KNAPP COLUMN: Your Vote Versus Differences Which Make No Difference

Published 9:00 am Tuesday, June 11, 2024

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As you’ve no doubt heard, a New York jury closed out the merry month
of May by convicting former US president Donald Trump on 34 felony
counts of falsifying business records. Media — mainstream,
alternative, and social — are awash with analyses of how Trump’s
criminal conviction will affect votes this November.

Hunter Biden, son of US incumbent president Joe Biden, went to trial
on completely unconstitutional gun charges (there is no exception to
the Second Amendment that allows the government to deprive drug users
of their gun rights) at the beginning of June, so we’ll soon see a
similar flood of “how does this affect the election?” punditry.

My prediction in both cases: Not noticeably.

Donald Trump and Hunter Biden are quite a bit alike in two ways.

Firstly, they’re crooked as San Francisco’s Lombard Street. They’re so
crooked, they have to screw their pants on in the morning. They’re
bent as pretzels.

Secondly, everyone — everyone who cares, anyway — has known that
fact about both of them for a long, long time. No one with an IQ over
40 would leave a wallet, or a daughter, alone in a room with either of
them (or with Hunter’s dad).

Both similarities bring me back to the well I always drink from:
William James’s dictum that “a difference which makes no difference is
not difference at all.”

Voters who’ve supported Donald Trump for president twice are almost
certain to support him a third time. They knew he was a snake when
they picked him up. One more bit of snakiness — especially one that’s
old news, was really just a misdemeanor the statute of limitations had
expired on, and  was tortured back into existence and into felony
status by trying to tie it to unspecified “underlying crimes” — won’t
change their minds.

Voters who’ve supported Joe Biden for president once are almost
certain to support him again. They knew he was a snake when they
picked him up. One more bit of snakiness — especially one that’s
patently unconstitutional, indirect, and unrelated to corruption
involving the father/son relationship — won’t change their minds.

Even those who MIGHT change their minds aren’t likely to switch “major
party” sides. Former Biden voters won’t pick Trump. Former Trump
voters won’t pick Biden. If they can’t bring themselves to support
their previous pick, They’ll cast their votes for independent or third
party candidates.

We can all predict with 99.9% certainty that, no matter how — or even
if — we vote in November, either Joe Biden or Donald Trump will get
(re-)inaugurated next January.

That’s a fine reason to not even bother voting.

It’s also a fine reason to make use of your vote to “send a message”
that you’re unhappy with the “major party” choices.