I cherish the right to keep my vote secret, and I believe we are beginning to see challenges to the right to secret ballot. I wrote about this concern in The Federalist after seeing the angry reaction to the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom. The shocked Remain camp behaved as though Brexit voters had no right whatsoever to prevail at the ballot box.
In the meantime, I’ve watched how people at Donald Trump rallies—basically folks who have felt kicked under the bus by fat-cat elites and their bureaucrats—have been beaten and collectively smeared as right-wing-white-nationalist-KKK-every-slur-in-the-book deplorables. It’s not pretty. No, neither is Trump what you’d call “pretty.” But we don’t live in pretty times now, do we?
The handwriting is on the wall, and Hillary “laws-are-for-little-people” Clinton has all but promised to finally destroy the checks and balances on power our Constitution guarantees. Project Veritas’ undercover interviews with her campaign operative Robert Creamer show in grisly detail that Creamer brazenly instigated the violence and riots at Trump rallies with the apparent consent of the Clinton campaign itself.
There can be no doubt that a Hillary Clinton administration would put into hyperdrive the political correctness that has metastasized under the Obama administration. Political correctness has sickened our nation to the point that we can’t even name our symptoms anymore without fear of being socially tortured by the political establishment. The First Amendment is coming apart at the seams, thanks to policies that punish any expressions of conscience that don’t align with this new order.
The Suffocating National High School
Watching Clinton’s craven behavior reminds me a bit of the power structure in the proverbial high school cafeteria. At the center of power are the “mean girls,” the queen bees who dictate the identities—and therefore the relationships—of everybody in the whole school. The queen bee and her cohort of fellow divas and wannabes decide who may sit with whom. With an air of superiority, they pigeon-hole people, identifying them as nerds or whatever.
They are totally invested in this power structure that suffocates the creativity and happiness of all their underlings. Their greatest wish seems to be imposing it everywhere, so people can’t graduate out of the place and make it on their own in a wider world—a world in which their situation actually can get better.
So now, with someone like Trump entering the scene, it’s as though Eddie Haskell—the rascal of “Leave it to Beaver” fame—is on the verge of becoming student body president. Now they are faced with the prospect of Eddie (of all people!) upsetting their lordship over the world. He simply doesn’t know his place. But Queen Bee’s minions forcefully apply the standard narrative to show why their candidate is a loftier choice: Don’t vote for him because “Eeewww, Eddie Haskell.”
This, of course, doesn’t work so well when individuals can vote by secret ballot. People are sick of the cronyism, because at the end of the day, the nasty little power game is all about dictating everybody’s personal relationships: with whom people are permitted to associate, do business, become friends. (I believe this is at root why so-called progressives have always targeted families and family unity. It’s also why sowing polarization and distrust is key to cronyism and power-mongering of all sorts.)
I Can’t Breathe, and Neither Can America
As for me: I can’t breathe. I need to come up for air. So do all Americans who value a system of checks and balances on power. Looking back on my support for Ted Cruz, I realize that neither he—nor any of the other candidates save outsider Donald Trump, warts and all—had a snowball’s chance in hell of truly taking on the mammoth Clinton machine.
As its machinations come into focus, it seems clearer to me that only a street fighter like Trump could have taken this on. It’s like we deplorable clingers are hanging on the very edge of a vast abyss. Perhaps Cruz or Marco Rubio would have had a chance in a more stable America, in a more virtuous America less poisoned by a massive propaganda machine. But not in this culture of corruption fed endlessly by political correctness.
America, as the Land of the Free, is being suffocated. The Constitution—a document that was designed to abolish slavery in all of its forms—is under water. It’s being sold down the river for a Nietzschean will-to-power style of politics in which too much power rests in the hands of too few people.
Would a Trump victory give us breathing room and allow Americans the chance to reassess our trajectory, and change course towards a semblance of political sanity? That may seem an open question to some Republicans who resist voting for Trump. Be that as it may, it is an open question. With a Hillary Clinton victory, the answer is a definitive “No. Closed question. No breathing space.”
She is committed to putting us on a path—very likely irreversible—to consolidate and centralize all power in nomenklatura style. It would permeate every aspect of life: medicine through Obamacare; education through Common Core; small businesses through more strangulating regulations; churches through Supreme Court judges who would virtually abolish the First Amendment. That’s just for starters.
We Are Way Beyond Requiring Virtue of Our Leaders
America gave up the luxury of assuming great character in our civic leaders when it turned its back on the idea of virtue. We are living in a post-virtue society. And the only hope of beginning to turn that around now is to make sure the Clinton crony machine does not control the reins of power. That means voting for Trump, however grimly you might feel the task.
I am drowning. Now is not the time for me to evaluate how polluted the air above the water might be. That simply doesn’t matter. I am thrashing about, and must come up for air. And I am not among the privileged who have access to an air pocket under there, so I’m coming up for air. It’s a survival reflex.
I am faced with the stifling prospect of losing my constitutional right to express myself.
I am falling into a deep pit. If there is a branch to hold onto that could break the fall and allow me to stabilize myself, allow me to climb back to solid ground, I’ll grab it. It’s no use trying to determine whether the branch is deeply rooted, whether it’s poisonous, or if I would fall anyway. I’m going to grab onto the branch, even if you tell me it’s a decoy or an illusion. Why? Because I know the pit is real. Because I know I am falling. And because there is no other choice.
Someone has me in a chokehold. I can’t breathe. I will accept help from anyone who offers it to me. There’s no time to do a checklist on my potential rescuer’s character, or tsk-tsk him about what bad things he said or did in his personal past, or to question his sincerity at offering help.
I am faced with the stifling prospect of losing my constitutional right to express myself. Hillary Clinton is on track to complete what President Obama started on the censorship front. So I will vote for the only alternative who offers hope for preserving the Bill of Rights.
As I said at the beginning, I cherish my right to vote by secret ballot. And I revere the right to speak openly without the perpetual threat of personal ruin for doing so. This leads me, in this particular year, to explain publicly why I’ve decided to pull the lever for Donald Trump. And why I hope many other Americans do so as well.
Stella Morabito is a senior contributor to The Federalist. Follow Stella on Twitter.