“Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” (Mark Twain)

Before voting, I decided at a young age to consider the following:

1) Does the candidate pass the “good neighbor test.” Would I want want my kids to observe this person and would they see an example of a life well-lived? Would I give them code to enter my house? Would I enjoy an evening with this person on the deck with an adult beverage?

2) Do I think they have the skills to be effective at the office they are pursuing?

3) Do I agree sufficiently with their views on the issues most important to me?

In the 36 years I’ve been voting, in general, whether they be Republican or Democrat, in most elections I have thought both candidates would be good neighbors and had the skills to be effective. In the few times a Republican couldn’t pass #1 or #2, in a general election state-wide race, I am sure I skipped the race because I don’t recall finding enough issue agreement with the Democrat to give them my vote. I think maybe I’ve voted for a Democrat or two in legislative or local races.

About when Donald Trump announced for President, here on SDWC, Pat asked the question “Have you selected a candidate yet” and I responded I was sufficiently comfortable with all the candidates on the issues. “I’m still watching to see who demonstrates the breadth of skills to be good candidates. . . . For me it is going to be a process of elimination as the campaign goes along. So far, I have only eliminated Trump.”

My rationale was Trump didn’t pass the “good neighbor test” and I doubted he had the skills to work with Congress, be Commander in Chief, and discern international matters.

When it became clear our choices were to be Trump and Clinton, I decided for the first time to set aside #1 (one is a bullying cad and the other is a lying crook) and #2 (one has no experience and the other has learned all the wrong lessons from her experience).

In short, I found Trump better on the issues despite him being the most politically and personally moderate (concurrently holding a disproportionate number of conservative and liberal positions) Presidential candidate the GOP has nominated in my voting lifetime.

When the infamous Billy Bush video broke, I admit being shaken to my knees. Not because I never heard or couldn’t handle crap in that vein. I’ve been in plenty of locker rooms. But, never before has such a person asked to be my President, someone my grandchildren will be expected to respect. And, most importantly, even in the most private of “locker rooms,” I don’t recall anyone ever saying crap like that with the proviso “because I’m rich and famous, I get to do it without permission.”

My first reaction was Trump has to drop out of the race. Besides my personal revulsion to the video, there is the practical matter it could be the difference between having Clinton as President or not.

Since the conventions and prior to the first debate, Trump had the momentum and had crept up to being virtually tied with Clinton. But, since then, the race is worse that it was after the two conventions. Currently, Clinton is up 5% or more in enough states to win the Electoral College.

To win the Electoral College, Trump essentially needs to attract over 90% of the undecided to have a chance to squeak out a razor thin victory. If I was behind in the final minutes of a football game, I’d rather put on the field my second string quarterback than my first string quarterback who just broke both his legs.

Contrary to popular perception, we don’t vote for President but select Electors of the Electoral College. If either Clinton or Trump died today, we wouldn’t just give the Presidency to the other. We’d have the election with the voters choosing between the Clinton/Kaine Electors and Trump/Pence Electors. So it could/would be if Trump dropped out.

Because Trump is that quarterback with two broken legs, we need a substitute who is at least healthy. Somebody had to stand up and call for a new quarterback and I’m proud and grateful Senator Thune and Governor Daugaard were among those who tried to induce Trump to drop out.

When Trump announced he would stay in the race no matter what, my second reaction was I’m just going to skip this race. The thought of voting for Trump makes me feel dirty, he obviously only cares for himself and not the country or down-ballot Republicans (right now both the RNC and DNC believe not only is it likely we will lose control of the Senate but the House is even in play), and voting for Gary Johnson felt like the easy way out to make myself feel good. Frankly and ironically, while I have confidence Hillary will pursue most of the harmful policies she has promised, I don’t have much confidence Trump will follow through on his promises because I don’t know if I know what he really believes.

But, over the last five days, the latest leaked emails bring me back to the discernment table as we learn:

1) Despite Hillary’s call for “getting money out of politics,” her campaign violated election law by coordinating with Super Pacs.
2) Hillary’s campaign induced/cooperated with DNC senior executives willing to violate their own neutrality rules.
3) Hillary’s campaign considered the State Department and Justice Department arms of her campaign as they coordinated how to obfuscate and/or minimize public disclosure of her conduct at the State Department.
4) The deepening melding of Clinton Foundation interests with State Department business.
5) The depth of the covert cooperation and support from the mainstream media to enhance Clinton’s persona and failure to report news because it was unflattering to Hillary.
6) And now we find out the career FBI and DOJ attorneys all wanted her to be charged and have her security clearance yanked. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/10/12/fbi-doj-roiled-by-comey-lynch-decision-to-let-clinton-slide-by-on-emails-says-insider.html

While probably so remote to be unrealistic, I still hope Trump just says “I’m fired” if for no other reason than it will take away any Clinton claim to a mandate. Only 25% of the electorate say they support Clinton for who she is. The rest either oppose her or say they only dislike her less than they dislike Trump. As more and more of the recent Wikileaks information gets processed, I just can’t believe the voters will give to Hillary both the Senate and House to pursue her agenda unfettered by a Republican Congress. In fact, the greater her chances of the winning the White House might diminish the chances of Democrats winning the close Senate and House races.

If he drops out, we can then rally around Governor Pence, put him on stage for the last debate, and urge voters to vote for the Trump/Pence electors.

If the Trump/Pence electors get a majority of the Electoral College (270 Electoral Votes), the Constitution and Supreme Court will be tested to figure out what isn’t specifically provided for in the Constitution or Law.

Will the Supreme Court allow the Electors to select Pence as President? If not, Hillary doesn’t have a majority of the Electoral College, the House of Representatives selects the President.

In short, even if I wanted Trump to be my President, his only chance is a “Hail Mary” pass and we know how often they work out.

Personal Message to Donald J. Trump: If you really care about our country and don’t want Hillary to be President, drop out and let us take our chances. Whatever modicum of reputation as a man you want to retain, it is only possible if you put country before yourself and drop out. While I will still vote for you if you stay in the race, I beg you to take that cup from me.

Sidenote: Over the past few weeks, President Obama’s job approval numbers have been creeping up. Does anyone really think in the context of what is going on domestically and internationally people are saying he is doing a better job? Or could they just be saying he looks good compared to Clinton and Trump?

53 thoughts on ““Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” (Mark Twain)

  1. Anonymous

    Amen! And just by the news stories of the past couple hours, Trump will make Bill Cosby look good before this is over.

    1. jimmy james

      The video showed Trump admitting to being shot down by Nancy. Now he is giving up on Virginia. Feeling the spurn.

    2. Anne Beal

      I have always been suspicious of the Cosby allegations; I was at UMass when he was, and the women all knew who the predators were, which fraternities to avoid, etc. Not one word was ever said about Cosby, who was a celebrity at the time.
      If he were as bad as has been reported, I don’t think he could have maintained that much self-control as a grad student.

      Meanwhile, the world is on fire and everybody wants to talk about what Trump said eleven years ago about an actress who wasn’t wearing any underwear. It’s a fun distraction but there are more important things to think about.

  2. Anonymous

    Wow the party really got sucked in on this one.I wonder how much has been fractured.Now their complaining about Photo op and donothing saying he should get out.

  3. Springer

    I don’t trust the polls anymore than the media at this point. I have already voted, so if Trump drops out, what happens to my vote? In any election to date the establishment has gotten their way and their candidate and the rest of us were supposed to fall in line and support him; at least the Dems do have this strategy down pat because even with all her flaws, they will march into the booth and vote for her. If the media were doing its job and reporting all the negative crap about Hillary, then I would say it was an even playing field, but the aren’t. And the establishment GOP don’t want their applecart upset, so they now decide that Trump can’t be the nominee. Well, guess what, a lot of the common ordinary little people, who the elite establishment of both parties don’t really care much about, have had it! Trump isn’t perfect, has said a lot of stuff he shouldn’t have, but guess what? So has Hillary! But we don’t hear about any of that. We don’t hear how she has treated her staff. We don’t hear about how she has treated women.

    I still believe that if the GOP establishment had gotten behind our nominee, the polls would be different right now, the Senate and House wouldn’t be in jeapordy (if they really are), and we might have a chance at saving our nation as our founders established it. And I don’t believe that any of the establishment candidates could have done a better job of defeating Hillary either; they couldn’t get Obama with Romney, so what makes anyone think it would work this time.

    Sorry to rant, but I have had it! I heard Hillary in the last debate say exactly what she intends for this country, and she doesn’t even try to hide it anymore. Trump isn’t perfect, but he is the only chance we have right now. Do you really think Pence would win if he dropped out? No way.

    I have subscribed to the maxim for a year: The only Democrat Trump could beat was Hillary and the only Republican Hillary could beat was Trump.

    Unfortunately, it is proving to be only the latter was true. I think any of the other 16 GOP candidates in the primary would be 10 points ahead right now. Hillary is just that fundamentally flawed.

    It wasn’t the “Establishment” Republicans who mishandled the events of the Democrat and Republican Conventions. It was Trump. It wasn’t the “Establishment” Republicans who didn’t prepare for the first debate and failed to hit pitch after pitch right down the middle of the plate. It was Trump. And, it wasn’t “Establishment” Republicans who said abhorrent things one after another. It was Trump. This is all on Trump.

    Regarding your vote, in reality, you didn’t vote for Trump. You voted for the Trump Electoral College Electors. Whether Trump died or dropped out, you vote would still be valid. (Troy)

    1. Anonymous

      It doesn’t matter what springer reads. Everything must fit her view of the world or else it is invalid.I will admit however, she is entertaining.

  4. mhs

    The nation can withstand 4 years of Hillary, our party can not withstand another 15 minutes of Trump. This race is not about those two anymore, it’s a referendum on whether we will have a viable 2 party system in the future. Trump is burning our house down around us in favor of Fox, Breitbart and a few others who profit from feeding conspiracy to the disaffected.

    She’s a one termer. Let’s suck it up in the short run and work to find a leader who meets Troy’s test that will crush her and the leftists in 4.

      1. mhs

        We survived the British burning Washington, a Civil War, a Great Depression, WWII, Vietnam and Jimmy Carter. I think we’ll manage Hillary.

          1. Anonymous

            Exactly. The amount of damage Hillary can do in four years will be catastrophic, and I don’t know if we could recover. I don’t trust our representatives and certainly not the House and Senate as a whole to fight Hillary’s evil plans for the country.

        1. Springer

          We might survive Hillary, but what will the nation look like. Her Supreme Court appointments cannot be undone, nor can their decisions. And that is what scares me. And what about religious freedom; we have seen what she thinks about the Catholic church. What she plans to do with the Second Amendment. Some of these things will be with us much past the next four years if she becomes President.

      2. Anon

        What hyperbolic idiocy. She’s not going to be a good president, but she’s not going to cause the collapse of the country. Like mhs said, let’s focus on producing a candidate that can take back the white house in 2020 and isn’t a complete dumpster fire of a human being like the two vying for office now.

        1. Springer

          The country will undoubtedly survive Hillary, if elected. But it will in all probability not be the same nation that we grew up in. And in all probability any hope of a conservative ever getting elected will be gone because of the changed electorate, i.e. through illegal immigrants and unvetted refugees granted amnesty and the right to vote and owing this to the Dems, even more citizens being dependent on the expanded social programs/freebies that the Dem govt will offer and thus securing their vote. Common Core will continue and with it the progressive secular education of our kids. The Second Amendment will be severely curtailed, if not gone. Religious liberty for Christians will be challenged in the progressive courts and likely lose. I hope that I am proven wrong, but I don’t think I will be.

          1. Anon

            Let me get this straight: you believe that if Clinton gains office, no conservative will ever be President ever again? I get changing electorates, but younger conservatives tend to lean more libertarian and are a significant part of the party’s future. Or do they fail your ideological purity test? You’ve made some pretty bold declarations while still being vague, so I want to make sure I don’t misunderstand your view.

            1. Springer

              I want a Supreme Court that will uphold the Constitution; Hillary has made it clear that she does not. Once the Supreme Court is gone, a lot of our nation as we know it will be gone. I do not have as pure an ideology as some conservatives. I may not be in favor of gay marriage, preferring to call it instead a civil union, but I don’t want to deny them the right to be with the person of their choice; that decision is not mine to make. I wish Roe v Wade was gone; but I realize that will probably never happen; and I would be happy with a limited time window for abortion, not abortion up until the child would be born as Hillary likes. As more and more people come into this nation indebted to the Dems, and as more and more of them become dependent on a socialist type state, and as more and more of them move or are moved into areas to guarantee a Dem majority of the vote there, there is less and less chance for a conservative to ever within enough votes to win. I just think people are happier when they are freer, less dependent on the govt, and have more opportunities to get ahead; and that does not seem to be the goal of the Dem/progressive party of today.

        2. Anonymous

          Do you guarantee that? She WILL appoint judges who don’t give a damn about the constitution and will take away liberties from the citizens. Do you doubt that? If we lose our liberties we may never get them back. I think the situation is more dire than people realize.

  5. Troy Jones Post author

    Springer,

    Those who gave us Trump, by the the predictable results of their actions, gave us President Hillary Clinton so don’t insult us by fear of her or the 2nd Amendment or loss of religious freedom. You took a risk and it didn’t work. Own it. But just remember, your moron, unChristian, mysogonist lost to someone who only has 25% of the electorate who agree with her. She only has a chance because more people find your pig less appealing. Quite an accomplishment.

    1. Springer

      I sense a little bit of anger here. I get it; you don’t like Trump. Don’t insult me for my support of a candidate who is not a polished politician and who just might have put us back on a better path than Obama has charted out for us.

      1. mhs

        Hollow words, Springer. We heard the same from those who wouldn’t support McCain and we got Obama. We heard the same about Romney and got more Obama. Now we’re handing the White House to the most corrupt couple in our history.

        Just how liberal / awful / dangerous does the next Dem have to be before you’re willing to unite and stop this madness?

        1. Anonymous

          What are you asking Spring to unite for or against? Against Trump? For him to drop out? For a third party candidate?

          The madness would be letting Hillary into the White House where she will continue the erosion of freedom that Obama pushed for eight long years.

    2. Anonymous

      Oh, was the election held already? I wasn’t aware of that. So Hillary has already won.

      Trump would be less damaging to the country than Hillary, in my opinion, and I will vote for him, though Cruz was by far the best candidate running; however, he is not on the ballot, and it will be one of two people, and the Supreme Court is much too important to take a chance with Hillary.

  6. Springer

    What do you mean by willing to unite? I supported McCain; I supported Romney; I think Romney would have made a good President. That’s my point. The GOP for the most part united behind the candidate, except for a few who are waiting for the “perfect” conservative candidate, and I’m not one of them. This time around it’s the GOP that refused to unite behind the candidate. Why? Please don’t say it’s because Trump has said some outlandish things.

    1. mhs

      I apologize for unknowingly lumping you in with the many who stayed home 4 and 8 years ago wishing for their version of the “perfect” GOP candidate.

      Let me compare Trump’s rise to Reagan’s. Both were outsiders feared by the establishment. Reagan toured the country for decades years preaching the gospel. He worked non-stop for Barry Goldwater. He ran California, etc. etc.

      In short, he earned it.

      Trump hasn’t.

  7. Troy Jones Post author

    Springer,

    I think to some degree also MHS is responding to your comments Trumps electoral problem is related to the Establishment. As I said before:

    It wasn’t the “Establishment” Republicans who mishandled the events of the Democrat and Republican Conventions. It was Trump. It wasn’t the “Establishment” Republicans who didn’t prepare for the first debate and failed to hit pitch after pitch right down the middle of the plate. It was Trump. And, it wasn’t “Establishment” Republicans who said abhorrent things one after another. It was Trump. This is all on Trump.

  8. William Beal

    If there was any one candidate that repelled the grassroots of the GOP it was Jeb Bush. I suspect that if the “Establishment” (Big money donors/GOP campaign professionals) not gone “all in” for Jeb Bush, the party may have coalesced behind a different candidate (Rubio?) far earlier in the primaries.

    But, it is what it is and it will all come down to turnout, driven by the intensity of the #NeverHillary vs the #NeverTrump voters.

    Regardless of the outcome of this election, the divisions exposed during this election cycle remain.

    1. Troy Jones Post author

      Perceptive on many fronts.

      1). Bush’s attempt to scare his opposition away by his early money without at least an equal effort in campaigning had a inverse effect as it fed an appearance of coronation. My only countervailing comments are two other things happened. The what I will call whimsical rush to Trump from Walker caused Walker to too quickly withdraw. He should have instead grasped the fluid nature and redoubled his efforts. The other is Cruz giving Trump early credibility narrowed his path as it forced him to out-Trump Trump which took him away from being himself and made him look disingenuous when he later attacked Trump.

      2). As you implied, this race has become a race between the NeverTrump and NeverHillary factions. Our only hope is all these recent revelations about Hillary swell the NeverHillary ranks. Recent polling appears to show the bleeding has at least stopped. The question is it needs a reversal of rather large proportions.

  9. District 3 Democrats Against Electing Cory Heidelberger

    Provided Trump loses what is in the future for the GOP? Will Trump try to make the GOP pay for his loss? The SDGOP appears fairly stable with a deep bench.

    Would Trump run again in 2020 and would he even be a factor?

  10. Anne Beal

    Who would I want for a neighbor?
    The gun owner. I want the guy who will jump in his truck and be at my house in 60 seconds if I call for help.
    I don’t want the woman who will dither about what to wear.

    1. Anonymous

      How ’bout the sort of neighbor who would walk into your daughter’s bedroom while she was changing?

        1. Anonymous

          Unless he went in through the bedroom door after you invited him into the house.

          Anyway, it’ll certainly be an interesting day in court when a neighbor kid playing hide-and-seek has their foot severed.

            1. Anonymous

              So, as the exception, screw the rest of us? It’s unfortunate, but most of your South Dakota neighbors don’t live on dirt roads. Most of us have to somehow manage to get along with the rest of the world.

              1. William Beal

                Actually, most of my neighbors do live on dirt roads. That’s just an aspect of rural living.

                Seems like you’d be a grumpy neighbor.

                Think I’ll stick with country living.

                1. Anonymous

                  Obfuscate all you like. At the end of the day, you’d rather have a neighbor enter your daughter’s room uninvited and grab her crotch than a neighbor who deletes obsolete emails about their daughter’s wedding?

                  I suppose it’s for our mutual benefit we’re not physically neighbors. I’d have to build too high a wall to keep you from trying to peek in my windows while I clean out my inbox.

  11. Anonymous

    Noem’s answer about Trump was good. Thune and Daugaard hurt themselves. Daugaard doesn’t care though. Thune wishes he could take it back. He was already backtracking on KOTA

    1. jimmy james

      The “law and order” candidate. That’s what Trump claims to be but….

      “She has to go to jail”. “They better be careful, they have a lot to hide!” “I would think that (Paul) Ryan maybe wouldn’t be there.” “We have a very hostile judge. Now, he is Hispanic.” “The elections are rigged.” “Open up libel laws.”

      Sincerely, I ask you, are these “law and order” quotes? Or are they dangerous challenges to our system of government? I really want to know what all of you think.

  12. Troy Jones Post author

    Springer,

    You are so correct about the need for a Supreme Court that interprets the laws in light of the Constitution and doesn’t usurp the authority of the Congress/President who are accountable to the people in our democracy.

    Now go back and listen to Hillary’s answer during the debate on this issue. Pretty revolting isn’t it. And, then listen to the weakness of Trump’s response. Either he is too stupid to have understood what she was saying (which he could have nailed her the cross) or he kinda agreed with her so he said weak bromides.

  13. jimmy james

    Trump: “I take all the slings and arrows gladly for you.” And he also said yesterday that this is our “journey to heaven”.