20160511_193628 Today was a rare day.

It may be counted as such not just because it contained uncommon occurrences, but also because it felt a little like a bloody and undercooked meal that I was being forced to eat against my will.

Now, you may be wondering what exactly it is that I mean by that statement. Let me tell you.

I left the Republican Party today. Actually, no. I think it’s a little more along the lines of what Reagan said when he chimed, “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party. The party left me.”

As of this writing, Donald Trump is the candidate representing the GOP. That’s right. We have a man who can barely form a coherent sentence, repeats himself incessantly, is tactless, vulgar, and unkind to anyone and everyone, has flip-flopped on pretty much every position he has ever taken so you don’t know which ones to trust, and makes promises that he and everyone else knows cannot be kept. And I could keep going, probably writing another couple thousand words about how this man is unfit for the highest public office and the last one I want representing conservatism, but alas, as I began, I have departed the arena that would require my conversation.

But where do I go now? That I do not know. I’m against killing unborn babies and pushing pop-culture ideologies under the guise of “individual liberty” all for the sake of consuming traditional America, so the Democratic Party just will not do. I’m not into relinquishing national interests across the globe or doing things like decriminalizing drugs, so the Libertarians are out. I’m not into redistribution of wealth or subjugating opposing viewpoints, so the Socialists wouldn’t appreciate me (and I guess this sort of refers back to the Democratic Party, too).

So where do I go? Well, to “issue” precision, I guess; and in some cases this will require my voice and presence, but in others, my absence.

I know that it may sound like I’ve thrown in the towel, but really it just means that I’m going to continue to educate myself to the candidates, become more visible in my community, and rather than voting a straight ticket based on the assumption that the platform is, for the most part, aligned with my values, I’ll vote for particular candidates in various elections while abstaining from others.

Of course, some of my GOP friends have tried to make the case that by not voting for the lesser of two evils in any election, I’m allowing the greater evil more influence. I understand what they are trying to say. I really do. But what they seem to be missing from the broader landscape is that evil often has the singular voice in both circumstances and to choose either is to fundamentally remove the foundation of “principle.” I mean, isn’t it an admission that when presented with two evils from which to choose, by voluntarily choosing one, that evil is accounted a certain level of acceptability, a voluntary endorsement. Doesn’t that still mean that I actively participated in pulling the lever for evil so that it can rule over me? Why would I ever choose to do that? Just because I live here? Just because it is my right? Just because if I don’t, the one who despises me less will govern? We just established that they’re both evil. It’s not all that far from asking the first century Christians to choose between Nero and Caligula; Nero (Clinton) being someone who crucified so many Christians he had to import trees, and Caligula (Trump) being another who, while he didn’t necessarily take deliberate measures to persecute Christians, was known for ordering his soldiers to chuck all the first and second row spectators to the lions to keep the festivities alive after all the slaves in a gladiatorial match had been killed. And don’t forget he cut open his pregnant wife and ate her unborn child. What you are saying is that because one would be slightly better for the Christians, it would be acceptable for the world around you to believe that he represents you and that planting his political sign in your front yard would be morally acceptable, yes?

“That’s a straw argument, Thoma!”

Is it, really? It wasn’t for the Germans in the 1930s, and I suppose we’ll see how long we can continue to choose from the “lessers,” how long we can be Niebuhrian Realists, before things are viewed differently. In the meantime, I’ve left the GOP, and with that I intend to do what I can to hold the lines here in the trenches and act according to and maintain principle, even if that principle is unacceptable to the larger part and overridden by the majority. Abstinence coupled with deliberate and ongoing action has a lot more muscle than a hopeful vote that things will at some point get better. I intend to fight to make them better.

And so to wrap up this little political apologue while it’s still possible for us to be friends… a rare day deserves a rare dram, thus The Macallan Rare Cask Black.

I should start off by saying that the bottle itself is relatively pertinent to the previous discussion in that it is completely opaque – just like Clinton and Trump. You don’t know if anything is really in there. Fortunately, unlike the candidates, there is something phenomenal in there, a whisky to which we can all raise an affirming hand of agreement and say, “This was indeed the right choice.”

The Rare Cask Black’s nose gives a genteel wink of smoke (which is an unusual badge for Macallan) and a friendly handshake of oak barrel planks and Victoria plums.

The palate continues with the subtle smokiness and fruit, except now the plums have been baked, and once set aside to cool, have been sprinkled with a light glazing.

The finish is a medium excursion that consolidates the nose and palate.

Consistent. Tasteful. Well balanced and reliable. Unlike our options in the national election.

Now, I wish I could say in the midst of all of this not to worry, that the election will be here before you know it, the decision will be made, and all will continue forward as it is, but this Rare Cask Black edition is a limited release, and so while the rulers continue to destroy the republic, this edition will be in short supply for providing the necessary consolation.

I am usually a pretty optimistic guy, but that is indeed cause for worry.