From my friend John Miles
Trump is associated (falsely) with free market capitalism and conservative fiscal and economic values whether we like it or not. He's neither a free market capitalist nor a fiscal conservative and has taken both (sometimes three sides) of virtually every issue. For me to vote for the lesser of two evils, there has to be a lesser evil, and I don't see taking Trump's word for anything (I don't have a clue which Trump would show up on any particular day anyway).
We're also due for a recession in coming years. A Trump presidency would only accelerate it with his protectionist trade policies--the Smoot-Hawley tariffs and the following retaliation by other countries clearly exacerbated the Great Depression. It's one of the few things economists of all stripes agree with--that free trade benefits both partners in the process (just as ALL trade does--it doesn't take place unless there is mutual benefit). I'd prefer any recession be blamed on those who actually cause them: those responsible for high regulatory, trade-restricting government regimes.
And I absolutely do think Trump would be disastrous for down-ballot losses in Congress if he energizes the Left and turns the public away from what they perceive as the conservative brand, because it IS actually the brand the vast majority of true conservatives run under (even libertarians, for that matter, who are interested in any chance at getting into office). The only question is who will own it. If Trump respresents the ownership of the Republican brand, I'm not interested. I'll gladly let him destroy whatever credibility is left in it representing actual conservative principles all by himself.
While I haven't made up my mind yet, I'd strongly lean to a third party candidate with a chance to win at least a substantial portion of the vote and, perhaps, carry a different torch into the future. (That's not libertarianism for me at this point--it comes too close to libertine-ism in my view, which would just encourage and accelerate the moral decline I see occurring in the nation. And the only rationally consistent form of libertarianism that I see is the absolutely unworkable anarcho-capitalist kind, a certain recipe for disaster in the civil and economic arenas. Regardless, the only thing that gets advanced when libertarians and liberals get together tends to be legislation that undermines the very fabric that keeps the nation together, including traditional marriage and families. Conservative-libertarian economic policies never make it to the table.)
The ONLY reason I'd even consider Trump is if I was certain of his Supreme Court nominees, but I have no reason to believe this particular tiger can change his say-what-gets-you-votes-and-stokes-your-ego-and-then-do-and-say-what-you-want stripes. Don't think I'd want my grandkids thinking amoral, gutter, personal-slur, tell-whatever-lie-works-in-the-moment politics, and ego-stroking narcissism is what passes for normal or acceptable either. Our political leaders absolutely do set important examples of what is "acceptable" for society. At some point, I do have to take responsibility for whom I'm willing to put in office to educate the coming generation. Political position isn't the only consideration. Personal morality is also important. Boorish as a platform isn't a political, no less a principled, position I can vote for.
“Vice is a monster of so frightful mien
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.”
― Alexander Pope
I unaffiliated from the Republican party when Bush & Republican congresses were well on their way to doubling the national debt. I have no qualms giving the American people the government they insist upon when the choice of "electable" candidates pretty much passes the black hole moral event horizon regardless of which lever is pulled in the voting booth.-
I was asked, "would you really feel more comfortable with Hillary selecting the next 2 or 3 justices?"
Maybe. I am considering.
For the last 100 years there has been a dominant question Judges base judgement on. A question that many are unaware is even asked.
Is this legislation the will of the people. If it is, then by default it is good by in large. We should generally defer to the majority of the legislative branch. Those who oppose this deference are called judicial activists.
In the last 120 year or so our government has gotten further from being a republic and closer to being a direct democracy. Propositions, recalls and referendums are a part of the Arizona constitution. It was approved in 1912. The earlier states do not have such provisions in them.
I believe that there must be a balance between democratic and republican tendencies in our systems. The people can rule like a Mob just as easily as an elected official can over reach in their power.
Separation of powers includes separating the people from exercising too much power. When they do, it is the minorities in race, religion, nationality etc that suffer.
I do not trust Trump much to nominate judges that focus more on individual liberty over deferring to majorities.
John Roberts deferred to the majority of Congress and the President when he upheld Obamacare. We need more judges to balance the power more towards our God given liberties.
In short I see judge nominations as Russian roulette. With Hillary there may be 6 chambers filled. With Trump, maybe 3, maybe 5?
The damage Trump may do is to build walls of tariffs and further aggravate our economy. Then the people may conclude that capitalism does not work when in reality, tariffs are the opposite from a market economy.
So I am considering.