Posted August 8, 2016
Presidential election campaign, cont'd.
SCPA Member Opinion*
What if Trump Drops Out?
By Bob Serody
The latest question to come up is from a blogger named Steven Singer.
If Donald Drops Out, Will There Be Any Reason to Vote for Hillary?
It’s a good question, and Mr. Singer speculates about the outcome if Trump resigns in a tizzy before the elections take place in November. In considering this unlikely situation, how would it affect my choice in voting for a candidate?
My answer is that nothing would change. Hillary Clinton was never my first choice for president. I was totally committed to supporting Bernie Sanders before he conceded the Democratic nomination to Hillary. In fact, there are others, both women and men, whom I would prefer to vote for. But I won’t, and here’s why.
If Trump drops out, the Republicans will replace him with someone more palatable. I believe Jill Stein's influence as a third party candidate (of the Green Party) will be to swing votes and thus influence the outcome, especially because many former Bernie supporters are going over to her. Will she win? No, partly because many voters don’t even know her, and there are many who consider the Green Party too extreme, not to mention those who feel her progressive program will be paid for out of their pockets. Bottom line? She’s not mainstream for the great majority of us. Before you jump all over me by saying the same reasons should apply to Bernie when he was running, there were three major differences. Bernie was running as a Democrat within the two party system, and secondly, he is a senator with a track record people can look up. Third, he is dynamic, honest, and people trust him because of his steadfast principles.
The unknown variable with Trump dropping out is the real possibility that Hillary may no longer feel she needs to stay with some of the planks Bernie forced her to insert into the platform. I’ve said before that I don’t completely trust her, and I don’t care for her some of her past decisions as Senator of New York and Secretary of State under President Obama. So what's my personal dilemma in voting for a third party candidate? First, that person is not electable. I would be casting my vote as a swing vote to affect the outcome of either the Democratic or Republican candidates. Under no circumstances would I want to increase the chances of the Republican candidate, no matter who he/she is. There are real ideological differences between the parties. Harry Truman said that no matter what the political office, vote for the person, not the party. The one exception is the presidency, because ideology should be the determining factor. Then vote for the Democrat. Unfortunately, that was a long time ago. The Democratic Party has since abandoned the policies of Franklin D. Roosevelt and is now a pro-corporate party. So what difference does it make whether the Republican or the Democratic candidate wins?
I still believe there are strong social and humanitarian differences. Take one example. The Republican candidate would probably privatize social security. If you are thinking about your paycheck in retirement, this could be a disaster. Hillary would never bend that far to the right.
Now just suppose the Republican candidate is a moderate, and there are absolutely no differences between Hillary and him/her (and I mean no difference at all). I would still ask myself whether I would vote for a third party candidate. Now let’s return to Jill Stein. She would be president with no real powers to accomplish her goals, because she doesn’t have a supportive congressional base. It would take a long time to build up a Green Party within congress to pass her proposals. Voting for Stein (as much as I love her views) would not accomplish a thing even if she were elected president. You think Obama has it tough with the present congress! The only way to vote for a person like Stein is if she first builds a strong political base that puts up candidates for congress and they win. That’s a very long-term process. Knock on my door when that happens. The only thing left to ensure any progress in the next four years is to vote for a Democrat.
So my answer to Steven Singer’s question is this:
If Donald Trump drops out, there would still be a strong reason to vote for Hillary.
Bob Serody is a member of Space Coast Progressive Alliance.
*ED. NOTE: The views expressed here are solely those of the author. SCPA does not endorse candidates and welcomes commentary on a wide range of issues, including political campaigns, local,regional and national. If interested in contributing commentary, please contact SCPA.
Serody: What if Trump quits?Written by Bob Serody
Posted August 8, 2016