Not So Little Statesman: The Republican Party’s Transcendentalist Moment

Consistency mean nothings when Trump is the result

Alas, Donald Trump! It appears that it takes an act of Trumpian lunacy to get politicians to feel comfortable with the idea of appearing inconsistent.

Throughout recent election cycles constituents have craved consistency from their nominees, preferring steadfast and staunch states-people to ‘flip-floppers’. This is not the type of consistency I am referring to. In fact, in this election we have seen something entirely different: Donald Trump has been consistently insane and all the traditionally steadfast and staunch Republicans — people who’ve likely never voted for a Democrat in their lives — are turning off the consistency switch and will likely vote for a candidate outside of the Republican party.

To some this is an abhorrent act, in which supposed loyalist are fleeing to the other side of the aisle. However, these Republicans would be deemed heroes (likely not in entirety) amongst a select group of 19th century thinkers: Transcendentalist.

Ralph Waldo Emerson famously penned, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.” Emerson, here, is saying that you should not act consistently for the sake of appearing consistent, noticing the statesmen are particularly fond of this type of behavior.

Similarly Walt Whitman in ‘Leaves of Grass’ declared:

“Do I contradict myself?
 Very well then I contradict myself;
 (I am large, I contain multitudes.)”

These Transcendentalist are giving a hall pass to all the Republicans that ‘just can’t bring themselves to vote for four more years of Obama’. Sure you can! You are large, you contain multitudes.

Now pack up your Republican baggage and head out into that unknown wilderness. Find a pond, unpack and spend sometime realizing that it’s time for you to vote for a Democrat.


One of those people who is going to vote for a Democrat for the first time