Monday, November 7, 2016

Why no one should vote for Donald Trump

His examples of bigotry and misogyny are legion, and he lacks the political experience and knowledge to do the job. Here's why.

The only real choice


Image: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs via Wiki Commons

"Because of her previous eight years in the White House, her eight years in the Senate and her four years as Secretary of State, she is also the single most prepared person ever to be nominated for president," Charles Kaiser wrote. She has numerous accomplishments in healthcare, civil rights, and diplomacy. She would also, incidentally, be the first woman president of the United States.

What's wrong with the competition


Image: Gage Skidmore via Wiki Commons

Donald Trump has never served in public office nor served in the military. "Taft and Hoover are the only two American presidents who were elected to the presidency despite having never been elected to previous office or served as a high-ranking military officer; however, both served as high-ranking federal government officials," wrote Jennifer Victor.

Trump's experience is solely as a businessman who has focused on real estates and casinos. Only two of the 100 largest U.S. newspapers endorsed Trump, one of which was the Las Vegas Review-Journal owned by fellow casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. Although Trump is a billionaire, he has endured multiple bankruptcies.

Some economists are concerned about his attitude toward trade with China.

Two weeks after the election, he is scheduled to stand civil trial for two lawsuits for "misrepresentation, breach of contract, and taking advantage of seniors" and "fraud and racketeering" related to a seminar series he called "Trump University."

Most presidential candidates release their tax returns. Trump never did, and it came to light that he claimed nearly a $1 billion loss in 1995, something that would have enabled him to avoid paying federal income tax for 18 years. When this subject was brought up during the third presidential debate, he blamed his opponent: "If you don't like what I did, you should have changed the laws."

He is also a celebrity who is famous for a reality TV show on which he took pleasure in "firing" prospective business apprentices. He also owns beauty pageants, ostensibly to allow him to be around young, beautiful women. He reportedly spent time backstage and "inspected" the women.

In the 1970s, facing "one of the biggest lawsuits ever brought by the Justice Department for housing discrimination against black people," Trump and his father settled the lawsuit without admitting wrongdoing but agreed to a court order to change their rental practices. In 1989, Trump bought full-page newspaper ads to advocate for the death penalty for five black and Latino teenagers who were accused of assault (but who turned out to be innocent). In 1991, the president of the Trump Plaza Hotel claimed that Trump had once told him: "Black guys counting my money! I hate it."

Trump's campaign for president featured a longstanding promise to ban all Muslims from entering the US. This would actually be unconstitutional (so, toward the end of the campaign, he softened it). He "defended" himself by saying: "What I'm doing is no different than FDR" [i.e. putting Japanese-Americans in internment camps during WWII]. In July 2016, the parents of a Muslim-American soldier who died serving the U.S. military in Iraq appeared at the Democratic convention. The father spoke movingly while the mother stood by his side. The father also held up a copy of the U.S. Constitution and addressed Trump from a distance: "You have sacrificed nothing and no one." Subsequently interviewed by ABC, Trump insulted the mother, "She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say," and said that he had indeed sacrificed because "I work very, very hard" and had created jobs.

He promised to build a wall between the US and Mexico and somehow force Mexico to pay for it. Such a wall would cost about $25 billion, or about twice Mexico's entire military budget. He promised to deport 11 million Latinos currently in the US. This would cost an estimated $300 billion, or about half the United States' entire military budget.

Given multiple chances during his campaign to speak on what he would do for African-Americans, he repeatedly made offensively stereotypical comments about "inner cities" and said that black people are "living in hell." His solution? Bring back "stop-and-frisk," a law by which a police officer can stop anyone they like and search them for weapons, which was ruled ineffective and, oh, unconstitutional.

The American Nazi Party’s chairman identified "real opportunity" in a Trump presidency, while the KKK newspaper The Crusader published support for Trump. In the final days of his campaign, he published an attack ad naming Jewish financial professionals George Soros, Janet Yellen, and Lloyd Blankfein in a tradition of anti-Semitic rhetoric.

In 2004, radio host Howard Stern asked Donald Trump on-air if it was acceptable to call his 23-year-old daughter "a piece of ass," and Trump said yes. In 2006, Trump said on the TV show "The View," while seated next to his daughter: “I don’t think Ivanka would[pose for nude photographs] inside the magazine Although she does have a very nice figure. I’ve said that if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps, I would be dating her. Is that terrible?”

In 2005, Trump was standing outside speaking to an Access Hollywood journalist without realizing the microphone was on. He was recorded saying: "I did try and fuck her...She was married. I moved on her very heavily...I moved on her like a bitch...I just start kissing them...When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything."

In August 2015, after a female debate moderator from Fox News asked tough questions of the Republican candidates, Trump made an apparent comment about menstruation when he told CNN Tonight that "You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever."

In 2006, he called a female comedian a "big, fat pig." In September 2016, he renewed an old feud with a former Miss Universe, calling her fat and questioning her naturalized U.S. citizenship. He had previously called the Latina woman "Miss Piggy" and "Miss Housekeeping." (Trump himself is on the verge of obesity, according to the height and weight he revealed on the Dr. Oz show in September 2016.)

In a March 2016 interview with Chris Matthews, Trump said that he advocated outlawing abortion and punishing women who have abortions. (Credible anti-abortion proposals typically suggest punishment for doctors, not for girls and women.)

While campaigning in November 2015, he waved his arms in a manner that appeared to mock a reporter who was born with a condition affecting his joints. When his opponent, campaigning with then-undiagnosed pneumonia, stumbled while walking to her car, he mocked her as lacking "stamina": "She’s supposed to fight all of these different things, and she can’t make it fifteen feet to her car, give me a break."

In the days before the election, he said he would cut all funding for renewable energy research and development. This would present a problem with compliance with international treaties like the Paris Agreement which the US had signed just six months previously along with 174 other nations, and it would affect existing American jobs insofar as $1.5 billion is already spent each year in this area.

Trump has said he would sign the "First Amendment Defense Act" which would allow discrimination against unmarried people who have sex. He himself had a high-profile extramarital affair in the late 1980s; in 1990, he told an interviewer that he did not believe adultery was a sin; and, as of the month before the election, on his third marriage, 12 women had accused him of sexual assault. The "First Amendment Defense Act" of course allows discrimination against couples in a same-sex marriage. A majority of Americans support same-sex marriage, including an increasing number of Republican politicians, (which is good since the Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that same-sex marriage is legal throughout all 50 states), yet Trump insists he believes the question should be returned to each state to decide for itself and he picked a vice presidential candidate who has opposed gay rights at every turn.

In November 2015, confident in his own foreign policy knowledge, Trump said: "I know more about ISIS than the generals do." In September 2016, he would fire the generals. (This is not officially within the president's powers, nor within his interests, if he wants honest facts and candid advice from career military professionals rather than yes-men.)

A Politifact analysis found that 91 percent of Trump's statements are false. Psychologists have speculated that he has significant personality disorders: narcissistic, antisocial, sociopathic. His charity, the Donald J. Trump Foundation, spent $20,000 on a giant portrait of him.

He took the time to complain about rapper Jay-Z's use of bad language at a concert at a rally for his opponent just days before the Nov. 2016 election. Trump himself is such a loose cannon that his campaign staff banned him from his own Twitter account immediately leading up to the election.

Trump has threatened, if elected, to jail his opponent, a behavior normally associated with dictators. His supporters commonly chant "Lock her up!" at rallies.

He has also described the election — even before it happened — as "rigged," and said in the third and final presidential debate on Oct. 19, 2016 that he might not accept the results if he did not win. A Republican commented: “Refusing to accept the outcome of a legitimate American election and refusing to commit to the peaceful transition of power is disqualifying. Stunning.”

Jonathan Freedland wrote for The Guardian:

"An American leader who believes climate change is a Chinese hoax, who believes terror suspects should be tortured and their family members killed, who believes that Saudi Arabia should have nuclear weapons, who is fascinated by nukes’ power of 'devastation' and who has asked repeatedly why the US doesn’t use them; a man who says, 'I love war'; a man who drools in admiration for Vladimir Putin and whose disregard for NATO, and refusal to promise to defend a member state if attacked, would all but invite Moscow to invade one of the Baltic states — such a man would plunge all of us into a dark future."

Fareed Zakaria said on his final weekly television show before the election:

"I am not a highly partisan person. I have views that are left of center, but others that are conservative...I think well of many Republican politicians, including the last two GOP presidential nominees, John McCain and Mitt Romney, both of whom are honorable men and would have been good presidents...Donald Trump is not a normal candidate. He is a cancer on American democracy."

Of the Republicans who support Trump, Paul Waldman wrote for the Washington Post:

..."there’s only one party that is so vigorously undermining core democratic institutions in this way. You may not like what Democrats stand for, but they aren’t engaging in widespread official vote suppression, chanting that should their candidate win her opponent should be tossed in jail, promising to prevent any Republican president from filling vacancies on the Supreme Court, suggesting that they’ll try to impeach their opponent as soon as he takes office, cheering when a hostile foreign power hacks into American electronic systems, and trying to use the FBI to win the election."

But not all do. The Republicans may have reached the point of schism over this candidacy. Many prominent Republicans do not support Trump although he is their party's nominee. According to a list compiled by The Atlantic, non-supporters include former presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush and many high-ranking career politicians, pundits, and other influentials. On the list: Barbara Bush, Mitt Romney, Tom DeLay, Jeb Bush, Karl Rove, Larry Pressler, Norm Coleman, Michael Bloomberg, Sally Bradshaw, Marc Racicot, Vin Weber, Gordon Humphrey, Chris Shays, Mike Murphy, John Warner, William Milliken, Mickey Edwards, John Huntsman, Christine Todd Whitman, Michael Steele, Mel Martinez, Ken Mehlman, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Fred Upton, Richard Hanna, Charlie Dent, Adam Kinzinger, Mike Coffman, Bob Dold, Scott Rigell, Dave Reichert, Reid Ribble, Mac Thornberry, Barbara Comstock, Martha Roby, Joe Heck, Cresent Hardy, Mia Love, Will Hurd, Steve Knight, John Katko, Kay Granger, Rodney Davis, Ann Wagner, Tom Rooney, Erik Paulsen, Frank LoBiondo, Jamie Herrera Beutler, Susan Collins, John McCain, Kelly Ayotte, Lindsey Graham, Ben Sasse, Rob Portman, Pat Toomey, Mike Lee, Jeff Flake, Dean Heller, Cory Gardner, John Thune, Dan Sullivan, John Kasich, Brian Sandoval, Charlie Baker, Rick Snyder, Larry Hogan, Susana Martinez, Gary Herbert, Bill Haslam, Robert Bentley, Dennis Daugaard, Richard Armitage, Condoleezza Rice, Brent Scowcroft, Hank Paulson, Michael Chertoff, Michael Hayden, John Negroponte, Tom Ridge, William Ruckelshaus, William Reilly, Carlos Gutierrez, George P. Shultz, Paul Wolfowitz, Charles Fried, Louis Wade Sullivan, Robert Zoellick, Robert Gates, Donald Gregg, Ed Meese, Michael Chertoff, Colin Powell, Bill Kristol, Ross Douthat, Ross Douthat, Leon Wolf, George Will, Charles Krauthammer, Glenn Beck, Max Boot, Michael Reagan, Robert Kagan, Bret Stephens, Greg Mankiw, Lanhee Chen, John Podhoretz, Michael Medved, John Yoo, Ari Fleischer, Paul Singer, Charles and David Koch, Meg Whitman, Seth Klarman, Mike Fernandez, Russell Moore, Robert P. George, Wayne Grudem.

If you are a registered voter in the US, tomorrow, you, too, can have your say.

3 comments:

  1. Re Pence speaking on Mrs. Obama: Politicalo adds satire to its stories. The quoted comments come from the satire portion of the article (see "Show facts" button).

    ReplyDelete
  2. Re Putin campaigning with Trump: the entire Borowitz section of the New Yorker is satire.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Aww, and those were my favorite parts. OK, they are deleted. I defend truth over #winning at any cost. I like to think he would do the same for me!

    Also, the polls closed 15 minutes ago anyway. #winning

    ReplyDelete