Despite the historic early voting numbers we are seeing around the country, there are still tens of millions of eligible voters who have yet to cast their ballots. In case these individuals are still unclear about who Donald Trump is after 50 years in public life, five years as the Republican standard-bearer, and nearly four years as President, here is the final and definitive list of reasons that Donald Trump should be rejected by every civil, moral, rational, and ethical American voter.
Every incumbent officeholder, from President of the United States to local Soil and Water Commissioner, should be evaluated for re-election based on promises made and promises kept. Donald Trump has either broken or failed to deliver on nearly all of his signature 2016 campaign promises. While some may believe this to be a good thing, considering the vile nature of many of his promises; his failure to keep them should still disqualify him for another term.
The Wall: Donald Trump promised his racist and xenophic supporters that he would build a wall on the Southern Border and make Mexico pay for it. Four years later, there is virtually no new wall construction, despite Congress providing $1.4 billion and Trump stealing another $3.8 billion from the military to build the wall.
Repeal and Replace: Second only to the border wall was Trump’s promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Trump has been promising to unveil his replacement plan in a matter of weeks since 2015. One week before the 2020 election, he told Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes that it was still coming. When she challenged him on how many times he’s made this promise, he got mad and left the interview.
This is more than just political theater. Americans with preexisting conditions, adult children on their policies, insurance through the exchanges, or Medicaid expansion, need certainty around their healthcare. For Trump, it’s just another con game. For sick people, it’s life and death.
US Debt: Trump promised to eliminate the US Debt in eight years by cutting taxes and renegotiating trade deals. Far from eliminating the nation’s debt, Trump has raised the debt from $19 trillion when he took office to $26 trillion today. It can be difficult to process just how much a trillion dollars is, but in four years Trump’s policies have increased the national debt nearly 40%. Ten percent per year, for another four years — that’s a chance no American should be willing to take.
Frankly, this issue alone should be disqualifying. 225,000 people are dead in these United States from the coronavirus. As I wrote about previously, the majority of those deaths can be attributed almost solely to the Trump administration’s abysmal response to the pandemic. From his failure to develop a national testing and tracing strategy, to his counterproductive and ever-changing stance on mask-wearing, to his public promotions of snake-oil cures, to his own defiant behavior that has created superspreader events across the country, Trump has failed the American people so badly, anyone who cares about leadership, or good governance, or public health should frankly be embarrassed to cast a vote to reelect this president.
Hardly remembered and hardly spoken about these days, but just under a year ago, Trump became only the third U.S. president to be impeached. If he wins next Tuesday, he will become the first impeached president to win reelection. What will it say about this nation, that it was willing to reinstall a criminal who attempted to extort the leader of a foreign country to engage in a smear campaign against the eventual Democratic nominee for president? How will history remember the voters of this generation?
It is not enough to say that Donald Trump is racist. That has moved beyond mere opinion to demonstrable fact at this point. He is not the first racist president; nor will he be the last. Trump however, encourages and incites racial and race-related violence against his own citizens. Many fear that his rhetoric will inspire post-election violence in cities across the nation. There are many good reasons for this fear, including:
At this point, the only people who do not believe that Trump encourages racial and race-related violence are the people who do not want to believe that Trump encourages racial and race-related violence. There are no logical, rational actors among the American electorate who — in the face of the evidence — can draw any other conclusion. A vote for Donald Trump is a vote for a man who encourages racial or race-related violence against the very citizens he has been elected to lead, to serve, to protect. Full stop.
The national debt and national deficit are higher than when Trump took office. Wall St. is thriving but Main St. is foundering. This is something that Trump has been unable to grasp. The market can continue to thrive in the face of economic calamity, but small business owners and their workers largely can not. Unfortunately for Trump, he has no play and no plan for this reality. Cutting taxes and rolling back regulations are Trump’s only tricks. That helps the wealthy and big corporations immensely. It helps small businesses, mom-and-pops, and local entrepreneurs hardly any at all. The problem? The economy is fueled by small businesses, mom-and-pops, and local entrepreneurs. When they suffer, the nation suffers.
Trump has reportedly called military members who’ve given their lives suckers and losers. He has disparaged POWs and Gold Star families, even going so far as to blame them for him contracting the coronavirus. He has attempted to use the military to enforce “law and order” against fellow Americans. He has raided the Pentagon budget for his pet projects and misused the troops to fight against a nonexistent threat from South America. Trump has failed to protect troops from the coronavirus and punished leaders who have. Trump has berated decorated generals publicly and privately. He minimized their head injuries after his ill-advised strike put them at risk.
Beyond that, the U.S. has been fortunate not to have any major military conflicts during the past four years. History suggests that this is not likely to persist another four. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that Trump is not fit to lead this nation through any type of national crisis, whether natural or manmade. We put ourselves in peril by giving him four more years to lead us through an uncertain future.
The decision for voters next Tuesday is really not about Trump versus his Democratic opponent. The decision is really what type of nation we want to be. There are many in this country who still believe in the “better angels of our nature,” but increasingly, the mounting evidence suggests that our nature has a dark side as well. Soundly defeating Trump on November 3 will go a long way to reassuring the nation — and the world — that we are still a shining city on a hill.