Commentary: Can't Vote for Clinton or Trump

by Placerville Newswire / May 11, 2016 / comments

Dear friends:

I have taken a stance, which I know is unpopular with some of you, and which I feel I owe it to you to fully explain.

Throughout history, charismatic figures have appeared at critical moments in time. Some of these figures have advanced their nations. Some have set them back. Only with the benefit of hindsight is mankind able to make the final judgment.

I have long been a fan of the saying - History doesn’t repeat, but it does rhyme. In other words, history leaves clues; lessons that we can all benefit from.

We are stewards of our Republic and as such, our greatest responsibility is not to ourselves, or any political party, but to the next generation of Americans. We must work tirelessly to see to it that they inherit a freer, stronger, safer, more prosperous nation than was handed to us.

To truly fulfill that obligation we must be selfless, and above all, we must be informed. We must understand the mechanics of politics, economics, and the framework that has allowed the United States to be the greatest nation in the history of the world.

As an American, my greatest allegiance is to liberty. As long as there is liberty, no task is insurmountable, no challenge too overwhelming. As long as there is liberty, anything is possible.

The true north of my compass has been, and always will be, liberty. I owe it to those who have come before me and those who will come after. I will act to safeguard liberty no matter what personal price I may be forced to bear.

Liberty is my litmus test. I weigh all actions of my government and those who seek office, against it. The ledger of freedom is incorruptible; its pages open for anyone to examine, and most importantly - to learn from.

At great personal and professional expense, I have grown more vocal over the years about the need to reduce the size of government and place in office fellow citizens guided strictly by the Founding documents.

I have spoken on television, radio, and in front of civic organizations. I have campaigned for candidates, marched in Tea Party rallies, and was the man who drove Andrew Breitbart to Madison, Wisconsin to speak alongside him on the capitol steps in defense of Governor Scott walker.

From taking back the United States House in 2010, to taking back the Senate in 2014, we have won battle after battle for liberty. In so doing, we have placed principled, limited government Americans in office. We knew the war wouldn’t be won overnight, but rather that it would be won over time. We have been steadfast, resolute, and successful.

But in the opinion of some of our fellow Americans, we have not been quick enough. Rather than continue to fight, a plurality of voters in the Republican primary has decided to drop an atom bomb on Washington, D.C. That atom bomb is Donald Trump.

And so I come to my explanation. When I apply my litmus test of liberty to Donald Trump, he fails - completely.

In fact, he has not only failed to ever stand for liberty, he has repeatedly worked to undermine it. From supporting an assault weapons ban, the seizure of private property via eminent domain, the restructuring of libel laws, and socialized medicine (just to name a few) - throughout his entire adult life, Donald Trump has repeatedly championed the power of the state.

Regardless of what he says now, Donald Trump has a history. That history is the clearest indication of how he would govern as president. No matter how badly Americans want to “blow up” Washington, they absolutely must consider who, and what, arises from the embers of that destruction.

After voters drop that atom bomb, what happens next?

Herein lies my greatest concern. What will become of liberty under a Trump administration? Will it grow? Will it recede? Will it vanish altogether?

Our Founders realized that the normal course of history is despotism – the control of the many by the few. That is why the Founding documents sought to constrain government. They also counted on Americans to choose wisely those whom we sought to install in office. Too often we have failed in selecting the best among us.

Donald Trump is not the best among us, nor is Hillary Clinton. They are both incredibly flawed human beings whom we should be equally ashamed of.

Neither would advance the cause of freedom. Both would take us – not to that shining city on a hill of which President Reagan spoke - but into the murky valley below. Never have I seen America faced with having two such poor choices for president.

With the lessons of history as my guide, I see in Donald Trump the character flaws that are the hallmarks of despotism. In Hillary Clinton, I also see multiple character flaws, but I see them as belonging not to a potential despot, but rather to a conniving, self-serving, progressive politician who believes in lining her own pockets and enlarging/increasing the state and its power.

The two are reprehensible – but completely different. One threatens to further enlarge the state, the other, potentially (a la Napoleon), to become it.

Growing up, a wonderful nun repeatedly told me that kindness could only be expected from the strong. When Donald Trump mocked the disability of New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski – he showed himself to be not only weak, but also lacking in compassion.

Trump’s position that he is a Christian, but has never asked for forgiveness – coupled with his incessant bragging – not only further shows that he is weak, but that he also lacks humility.

Strength, compassion, and humility are necessary in any leader – but especially so in the person who would occupy the highest and most powerful office in the world. Just look at what the absence of those qualities has done over the last seven years.

My greatest concern about Donald Trump, though, isn’t a trait he lacks, but a dangerous one he possesses – in spades. Authoritarianism.

Confident people do not bully and demean others. That is the realm of the weak and insecure. Confident people also do not threaten others, especially not their fellow citizens.

Donald Trump has told us to just wait and see what he does to Jeff Bezos once he gets into the White House. He has told us the American military will do whatever he tells them to do no matter what their reservations. He has promised to prevent American companies from moving outside the United States, regardless of what they believe is best for their businesses.

In other words, Donald Trump has clearly told all of us that he will use the power of the presidency to force people to bend to his will. This is not liberty.

In fact, Donald Trump has never even spoken about liberty. Neither has he spoken about the Constitution and the Founding documents. This is an absolute first in the history of the United States.

Instead, Donald Trump talks about hiring the “best people” and making the “best deals.” This, though, isn’t what made America great, and it certainly isn’t what will return America to its prominence.

The blueprint for America’s success is the ideas of the Framers – limited, Constitutional governance – an area in which Donald Trump is criminally ignorant.

Let me be clear that I don’t want to vote for Hillary Clinton. I also don’t want to vote for Donald Trump. My preference is to write-in or vote third party. I think they are both terrible for our future.

But between a big government progressive and a potential despot – every American must ask themselves where liberty has the greatest chance to survive over the next four years.

As a Constitutional conservative, I take solace in, and guidance from the words of Alexander Hamilton, who in the election of 1800 said, “If we must have an enemy at the head of government, let it be one whom we can oppose, and for whom we are not responsible.”

I value all of you as friends, readers, and fellow patriots. There is much at stake for our Republic. Be informed, be selfless, and vote your conscience. I will not hold your decisions against you.

None of us knows the future. But I ask that all of us look to the past. Only by doing so can we safeguard liberty and chart the most well-reasoned course forward.

Brad Thor. [Brad Thor, a graduate of the University of Southern California, has served as a member of the Department of Homeland Security's Analytic Red Cell Program and is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Code of Conduct, Act of War, Hidden Order, Black list, Full Black, The Athena Project, Foreign Influence, The Apostle, The Last Patriot, The First Commandment, Takedown, Blowback, State of the Union, Path of the Assassin, and The Lions of Lucerne.]