Patterns of Delinquency

As I read opinion columns and evaluations on the second Clinton/Trump debate, I was stunned by the cavalier attitudes or complete disregard for the frightening implications of the things that were casually tossed over the shoulder in that muddy mess posing as a presidential debate. I abhor being in the position of sounding like a Hillary Clinton apologist. She is shrewd and radically liberal, particularly in the areas of civil liberties and social issues. Yet, again, she was the adult in the room. She was able, calm, grave, unflustered and prepared with knowledge and centrism on the all important areas of the economic and military security of the country. Meanwhile, Donald Trump reinforced his disrespect for women by coming out with an offputting, bullying of his opponent and a cavalier dismissal of his abusive sex tapes as “locker room talk.” He trivialized his being caught on tape at 59 years old, at work, engaging in sexual promiscuity. He called the woman doing her job waiting to meet and greet him an “it,” folks, an “it.” “Wow, it’s good,” he chortled when having her pointed out to him from inside the van in which he was being transported. That line and these tapes did not occur in a vacuum. He had the haughtiness to lie about what he said on them, another pattern, even when we have the physical proof to fact check him. He has decades of these same patterns. So much for the hypocrisy of conservative pundits railing against Bill Clinton. They and his supporters have chosen to back their own Clinton, Reid and Pelosi type. I fully expect that a steady drip, drip, drip of these slimy tapes will ooze out these next four weeks — if news outlets can get their hands on them. Trump not only has his own rape accusations, one making its way through the courts now, he has seventeen or so years of fodder from Howard Stern interviews, after all. This man is delinquent in more serious ways than those represented by his perverse sex tapes.

More importantly, Trump went on to demonstrate his deeper darkness with another sneering one liner in the debate. When Clinton remarked it was a good thing that he wasn’t in charge of the law of the land, he snarled, “You’d be in jail.” The crowds of Trump followers are still gnawing that red meat, I am sure. The realization that a president is legally bound from weaponizing the justice department against the citizenry seemed to escape him, or he is indifferent to it. He has a pattern of indifference to legalities. The sobering part of the reaction from his followers is that the same people were enraged when Obama’s DOJ appeared to be politicized. Trump supporters can no longer rail on the current president with any credibility. Their guy would “jail her” as they chant. A president cannot demand or instruct, as he said in the debate, a special prosecutor; by law, he can only request one. Such a remark is Nixonian at the least, and third world dictator-like at the worst.

Trump has already pronounced his lack of a need for Republicans or Republican congressional majorities. Which begs the question, is he, then, unknowledgeable about basic civics or is he imperial? Will he disregard the Legislative branch of government as structured by the Constitution. He has a pattern of imperialism in his personal and professional life, and has already claimed he will stack the courts with justices favorable to his promised overreaches with the judicial system; the freedoms of speech, assembly and press; legislative process; and property rights. Strict Constitutionalist jurists will not obey those orders, so I would not put much stock in any promises he makes to appoint Conservatives to the courts. Though he tried to obfuscate about his admiration for murderous dictators in the debate, his campaign words are recorded. He admires despots like Kim Jong Un, and has installed for himself a golden throne at Trump Tower, even proclaiming that his apartment is more regally appointed than Versailles. He does not seem to realize the imperialists enjoying that venue, ultimately had their heads loped off in the bloody French Revolution. And that brings us to another bloody revolution.

In the debate, Trump’s eery defense of Putin went to a far more frightening place than seemed to be noticed by people mostly distracted by the Trump tapes, the voyeuristic sewer they represent, and the delights to duped minds of “jailing” Hillary. When asked about abrogating the horrors of Aleppo, he diverted to praising Putin for helping bomb ISIS in Syria. Of course, Putin is bombing anti Assad rebels in Aleppo, not ISIS. That bombing is part of his concerted efforts to quash a revolutionary rebellion against his ally and brutal despot, Bashar al Assad. Does Trump even know that? Is he unknowledgeable, ignorant, unprepared or alarmingly allied with a man who virtually all experts believe is behind the hacking efforts to manipulate the outcome of our election. That same man, Putin, has actually endorsed Trump, as he did Obama eight years ago, in hopes of securing a playground for Russian interests.

Trump is a man who has well demonstrated a pattern of ruthless, corrupt business practices motivated by desires for fame, power, and money. Is it because of the money, reportedly flowing from Russia to pro Trump PACs, that Trump pushes the Soviet style dictator, or because of shared instincts? Russia is an ally of both Iran and Syria in the Middle East, and that the Trump foreign policy position, again according to his own words caught on tape, is to turn the powerbrokering of the region over to the three of them deepens the bog of suspicion of his motives. Trump has a pattern of admiration for the wrong people, and the wrong tactics in his business dealings, leading to his wrong politics.

We must not have a president whose life patterns are against our founding principles, laws, and values. I catalogued Trump’s patterns in this piece: deception, whininess, ignorance, unethical business, imperialism, impure motives, haughtiness, debauchery, and a seemingly amoral indifference to ideological or legal restraints. As loathsome as Clinton is, she presents less of a threat to our economic and military security. Her economic proposals represent exponentially less debt and dangerous economic isolationism than Trump’s. Since his military isolationism extends to abandoning our historic allies, whose partnerships help strengthen our national security, and reach their dangerous climax in his desire to see global nuclear proliferation, Clinton is also the safer choice in our safety. She is far more prepared to stand up to the Putins of this world than is he, given his pattern of narcissism with whiney, thinskinned reactiveness. She is pro military, even hawkish by Republican standards. Her economic and national security positions are centrist enough to have caused her problems wooing the pie in the sky socialist supporters of the Bernie Sanders campaign.

Even so, though I will never vote for the deadly poseur that is Donald Trump, I cannot vote for Clinton due to her positions on civil liberties and social issues; and, though she certainly is more bound by common mores than is he, she has her own suspect dealings within the restraints of law. I will write in a presidential candidate like Evan McMullin or one of the earlier primary hopefuls, barring some explosion that would bring a whole new meaning to the idea of an October surprise. Generally, the pattern of Trump surprises has been gravely negative, would this October surprise us with an unanticipated replacement candidate. Would it could be an individual whose patterns would trace an invigoration of real and sober Americanism with honest, cooperative bipartisanship in the face of the money grubbing, power mongering, and hedonistic delinquency exhibited in the second debate. Republicans who continue to enable this man are delinquent in their duty and honor.