When I cast my vote in the Democratic Presidential primary at the Brown County courthouse yesterday during lunch, I was the 199th early voter in Brown County and the 84th Democrat since early voting opened on April 22. Coincidentally, of the 115 early Republican voters, 84 had cast votes in the District 3 House Republican primary.
Now that Ted Cruz and John Kasich have surrendered their party to the borwnshirts, I wonder if the new irrelevance of the remaining Presidential primaries will depress turnout for District 3’s down-ticket race among Rep. Dan Kaiser, Drew Dennert, and Todd Kolden for the two State House spots available for the Republicans on the general election ballot. Those who would have shown up for the Presidential battle would have been a mix of Trump fascists and Cruz fundamentalists, neither of whom would bode well for moderate school board member Kolden‘s chances. Perhaps with the battle between the crazies settled, the Trumpists and Cruzers will stay home, and Kolden’s green signers will make up a larger chunk of the remaining turnout.
But I would ask Todd, Dan, and Drew: do any of you really want to be on the same ticket as Donald J. Trump? Are you ready to stand on a stage with Nikki Bootz and Brooks Briscoe and explain to voters why anyone should vote for the Trumpist Party for anything?
If Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders comes to Aberdeen and invites me up on stage to endorse my candidacy for State Senate, I will leap at the opportunity. I will stand with and say a few words for my party’s Presidential nominee, and I’ll be able to say a lot more, with integrity, than, “Well, at least Hillary/Bernie isn’t the other guy.” How about you, Todd, Drew, and Dan? And how about you, Al Novstrup, my friendly opponent for the Senate seat? What say you about your party, the party that picks Donald Trump as the best man for President of the United States? Do you have enough confidence left in your party to check “R” on your ballots? Or will you run from the Trumpist brand?
South Dakota Republicans, I still want you to come vote. We have plenty of ballot measures that require everyone’s input. As for candidates, well, maybe you can do some penance, restore some cosmic balance, and vote for members of the party that has not nominated a fascist reality-TV star for President. Here, try on some of these positive South Dakota values as an antidote to your Washington disaster:
But if voting for Paula Hawks and other good Democrats is just too bitter a medicine to take, here are some other ways you Republican voters can preserve your integrity:
- Leave Republican candidate slots blank on your ballot.
- Boycott the state and national Republican conventions.
- If you have to go to the Republican National Convention, submit your convention votes silently, by paper, then catch a flight out of Cleveland before Donald Trump speaks and accepts your nomination.
- Put a Donald Trump sign in your yard, but drape a black sheet over it.
- Go to the courthouse today and change your registration to Independent, since the Republican-Trumpist Party clearly no longer stands for your values.
- Call your local Libertarian Party and see what you can do for their Presidential candidate.
- Turn off cable news and read Dakota Free Press instead.
2016 is an awful year to be a Republican. Don’t give up on democracy, my Republican friends, but look for ways to make democracy work better next time.