A false dichotomy has descended upon the nation in the run-up to November’s midterm elections, which is that you can choose Trump or oppose Trump even though his name isn’t even on the ballot. Whereas Trump has continued to endear himself to his most ardent supporters, it is no secret that Trump has ruffled the feathers of many traditional conservatives. Whether it is his imposition of tariffs or his handling of the child migrant crisis, there is a little something for every conservative to oppose about Trump. Thankfully for conservatives, the definition of a false dichotomy is that the appearance of only two choices is indeed false. One can easily oppose Trump and yet strengthen conservative vision in America with their votes this November. Vote against Trump in the 2020 primaries if you like, and one can even vote against him in the general election if you so choose. However, sitting out the midterm elections or voting against conservatives to punish Trump is absolute madness and a betrayal to the values conservatives claim to hold.
Let’s start with the Supreme Court
If the Republicans lose the majority in the Senate this November, Trump will never appoint another Supreme Court justice during his first term. Whether it is a retiring justice or should something tragic happen to a justice of any leaning, without a simple majority in the Senate, Trump is done. One might remember with about a year left in Obama’s last term this nation experienced the sudden and tragic passing of conservative icon Antonin Scalia. Understanding that the Republicans still had the Senate, Obama nominated Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. Garland was a remarkably moderate candidate considering a very liberal President nominated him. The Republicans refused to entertain the nomination, and it was dead in the water.
Claiming that the “people” should decide, Republicans stated that we should wait until after the election to confirm a Supreme Court justice. This was a very risky move: if Hillary had won the election, she would have been under no such pressure to nominate a moderate. Trump won, and the Democrats fumed about a “stolen” justice when Trump appointed Neil Gorsuch and confirmed him with a simple majority vote. The Democrats are looking for payback, and they will find it with a majority in the Senate this November. If you are a liberal, you can applaud that fact, and if you are a conservative, you can lament it. It is as a discernible truth as they come. If you hate Trump but value conservative vision in America, then vote for your conservative Senate candidate this November.
Trump vs. Conservatives vs. Liberals
At no point in this op-ed am I going to espouse the virtues of conservative values. The reader can decide what political ideology to pursue and there are countless numbers of patriotic liberals in this nation seeking good as they understand it. If you are a conservative, I am dispelling the myth and false dichotomy that to vote for a conservative in November is to support the entirety of Trump’s administration. The man’s name is not on the ballot and one ought to consider that those telling you that a vote for a conservative is a vote for Trump has another motive.
Despite the popularity of Barack Obama and his two wins, I am convinced that America is not as liberal as Obama. This nation regularly swings back and forth between liberal and conservative administrations. In fact, as of the end of Obama’s administration, this nation has been governed nearly equally between the two parties since the end of World War 2. It can even be argued that Trump himself is not the bastion of conservatism. So why would any conservative-leaning individual vote for a Democrat to punish Trump? Donald Trump will still be President after the midterms and the only thing harmed by voting for a liberal is conservative vision.
Again, if you are a liberal, I encourage you to vote your passion and ideology. Why wouldn’t you? All I am submitting is that why wouldn’t conservatives do the same? Trump is not on the ballot in November. Conservative vision is on the ballot. The Supreme Court is on the ballot. Democrats may hate me for saying it and Republicans may love me for doing so, but it doesn’t make it any less true. A loss in November for conservatives isn’t an indictment of Trump as much as many want to make it out to be. If anything, Trump can chalk up to the historical trend that a President’s party loses the first midterms. It’s just a loss for conservative vision in America. If that sounds terrible then perhaps you can reject the false dichotomy being offered and realize a vote for conservatives in November is not a vote for Trump.