OK, what's a #NeverTrumper to do now?
First, acknowledge that every Democrat should be purged from office. Second, admit it has become much less likely that will happen in 2016. Third, take a deep breath. It's a long term game and there are things we can do in spite of Trump.
To put a very simple action plan in front of you:
1- Vote Libertarian for president. More on this below.
2- Vote GOP on the down ballot races to provide as effective an opposition as possible. (Yes, I think Trump has handed the presidency to Hillary.)
3- Fight even harder for state and local politicians who will best resist whichever statist wins the presidency.
Meanwhile, we need to respond to the whining from the Trump camp that started weeks ago: “A vote for a third party is a vote for Hillary! We held our noses and voted for Dole, Bush, McCain and Romney, now you cuckservatives have to do the same for Trump. If Hillary wins the Presidency, it'll be because of you, you traitorous assholes. Because GOP!”
Sorry, you broke the GOP, now you own it.
I hadn't much liked it in recent years anyway, and won't greatly mourn its passing. See, I had to hold my nose, too. I've detested how the leadership and the majority of members have conducted themselves, but I didn't go all irrational. I didn't start calling tea party folks "really, really stoopid" after they had made such important contributions. Some of you Trump folks did. And still are.
We were making some small progress in turning around 100 years of Progressive rot (with brief interruptions from Coolidge and Reagan). I wish it had been faster and better, especially in the last 40 years, but now we're not going anywhere until we deal with the Trump Consequence.
And, seriously, how is a vote for a Not Hillary a vote for Hillary? Would a Sanders supporter voting for the Not Hillary be a vote for Hillary? Let me simplify your position for you: Something someone never had, and never had a chance to have, is being stolen from them when it's not given to them. What that means is you think Trump has a binding claim on my vote, but it's not as if you weren't told Trump couldn't have my vote, and it's not as if I care that you read me out of the party formerly known as the GOP because of it.
I publicly laid out many of the reasons I could not morally or ethically vote for Trump. Now you're telling me I can't vote for anyone else, and I must call myself a cuckservative having had the temerity to even think about it. That's what you've been insulting me with for lo these many weeks, as if valuing limited government under strict adherence to the Constitution has become subservient to a withering stream of sleazy innuendo, gross insult and shameless Constitutional ignorance.
I will note that labeling me a “cuckservative” seems to indicate you have some affinity for the term “conservative.” With Trump, however, you're bound and determined to teach others that conservatism is a personally demeaning philosophy, chiefly characterized by small-minded incuriosity.
I can hear the shouting, “Hillary is far, far worse, you fool!” Maybe. I don't care. See, the idea is that this is a long term game: Four years of Trump redefining core American principles into a mix of Huey Long populism and crony capitalist political-insider trading might well do more damage than our enemy. There are signs already, and Trump's popularity is one of them, that we've forgotten what made America great in the first place: limited government, free minds and free markets under the Constitution.
The Dems are already rebranding the GOP with Trump.
The people who are handing the presidency to Hillary Clinton are the people who already voted for Trump, so I damn well don't want to hear any more snide criticisms of my personal voting choice. You can maintain your self respect having voted for Trump. More power to you. I can't do that.
So, I think I stick with my core beliefs. My conservatism was initially informed by Barry Goldwater, who was just barely short of Libertarian. This certainly won't be the first time I've voted Libertarian. And the last time I did, it wasn't counted as a vote for Al Gore.
To those for whom Libertarianism is an exotic or suspect philosophy, do some research if you'd like. I'm not vouching for this, but it gives a flavor.
Certainly visit The Cato Institute, The Mises Institute, Cafe Hayek, Reason Magazine and Libertarianism.org, they're all conveniently located on the left sidebar. Read some Henry Hazlitt, Adam Smith, Friedrich von Hayek, Murray Rothbard, Ayn Rand, Frédéric Bastiat and Milton Friedman. Try to recall some of the things Ron Paul stood for.
Or don't. I'll point out that a Libertarian vote this year really doesn't commit you to anything. The Libertarian candidate is not going to be president, any more than Donald Trump is, so the philosophy doesn't much matter. It does matter that the LP will be on the ballot in all 50 states, so it's easier than a write in. It does matter that Libertarians want major change. It would matter greatly in 2020 if they could get into double digits in 2016. It's a long term game. A little longer now than it was.
I may expand on the reasons you might prefer voting Libertarian to other parties in a future post. It's certainly preferable to not voting, because you do need to vote the down ballot races.