Plumbing a Political Quandary
Diehard supporters of Donald Trump for the presidency are beyond persuasion that he would be disastrous for the country. He has boasted that he could shoot someone on a street in downtown Manhattan, and his followers would not be deterred. And the intractability of Trumpeters, in the face of behavior that has shocked veteran political observers, gives every indication that many would indeed continue to worship him.
However, such irrationality does not seem to be the mindset of most moderate, or even staunch, Republicans. From news reports, one gathers that a sizable portion of them are torn between voting for him or Hillary Clinton, or are considering not voting at all.
What to do in such a situation? The same thing reasonable people do in confronting decisions on diverse situations that arise in the normal course of living. Weigh the negatives and positives on both sides of the issue.
Because the upcoming election has often been depicted as a choice between the lesser of two evils, we have compiled a list of the negatives for each of the two candidates. And we made a mostly futile effort to come up with positives. Herewith, the negatives:
His whole campaign for president was based on the years-long accusation that President Obama was not born in the United States. He recently admitted that wasn’t true, obviously for political reasons.
He made insulting comments about women’s physical appearance and crude remarks concerning their biological functions, conduct totally unbecoming of a presidential candidate, and more important, of a president.
He mocked a journalist for his physical handicap, behavior that mean-spirited or uncomprehending children display. That manifestation of immaturity and insensitivity, along with other forms of bullying, led to the portrayal of him as a “man-child.”
That cowardly bullying also emerged during campaign appearances, where he urged supporters to beat up on those protesting against him.
Thousands of people who enrolled in his Trump University course in business have charged him with defrauding them.
People who paid for memberships in his golf club in Jupiter, Florida, have charged fraud, and the New York attorney general’s office is investigating.
His nonprofit foundation gave Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi $25,000 for her re-election campaign two years ago, shortly before she declined to investigate complaints against Trump University. The gift was a violation of tax laws. He is accused of buying off other politicians.
He has used donations to his charity foundation to pay for personal items, including a six-foot portrait of himself and the settlement of legal problems.
He ran six companies into bankruptcy, costing thousands of people their jobs and crippling them financially. His wealthy father, a real estate tycoon, supported Donald in launching his own real estate business. This record shows that, contrary to being a successful businessman, he is a loser who makes money only by ruthlessly hurting others.
He rages against nations that have wronged the United States, urging that we “blast them out of the water,” for example, to show how tough we are, thereby thumbing his nose at responsible, often diplomatic, responses to international crises. He advocates use of nuclear weapons to punish offending nations, without regard for the catastrophic consequences that could ensue.
He shows himself to be a race bigot in wishing to deny entrance of Muslims to the United States, and for his advocacy of deporting all illegal immigrants, regardless of how long they have lived here. The cost of rounding up and processing all of these people would be unimaginable.
He has zero experience in political office, and is woefully ignorant of the complex workings of government and of how to work with world leaders on critical issues.
He admires Vladimir Putin as a man who has control of his country, apparently ignoring the Russian leader’s flouting of democracy, record of imperialistic activities, rigging of elections, and disappearance of dissidents.
The awful opinion of him held by the vast majority of people of other advanced nations, and their leaders, renders him at a huge disadvantage in carrying on relations with them.
He is said to have Mafia connections. Politico published a lengthy report claiming that he had “a pattern of business dealings with mob figures.”
He refuses to reveal his tax returns, obviously because of a calculation that what is in them would be more harmful to his candidacy and his ego. Speculation is rampant that he had business dealings with Russia, and that he has paid no federal income taxes.
He promises to build a wall to keep out immigrants from Mexico, at a tremendous cost that he said Mexico would pay for, though Mexico has refused to even consider it.
His proposal to reduce taxes of wealthy individuals and corporations would widen the already enormous wealth gap in America, and plunge the country even deeper into debt, economists have said. This obviously would deal a serious blow to the economy and the stock markets.
He lied about his position on the Iraq War, saying he opposed it, though it has been documented that he spoke in favor of it.
He has been shown to lie constantly, and has changed his positions on issues repeatedly.
And in this corner …
Her campaigning style has often smacked of phoniness, as when she affected a Southern accent during a stop in the South in her 2008 race against Obama. She panders for votes, switching her positions on issues according to what voters want to hear, as evidenced by her altered stances on health care, college education, and the TPP trade agreement to conform with, or move closer to, the popular platform espoused by Bernie Sanders.
She has been a war hawk, having voted for the Iraq War, for which she apologized, but then promoted intervention in Libya, which resulted in similar chaos. And she pushed for a no-fly zone over Syria, which would have precipitated a dangerous confrontation if Russia had violated it.
She has refused to turn over the transcripts of three Wall Street speeches she made for a fee of $225,000 each.
While she was First Lady, Hillary and Bill fired the entire, seven-member White House travel staff, an unprecedented act, and replaced them with persons preferred by the Clintons. Hillary was believed to have played a central role in what was known as Travelgate. An investigation was held, and it was determined that some of Hillary’s statements were factually false, but she was not charged.
She was accused of gross carelessness in using her personal email server, or servers, to conduct official business while secretary of state.
An FBI investigation found that she lied under oath before a congressional committee in asserting that none of the emails were classified information. She said she had turned over all of her emails, but 30,000 were later found. She also lied in testifying that she had only one server, when she in fact had several. On the other hand, despite the participation of 10 congressional committees in hearings over the Benghazi tragedy in Libya, with 252 witnesses called to testify and millions of taxpayer dollars spent, Republicans could come up with no wrong-doing to charge her with.
You’ve got to ac-cent-tchu-ate the positive …
On the positive side, Trump seems to love, and be loved by, his family members. Sorry, but we can’t think of anything else.
In Clinton’s favor, she has for her entire adult life championed the cause of underserved, needy children and women worldwide. And, though her critics would disagree, she is generally regarded as having been an effective secretary of state under President Barack Obama. Furthermore, she conducted herself admirably after losing the 2008 primary to Obama, graciously standing up for him and working hard to get him elected.
Folks, if we could render all of these points into something tangible and place them on a set of scales, which side would sink, and which would rise? I submit that the answer is transparently clear, beyond any dispute.
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