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Ten Stupid Things People are Saying About the Presidential Election

I gave up Facebook for Lent.  This is probably one of the smartest things I’ve ever done, up there with marrying my wife, learning how to shave with a razor, and switching from the Blackberry to the iPhone.  It has definitely insulated me from a lot of the high-blood-pressure-inducing, utterly absurd and ridiculous things that people have been saying throughout this election cycle on both sides of the aisle.

Yet even throughout these 40 Facebook free days and nights from Ash Wednesday to Easter, I’ve still managed to hear more than my fair share of rank idiocy when it comes to this cycle.  It’s got to stop.  You’ve all heard dumb things, and maybe you’ve even repeated them.  Since I care about you, let me take this opportunity to urge you to stop talking stupid.

Here’s the list.  If you’ve recently said these things, find yourself wanting to say these things, or want-to/have posted them on social media, do us all a favor and walk to the nearest chair, sit down, and punch yourself in the face until you pass out.

1. Donald Trump can’t win/won’t be the nominee – This is the top of the list and almost all of us have said it at some point.  This was something acceptable to repeat, say, last August.  You could probably even get away with saying it after Iowa. Saying it after Super Tuesday meant that you were substituting hope for rational thought.  Saying it after last Tuesday’s contests means you’re an idiot.  Right now, barring some kind of miracle, dinosaur-style apocalypse or the Rapture, Donald Trump is going to be the nominee.  He has more than half the number of delegates needed to win nomination on the first ballot, he’s the only candidate who would qualify under the existing RNC Rule 40 requirement of majorities in eight states, and he’s only got to win slightly more than half the remaining delegates to get to 1,237.  It’s time to stop worrying and love the bomb, people.

2. John Kasich is destroying the Republican Party – This is the most popular stupid thing I’m seeing repeated over and over now.  It even made it into a Bloomberg News article [1] by someone who should know better.  No, Kasich isn’t ruining the party.  No, Kasich didn’t cost Rubio the election.  No, Kasich isn’t running for VP (who the hell runs for VP?). No, Kasich isn’t being funded by George Soros. No, Kasich isn’t an idiot for staying in the race even though he can’t get to 1,237.  What is Kasich doing? Simple – he’s running for President, and he wants to be there at Cleveland in the event that there is a brokered convention.  He isn’t getting out of the race because he doesn’t have to.  Only this year, with Trump at the top of the ticket, is Kasich staying in somehow anything more than him wanting to stay in.  Those complaining loudest about Kasich being around seem to think that he’s the spoiler keeping their guy from winning.  He isn’t.  Here’s the thing – even if Kasich got out after Iowa, that doesn’t mean Rubio would have won. Or Cruz would have done better.  Even if Kasich stays in until Cleveland, he’s not stopping people who are so against Trump winning from voting for someone other than Trump.  The “Kasich is ruining the party” nonsense is mainly coming from former Rubio supporters who are still angry their guy lost and Cruz supporters who are demonstrating yet again why Cruz is the candidate for socially inept malcontents.  And, for the record, Kasich’s super PAC took $200,000 from Scott Bessent, a big donor who works for Soros Fund Management – he gave personal money, just like he’s given to a large number of GOP candidates in the past, including  Paul Ryan, Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham, John Boehner, Rob Portman, Carly Fiorina and Mitt Romney.  That’s not George Soros funding his campaign, even if the mouth-breathers at Breitbart can’t tell the difference.

3. It just wasn’t Marco Rubio’s time – As the saying goes in poker, every hand’s a winner and every hand’s a loser.  The difference is how you play your hand, and how you play your opponent’s hand(s).  Rubio had a path to victory.  He always did.  At some point, almost every pundit, including me, thought that Rubio would be the nominee.  So why didn’t he win?  The same reason every candidate who has a shot doesn’t win.  He made critical errors at the worst times, and he didn’t do things that he should have done – like gone after Trump earlier, built better grassroots infrastructure in later states and owned his immigration stances.  He also did things he shouldn’t have done, like not showing up for work and trying to out-Trump Trump in the waning days of his campaign. This could easily have been Rubio’s time, and most of the issues that kept him from the nomination were self-inflicted wounds.  In the end, it’s his responsibility for his loss, and we shouldn’t chalk it up to “timing” or some other mystical nonsense.  When candidates lose, it’s because they didn’t do what they needed to do to win.  That’s tough for people to hear, especially the candidates, but it’s true and something I know from experience.

4. We all need to coalesce around Ted Cruz – No, we don’t.  I don’t care how much you dislike Donald Trump or any of the other candidates, there is no good reason to demand that everybody vote for your candidate just to stop somebody else from winning.  That’s stupid.  Each of these candidates are individuals and each of them has pros and cons.  Cruz is no different.  I don’t like Donald Trump, but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to throw my principles out the window and vote for a Canadian booger eater [2] because he isn’t Donald Trump.  I need to have at least one reason to vote for somebody and I don’t have any when it comes to Ted Cruz.  Plenty of people are in the same boat in that regard.  Trump winning is not the end of the world, and voting for Cruz so Trump doesn’t win is the political equivalent cutting off your head to cure a cold.

5. We are getting Trump because the Establishment tried to shove Jeb Bush down our throats – Nobody tried to shove anybody down anyone’s throats. Had that happened, Bush would be the nominee now.  He’s not.  He didn’t even make it to Super Tuesday.  We are getting Trump for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that people are angry at Washington and politicians and they wanted an outsider.  Trump is the outsider with the biggest name ID and a loyal following of fans that existed outside of politics.  Not hard to figure out why he’s doing well.  The “establishment” hasn’t done much of anything this cycle, primarily because there aren’t enough of them (somebody out there is shouting at their screen that I’m part of the establishment, I know) to make a difference.

6. Donald Trump wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for RINOs like John McCain and Mitt Romney – One of the worst words in the English language is “if,” especially when you’re talking about things that have already happened.  If Romney won, we’d not have Trump.  Sure, and if my Aunt had balls, she’d be my Uncle.  “If” doesn’t matter.  Acting like McCain and Romney are the cause of Trump rising is both stupid and short sighted.  Why anybody thinks we could have defeated Barack Obama in 2008 if we’d had a different candidate is just beyond me.  Who else from the 2008 field could have beat Obama?  Romney?  Ron Paul?  Come on.  That was a race that no Republican alive or dead could have won.  We could have run a Lincoln/Reagan ticket and lost.  2012 is tougher, because we should have won that campaign, and yes, that’s on Romney, but he isn’t to blame for Trump.  We came very close to winning, but Romney made more mistakes than Obama did, and in politics, the guy who makes the fewest mistakes wins.  Trump even ran in 2012, abortively, and didn’t pick up any traction.  People were more risk averse in 2012.  They aren’t this time around.  Sure, had Romney won in 2012, we wouldn’t have to deal with this now, but that’s like saying if Castro had made the Yankees, he wouldn’t have become a communist dictator – those are some pretty big “ifs.”

7. George Bush was responsible for 9/11 – I can’t even. I just can’t.

8. #NeverTrump – Activism 101 teaches you have to give people a call to action if you want them to do what you want them to do.  What are you asking them to do?  #NeverTrump doesn’t ask you to do anything.  It’s a statement of complaint, even if it’s a valid one.  It’s essentially whining and whining never gives you an alternative, it’s just, well, whining.  What does #NeverTrump mean?  Does #NeverTrump mean vote for Hillary?  Does it mean vote for Cruz or Kasich?  Does it mean don’t vote at all?  If #NeverTrump is the answer, what’s the alternative?

As an aside, it’s odd to see so many Republicans shouting #NeverTrump while I have yet to see #NeverHillary trending anywhere.

9. A vote for Kasich is a vote for Trump – A vote for Kasich is…a vote for Kasich.  It’s not a vote for Trump or anybody else.  Don’t fall into this kind of lazy mental trap. If your candidate can’t convince somebody to vote for them, it’s not the voter’s fault. It’s your candidate’s fault.  Candidates win by getting more voters to vote for them, not depriving the other guy of votes.

10. If the convention is brokered, we should give the nomination to Paul Ryan – As I told a high-ranking member of the House of Representatives the other day, if people think they’re going to find creative ways to take this nomination away from Trump and give it to someone who has never been in the race – especially if he gets to 1,237 – you might as well pull out your pencils now and start erasing Cleveland off the maps, because his followers will burn the entire city to the ground if that happens.  That’s not a threat, and it’s not bullying – it’s reality.  In the modern era, when you’ve had millions of people go to the polls and express their opinion about who should be president and they’ve had multiple candidates to choose from, trying to take away the nomination from somebody we all don’t particularly care for using tricks and insider deals and give it to someone who isn’t in the race is the absolute worst possible thing we can do.  It would betray our belief in democracy and democratic principles, and it would betray our belief in the wisdom of the electorate. Many in the party love to talk about the importance of grassroots – until the grassroots don’t do what those people want them to do.  Unfortunately, this cycle they are doing what many of us don’t want them to do.  That’s their right.  Respect it.

There’s enough stupidity going on in this election cycle – on both sides of the aisle. Don’t contribute to it by saying dumb things.  Things are bad enough without adding to it.