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Monday, November 7, 2016

Finally...

"It's a long way till November 2016," I wrote on Aug. 15, 2015, in a post in which I broke a onetime promise not to write about Donald Trump; took a somewhat prescient view that he just might win the Republican nomination; and gave a brief, preliminary explanation of why I'd never vote for him.
Will I vote for Trump? Not a chance. His egomania and abrasiveness, cynical populism, lack of governing experience and vagueness about what he wants to do, along with the handful of policy-related ideas he has stated, disqualify him by my lights. And I speak as someone who's found him interesting and even somewhat sympathetic for a long time. I recall reading Jerome Tucille's biography of him some [three] decades ago (!).
Do I think Trump has any chance of winning the GOP nomination? Yes, though I would certainly bet against it. Do I think he has any chance of winning the presidency? A slim one, but not negligible. If he won the nomination, his credibility by that point would be considerable; and it's not as if the Democrats have a frontrunner currently whose viability looks to be assured going forward. But the likelihood that Trump would lose in a general election has sparked some genuine agonizing on the right, and it's kind of funny to watch conservative pundits suddenly embrace the pragmatic electability criteria they spent the past couple of cycles disparaging.
I'll now go further, a day before the election, and say I'm highly confident that he won't win, and am far more grateful for that now even than I would've been back in the summer of 2015. I don't know what this man will do post-election (such as the much-predicted Trump TV) in a desperate effort to remain the center of attention, and I don't doubt that he's already done serious damage to our country's institutions, including especially the Republican Party of which I'm now a proud ex-member. But tomorrow as I vote for his imperfect opponent, my main thought about Donald Trump will be a straightforward one: good riddance.

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