The Franco Principle, or Why I Voted for Trump After All

I hate having to write this.

From the very first, I despised Donald Trump. Well, at first I regarded him as a joke, then as a serious threat, and then I despised him. He’s a repulsive human being and probably will make a terrible President. I always said that I wouldn’t vote for him.

And yet, I did.

This might make me a hypocrite, but I decided in the end that it was the only thing to do. You see, though I hate Trump as a candidate, I always said that I would rather he win. Knowing that either Donald Trump or Hilary Clinton will be President, I would much rather have Trump. But I live in Michigan, which has never gone red in my memory, so I assumed my vote didn’t count anyway. I was planning to vote for Darrell Castle of the U.S. Constitution Party as a protest vote.

But now there are rumors Trump actually has a shot at taking it. If that’s the case, then I don’t think I can in good conscience fail to do my poor little bit to push it in that direction.

I call this the Franco principle, after the Generalissimo. Basically, it says that when both sides are horrible, you go with the one who isn’t actively trying to destroy you. Spanish Catholics during the civil war sided with Franco, not necessarily because they thought he was a good guy, but because the other side was massacring them, burning churches, and trying to wipe religion out of Spain and Franco promised to protect them. Whatever else Franco was, he was not an existential threat to Spain’s Catholics the way the Republicans were.

Similarly, I think every Catholic in a state that is remotely likely to go republican has a duty to vote for Trump, not because he’s in any way a good candidate (he isn’t) but because Clinton openly intends to persecute the Church by continuing and expanding Obama’s policies. She’s on record saying that Christians have to change their views on morality to conform to the modern world and with a liberal-controlled court at her back there will be absolutely nothing to prevent her from enforcing that view. Clinton is an existential threat to Catholics in this country (and, I think, to the Republic itself). Trump, whatever else he is, is not.

Now, I don’t know that Trump will do anything to help us. Probably he won’t. But if it’s a choice between someone who probably won’t live up to his promises to help and someone who promises to try to destroy us, how is that at all a difficult decision?

It’s difficult because the lesser of the two evils is so very evil himself. But those are the choices we have: one will possibly, but probably not defend our rights, the other will certainly try her best to destroy them. If we don’t hold our noses and vote Trump 2016, we may not have any rights left to defend in 2020.

4 thoughts on “The Franco Principle, or Why I Voted for Trump After All

  1. Okay, I can see that… but only if a Clinton victory would have merited the same kind of armed uprising that the Popular Front’s victory did. Is that really what you’re arguing here?


  2. Your dichotomy is ridiculous; suggesting that a vote for Donald Trump is morally equivalent to armed insurrection. Either one or the other of two repulsive candidates would be President: casting a vote for the one who is not openly hostile to your religion and way of life (and, incidentally, the one you consider the better choice in any case) does not logically require you to intend open rebellion in the event he loses, only that you don’t want things to reach a point where armed conflict becomes necessary.


  3. My apologies. I certainly didn’t mean to seem to accuse you of treason because of the way you voted. It’s just always a bit unsettling to see someone defend a course of action on the grounds that a Spanish Catholic in 1936 would have been justified in doing something similar. Of course, if you don’t actually reserve the principle for that sort of nightmarish emergency scenario, that’s another matter; I could wish that you’d found a less extreme instance to name it after, but the argument itself thus becomes much more palatable.


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