There’s been a lot of news, over the last two weeks, about Trump being a serial sexual assaulter – and although Trump now denies it, many of the accusations match up perfectly with Trump’s boasting. It’s clear that Trump is a misogynist, a sexual abuser, and a scumbag. None of that is surprising.
This scandal has hurt Trump significantly in the polls. As someone who thinks a Trump presidency could be a historic disaster, I’m very happy for that.
I’ve also seen people suggest that it’s morally unconscionable for anyone to vote for Trump, because we now know he’s a serial sexual abuser.1 That I can’t agree with. I have to admit, were the situations reversed – if there was a Democrat running who was a serial sexual abuser, and a Republican running who wasn’t – I’d probably still vote for the Democrat.2
A Republican president, even a Republican who has never abused anyone personally, would certainly cancel the US funding for UNFPA Obama restored. By providing pregnancy and birth care, UNFPA prevents hundreds or thousands of deaths every year, and provides better lives for thousands more (for example, by treating cases of fistula). I don’t take rape lightly, but neither do I take these lives lightly. On balance, I’d rather vote for a sexual abuser who would fund UNFPA, saving thousands of lives, than non-abuser who’d take funding away from UNFPA’s vital work.
And multiply UNFPA by dozens of other examples. There are many cases where the difference between a Democrat and a Republican is a life-or-death matter. Just one provision of the Affordable Care Act – which any Republican President would seek to repeal or undermine – has prevented 50,000 deaths. Not enough has been done on climate change – but Obama has been far better than any Republican would have been, and for hundreds of thousands that’s a life-or-death issue. I could go on (I haven’t even mentioned The Supreme Court, or abortion rights, or transgender rights, or civil rights, or….), but those examples suffice.
So yes, if the situation were reversed, I’d ignore the sick feeling in my gut and vote for the Democrat.
And all the above is why I’m not voting for a third party candidate instead of Hillary Clinton. Even if I Jill Stein were better than Hillary Clinton on every policy issue, Stein is not going to be elected. The choice is Clinton or Trump, and one of those choices will pragmatically cause a lot more preventable deaths than the other. That pragmatism overwhelms every pro-Stein argument I’ve read.
But – going back to voting for Trump. I would never vote for Trump, because he’s awful on policy, in ways that could lead hundreds of thousands of people to die who would be less likely to die due to a Clinton administration. I also have enormous doubts about his competence as an executive.
But what if I were a sincere pro-lifer who genuinely believes that voting for Trump could save thousands of unborn lives? In that case, I might vote for Trump – even though he’s a man of disgusting character, a liar, a fraud, and a serial sexual abuser. That would be an understandable vote. For someone with those views, even Trump could seem like the lesser evil.
(Image by DonkeyHotey).