The other side of life: A full-throated endorsement

By : Jason Leclerc
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Jason Leclerc

When it comes down to it, I probably have more quality experience than either of the (realistic) presidential candidates in at least one thing: oral. I’ve been performing it for decades.

They just aren’t as eloquent. They just aren’t listeners.

It’s clear that Hillary hates giving spicy speeches – she wonkishly shares this low energy discomfort with Florida’s Bush – and it’s also clear that Trump hates listening to others. He arrogantly shares this discomfort with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, whose advice may be sage. Regardless, we are left to rely mostly on the words the candidates speak and less on the written record that surround them. History, we’ve discovered, is only relevant when it can be recounted through the candidates’ (and their respective surrogates’) interpretation of what happened more than three days prior.

Thus, we have been subjected to a tasteless, in-the-gutter campaign of “he said, she said.” And, then there’s the, “She said that he said,” and its absurd obverse, “He said that she said.” In this odd world of oral obfuscation and misrepresentation magnified by a press that it seems can’t read its own record, words have become nearly empty moanings.

Except for the most die-hard partisans, most of us find ourselves suspending our collective gag-reflex as we consider who we are most inclined to vote against as we triangulate – thanks to third party hangers-on – a strategy for voting.

A vote for Trump means, more than anything, a suspension of belief that the brusque and inarticulate words that come out of his mouth will somehow find their way into policy. A vote for Trump – the optimistic activity of voting in the affirmative – implies not just walls and misogyny, but also that members of a polished and articulate Republican establishment will choke out Trump’s chicken-little speech to promote responsible conservative fiscal and trade policy. As much as a vote FOR Trump expresses conflicting goals of different traditionally Republican groups, it could just as strongly be interpreted as a vote AGAINST Clinton and what can rightly be perceived as irresponsible taxing and spending, misguided international resets and pivots and assaults on basic constitutional freedoms. A vote AGAINST Clinton, given the current paradigm, could be read as a valid protest against corrupt political institutions – pay-for-play, political kickbacks, and bureaucratic irresponsibility – for which she can be seen as
a perfect representative: entrenched in a system that she’s helped to create.

A vote for Clinton means, more than anything, an acceptance that the polished and on-message words that come out of her mouth – despite three decades of political posturing – will somehow find their way into policy. A vote for Clinton implies not just opportunity through immigration and glass-ceiling shattering, but also that members of the divisive fringes of her party will be quieted to promote responsible and tenable social policy. As much as a vote FOR Clinton expresses conflicting goals of newly empowered wings within the Democratic party, it could just as convincingly be interpreted as a vote AGAINST Trump, and what could rightly be perceived as irresponsible taxing and spending, misguided international resets and pivots, and assaults on basic constitutional freedoms. A vote AGAINST Trump, given the current paradigm, could be read as a valid protest against the worst characteristics of capitalism – cronyism, bankruptcy, aggressive litigiousness – for which he can be seen as a perfect representative: pro
fiting from a system that he’s helped create.

They’re both bullies – using their words (or the carefully scripted words of their surrogates) to belittle political opponents. They both exploit otherness: One by insulting minorities; the other by taking their votes for granted. They each overstate and exploit fear – one of international terrorism (ISIL and Muslims), the other of internal terrorism (KKK and cops).

Both suck at oral.

And now it’s my turn to puke out the words that I’ve been choking on for a while. Past columns have intimated a deep, thrombotic dissatisfaction with one candidate and the inevitability of the other, stopping short of endorsement.

Acknowledging that the words I’m about to share will probably leave me with, if not some communicable affliction, at least an awful lingering taste in my mouth, it’s time to give my full-throated endorsement.

Given that I am a conservative, Christian, and that I have nieces. Given that I believe in free trade. Given that I believe in equality, equity, the Constitution and rule of law. Given that I believe in an optimistic Reagan-(Bill) Clinton vision of America. Given that I value education, science and that I value ideology tempered by pragmatism. Given that Michael Bloomberg, Jeb Bush, and John Huntsman are not options. Given that only one candidate, at least, acknowledges the existence of these topics. Given that only one candidate doesn’t completely obliterate these ideals:

Not Trump.

Ok, fine, I’ll write it since I’ve been expressing it orally – in the absence of another, less regrettable orifice from which to express it – long enough.

My full-throated, endorsement: I’m with her.

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