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And I think you could fairly say that voting for Trump has changed the standards of a great many Republicans.
In 2012, Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin made an awful remark about rape and Republican voters bailed on him in droves. As an exercise, try to think up a theoretical limit which would prevent you from voting for a Republican Senate candidate.
I don’t mean to come across as fatalistic and anti-democratic here (though, full-disclosure, I am kind of both) so it’s important to note that there’s one thing voting changes in a meaningful way: You. The making of that choice, the taking of that action, changes who you are.
If you think this is an exaggeration, have a look at the rot which infected much of the Democratic party during the Clinton years.
As you might imagine, it attracted a great deal of notice. To have a large family, the wife must start having kids when she is young.
The husband needs to be well-established and able to support the family, in which case he will typically need to marry when older.
Because it means that you are rejecting the maximalist view and accepting a prudential one. But understand then that isn’t actually an argument for why people “should” vote for Moore so much as a virtue-signaling performance piece. If you care about the actual impact of supporting Moore—rather than preening in public about how you want people to view you—you start by looking in the mirror and thinking about the next compromise you’ll be asked to make.
But let’s pretend that your vote is going to tip the election.Four years and a vote for Trump later and Republicans are arguing that voting for a pederast is perfectly reasonable. This is a serious question, because the arguments for Moore made by people like Tully Borland are maximalist ones: There is literally no limiting principle to them. It doesn’t matter which end of the scale would be the tipping point for you.If the guy on the ballot is eligible to hold office and has an R next to his name, then by the Borland principle, you have to vote for him, full stop. Maybe our hypothetical candidate is a real, live white supremacist.From there, Borland turned to more conventional tropes: No one is perfect, most elections are about the lesser of two evils, the Democrat in the race is an evil abortionist. He concludes, “[T]here’s no shame in voting for someone with whom you disagree, no matter how significant the disagreement, as long as you do so for the right reasons.Regret in having two lousy candidates to choose from is possible without having shame in picking one you think will do less harm to the nation.” Well.
Here are the margins of victory for the Republican candidate in the last eight senatorial elections in Alabama: 1996: 104,785 1998: 343,405 2002: 253,683 2004: 647,182 2008: 552,992 2010: 452,812 2014: 795,606 2016: 586,395 That’s an average margin of victory of more than 467,000 votes in a state where the entire voting-age population is only 3.7 million.