Voting for the devil?

Published June 17, 2016

By D. G. Martin

by D. G. Martin, One on One, June 13, 2016.

“You would vote for the devil if he were a Democrat, wouldn’t you?”

Thus begins an old story that makes fun of an old-time party-loyal, “yellow-dog” Democrat. His friend was teasing him about his unwillingness ever to stray from his party’s candidates even if they were obviously unsuited to hold public office.

“Well,” the yellow-dog responded after thinking it over, “I wouldn’t vote for the devil in the primary.”

That yellow-dog faced a dilemma, choosing between party loyalty and a moral obligation to withhold support from his party’s unworthy candidate.

He justified his reluctant decision to vote for the devil by asserting that he wouldn’t vote for him in the primary.

Sounds like some Republicans this year are grappling with a similar challenge, and like the yellow-dog, coming down on the side of party loyalty.

“Well,” they say, “I didn’t vote for Trump in the primaries. But now he is our nominee.”

In a recent column, The New York Times’ Thomas Friedman called out Republican leaders Paul Ryan, John McCain, Marco Rubio and Chris Christie for “being so willing to throw their support behind a presidential candidate whom they know is utterly ignorant of policy, has done no homework, has engaged in racist attacks on a sitting judge, has mocked a disabled reporter, has impugned an entire religious community, and has tossed off ignorant proposals for walls, for letting allies go it alone and go nuclear and for overturning trade treaties, rules of war and nuclear agreements in ways that would be wildly destabilizing if he took office.”

Friedman wrote that Republican Senator Lindsey Graham was right when he said that there has to be a time “when the love of country will trump hatred of Hillary.”

What claim do our political parties have on their supporters? Does party loyalty require support for each and every one of our party’s candidates?

I don’t think so.

In fact, the power and organizational strength of political parties might be overrated.

Remember what Will Rogers said. “I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.”

A politically savvy friend told me once that political parties are good for only one thing. “You need them,” he said, “to get your name on the ballot. That’s about all they’ll do for you.”

He made a fair point by emphasizing that the candidate, not the party, usually has to organize and secure financing for a successful campaign.

But political parties play a critical role in our system of government by bringing people together around a set of important principles.

For instance, Friedman asserts that America needs a center-right party that will “offer market-based solutions to issues like climate change…support common-sense gun laws…support common-sense fiscal policy…support both free trade and aid to workers impacted by it [and] appreciate how much more complicated foreign policy is today, when you have to manage weak and collapsing nations, not just muscle strong ones.”

This sounds like a statement of traditional core Republican principles. But Friedman says they have been abandoned. He writes, “Today’s Republican Party is to governing what Trump University is to education--an ethically challenged enterprise that enriches and perpetuates itself by shedding all pretense of standing for real principles.”

Those loyal Republicans who want to preserve and revive their party as a vehicle for supporting its traditional bedrock principles face complicated challenges in the coming months and years. Their decision about whether or not to support their party’s presidential candidate is an important one, but there will be others.

Their choices and dilemmas would gain sympathy even from that old yellow-dog wrestling with having the devil on his party’s ticket.

June 17, 2016 at 9:28 am
Norm Kelly says:

For every demon who WHINES about the Republican nominee, remember who your yellow-dogs voted for. They had a choice of a declared socialist or a liar responsible for the deaths of 4 Americans. Oh, that liar was/is also responsible for breaking the law, allowing state secrets to be hacked by our enemies because of her private email server, as well as taking money from foreign governments to pay for the Clinton Family Crime Fund, where these foreign governments are expecting payback.

So, whine all you want. It is your default and most common response to anything.

Just remember, you had a choice that was the devil or the devil.

At least we put up some decent, respectable, qualified candidates. Like Ted Cruz. Marco Rubio. Even the Bush brother is more qualified, honest, respectable than both demon candidates COMBINED! Given a choice of an avowed socialist who tells me that everything in my life will be dictated by central planners OR the liar who claims to be a woman, responsible for 4 dead Americans as well as protecting her rapist husband but claims to stand with women and claims to be a woman expecting women to vote for her because she claims to be a woman. Then, remind all your lib friends that voted for the 'woman' that she appears to be considering the 'indian' as a running mate in order to clinch the female vote. If she claims to be a woman, and fights for women's rights, why does she need a woman on the ticket to clinch the woman vote? And, remember, she fights for women's rights unless you happen to be one of the women her husband rapes. Then you deserve the worst the nation has to throw at you, because, it appears, every woman SHOULD want her husband to have sex with her.

Is Trump the best candidate for 'our' party? No. But we know that.

The difference is that 'your' party is anointing another unqualified, despicable, criminal, socialist. There are not enough adjectives to describe the terrible nature of either candidate put up by 'your' party. Neither one of 'your' candidates should be considered for this office. Neither one of them should be allowed anywhere near ANY elected office. They are both destructive. The only thing the bern has going for him is that he doesn't lie about being a socialist and his plan to steal freedom from all of us. The supposed woman running for your party believes the same thing, she just won't admit it. At least, not openly.

So, whine all you want. You can't help it. But look in the mirror next time the whine urge hits you. If you get a breath between whines, anyway. I doubt you'll have time to look seriously between whines cuz there sure doesn't seem to be any 'between'. Billary? Serious?

June 21, 2016 at 2:22 pm
Penny Sandrock says:

I guess its easier to hold tight to the stories which suit your beliefs. I often wonder if people who blame/criticize Senator Clinton for remaining with her spouse if they hold that all women must leave their marriage or just her. Do you know how many women trump has commited adultry with, how is that treated differently. After millions of dollars and over 9 republican committees, blame remains only Clintons with no other factors addressed, i.e.: CIA, non funding, lack of personnel, and many more brought up. Senator Clinton ate all of the attack dogs at lapdog Treys last investigation, guess you didnt watch or used your opinion by watching the fairytale movies/books written by mercenaries. As far as that clown bus the republicans put forth this past year, you have no cause to beat your chest. What a mess you right-wingers have made. By your nasty remarks on the sex of Clinton, you have shown you mindset is of no value or human courtesy. I guess you haven't seen the polls, demcrats arent so happy with what is offered either, but at least we dont have to go party lines with an egomaniac liar, serial adulterer, racist, cronic deadbeat, sue happy, money grubbing cheat who doesnt pay his bills and has no charity in his soul. Now you present this subhuman

as a reason to vote party lines?

June 17, 2016 at 9:44 am
Richard L Bunce says:

Johnson/Weld 2016. Gov Johnson does not need to get to 270 EC votes, just needs to keep Mr. Trump and Sec Clinton from getting to 270 EC votes. Then the new House which votes by State, one vote per State, having a choice of Mr. Trump, Sec Clinton and Gov Johnson will I believe seriously consider Gov Johnson.

June 17, 2016 at 10:27 am
Carol Carter says:

I am a registered Republican. I have remained true to the party until the last 4 years. This year I have no choice. I will not vote for Trump for a variety of reasons but first and foremost he still hasn't offered any plan other than a wall that would do nothing but make matters worse. He is chaos. He is also in this for himself. Which leads me to the second Republican I will not vote for, Trudy Wade. She is also only in politics for herself. She has designed voting districts in both local and state government that suit and benefit only her. She caters only to rich Republicans in Greensboro. She too, is chaos. She is perhaps one of the meanest and rudest people I have ever encountered. And yes, I have encountered her but am too polite to write her comments in this email.

June 21, 2016 at 7:18 pm
Norm Kelly says:

Just like when the current unqualified socialist community organizer ran for office and Republicans stayed home in droves. The result is demon voters coming out regardless of how bad their candidate is. So, NOT voting for Trump IS EXACTLY a vote for Billary. Is this desirable? Is it worth standing on principle to elect a socialist liar? Will you be better off standing on principle while allowing a socialist to gain office? Will your family be better off when central planners take more control of your daily lives?

Or would we all be better off if you were to do like so many of us are going to do: hold our noses and vote AGAINST Billary?

What's the biggest difference between many Republicans and the vast majority of demons? Principle. Republicans stay home when they can't agree on principle with the Republican candidate. Demon voters almost never stay home; they ALWAYS come out to support whatever slime-ball is nominated because the vast majority of them believe ANY demon is better than a Republican. Unless the weather is bad, then demon voters stay home.

So, better to stay home & let Billary in?

Just wondering how bad the demon candidate has to be before more Republicans decide that SOME level of compromise is better than totally giving up on principles? Nothing personal against YOU, but your post made me want to ask someone who seems to want to stand on principle. I'd like to ask more this same question, but haven't run across enough.

June 17, 2016 at 11:11 pm
GV Black says:

What is the old saying? "People in glass houses should not throw stones?" When the Dems have cleaned up their own mess with their current crop of POTUS candidates, then and only then can they start to critique the GOP.

Further, the Dem Party primary system is a joke. It is by far the least democratic (small "d") system of the two major parties. Why not just make all delegates "superdelegates" to do the bidding of the DNC. In this respect, the Dems are much like the Soviet and Maoist style socialists. Their party elections are in no way, shape or form representative of Dem voters. The candidates that are "elected" are those who are in good graces with the DNC.