04 November, 2016

Dear America,

Alright, sit down. It’s cards-on-the-table time. We find your election just as comical as you do but I’m here to tell you, it’s not funny any more. This is serious and you need to take it seriously.

But who am I, an Australian, to lecture America on their democratic process? Well let me ask you this: If I were to use the expression, “the leader of the free world,” who do you instinctively think of? Right! I speak to you as a citizen of the free world. You mind your business and I’ll mind mine.

The conventional wisdom is that you’ve got a bit of a dismal choice before you – each is as bad as the other. That’s utter rubbish. But any reasonable assessment, the choice is clear.

Now I don’t like Hillary Clinton any more than you do. And no, that doesn’t mean I’m a Bernie Bro. I wish there were someone in between but, to adapt a line from Donald Rumsfeld, you go into an election with the candidates you have, not the candidates you want.

Many Republican former office-holders are publically supporting Hillary Clinton, and not just because there isn’t a nose-plug strong enough to block out the stench of Trump. The truth is Hillary Clinton is the best Republican candidate there has been all century.

Just think about it: She’s from a southern state, she conducts her campaign with an air of manifest destiny, she’s a hawk on defence, she’s secretive, she takes money from dodgy sources, she’s not good at relating to ordinary people, she gives secret speeches to donors, she’s crap with technology and she gives insultingly lame excuses for her mistakes. What’s not to love? It would be like the third term of the Bush administration. If it weren’t for her surname and her lack of a Y-chromosome, she would be the perfect Republican candidate.

For reasons which they can never satisfactorily explain though, Republicans hate her. Many seem to think she is going to bring about a socialist, sharia, communist, Islamo-fascist dictatorship with compulsory abortions in every school. This is not going to happen. How do I know this isn’t going to happen? Because I remember when Obama was going to do all that, and he has precious little time to make a start on it. Since we know Clinton is to the right of Obama on just about every issue, it’s not going to happen. If you really think it might, then not only should you not be allowed to vote, you probably shouldn’t be allowed outside unescorted.

Ever since the Republican convention, I have used a quote from Ted Cruz in all my comments on the US election: Vote your conscience.

Now, I’m going to borrow a line from John McCain. It’s his 2008 election slogan: Country First.

Okay, we get it – you don’t like Hillary. I don’t like her very much either. And Trump is a Washington outsider? Big deal! So is Kanye West. Would you vote for him? They are more similar than you think. If you want to hand the country over to a reality TV businessperson, vote for Paris Hilton. In terms of building on an inheritance, she leaves Trump in the shade.

I speak to you from a country that, a little over three years ago, decided to eat a shit sandwich just to show how much we hate spinach. We lived to regret it but at least we have a system where his party could fire him two years in when they realised that election-winning slogans didn’t automatically translate into competent government. Vote for Trump and you’re stuck with him for four years. And you have to admit, you have no idea what he’s going to do. By his own admission, on many issues, he hasn’t either.

Anyone who loves their country, regardless of their politics, would surely want a cool clear head in charge over a dangerous unknown quantity. I’ve been called a conservative and I’ve been called a leftist but at heart, I’m a pragmatist. This election is not a choice between two equally awful options. On one side there is a candidate who, if nothing else, has proven experience and competence in public office. On the other side, there is a demonstrably unstable sociopath. To anyone who would put country first, this is not a difficult decision.

If your hatred of Hillary Clinton outweighs your love of your country, then by all means vote for Donald Trump. Otherwise, put country first and vote your conscience.

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