The Choice is Clear: Hillary for President

Part 1: Donald Trump is an Objectively Awful Candidate and, it Appears, an Even Worse Human

Well, here we are, less than three weeks out from electing the 45th President of the United States. I don’t think it is at all controversial to say we have never seen anything like this campaign, nor are we likely (dear God, I hope) to see anything like it again. And, to me, the choice could not be more clear. Hillary MUST become POTUS, if nothing else than to ensure that the last 240 years of American history is not undone in a matter of one term in office. But, alas, there are those out there who do not agree, so even though I have yet to talk to someone who has had their mind changed by an opinion piece, no matter how thoughtful and well-written, I am going to do my level best to scream reason into the void in the hopes that someone out there might hear me. I plan on tackling this in 4 parts, because I want to make 4 main arguments that are too important on their own to try to unpack in one sitting.

So, argument number 1 goes something like this: Donald Trump is literally the worst.

I realize it’s not inspirational to lift up one candidate by tearing another down, but A)I’m building to something better, and B)it is so incredibly important that I, and many others, make the case just how big of a dumpster fire the entire Donald Trump candidacy is. I also realize that the majority of my friends and family who read this either already agree with me or will never agree with me. This is more for those who are genuinely having a hard time deciding between the two (more on my puzzlement that there are such people in the next piece). So, let’s begin, shall we?

Donald Trump has a troubling history of racism. One of the first times the world heard of Donald Trump, his company was being investigated for discriminating against African-Americans in his rental properties. A decade or so later, Mr. Trump had become one of the richest men in Manhattan. So, how did he choose to spend his money? Taking out full-page ads in the New York Times calling for, not only the conviction, but the execution of 5 teenagers, all but one of whom were black, for a crime they were later found to have not committed. What kind of man uses his wealth and influence to call, prematurely, for the death of teenagers? And, stunningly, lost in the recent news about Mr. Trump’s lewd comments about women, Donald Trump doubled down on the belief that they were guilty, despite the fact that they were exonerated by DNA evidence. Furthermore, for years, Trump carved out his slice of the political world by challenging the birthplace of the first African-American President in our nation’s history. Despite not having any evidence (indeed, he fabricated “evidence”), he suggested that President Obama was born in Kenya and was therefore not a legitimate president. And, when Obama put the issue to bed with his long-form birth certificate, Mr. Trump mixed self-congratulations for dealing with the issue with continued skepticism until very recently. To top it all off, Mr. Trump has been making faux appeals to the black community by lumping them all together and proclaiming that “they are living in hell in the inner cities” and saying they have nothing to lose by voting for him. He gives these appeals in front of nearly all-white audiences, as if to make them feel better about voting for a known racist, someone who enjoys the support of white nationalist groups and was slow to denounce past KKK leader David Duke.

Donald Trump has a troubling history with women. In the 1990s, Donald Trump divorced his first wife, Ivana. The reason? Infidelity. Now, this alone would be tragic, but it happens. However, Trump admitted to how he stepped out on Ivana with Marla Maples in a very public and, shall we say, braggadocious manner. In the 1990s, after taking over the Miss Universe pageant, he referred to one Miss Universe winner, Alicia Machado, as Miss Piggy because she gained weight, and humiliated her by making her work out in front of the press. Desperate for celebrity, he was a frequent guest on shock-jock Howard Stern’s show, and discussed walking in on beauty pageant contestants while they were changing, as if he were “inspecting” as the owner that everything was ok. He allowed Howard Stern to refer to his own daughter as a “piece of ass,” and even suggested that if Ivanka wasn’t his daughter, perhaps they would be dating. And, of course, the latest leak of a 2005 taping of Access Hollywood further proves Trump’s disdain of women as he brags about sexual assault in lewd and offensive language. Women have since stepped forward to support his own claims, and this isn’t the first time he has been accused of rape. His first wife accused him of it (he settled out of court) and there is a case moving forward right now that charges him with the rape of a 13-year-old girl.

Mr. Trump has shown a troubling history of xenophobia and Islamophopia. His entire campaign has been centered around the idea that immigrants are taking over our country, and that they are all bad people (they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists…). He plans on building a wall across the entire border and making Mexico pay for it. He plans on rounding up 11 million people with a deportation force and sending them away. He plans on imposing religious tests against Muslims from entering our country in what he calls “extreme vetting” after proposing an outright ban. He questioned the ability of a judge of Mexican descent to hear his case regarding the scam known as Trump University.

Mr. Trump is a terrible businessman. In spite of receiving a “small loan” from his father to get his business going, Mr. Trump has had to declare 6 bankruptcies with regards to his businesses, shielding his own wealth while costing countless people their own jobs. He has stiffed contractors who work on his properties, in spite of commenting publicly on how good of a job they did. His casino in Atlantic City is a manual for how to run a business into the ground. And, in 1995, he declared that he lost nearly 1 billion dollars on his tax returns, which shielded him from paying federal income taxes for nearly 2 decades. He claims that makes him smart. I, and many others, question how you lose nearly a billion dollars in one year in a business that should be booming relative to the surging economy at the time.

Mr. Trump is a conspiracy theorist. Besides the fact that he is influenced by Alex Jones of InfoWars, he claimed that climate change is a hoax created by the Chinese. His entrance to politics, as stated above, was centered around birtherism, a widely debunked theory. He believes the election is rigged in a conspiracy that consists of the Hillary Clinton campaign, the mainstream media, voter fraud, a Mexican billionaire, and, I suppose now, the government of Ecuador.

Mr. Trump makes up his own facts. In an election cycle where the Democratic candidate is painted to be untrustworthy, Mr. Trump has a casual relationship with the truth. Of the nearly 300 public statements both candidates have made, Mrs. Clinton was found to be at least somewhat connected to facts 75% of the time. Mr. Trump was found to be misleading, ignorant of the truth, or flat-out lying 75% of the time.

Mr. Trump is a bully. He blazed his way through the Republican primary by blasting out insults at everyone who dared speak critically of him. Jeb Bush was low-energy. Ted Cruz was a liar whose wife was ugly and whose father killed Kennedy. Marco Rubio was “little Marco.” He has insulted Hillary’s looks, her stamina, her health, her gender, and he even threatened to make sure she ends up in jail.

Donald Trump bragged about the size of his genitalia on a debate stage.

And if none of this matters to you, Mr. Trump is also woefully inept when it comes to policy. He declares that certain reforms that appeal to working-class voters will be enacted because he is a “winner.” He is consistently short on details and facts. He famously did not know, on a debate stage, what the nuclear triad was. He asked an adviser “If we have nuclear weapons, why don’t we use them?” He praises Putin, is sympathetic to Assad and Saddam Hussein, and has encouraged nuclear proliferation. He consistently endorses plans that are unrealistic, as in the wall that Mexico will pay for, unconstitutional, as in stop-and-frisk, which he has praised widely, or downright inhumane, as in the deportation force or the targeting of innocent families of suspected terrorists.

This is only a fraction of the full case that can be made against the Donald. I have only listed here those things I could remember off the top of my head. And much has been said about how Trump has been “normalized,” because we simply move from one outrageous comment to the next without ever taking stock of how bad this really is. Mr. Trump is an embarrassment and an insult to our public discourse, to our democratic process, and to the very idea of running for President of the most powerful and prosperous nation the world has ever known. He is not worthy to tie the laces of even our most ineffective Commanders-in-Chief, and the damage he has done to the once great Republican Party may take years to undo. The very idea of casting a vote for him baffles the mind of not just Democrats, but of Republicans of great principle who refused to ever line up behind him.

The white, working class with no college degree has been left behind in many ways, even though many other marginalized groups have struggled for much, much longer. And in a way, it can be understandable that so many Trump voters are angry. Angry about a lack of opportunity, angry about a loss of prosperity, angry about the idea that the country they grew up in is slipping away. But, in our great history, we have never succeeded when we point the finger at “those people.” Donald Trump is not the leader these people deserve. Instead, he plays on their fears and anxieties and stirs up anger for his own personal fame, enrichment, and power. Without offering real solutions, this sexist, racist, xenophobic demagogue has whipped people into a frenzy to the point that they may never accept that they are poised to lose this election by margins of historic proportions. And that’s dangerous.

If you are thinking of voting for Donald Trump, please reconsider. Never has one man threatened so much of what makes America great. It’s time we come together as a nation and strongly rebuke him and his politics. And after we send him back into his corner where all bullies belong, it will be time to come together to work for solutions that move ALL Americans forward. Hillary Clinton is the leader who can bring us together, but we have to be willing to go there. It will be difficult, but it is necessary, and Donald Trump is so historically ill-suited for the times in which we find ourselves.

I can almost hear some people making the predictable argument that Donald Trump may be awful, but Hillary Clinton is worse. Nothing could be further from the truth. I will attempt to tackle that next time. For now, please, just do me a favor. Respect your vote to the point that you can’t cast it for a national nightmare like Donald Trump. The very future of our Republic depends on it.