A Primer for Shooting Down Trump Supporters

This is clearly a response I drafted for a Facebook thread. The guy’s reply: “We disagree.” Winning hearts and minds one at a time.

Here are a few reasons I support Hillary Clinton: 
 1. I would like to see almost all of these policies instituted: https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/ 
 2. I also support the Democratic platform and think that HRC would appoint the best and most competent officials, including agency and department heads, judges, diplomats, etc. We are, after all, not only voting for a person but a government and a governing philosophy. 
 3. I like that HRC has decades of experience in government because it means she knows how our government operates; she knows how to draft and pass legislation; she knows and is respected by congressional leaders, including her adversaries; she knows about international law; she knows and is respected by international leaders the world over.
 4. Of the friends and family who know HRC personally, all of them say that she is a smart, honest, funny, kind, and deeply ethical person. Most of the people she’s worked with also confirm that these are her salient qualities, and many of them have remained dedicated to her for life. She also seems that way to me — this is how she comes across, despite her somewhat wooden speaking style.
 But let me go back to your list because I think it deserves some attention and I don’t think your reasons for supporting Trump sustain even the slightest bit of scrutiny.
 1. The fact that Trump has no political experience is a huge drawback — I don’t know how one could think otherwise. Reagan had more than a decade of experience in government, including 8 years as California’s governor, before entering the White House. (Reagan was a corrupt and terrible president, but that’s for another discussion). Not having political experience means that Trump would know no-one in government when he gets to DC. He has no idea how laws are passed, who should be the next chair of the Fed, or what the Nuclear triad is. He is profoundly ignorant, not only about government but about the world, and he’s shown virtually no capacity to learn.
 2. What do you mean his Supreme Court appointees will “follow the constitution and will not change the constitution”? Supreme Court justices cannot “change the constitution”, they interpret it. What makes you think that Trump would support more qualified or better justices than Clinton? Do you think Obama’s appointees have misinterpreted the Constitution? Do you consider Merrick Garland to be a poor choice for the Supreme Court? Would he be worse than Scalia? I believe Scalia intentionally misinterpreted the Constitution to back his antiquated, bigoted, and backwards views, not to mention his well-heeled friends.
 3. What do you mean Trump is “pro guns”? He and HRC both support reinstating the assault weapon ban and increasing background checks. On guns, Trump and Clinton are closer than on almost any other issue. 
 4. Why do you loathe Hillary? Even if you disagree with her governing philosophy, she has spent her entire adult life trying to help people, mostly women and children. I think you need to reconsider how you get information. I’m guessing that Fox News is your primary source. Give PBS, NPR, NYTimes, The New Yorker, and BBC a try.
 I can point to scores of reasons to loathe Trump, the man you support. There is no difference between supporting someone and “defaulting” to them, as long as you give them your vote. Trump, for one, is an immoral fraud, a terrible businessman who’s spent his professional life defrauding people of their money. Why would you want someone who lost $1 billion of other people’s money (in a boom year) and then claimed it on his personal taxes to avoid paying anything for decades to come? Do you know how he recovered from that sham? He transferred all his debts onto a publicly held company, fleeced its investors of their money, and then walked away from the wreckage. http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/10/6/13163220/trump-hotels-and-casino-resorts
 Trump is also an extremely dishonest person. There are non-partisan trackers of these things and he tells falsehoods more than half the time. This is how everyone who’s done business with him has characterized him: dishonest and unethical. http://www.politifact.com/personalities/donald-trump/
 Trump has provided no serious policy plans. None. Shouldn’t that alone be enough to disqualify him? Hi tax plan would RAISE TAXES on the middle class and lower taxes for the wealthy, particularly wealthy commercial real-estate investors, which seems suspicious given his profession. This plan would balloon the debt by more than $5 trillion.
 Of course you will not only be voting for a man, but the platform he represents and the government he will form. The Republican platform this year claims that homosexuality is a mental illness, considers climate change a hoax, and calls for the teaching of the bible in public schools. It is difficult to know what kind of government Trump will build. One reason it’s difficult is that he has the support of essentially zero respected economists, none of the military brass for whom he’d be commander in chief, and very few experts in any field. He’s been trashed by the leaders of U.S. intelligence and the Pentagon. No living president supports him. No major newspaper has endorsed him, including conservative stalwarts like the Arizona Republic and The Dallas Morning News, which have both endorsed Clinton. 
 Do you think you have better judgment than these people? Do you know what it takes to be President more than those who have done the job? Do you know which candidate would be best to command the military better than the military commanders? If so, what does that say about your judgment?
 About Trump’s character, to which the current scandal seems to speak. Trump has shown that he is a bigot for decades. The first story about him ever in print was a NY Times piece about a case brought against him for discriminatory housing practices. He’s had more than 5,000 suits brought against him and will be on trial for fraud just after the election.
 Trump repeatedly disparages the poor, people of color, women, foreigners, non-Christians, and anyone not lucky enough to be born rich. He shows no intellectual curiosity about anything. His political ascendence has brought with it a tide of racism, xenophobia, and anti-semitism unlike anything the U.S. has seen since the 1960s. Ask any Jewish journalist about the horrible threats they’ve received from Trump supporters just for being public figures. It’s been known that Trump has a history of lewd talk, sexual harassment, and assault for years. Now that we hear him saying so in the first person, everyone’s up-in-arms. If people just believed his many victims their outrage wouldn’t be so new.
 Trump’s ignorance and lack of ethical moorings comes across in his bizarre, disjointed speeches. Words matter, especially for Presidents who govern with them. People listen to presidents at home and abroad, and what Presidents say actually matters to world affairs, unlike what you and I say. Do you want Trump’s words representing our country, speaking for you, or your family? 
 I am no “values voter”. But what does it say about your values that you would support this man, platform, and political movement? Frankly, I see a moral equivalence between Trump voters today and those who supported the Nazi Party in 1932. That says something about what I think of Trump’s supporters, and also what I think about the world in 1932. There were many people who did not support Hitler, except by “default”. There were many people who capitulated. 
 Whether you’ve paid attention to what Trump has said and done and want to be a part of the social and political movement supporting him… or you are nihilistic, don’t believe your vote matters and that you want to see the political norms and institutions in the U.S. crumble… you are no better than the lot with whom you’ve thrown your hat. You are deplorable.