Monday, November 21, 2016
I have never blogged about politics. There are so many folks that work that turf on a full-time basis, and most of them are loud and venomous. I am not a very partisan person - I am an "independent," have voted for Democrats and Republicans (I even voted for a couple of third party candidates when I was young and foolish). I am a moderate person politically - socially liberal (Same sex marriage? Fine. Abortion? Tragic, but women get to decide, not the government. Unconscious bias leading to racist outcomes? Yup, I have my own set of unconscious biases so I get it.) and fiscally conservative (Are Federal government expenditures out of control? Absolutely. Should we borrow to fund programs that Americans want but are unwilling to pay for via taxes? Hell no. Should budgets balance and debt decrease? Abso-Goddamn-lutely.). I also am an old-fashioned believer in meritocracy in America. Everyone should have an equal opportunity in America; the best and the brightest should be allowed to rise regardless of income level, race, religion, ethnicity, gender or sexual preference. I also believe in earning your way into positions of power, wealth and authority. If you work hard, do your homework, have the right insights and luck, you should win. If you are winning because you come from a wealthy family, or marry the right person, or you lie and cheat - well, I won't like you very much.
You can see that our current President-Elect is not my kinda guy.
Good old Donald Trump. He was born on third base and has been telling everyone he hit a triple. He is a commercial real estate developer (not an especially successful one compared to his peers), a casino owner and operator (went bankrupt several times in this business), a reality television star ("B" list celebrity, able to put on an entertaining show) and a huckster slapping his famous name on all sorts of products that pay him royalties until they flop. None of these career experiences prepare a person for the terrible and awesome responsibilities associated with the presidency of the United States of America.
SO first of all, Trump is unqualified.
Good Old Donald Trump. He has said the most outrageous things imaginable and his supporters don't seem to care. He insults everyone that finds fault with him. He sues people that offend him. He has winked at the white supremacists, sucked up to the alt right (Stephan Bannon, an alt-right nutball, as Chief of Strategy? Jeff Sessions, a well-known racist, as Attorney General?? Are you serious???) and stoked xenophobia until the fire is red hot. As John McCain said, "he has fired-up the crazies." Major U.S. banks (J.P. Morgan, Citibank, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs )won't do business with Trump due to past losses on his business; he has had to go offshore for financing. He cheated on his spouses and treats women like objects. When he settles lawsuits (including his divorces), he shuts everyone up with onerous nondisclosure clauses. He is not a Bill Gates or Warren Buffet - type "nice" billionaire. His mission is more wealth and fame for Donald Trump. He likes to fight and holds grudges. I cannot think of a worse guy to be president of the United States, and his election is plunging us into uncharted water - his secrecy regarding his tax returns and business holdings is a massive red flag, and his sprawling international business activities represent unmanageable conflicts of interest. This guy can't be trusted with the massive power of the U.S. presidency.
SO secondly, Trump is unsuitable and potentially dangerous given his lifelong behavior pattern.
I do believe that character matters. The U.S. President is our spokesman and the public face of the USA to the world. Regardless of what you think of his policies, Barack Obama was a terrific spokesman for our country. He has dignity, his family appears to be peaceful and loving, he is articulate and can inspire others to be better people. I refused to vote for Bill Clinton in 1996 because I thought that his behavior would get him fired at any corporation in America. I can't say that about President Obama.
I am confident that the United States is sound and that this current experiment with an ill-suited leader will not destroy our country. But I am also quite convinced that this person will need to be resisted constantly, fought tooth and nail, and if his fellow Republicans fail to stand up to him, they will need to be tossed out of office. Trump won because Hillary Clinton got votes in the wrong places - her popular vote win is a bitter pill to swallow. Trump also won because half of the voters in the United States don't bother to vote. And this terrible level of civic participation plays into the hands of extremists.
I have signed up to do what I can to get rid of Trump. He is an undignified, vulgar, selfish disaster of a man. He will never be my president.