- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 1, 2016

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan informed Fox News on Tuesday that he had voted for Donald Trump last week, an advisory which quickly rocketed around media and social media. But the Wisconsin Republican also revealed something that many Republicans already feel. It’s not election anxiety this time, it’s election dread. What if Hillary Clinton wins the White House in six days, with Bill Clinton destined to be the nation’s first gentleman? Yes. What if?

“For those of us who lived through the 1990s, it’s sort of a feeling of deja vu. The point I keep trying to make to younger voters who did not live through the 1990s: This is what life with the Clintons looks like. It’s always a scandal, one after another, then there’s an investigation,” Mr. Ryan told Fox, elaborating on the Clintons’ typical patterns.

“You never know what’s coming next. They live beyond the rules and they live to work the system to help themselves, to help Clinton incorporated. They can win, and she could come in with a Democrat Congress, the worst of all possible things, if Republicans do not turn out and do not vote,” Mr. Ryan said.

That is a simple truth. Meanwhile, if it is any comfort, the press has been discussing election-related “dread” since early this year. The Diplomat, a current affairs magazine for the Asia-Pacific region, reported on “why China dreads a Hillary Clinton presidency,” and that was back in February. Politico declared in September that “world leaders” dread Mr. Trump, even as The New York Times explored “creeping dread” among Democrats that Mrs. Clinton would actually lose.

REPUBLICAN REALITY CHECK

“It’s time to put aside our differences, elect Donald Trump, and defeat a candidate under an FBI investigation,” say Bill Bennett, a former Reagan administration stalwart, and F.H. Buckley, a George Mason University law professor and author.


SEE ALSO: Clinton, former Miss Universe Machado hit Trump on treatment of women: ‘We cannot hide from this’


“This is the most consequential electoral choice we’ll have in our lifetime. Whatever differences might have had during the last twelve months, all Republicans must now unite behind the entire Republican ticket,” the pair advise in a joint statement.

They have organized. The aforementioned gents advise that 130 GOP “thought-leaders” have signed a letter of support for Mr. Trump and are clearly urging party unity. Now. Stop dithering. This esteemed group includes Newt and Callista Gingrich, David Horowitz, Michael Ledeen, Roger Kimball, Thomas Lifson, Alfred Regnery, Lisa Schiffren, Emmett Tyrell and Diana West.

“A vote for Donald Trump is the only feasible method of defending the principles of freedom, justice and prosperity we hold in common against the most serious threat we have ever faced,” the group notes. Find their statement, and scan the roster at ScholarsAndWritersforAmerica.org.

BRINGING OUT THE BIG GUNS

As November rumbles to life, here is a list of who is actively campaigning, fundraising or entertaining on behalf of Hillary Clinton’s campaign at 61 events in 14 states, through Saturday: President Obama; Vice President Joe Biden; running mate Sen. Tim Kaine; Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Bernard Sanders and Elizabeth Warren; former President Bill Clinton; daughter Chelsea Clinton; and musicians NE-YO, Katy Perry, Cher, Ben Harper, The National, Jay Z and Jon Bon Jovi.

VOTE OR STAY HOME?

Timely: The Cato Institute stages a debate Wednesday titled “Should Libertarians Vote?

“The bleak prospect of living in a country governed by one of the major-party presidential candidates seems to bolster arguments against voting,” organizers explain. “But non-participation in the vote may be an unwise option. Voting doesn’t just elect a candidate: it may signal to important audiences what direction the electorate would like the country to take. Perhaps voting is the best option available, even if other candidates and other systems of government would provide more liberty and prosperity. Failing to vote may waste personal power.”

So is the best choice to vote one’s conscience, vote strategically, or not vote at all? Cato senior fellow Jim Harper, plus Michael Cannon, director of the group’s health policy studies, will support the act of voting. Research fellows Aaron Ross Powell and Trevor Burrus will argue against it.

Watch the gentlemen go through their paces at 5 p.m. EDT at CATO.org/live. C-SPAN also will carry the bout.

GRIDIRON MOMENT

“NFL ratings continue to fall in primetime, while baseball and basketball are up,” writes CBS Sports reporter Matt Doloff, who adds, “Perhaps the piled-up bad publicity is finally catching up to the NFL — but it’s still not that simple. The actual games and the broadcasts also have lost appeal. The endless penalty flags and commercials have also turned off viewers, as has the actual competition.”

FOXIFIED

For the fifth month in a row, Fox News Channel has drawn the largest audiences in the prime-time hours and throughout the day according to new Nielsen Media Research numbers, beating such competition as ESPN and TBS. The Fox audiences during prime time have topped 3 million, up by 74 percent since last year at this time. “The O’Reilly Factor” leads the pack with 3.4 million viewers, up 21 percent.

Fox News is also marking 178 months straight — almost 15 years — as the No. 1 cable news channel. Host Bill O’Reilly is marking 191 months as the top cable news show; that’s almost 16 years.

And one other victory. “For the first time in its history, Fox Business Network topped CNBC in the 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. viewing slot for an entire month,” the channel reports. Ratings are up by double and triple digits, “while CNBC posted double-digit losses in every category.”

POLL DU JOUR

31 percent of likely U.S. voters would be “satisfied” if Hillary Clinton won the election; 8 percent of Republicans, 35 percent of independents and 47 percent of Democrats agree.

 

28 percent voters overall would be “scared” if she won; 52 percent of Republicans, 34 percent of independents and 3 percent of Democrats agree.

19 percent of voters overall would be “enthusiastic” if Clintonwon the election; 4 percent of Republicans, 7 percent of independents and 42 percent of Democrats agree.

18 percent overall would be “dissatisfied” if she won; 33 percent of Republicans, 18 percent of independents and 6 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Suffolk University/USA Today poll of 1,000 likely voters conducted Oct. 20-25.

Talking points, nervous chatter to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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