To everyone that says “We deserve better,” A response to Joe Toscano

To those who say this, you are not part of the problem — quite the contrary.

I am writing this piece in response to Mr. Toscano’s article here. If you want to read his first, I would highly recommend so, as it is a common argument of the election cycle, but I will try to write in such a way that the reader won’t need the entire context without understanding the main points here. Also, I would like to kindly express gratitude for Mr. Toscano responding in a respectful way to a prior comment I made on his article. I called his piece garbage, and I should’ve just written a response in the first place. Emotions get the best of us sometimes, especially in politics… [tips hat in respect]

Let me start by stating that Joe Toscano and I are presented with the same conundrum. Joe expresses that he had wished Bernie Sanders would have won the (D) nomination instead of Mrs. Clinton. I am imagine that many of the readers here are in this same boat. I, similarly, had hoped Rand Paul would have won the (R) nomination instead of Mr. Trump. But Joe and I are certainly not presenting the same solutions.

To unjustly summarize Toscano’s points, he states that we are presented with only two options: Hillary and Trump — Hillary being the better option; thus vote for her.

I will make no such conclusion. To unjustly summarize my points, I am stating that this proposition is inherently a false dichotomy. There are more than two choices.

As I have learned leading soldiers during my time as an Airborne paratrooper, indecision is, in fact, still a choice — a third choice. That decision, in regards to both voting and battle, is the worst decision. Toscano and I agree on that much. Everyone get out and vote, please!

But rather than present Clinton and Trump as the only two realistic choices and argue in favor of one, I will refute this false dichotomy by showing how Hillary is not a better option, and how she is unfit to be president. I am not, by default, advocating for Trump. If you want reasons against voting for Trump, peruse Medium for five seconds. You will find one soon enough. I may touch on reasons against Trump, but I don’t want to focus on it. Matter of fact, let me just touch on that point briefly to get it out of the way.

The absurdity of Donald Trump does not justify the validity of Hillary Clinton.

The single most hard-driven case for Mrs. Clinton is nearly always followed with a conditional: What if Trump wins? Fair question.

I would propose that this is not necessarily an unjust point to make. It can be rather valid given certain circumstances. For example, invoking an extreme, if Hitler were running for president, would it be safer to vote for Hillary or Hitler? Well, Madame Secretary, of course!

This is usually the argument being implicated here. Essentially that Mr. Trump is so atrocious that we are in utter peril if we do not elect her. I think this tends to be a little hyperbolic in our current situation.

For starters, Trump is not Hitler nor is he anything like Hitler. He may have some horrible ideas. He may have said some holistically ignorant things, but he has never expressed intentions of genocide or racial superiority. He did say that he would kill Muslim’s families — truly concerning, but this is an idea shared by Clinton as I will show later. I don’t find this to be too relevant to the promotion of Hillary because his comments are always in the context of war, as are hers. Trump is just being unapologetically ignorant and asinine. War is total annihilation, hence why any candidate prone to its endeavor should be rejected. Hillary is historically militaristic, so again, this just reinforces my claim against the either/or option here. Both are bad. Thus, limiting the scope of your choice accordingly is also bad.

Furthermore, our nation is entirely more heterogenous and ideologically polarized than Germany during its Nazi heyday. Even if there were such a candidate, they would always be met with swift opposition. See: Anti-Federalists/Federalists, Abolitionists/Slavery proponents, Pro-choicers/Pro-lifers, etc.

Polarization seems to be as American as apple pie. This may have its negative aspects, but it prevents an overbearing majority.

Second, Trump will be bound by the Congress. And if anything has become clearer over the past couple of weeks, it is that even Republicans are becoming antagonistic to Trump. This actually may be one of the most beneficial outcomes of an orange victory — a unified Congress.

Congress is one of the most reviled institutions in America because of its inability to get anything done. I’d much rather have a unified Congress against Trump, then the same polarized Legislative Branch and Hillary. Congress has given far too much power to the president in recent decades. They couldn’t even save the Republic from Pres. Bush’s and Pres. Obama’s illegal acts of war. Something Hillary will continue by the way.

Therefore, this whole argument is rather hysterical, and I don’t think that the atrocity of a Trump presidency is any coherent reason to “settle for” Hillary. Each candidacy may have positive and negative aspects compared to the other, but they are equally disgusting. Her atrocity is on the same level, which brings me to one of my main points of contention. Hillary is unsuited to be president.

Ohhh, but her emails.

I have never understood why so many Democrats view Hillary Clinton’s emails so nonchalantly. You should be outraged. You should be shitting half-ton bricks on the entire DNC, demanding answers. Why are you so docile?

Not only did she break the law and lie under oath, as made clear by the FBI’s testimony, whether intentional or not is beside the point (but, Officer, I didn’t mean to speed), but she knowingly and intentionally corrupted the democratic process. This is objective fact. It’s also a quality shared by Vladimir Putin, might I add. This. Disqualifies. Her. Period.

Where do we think this will leave government transparency when she takes office? Hillary Clinton clearly broke the law and received no punishment as a result. If Clinton profited from the double standard of our criminal justice system, does anyone rationally suppose that she will legitimately attempt to change that? Not a chance in hell.

Moreover, the prosecution of whistleblowers will continue from the Obama presidency.

At the very least, Republicans had enough audacity to remove Nixon under the same pretenses. Would that happen today, I can’t say, but where is the principle of Democrats? There is none whatsoever, which is quite worrisome. If you don’t stand for anything, you are subject to the winds of shifting political tides, as evident by any video of Hillary Clinton ever. She stands for nothing — and even “nothing” may be giving her too much credit.

A vote casted for Hillary is directly a vote against your interests. By voting for her in spite of her pay-to-play dealings, you are ensuring that other instances like it happen again. The absolute worst act a former Bernie supporter could do is ordain this type of behaviour with their votes. You are signaling to the market of political ideas that corruption doesn’t bother you. You are saying that no matter who the parties pick, you will sheepishly support them.

Instead of saying “We deserve better,” you are implying that “We deserve what we get.” I refuse to believe that lie.

How can people lob claims at the “deplorables” for supporting Trump regardless of all his obtuse actions, then turn around and support Hillary despite all of her corruption and lack of character. Those people are not only being irrational, but they are employing hypocrisy as an honorable rhetorical device. No wonder Hillary is one of the most negatively viewed candidates to ever run, only to be bested by Trump. No one believes her or her followers.

Ohhh, but she takes money from Super PACs.

Joe Toscano is correct to point out that every candidate before Hillary has accepted money “since forever,” but he is wrong in assuming that this fact makes it okay or justified. Common occurrence does not make an action any more or less moral.

Although people who do not rely on Super PAC money may indeed be an anomaly, the political system has been showing signs of correcting this misalignment. The sway of political thought on this matter has been quite observable.

Four years before Bernie Sanders ever came along, Ron Paul ran his campaign on 99% of individual contributions. He was also extremely successful, given historical comparison. Unfortunately, the Republicans also cheated him, but “Paul-bots” refused to elicit their support like mindless drones. The GOP suffered the consequences, and has been suffering for some time because of these corrupt dealings within their party. Payback’s a bitch though.

If you are entirely against Citizen’s United and the prospect of corporations buying campaigns, then, again, you are entertaining hypocrisy by casting a vote for the very person who epitomizes this behavior.

I graduated magna cum laude with a BS in political science, but I could summarize my three years in one phrase: Politics is groomed by public opinion and money is the breast milk. Take out the money, and we are still left with the former. Politicians change their positions based on what the polls are saying. They articulate their rhetoric on the surveys. They form campaigns on votes. This is how they gauge us all.

For my House of Cards fans, you’ll often get this idea by some of the background setting of the show, especially season five. “How are the focus groups reacting,” Claire asks.

Seriously contemplate on this: If I cast a vote for Hillary Clinton (or Trump), what am I saying to the politicians? What am I expressing about my values against corruption? What types of behaviour am I condoning?

Think long and hard about that. It’s no trivial matter as it may seem.

Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum

Ohhh, but she’s going to raise taxes.

It is true that Hillary’s plan (as of today and unlikely to pass Congress in any form) will only slightly raise taxes, but the entirely more frightening issue here is that she will not reduce expenditures. A dangerous trend that is looming over every American and bogging the economy down. Even the Scandinavians can’t control expenditures.

You mean college is not actually free? Who’d a thunk?

According to her own website, “We need a smart and sustainable defense budget driven by strategy — not by bluster and loose talk.” She touts American exceptionalism and certainly wants to continue the prominent role of American interventionism around the globe. She has also doubled down on this stance by claiming she wants to enact a no-fly zone in Syria.

As a former service member, let me be the first to opine that this is a horrendous idea. No-fly zones have to be enforced. Who would we be enforcing to comply? Russia. Yes, that “yuge” country with just as many fucking nukes as us, but that’s not all folks!

The enforcement of a no-fly zone would harm even more Syrian civilians in the process, but don’t take my word for it. This comes directly from her mouth. Take a look at this article on The Intercept (a left-leaning news source) which references a report produced by her campaign, quoting Madame Secretary. “Ohhh, but her emails,” right? Still not reading those, are we?

The only difference in the candidate’s views on killing Muslims and their families is the manner in which they deliver that position. Trump is asinine about it; Hillary is simply conniving. If it looks like shit, smells like shit, taste like shit, well, it’s probably shit.

Let us not forget that this plan also jeopardizes even more lives of US service members — people who are already suffering from multiple tours and countless psychological ailments. I’d make sure my position supported the VA if I planned to send more folks to it, too, Mrs. Clinton.

Voting for Hillary Clinton spits in the face of those who have signed their lives away to defend this country. If one thing has been clear over the past decade, it is that US service members have made it absolutely clear that they do not want more interventionism. Ron Paul touted a non-interventionist foreign policy and received more votes than all other candidates combined in 2012. Likewise, Libertarian nominee, Gary Johnson, promotes the same policy and out-polls both candidates amongst military members. I promise you they’re not voting for his lax policy on weed.

All this translates into higher expenditure. For the sake of time, I will not cover other aspects of her proposed expenses, but the last three presidencies have bogged the economy down with war. Hillary is a continuance of that. Taxes are quite irrelevant to be honest.

So if Hillary and Trump are bad choices, “Who should I pick, damnit!” Good question.

There are plenty of candidates out there to choose from. Forget the outcomes of the election. It is going to be either Trump or Hillary, but they are not the only options. This type of thinking has directly led to the mess we’re in today.

Like I have stated elsewhere. Politics is ran by opinion. Go in with half-hearted votes and half-hearted politicians is all we will receive. Garbage in; garbage out. For every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction. You get the gist.

The problem is that people are thinking only short term aspects. As a result, they get short term solutions. Then they get unjustifiably angry when the problems persist in the long run. They listen to people who try to scare them into emotionally voting “the lesser of two evils” instead of voting from a standpoint of reason.

People at the polls believe that they need to vote what’s best for them right now. They completely disregard the future. How about this, if you want a better future, vote with the future in mind. In terms of political science, vote proactively, not retroactively.

When you cast a vote for the Green Party or for the Libertarians, Sen. Rand Paul, or even Sen. Bernie Sanders, you are sending a direct signal to the entrenched establishment that you endorse their ideas and refute corruption and stereotypical ignorance.

Have you ever wondered why someone like Ross Perot didn’t just run the next election year after a relatively smashing success? They couldn’t have. Democrats were quick to consume those ideas and make them a part of their platform (or at least give the appearance of such). Democrats changed their standards from the success of Perot. Politics runs on opinion.

Regardless of who wins, America is resilient. We can rise above an incapacitated Congress. We can weather bad presidents. We can even overturn bad judicial practices. What we can’t accept is always settling for second best.

Don’t ever do that. Please do not partake in that system of apathy. Vote your conscious, and vote with the best in mind. We can acknowledge inevitable poor outcomes, but this does not mean we have to accept them as are only choice.