August 9, 2016 § 5 Comments

The title of this essay means that when there are two choices, one or the other must be chosen.  The average preschooler can deduce this kind of math.  It is, however, too complicated for some of those who have realized Trump should not be President, but who have not figured out the consequence of their realization.  I hope to convince them that their actual choices are limited and failure to understand this limitation may lead to a result inconsistent with their realization.

The Late Responders

As I read and watch the news about the political Hamlets who have finally realized the obvious fact:  That Donald Trump is an amoral irresponsible narcissist, I am astonished and outraged about the next act in the drama of many of their lives.  Like Hamlet, they express their “dark night of the soul” [to mix a couple of different referents] and conclude that they will not vote for Donald Trump but they also will not vote for Hillary Clinton.

Their epiphany tales are all similar.  They noticed that Trump does not distinguish between reality and fairy tales.  They express dismay at the prospect of his childish impetuosity and habit of enraged response to any criticism , ensconced in the Oval Office, the red telephone at hand.  They have, at last,  concluded that such a temperament is unsafe for one with the power and authority of a Commander in Chief of the worlds most powerful military force, a force that includes control of nuclear weapons.

Nevertheless, wearing serious faces, wrinkled brows and pursed lips, they declare that Hillary is “untrustworthy”; that her emails and her flailing around about them violate their high standards and moral purity.

These complaints, offered as an excuse for passively refusing to use a vote to prevent Donald Trump from becoming President of the United States, are either evidence of abysmal ignorance of the American political system or an astonishing degree of dispassionate indifference toward a disaster that could threaten the lives of millions and  perhaps render  much of this planet uninhabitable.  Even the presumed instinct of self preservation does not seem sufficient to jar these people out of their effete fantasy land.

The Difference Between Moral Purity and Political Reality

These converts to UnTrumpism are, in many cases, in their 50’s and 60’s, having held responsible government positions..  Many of them confess to having voted for Republican candidates for President during their past lives, presumably for George W.Bush when he was re-elected after four years of decision-making that should have been enough to convince any serious observer that he was plainly unqualified to govern the United States or any other significant government entity.  It is somewhat easier to understand the present ignorance of those who voted Republican in that election, but still their present awakening, after sleeping late, with an appropriate decision about Donald Trump is inconsistent with their failure to perceive its  obvious cerebral consequence.

As incredible as it seems, there are some simple facts about American politics that have not been noticed by these UnTrumpers.   The American political system is built around two political parties.  Even before the creation of the GOP, presidential elections were contests between two competing variously named political organizations.  Third-party insurgents, even when led by a candidate as famous and respected as Theodore Roosevelt, have not been successful in defeating candidates nominated by the two major political organizations.  Teddy’s Progressive Party, nicknamed “Bull Moose” after he described himself as one after being wounded during a campaign appearance, merely allowed Woodrow Wilson to take advantage of the division between Taft and Roosevelt and become   President.

This fact leads to a second fact.  If one is convinced that Donald Trump would be a reckless and dangerous President, the only rational thing to do is vote for his opponent.  Not voting  or wasting a vote on a sure loser seeking attention through some form of political purity, is both dumb and indefensible.  Dumb because, having acknowledged the dangers of a Trump presidency, failing to do everything necessary to prevent him from becoming President is like confronting an armed and dangerous intruder in your home with spitballs.  Indefensible because failing to do the simple act of voting for Trump’s opponent amounts to sharing responsibility for a Trump presidency if he wins.


I agree completely with the premise of the arguments made by those who understand the danger of a Trump presidency.  But that premise absolutely requires a vote for Hillary Clinton and committed efforts to persuade others to vote for her.  It does not require and, in fact, has nothing to do with agreeing with her or approving of her.  It has to do with defeating Trump.

Never in my lifetime have I voted for a presidential candidate with whose policies I agreed completely.  If I ever find myself in agreement with mainstream politicians, I will go off somewhere and figure out how I have sold out.  And I doubt that will become necessary.  When this election is over, I will try to support the political revolution led by Bernie Sanders.  Election campaigns are useful for recruiting and identifying people for the next political contest.  Campaigns end.  Organizing goes on forever.

§ 5 Responses to Two-One=One

  • Terry says:

    Move-On.Org is currently in the midst of a campaign to convince Bernie voters, who out of purity will not support Clinton, of a similar premise. I understand you are focused on Republicans who created the primordial goo that burped Donald Trump into our political system – but let’s not forget that no party has an absolute lock on puerile hypocrisy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bob Hall says:

      Terry: You’re exactly right. I am disappointed at the reaction of Bernie Sanders to the aftermath following his primary defeat. He has said that he will not tell anyone who to vote for. This is absurd. Political activity is all about telling people who to vote for and offering them reasons for doing so. I have been involved, on Facebook, in spirited arguments with Bernie supporters about this issue. The prevailing misunderstanding seems to be that one must agree with the candidate for whom they vote. It seems to be difficult for these Bernie purists to understand that most general election votes are voting against one of two choices. That’s why I felt that my essay had to be based on basic math. Having armed a lot of young people with a voter registration, the least Bernie should do is to give them a few lessons about what to do with it. Saying, “Here’s the weapon. You’ll figure it out. Good Luck.” is political malpractice.


  • tubularsock says:

    It appears that you are still under some illusion that one’s vote counts ……. silly boy!

    After watching the election process over the years YOU can not be that deceived!

    From the beginnings of this questionable experiment the powerful has kept in place escape hatches for ultimate control. From the glass of whisky for your vote to the Electoral College to the ONLY-TWO-PARTY-SYSTEM the powerful have always controlled who becomes President NOT THE PEOPLE.

    The electoral process is just a show for the populous ……. that is why they even look like circuses!

    I am not sure that YOU understand there is no choice and never has been.

    Hillary is just a lie on slow burn.

    Donnie is just a lie on speed-dial.

    Hillary has already won the Presidency. That was decided some time ago. Haven’t you heard?


    • Bob Hall says:

      I assume that you will be true to your twisted reasoning and, therefore, do not and will not vote. For that I am grateful. Thank you. I know you are trying to discourage others from trying to accomplish anything by using our political system. Fortunately the only ones likely to read your nihilistic bombast are people already active in politics. I doubt they will tear up their voter registration in response to your blog posts.

      Liked by 1 person

      • tubularsock says:

        Now, now Robert. Tubularsock has what is called extreme-twisted-reasoning so there isn’t a chance in hell that he will not place his vote on the rigged voting machine. (sorry to disappoint you) After-all how could a good citizen hold his head up high in this illusionary democracy without placing his vote?

        And we all know the many reasons that voting for a third party is NOT a viable alliterative because of what the Democrat’s preach …… the Nader syndrome.

        What the Democrats forget to mention is that in truth, Nader had little to do with their loss. In Florida that year 13% of Democrats voted FOR Bush! That alone could have shifted that election.

        But maybe not because the voting machines were rigged in that election anyway, so ………. as well as the SC!

        Tubularsock would vote for a third party but all the “smart-people” say that doing that is just a vote for Trump. And they must know what they are talking about because they are the “smart-people”.

        And THAT is why Tubularsock will grudgingly vote for Trump in this election because why not vote directly for Trump rather than just wasting one’s vote on a third party.

        It is part of Tubularsock’s direct democracy theory. You know, avoid the “middle-man”!


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