Many of my fellow travelers who share my free-market, small-government, classical liberal views have decided to simply sit this one out. I do not criticize them for this. As a general rule, I do not like to criticize anyone for their vote. I don’t criticize those who will stay at home, or even those who will vote for Donald Trump because they dislike Joe Biden’s policies. (Hell, I don’t like most of Biden’s policies. I see this election as Rule of Law vs. No Rule of Law. But not everyone sees it the same way, and that’s fine.) Voting is a personal matter, and people vote (or refuse to vote) for all kinds of reasons. That’s their business.

But I am persuaded by the Mugwump logic. To parallel Twain’s argument above, I must ask myself: Why am I keeping back my vote for Donald Trump? Plainly the answer is, to do what I can to defeat Donald Trump. I consider him to be a criminal, an illiterate doofus, a danger on the world stage, and a person who is completely nuts with his finger on the nuclear trigger. Very well then, refusing to vote for Trump is a vote against Trump. The common-sense procedure would be to cast two votes against him, by turning in my vote for Joe Biden. After all, Trump has told his supporters to vote twice: once by mail and again at the polling booth. That’s not legal, of course—but if there is a legal way to cast the equivalent of two votes against Trump, I might as well take it.

Dad, although I remember your attempts with fondness, you never really turned me into a Mugwump.

It took Donald J. Trump to do that.