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A friend of mine owns a cigar shop. Okay, several of my friends own cigar shops. However, so far as I know, only one is politically connected. Yesterday his Letter to the Editor appeared in the Augusta (GA) Chronicle. It was half impassioned defense of his livelihood and the premium cigar industry and half pragmatic appeal for Trump votes.

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Regarding the later half, it was perhaps the best argument I have heard for voting for Donald Trump. I have copied Russell Wilder’s letter below (with his implied and assumed permission…). Please give it a read through. I was not swayed to the Trump Train though I support Russell’s libertarian ideals and his exemplary business. (By the way, if you are in Augusta and you need cigars … go see Russell and the boys!)

I don’t participate in popular politics or the Great Quadrennial Black Mass anymore because I am an esteemed member of the media. I have to maintain my neutrality… It was hard to write that while laughing. Seriously though, I have to maintain a free fire zone for all pols to stumble blindly into (don’t even have to bait ’em). I also acknowledge that the Old Republic has ended; I see no need to rearrange the deck chairs.

For those of you still in the system and leaning conservative, I encourage you strongly to consider Mr. Wilder’s sensible arguments. One may substitute “tobacco shop” with any honest field of business. I have some further commentary below but here is the letter:

Russell Wilder, We Must Vote For Trump, Letter to the Editor of the Augusta Chronicle, August 23, 2016:

For those who say they can’t vote for Donald Trump because he is not a real conservative, and they must stand for their conservative principles:

I voted my conscience in 2008 for Bob Barr, and again in 2012 for Libertarian Gary Johnson for president. What did that get me? It got me President Obama.

It got me the State Children’s Health Insurance Program expansion, along with its 40-cent-per-cigar federal tax increase; an increase of $1.67 to a $2.76-per-pound pipe tobacco tax; and a $23.67-per-pound increase in the cigarette tobacco tax.

Then three months later it got me the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009. This act gave the Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate all tobacco products.

I used to be idealistic about what we can do to change our republic, but I no longer have time to wait and hope people will come to their senses, and become educated and involved in our self-governance.

I am losing my business that I have poured my blood, sweat and tears into. I have invested my hard-earned money, my time and my heart into creating a business that employs three people and serves my community and my customers. My business generates property taxes; sales taxes for the state and my county; federal excise taxes; and thousands of dollars in donations to charities in my community.

Gary Johnson has zero chance to win. He will not win one single Electoral College vote. Hating on Trump and “voting your principles” will elect Hillary Clinton. Is Trump my first choice for president? No! Is he my best option to keep my business viable so all my hard work won’t go to waste? You bet!

Is our political system in need of an overhaul? You bet! Are the two choices we have in November less than desirable? Of course! Is anyone other than these two candidates going to win in November? Absolutely not!

I’m a businessman. I have to deal with what I am given, and make the most of it for the best result I can get. I have to play the hand I am dealt.

Either Trump or Clinton will be elected Nov. 8. I choose the Republican nominee. I’m not completely sure what to expect if Trump wins, but I am completely sure what to expect if Clinton wins – and it won’t be anything positive for business.

When you have a business that means everything to you that is being destroyed by the federal leviathan, come and talk to me about your conservative principles.

If you feel we need to change the political system, as I do, it is too late to make meaningful changes for this election. I can assure my conservative friends that voting for a third party, voting for Clinton or not voting at all in protest won’t change anything. It will give us President Hillary Clinton, who will continue the failed policies of Obama.

Very well said, my friend. I read through some of the on-line comments that followed, as did Russell. A few folks actually grasped the important issues – freedom, mainly. The most of them were contributed I think by a robot. Those opined incredible stupidity; no actual person that dumb could operate a computer. It had to be an anti-freedom robot.

Among the drivel spouted by the evil AI, Russell was:

Accused of killing 500,000 people per year;

Compared to a meth or crack dealer;

Assumed to sell cigarettes; and

Being a “far-left” “loonie”.

If these remarks are not the result of a Satanic computer program, then the former Republic is inhabited by people so retarded as to be unable to operate any type of government let alone grasp individual liberty.

In any event I applaud my friend’s championing of freedom and his business interests. That some will continue to fight the good fight no matter what means there is hope for a later revival. I take comfort in the thought there may be cigars in the new Renaissance.