing the establishment squirm, because he’s the establishment on steroids with better hair and a bigger ego.
If you’re looking for an anti-establishment or outsider candidate who won’t play the usual games, you should really take a pass on voting for the guy who plays them so well that he outwits the pros. If you’re looking for a guy who’ll make the corrupt business as usual in Washington boom so hard you’ll think they fired one of the Navy’s railguns, then go ahead and vote for him. He can deliver.