We need to forget the idea that Hillary has this election in the bag—she does not. We need to forget the fact that she is up, on average, three points in the polls. We need to forget that fivethirtyeight gave Hillary a 75% chance of winning this election.
Remember, it was fivethirtyeight which gave Donald Trump a less than 16% chance of getting out of the Republican primary, let alone winning it. It is not inconceivable that Trump could win the election in November. So. . . .
We need to start asking ourselves some very serious questions about Donald Trump. And we need to put the politics aside, as well as our personal belief systems, and have an honest and factual conversation.
Say, for example, that Donald Trump does win. Get used to saying that over and over in your head: President Donald Trump. Does the sound of those words give you comfort or does it scare the living hell out of you? Be honest with your answer because your mortgage, your car payment, your retirement or your Social Security may well depend on your answer.
We need to face the reality of what four years of a Donald Trump presidency would actually mean to America and to the rest of the world. And, I’m more concerned about us than I am the rest of the world.
The mindset of: ‘I’d rather have him than Hillary.’
I have friends who will vote for Donald Trump simply because they can’t stand Hillary Clinton. They don’t like her. They don’t want the Clinton dynasty back in the White House, and they think her baggage outweighs her advantages. Some people, not just Republican, think Hillary Clinton is crooked in the ways she has handled herself with her emails, Benghazi, the Clinton Foundation and a host of other issues.
Hillary Clinton simply does not come across as trustworthy. From an ideological standpoint, over 80% of people likely to vote in November believe that trust and honesty should play a part in determining a candidate’s worth. Meanwhile, Fact Checker pointed out that over 91% of what Donald Trump has said in the past had either been somewhat or completely untrue.
However, for all I know, their concerns may be completely accurate and justified. Alternatively, these opinions may be skewed by the information they get from various media outlets. In our American propaganda machine –fueled by a 24-hour news cycle, there’s more than enough information regurgitated over the air about both candidates to turn most people off.
I’ve said this many times before, in other election cycles, voters fall in love with their candidate and then go out and find facts to validate why they like that particular person – not the other way around. Voters vote with their hearts, not their heads.
A recent PEW Research study found that less than 38% of the voters polled liked any of the two candidates running in our two-party system. Those numbers have never been that low in PEW Research history.
I leave out Johnson and Stein simply because they have yet to gather sufficient support to make it into a debate – let alone gathered enough support to win the presidential election outright.
My quest here is not to bash Hillary or Trump but to point out that, for the first time, in at least modern history, voters will not be happy going to the polls. And it’s not insignificant that millions of Bernie Sanders supporters will be factored into this election cycle one way or another.
If millennials do not vote for Hillary, or if they sit out of the election process and not go to the polls they will be making a statement. Albeit, a statement not conducive to a favorable Democratic outcome, especially as it concerns the down ballots in our local elections.
However, now we come to a point in this election cycle where we need to start asking ourselves some very serious and honest questions about Donald Trump.
Donald Trump has never run for political office in his life. He has absolutely no track record that we can hold up to scrutiny to judge his political decision-making ability or the type of administration he would have and the people who would lend him the benefit of their opinion.
Those issues are particularly important, because were Trump to make the wrong decisions, listen to the wrong advice or appoint the wrong cabinet in his administration, it could have dire consequences for everyone in this country.
This is not to say that Hillary Clinton would be immune from making mistakes as president, but she at least has a track record, good or bad, that we can reference in an effort to make our estimation of what she would do if the chips were down.
Benghazi may or may not have been a mistake when she was Secretary of State. I’m not necessarily in a position to judge the totality of the evidence that has been aired excessively on all the media outlets. Nevertheless, even if Benghazi was a mistake that, by itself, would not necessarily put Donald Trump in a position of superiority regarding international affairs.
The lesser of two evils
For me, it comes down to one simple issue: the Supreme Court of the United States. By now, it is obvious that President Obama will not be able to secure his nomination to fill the seat left by Justice Scalia. It’s a shame because his pick for the High Court is not a progressive nominee– he actually picked a moderate from the articles I’ve read.
Even so, the next president will be tasked with at least one Supreme Court nomination, and considering the age of some of the Justices, maybe more. There was an article in the Washington Post, a few months ago, that suggested the next POTUS could possibly appoint as many as three Justices over the next four years.
America has seen what can happen when ultraconservative Justices with strict interpretational ideology outweigh not only the progressive outlook of the court, but middle-of-the-road moderates. We wind up with dangerous legislation like Citizens United. We end up with an interpretation that corporations are people too. And last year, ultraconservative justices reversed some of the most important Civil Rights legislation in America’s history.
No, Hillary was not my first choice; she wasn’t my second choice, but she is my last choice. And I will vote for her on Election Day. The stakes are just too high, and the issues are too great to be left in the hands of Donald Trump.
Donald Trump’s rhetoric
I’ve listened to over four hours of Donald Trump on YouTube and various social media outlets. Some of what he says actually rings true and was part of Bernie Sanders’ revolutionary theme: the middle class is shrinking in America; there aren’t enough good-paying jobs to go around for everyone. No one should have to go bankrupt because they can’t afford their medical care, no one should have to die because they can’t afford medication, and yes, America has a responsibility to educate our young people without the need of carrying massive student loan debt for years to come.
I like the fact that Donald Trump is an underdog and continues to be ostracized by the political establishment. That’s one of the things I liked about Bernie Sanders. Unfortunately Donald Trump has no meaningful plan, he has no evocative agenda other than to glorify himself, and he has previously said that he would appoint ultraconservatives to the Supreme Court. That, in and of itself, should disqualify him to any reasonable thinking individual who believes in democratic principles.
A few days ago, for the first time in 34 years, USA Today ran an op-ed piece of an anti-endorsement of Donald Trump. It speaks volumes not so much about Hillary Clinton, but about the devastation Donald Trump could do to America if he were elected president.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Bernie Sanders twice. I had a conversation with him that lasted several minutes. I would be the first one to admit that Bernie was not treated fairly in the Democratic primary. I also admit that, at some point, Bernie supporters have a bone to pick with the DNC – especially in light of the emails that were exposed a few days before the Democratic National Convention.
The truth of the matter: if progressives are to have any chance at moving America forward, at moving the Democratic platform and the agenda set forth by the DNC to something other than just a document written on paper – we will have to do it with a Democratic president and not Donald Trump.
A Donald Trump presidency would set America’s progressive movement back 50 years or more considering the rhetoric and comments he has detailed in his campaign speeches.
His nominations to the SCOTUS would set us back to the Stone Age.
I know some people cringe when they see the word ‘progressive.’ The word, by itself, has a mislabeling effect and it’s been used so much and by so many people that it has probably lost its meaning. I see myself as a FDR progressive, meaning that we need a new deal in America in an effort to bring back an almost nonexistent middle-class.
And I think we need to put an end to the race baiting that has dominated this campaign cycle. Any reasonable thinking person should be able to understand that black people in America, simply by nature of their skin color, have a predisposition of getting hurt and killed when they are approached by law enforcement.
And, unfortunately too many white people take a lackadaisical approach to racial issues because they feel it doesn’t directly concern them or their family.
Instead of taking an opportunity to actually talk about race inequality in America, it seems both of these candidates have a propensity to politicize the issue using it as a crutch to enhance their own political agenda. Hillary seems more concerned about using police shootings as a means to attract the black vote, while Donald Trump is using the issue to gather support of law enforcement.
It isn’t political when a black person gets gunned down in the street: it is tantamount to murder. And until we start treating it as murder, until all people start to speak out about it and rise up to face the injustice – it will keep happening again and again and again.