I know that I’ve been trying to avoid this subject for some time since it pertains to politics within an election year. But since Donald Trump is now the presumptive GOP nominee for president, I can no longer keep my mouth shut, not only as a Catholic social justice liberal but as an American citizen. I know people won’t like what I have to say about this, especially among my friends and family. Yet, I think my opinion on this situation is what Americans need to hear. Like many people, when Donald Trump announced his candidacy, I laughed it off thinking he probably won’t last very long since I found the idea simply preposterous. However, once people started taking him seriously and voting, his candidacy stopped being funny very quickly for me. In fact, he’s what John Oliver would call him as “America’s black mole,” because, “It may have seemed harmless a year ago, but now that it’s become frighteningly bigger, it’s no longer wise to ignore it.” The idea that people would vote for this clown despite being such an embarrassment and national disgrace to this country with all the nasty stuff he’s said just scares the living shit out of me. I can’t imagine anyone in their right mind ever voting for this guy and I thought the American people knew better than to vote for a guy I clearly see as nothing but a complete fraud whose support is based on spectacle and telling what people want to hear even if it means resorting to outright bigotry and denigrating the ideals this country stands for. Despite the slogan, Trump isn’t the candidate who’d make American great again. He’s a guy who’d make America anything but great and possibly have liberals like me view the George W. Bush administration with nostalgia. And that presidency was a disaster with 9/11, two wars in the Middle East, Enron, the Plame Affair, Hurricane Katrina, tax cuts for the rich, the 2008 crash, No Child Left Behind, and more. To me, Donald Trump is an electoral fungus with cotton candy hair whose campaign represents the US at its worst. He is a spoiled and selfish brat and an unapologetic bully who I have absolutely no respect for not only as a candidate for president, but also as a human being. He is a man I cannot trust. Nor is he a man I think sets a good example for our country. And it’s because of these reasons and more I don’t believe that Trump should ever be president.
As you might’ve heard, the bulk of Trump supporters include working class whites who show up to his rallies in record numbers. Many of them tend to feel ignored by the politicians in Washington as well as feel that they’re in desperate situations with downward spiraling lives. I admit that working class whites haven’t had it very good since the 1980s with outsourcing and deindustrialization causing the loss of good jobs that were replaced by new ones that barely paid the rent as well as blighted cities. Not to mention, many of the jobs that replaced the ones that went are poverty level and non-union. Yes, I feel for these people and I’m very aware that they’ve been screwed by big corporations and Wall Street. I also understand why many working class whites tend to blame the poor and minority groups, which Donald Trump greatly exploits. However, what working class whites are actually doing is shooting themselves in the foot by embracing Trump and all he stands for.
Yes, I know working class whites are hurting and I feel for them. But so are minorities who are in the same situation with racism and discrimination to boot. Many of them work the degrading jobs for the same wages are just as equally unhappy with their situation as their white counterparts. Many undocumented immigrants have it just as bad, if not worse. While many people tend to criticize poor blacks for going on welfare, we should accept that there are plenty of working class whites on public assistance as well. And a lot welfare recipients white and minority alike have jobs, sometimes more than one. While there’s said to be a lot of crime and drug use in the inner cities, you can also say the same in rural Appalachia. Working class whites might see similar disadvantaged groups as “the other” as different from them and see anything that aims to support their interests as something to oppose. However, what working class whites need to realize is that these people of color aren’t much different from them, especially in their economic situations. As someone descended from working class whites, I see the poor and racial minorities as my brothers and sisters as well as support movements like Black Lives Matter and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, not just because it’s right and a way to stay true to my faith. But also that a lot of policies benefiting racial minorities also help poor and working class whites. And American history is full of examples to support this. Reconstruction not only expanded suffrage to African Americans but also to Southern whites who weren’t able to vote before the Civil War. It was also a time when both blacks and whites in the South first had access to public schools as well. You have the West Virginia mine wars during the early 1900s where black and white miners alike fought for the right to unionize as well as better wages and working conditions and an end to unfair company practices. Then there’s union organizer Walter Reuther’s support for the Civil Rights Movement and his marching with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. since both saw the causes of civil rights and economic justice as intertwined. And the fact that these two ideas are intertwined with one another should be a reason why working class whites should support Black Lives Matter and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
It’s a shame that many working class whites are willing to accept the economic status quo that’s screwing them, support men like Donald Trump, and blame their downward spiraling lives on the poor and people of color. I know it may not be something working class whites might not want to hear but even though I sympathize with their plight, the bigotry, xenophobia, and racism that many embrace has got to go. All what embracing Trump’s racist rhetoric does for working class whites is make them look like a bunch of ignorant rednecks supporting a candidate against their own best interests as well as makes the powers that be not take their concerns seriously. Yes, I know that many of these voters are unsettled by cultural and demographic change, but the US has been through this before and it’s nothing to be worried about. I know many of these people are unsettled over Obama’s ongoing transformation of the US as something no longer recognizably American. But previous generations have faced the same thing under other presidents and responded to backlash against changes the exact same way. What these people see as “recognizably American” either never really existed or was much shittier than you remember. I’m sorry but I don’t want to live through another Bush administration. Even though Obamacare isn’t Universal Healthcare and flawed, at least it’s better than what we had before and I do not want to go back to the old system. The fact that the Democratic Party supports rights for women, LGBT people, and racial minorities is not their problem. Their main problem is their tendency to compromise and downplay their sacred principles in favor of much needed campaign contributions from wealthy donors and corporations, especially thanks to Citizens United. This is especially true when it pertains to Democratic principles pertaining to labor rights, corporate regulation, health and safety, taxing the rich, and environmental protection. But I have to admit that Barack Obama has been a good president for this country and I’d hate to see him go. At least Democrats support policies like free pre-K, affordable childcare, equal pay for women, and paid leave. Not to mention, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are both viable candidates in their own right and I can see why anyone reasonable would support either of them.
I’ve often heard that many Donald Trump supporters believe that he’s not afraid to tell it like it is or be honest. I find that hard to believe since I’ve long known him to be a spoiled rich brat who’s a shameless opportunist and self-promoter. If there is any candidate in this election who has the guts to tell it like it is, my money is on Vermont US Senator Bernie Sanders and I can understand why so many people love him for it. Sanders might be a self-described democratic socialist but he mostly believes what he says and has a pretty good idea on what he wants to do if he’s elected president with plenty of detailed policies to back it up. If I saw a herd of working class whites fill a stadium at a Bernie Sanders rally, I wouldn’t question their judgement since Sanders seems like a guy who supports policies that benefit the little guy. Of course, he’s not perfect, his policies may not be realistic, and doesn’t have a chance in hell to win the Democratic nomination, but at least his appeal to many Democrats makes a lot of sense.
Donald Trump, on the other hand, is mostly speaking to people’s frustrations and anxieties by telling them what they want to hear. Telling people that the way to “make America great again” is to deport 11 million people with ease isn’t “telling them like it is.” It’s lying on multiple levels. He also talks about how his standing as a “businessman” makes him an “outsider.” So unlike traditional politicians in Washington who are bought and paid for, he “can’t be bought.” However, we have to acknowledge that Trump has been a member of the 1% his entire life who wouldn’t be the man he is today if he wasn’t born into one of the wealthiest families in the country. Sure big money in politics is a major problem and the notion of politicians being bought and paid for by wealthy donors is part of how Washington conducts business as usual. Yet, understand that Trump is a massive hypocrite who’s bought and paid for politicians himself. Despite what he claims, he’s not funding his campaign all by himself for he probably has his share of wealthy backers. So he’s very much part of the political establishment. But even if most lawmakers were controlled by their contributors, the idea Trump could somehow move our system through sheer force of un-bought will is utter crap. It constitutes much of his candidacy’s Big Lie: never mind the policy details, never mind the separation of powers, and never mind the profound disagreements between the parties. Everything will be easy and terrific. Except in politics, accomplishing anything in politics is everything but easy and terrific. He’s not telling you like it is. He’s telling you like it isn’t. When he’s telling it like it is, he’s really conning people into voting for him by telling them what they want to hear or what will entertain them. He’s playing for an audience by appealing to voters’ frustrations, insensitivities, and other unsavory emotions. He is not like you. He cares nothing about you for all Donald Trump cares about is Donald Trump. You are his potential pawn to be used to get what he wants. His candidacy is only a reality show based on the public image he’s created and cultivated for decades that’s all spectacle that satiates a bloodlust and structured insanity. But behind that façade, there’s very little substance. While most presidential candidates typically draft detailed policies that they intend to pursue if elected, Trump has released very few. All the things he said he’d do just sound like simplistic bullshit by a guy who seems completely unconcerned about the implications in order to accomplish them. All delivered with the kind of maniacal overconfidence that’s seen as almost delusional. He not only lies his ass off but doubles downs on those lies. He denies long established facts most people accept even by experts in their field such as that New Jersey Muslims weren’t cheering on 9/11, vaccines don’t cause autism, Obama was born in the US, and global warming isn’t a hoax perpetuated by China to close US factories. Furthermore, it’s widely said that Trump doesn’t understand how government operates, advisers or no advisers. His foreign policy team has been described as “a collection of charlatans.” In debates, it’s been revealed that he didn’t know what a nuclear triad was (it’s a doomsday force of land based missiles, long range bombers, and submarine-launched missiles that the President can order if the US is attacked). Nor did he know that China wasn’t a party to the Trans-Pacific Partnership which is intended to counter the country’s economic influence. Not to mention, Trump has been known to change his political views like one would change their socks. This is not what you’d want in a presidential candidate.
As for his public image, Donald Trump has built it around a bully persona pertaining to bombast, bluntness, and offending people. Unfortunately, it turns out that a lot of primary voters are attracted to jerks as long as their vitriol is directed toward the right people, even if it means inciting violence against protestors at his rallies. His supporters cheer when he insults immigrants, Mexicans, Muslims, women, other politicos, POWs and even the occasional Fox News host (but not in a good way at all). His supporters will tell you that he doesn’t bow to political correctness. Maybe, but perhaps he should. They’d also tell you that Trump says what people wish they could say. If by “people,” you mean “racists,” since Trump isn’t afraid to call Mexicans criminals and racists, promises to kick every Muslim out of America, ridiculed a reporter for being disabled, called POWs losers for getting captured, and said of a black protestor, “Maybe he should have been roughed up because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing.” But only those from the white supremacy and white nationalists groups who back him are willing to admit that he’s the voice they always wanted since he’s mainstreaming such bigotry throughout the race, especially when many of his supporters believe in the notion of “white racism” which doesn’t even exist. And it doesn’t help that Trump hesitated to disavow David Duke and the Klu Klux Klan. But the closet racists of the country know what they believe in is ignorant bullshit who don’t want to risk becoming pariahs for exposing their bullshit. His bully persona has also made him exceedingly popular with people who believe he represents American ideals, especially the American promise of success being represented by great wealth (I’ll get to this later), which is troubling. The fact that millions of people are seriously willing to vote for this fuckwad as president disturbs me even more. Now I don’t expect my politicians to necessarily be saints. But I do wish that they’d have some capacity for basic human decency in public appearances.
However, we have to acknowledge that Donald Trump is an exceptionally shitty human being whose capacity for basic human decency is practically non-existent. He’s a trust fund baby with an aggressive competitive drive, an ego the size of Texas, and an inability to take criticism or a joke despite that he’s a walking and talking cartoon character. He’s a bully who takes any attacks against him and jokes at his expense personally and with a vicious streak. One woman was kicked off of Last Comic Standing because she made fun of Trump’s hair. He even threw a hissy fit over some magazine talking about his tiny hands. Really? Throughout his life he has continually asserted his sense of spoiled rich kid superiority with only the barest hint of doubt. He’s a thriced-married serial philanderer who treats the women in his life as objects, is well-known to make women uncomfortable around him, and openly admitted on national TV that he wants to bang his daughter. Yes, he said this. He’s a draft dodger who called John McCain a loser for being a prisoner of war in Vietnam for 5 years. His name is synonymous with success defined by wealth and luxury that wouldn’t have been possible if he wasn’t a trust fund baby who received an Ivy League education on his family name. Though he claims to be a successful businessman, he is anything but (I’ll get to this later). He has no class and wants to beat and grind adversaries to the ground. And no matter how much offensive, divisive, and destructive his rhetoric can be, he’s never ashamed, he’s never humble, he’s never gracious, and never apologizes. As for friends, well, he’s openly praised Vladimir Putin calling him “a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond” despite that Putin is highly feared and known to leave a trail of invaded countries and dead journalists. And it doesn’t help that his penchant for being an unrepentant asshole with a goofy toupee that it’s no wonder he’s been referred by Jon Stewart as “Fuckface Von Clownstick” as well as such a complete joke of a man that comedians find him so irresistible to mock. The fact Trump’s voracious hunger for fame, wealth, and power combined with his hideous muppet hair and morally bankrupt personality just gives the comics more ammunition to mock him. In short, he’s not a guy you’d want your child to look up to since he sets a very poor example to children since he makes Richard Nixon look like a boy scout. Fuckface Von Clownstick, indeed.
Another thing that you hear from Donald Trump supporters is notion that Trump would make a good president because he’s a good businessman. However, not all great businessmen make great politicians and vice versa. Besides, while the goals for business are to make money, the goals of government are far more complex so being CEO of a major corporation is nothing like being President of the United States. And contrary to his claims, Trump is not a great businessman. Yes, he wrote The Art of the Deal that doesn’t mean he’s a great businessman. After all, some people from write relationship advice despite being shitty in relationships. But deal making and promotion are only part of being a successful businessman. And I’m sure these two aspects Trump masters beautifully. But he’s not a great operator and most business usually consists of overseeing day-to-day details that require the attention. Trump usually leads the running and operating on locations to managers he hires. Day-to-day details don’t interest him. His Atlantic City casino ventures went bankrupt 4 times and was forced to sell his other businesses like Trump Airways all of which employed thousands of people (Rolling Stone lists 13 of his business failures in all). In his offices, there are 2 or 3 floors at Trump Tower that might have 40 or 50 people in them. Sure he’s wealthy now. But that’s because he inherited a lucrative family business. And he only achieved real success when he turned from real estate development to franchising his name for other developers’ projects. That and his ethically questionable business practices. His for-profit Trump University is now being investigated for fraud. His earnings may be smaller than he says they are. His name on offerings like furniture, neckties, steaks, magazines, alcohol and other beverages, air travel, board games, fragrances, telecommunications, mortgages, and more which is said to stand for high class, high quality, and high cost. But a lot of these ventures failed and Trump is partially responsible for that. Thus, in practice the Trump brand has often repeatedly stood for half-baked schemes, shoddy work, and sketchy characters. Now thanks to him calling all Mexicans rapists and criminals, Macy’s has discontinued his line of menswear that it carried for 11 years and whose ties I’ve sorted during the 2014 Christmas season for a measly $8 an hour. Despite that Trump likes to brag about his success as a businessman, he is not a self-made man nor a man you’d trust to run your business venture. If Trump has refused to release his tax returns, chances are that he’s probably not as rich and successful as he makes himself out to be. And if he’s not interested in the day-to-day details of running his business, he’s probably not going to be interested in the day-to-day details of running the US Government. At the end of the day, he’s not the successful businessman but a trust fund baby who got really lucky.
Finally, the main reason why Donald Trump should be president has to do with the fact that most Americans who know him don’t like him even within the Republican Party and his hometown of New York City. As a celebrity, he’s more of a guy most people love to hate and make fun of as a joke. That is until he ran for president and people started taking him seriously as a candidate. As a blogger and a liberal Democrat, I am free to say what I want about Trump and not get the short end of the stick. The Donald doesn’t know who I am. And if he gets angry on what I say about him, it’s just going to make him look like an idiot since I’m just a small-time blogger with a small following. But others don’t have the same luxury. If you pay attention, you might be aware that the Bush family and Mitt Romney don’t like him at all. The Koch brothers don’t care for him either and decided not to back him for now. The National Review did a piece on why Republicans shouldn’t vote for him. Noted pundit Glenn Beck has steadfastly opposed Trump saying, “I don’t want my children to look at that man and say, ‘Yeah, he’s my President.’ I won’t have that. I will not endorse it, I will not tolerate it.” This is coming a guy who had his own show on Fox News that made him notorious for crazy antics that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert mercilessly mocked until he was fired from the network. Nebraska freshman Senator Bob Sasse has even written a long Facebook post explaining he’s not backing Trump as well. Radio host Erick Erickson decided not to endorse Trump, because he’d rather, “put my country before my party and decline to help the voters in this country commit national suicide.” Leon Wolf from Redstate even went further saying that while he thinks Hillary would make a terrible president, he genuinely believes that she’d be way better than Trump.
Politicians who’ve had decided the back Trump, have only been willing to do so for the “good of the party” since he’s the presumptive nominee. Or back in the primaries, he’s the frontrunner and probably want Trump to do something for them, don’t want to be seen supporting Hillary Clinton, or feel their jobs depend on it. Take Chris Christie for instance whom Stephen Colbert likened to “a best man at a wedding he doesn’t believe in” when he endorsed the guy. John McCain has also endorsed him despite how Trump said that he’s not a war hero because he got captured in Vietnam. McCain would go on to say that Trump owed former POWs and their families an apology because these guys have dealt with a lot of shit. But McCain’s endorsement is understandable because he’s in a tight reelection battle in Arizona. But a private recording reveals he’s not happy about it and thinks backing him will hurt his chances. New Hampshire US Senator Kelly Ayotte says she’ll support him but not endorse him since she’s also in a tight reelection battle. I’m sure this means, “I’m playing it safe because I don’t want to alienate my GOP supporters in the primary but I don’t think endorsing the guy is going to help me in November.” Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval is another guy who’s backing him but only for the good of the party. Yet, he’s clearly not a fan and doesn’t plan to attend the convention. Finally, we have South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham who said the day when Trump won Indiana, “If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed…….and we will deserve it.” This guy hates Trump so much that he even endorsed Ted Cruz despite previously likening the choice between the two as one between being poisoned and being shot. Recently, CNN has reported Graham has privately urged donors to unify around him though he hasn’t really endorsed him publicly yet. Guess it’s for the good of the party.
Then there are those who are undecided like Speaker Paul Ryan who I liken as a hypocrite and whose Ayn Rand inspired ideas libertarian economics are appalling, insensitive, impractical, and insane. But in this election, it’s hard not to feel sorry for him. Though he has intended to support whoever’s the GOP nominee in the past, he has admitted that he’s not prepared to back Trump-yet. “To be perfectly candid with you, I’m just not ready to that at this point. I’m not there. I hope to, and I want to,” he said on CNN. It should be apparent that Ryan is lying his ass off as if he’s a kid when his mom asks him whether he’ll support her decision to marry Mr. Douchebag. In reality, Ryan hates Trump’s guts and really doesn’t want to endorse him for president. He’s said that his party needs “a standard-bearer that bears our standards.” And it’s clear that the House Speaker doesn’t think Trump is the guy he has in mind. Otherwise, Ryan would’ve kept true to his promise once Trump clinched the nomination. But he can’t speak his mind and tell Trump to stick it because he simply can’t afford to since he’s in a tight primary congressional race with an opponent who’s already endorsed him. It doesn’t help that he’s House Speaker (a job he didn’t even want) and is the highest ranked elected GOP leader in the country. If Ryan decides to back Trump, it will be because he doesn’t want to lose his job. And he will back the man only when he absolutely has to, most likely at the Republican National Convention. Nevertheless, I can easily imagine Ryan having an effigy of Donald Trump in his office that he periodically uses as a punching bag and constantly swears at. As of now, Trump’s nomination has put him in a no-win situation where he’s stuck with either endorsing a nominee he thinks makes his party a joke at the cost of his personal integrity or possibly alienating his Republican constituents in his Wisconsin district who can vote him out of office and end his political career.
Look, I know that many of you may not like Hillary Clinton for various reasons. I know she’s not a likeable person. I know she has a lot of baggage as a politician and public figure. And I know that many people in this country fundamentally don’t like her. However, we have to accept the fact that despite her many faults, there’s no doubt that Clinton is qualified for the job, has realistic and coherent policy ideas, and has proven herself reasonably competent in every political position she’s had. And when it comes to listing all the US presidents on the wall at your kids’ school, you’d probably be okay with her being on it, eventually. You may not think much of her or even agree with her ideas. Even at her worst, she still looks like the better choice for president than Donald Trump. In fact, you could probably say that a spilled can of antifreeze or a steaming pile of dog shit are better choices than Donald Trump. Many might say that Clinton is corrupt, untrustworthy, inconsistent and hypocritical. But she has proven herself to be a serious presidential candidate not once, but twice. If she’s elected, chances are you won’t need to explain to your kids why most Americans voted for her even if you didn’t. Hillary may not make the best president, but I can guarantee you that if Trump’s in the White House, expect him to be an epic disaster.
You can’t say any of that about Donald Trump. But one thing is clear, the man is a complete fraud and a conman as well as a wretched human being most people hate. He has risen to become the GOP nominee in the 2016 presidential race through soundbites filled with racism, sexism, xenophobia, turning his campaign into an empty spectacle, and inciting violence. But at the same time he has failed to show that he’s qualified or even serious about the job and what it entails. Elections aren’t reality shows. They are political events where we choose leaders and representatives to make laws and policy decisions that affect our lives. Presidential elections are serious business that our country can’t afford to elect a clown like him to the White House. If there’s any good reason why even the most conservative Republican should vote for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump, it’s that she takes this election seriously and is more likely to exercise the presidency with the kind of decorum, respect, and dignity Americans deserve from a leader 0f the free world. And if you take this election and the politics seriously, then she is the candidate you should support regardless of what you think of her or your political ideology. I know it’s a bitter pill to swallow. But if you’re an American who loves your country and cares retaining at least a shred of dignity on the presidency after Obama leaves the White House in January, you’d have to be a complete idiot to support Donald Trump. Sure he may be entertaining and might say things you’d want to hear, but he’s not the kind of man who should be leading the country.