We had no idea the Comprehensive Conservative Voter Guide would have over 14,000 downloads this election cycle. One Man Can‘s founder, Joseph Spencer, approached me and asked for assistance with a voter guide for the users on the site. He wanted to vet candidates, debate propositions, and offer guidance to the folks who signed up and “evangelize” the political message in their neighborhood.
14,000 downloads produced over 100 Facebook comments, emails, and phone calls. We took some heat for endorsing the legalization of marijuana. We took some heat for not supporting the proposition which “streamlines” appeals for the death penalty. We took a tiny bit of heat for choosing a liberal Democrat over a progressive Democrat in the US Senate race. We advised the site users to offer their advice to their neighbors rather than ours.
We intentionally omitted the Presidential race and, while almost everybody understood our reasoning, most felt that we risked the down ballot races by not taking a position. Our reasoning for the intentional omission had three parts:
1- We figured that everybody had their decision made. The media covered the Republican primaries like no other primary season before. After the RNC convention, the media covered the general election with bared fangs for Donald Trump. We came to the conclusion that there was not one voter, in San Diego County, who hadn’t made his/her decision at the time of our publication. We were wrong.
2- We recognized that there is a principled opposition to Donald Trump from a larger than normal number of conservatives. We wanted to respect that principled opposition and encourage San Diego conservatives to vote their conscience. Recent events suggest that a constitutional crisis looms if Clinton wins the White House. As the campaigns of Stein and Johnson become less and less effective, and the Trump campaign becomes more competitive, we think the potential crisis makes the only conscientious decision in this election, a vote for Trump.
3- It is almost impossible for a Republican to win a statewide election in California. We saw no reason to “compete” in an unwinnable choice. We were wrong to think that. While the probability of a Trump win in California is as likely as the Chargers winning the Super Bowl. we think ideas matter to the down ballot races. We think site users SHOULD give their neighbors reasons to vote for Trump (even if their efforts are unsuccessful) because that conversation will cement the reasons for voting for down ballot races.
We think One Man Can site users should recommend that conservatives, libertarians, and anyone in the San Diego center-right community should vote for the Trump/Pence ticket. We can argue that the SCOTUS nominations are too important, we can argue that immigration laws must be enforced, we can argue that Obamacare has to be repealed. We can give you great arguments why Donald Trump is a far superior choice to Hillary Clinton, for POTUS, and #NeverTrump conservatives can offer excellent rebuttals with long-term strategic thinking in mind.
We don’t think that matters anymore. Editorial cartoonist Michael Ramirez captures our position in one picture. To vote for Clinton is to fire a certain bullet in the head of the Republic. A vote for Trump gives the Republic a 50/50 chance at survival.
Call it a resistance vote. Call it a defensive vote. Call it a vote for Mike Pence for Vice President. Call it what you must to feel principled but recommend that your neighbors vote for the Trump/Pence ticket on Tuesday.
Brian J. Brady
November 2, 2016