Sorry for the length, but I didn't have time to write a short blog.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Winter Isn't Coming, but Baby It's Cold Outside

While it may be hard to remember, there have been numerous occasions throughout history when we have been divided.  There has been strife. There has been extreme violence.  Our government has been more than dysfunctional.  In other words, now is not a first.  It is also not the end. I don't want to seem too Pollyanna about the current strife we face, but we have faced these problems before.

So why do they seem so extreme this time? We are interconnected in ways we have never been connected before. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, even LinkedIn, does a number of things, the least of which gives us insight into another person but allows us to surround ourselves with people who think like we do.  It's like eating fast food every night may seem like a good idea, but it makes us fat and lazy. The same is true when we feed ourselves a steady diet of only one point of view. That said, most observers of the current election agree, we have never seen an election like this.

I've struggled to blog about this election because I just cannot believe that anyone can support Donald Trump. I should state that I honestly don't care about Hillary's emails because I also don't care about the emails deleted by Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice who also maintained separate accounts and deleted their emails. Dick Cheney deleted some 22 million emails, that's right 22 million, off a private server set up in the White House by the Republican National Committee. You know what all of these have in common? Nothing was wrong with that then, and it wasn't when Hillary Clinton did it. No security breaches of any kind have been discovered. We may have lost some history, but, for the most part, emails are pretty much not worth much. So if you're upset about the whole email thing, then you should also be furious about the others too. BTW, those who keep posting the meme 18 U.S. Code § 2071, you should probably fact check its use. Even the guy who first brought up the idea has agreed that this law cannot apply.

Benghazi is something else that is, excuse the pun, trumped up.  We have had 10 congressional committee investigations at a cost of millions of taxpayer dollars, not including hours spent which resulted in every hearing finding "no wrongdoing" by any person or party. Other than these two incidents, I don't understand why so many think Hillary is so crooked. Is she a politician? Yep. Does she maintain multiple positions? Yep. Name a politician that doesn't. Is she highly experienced?Yep.  I suppose I should point out that I read the released speech from Wikileaks, and Hillary really was referring to the movie Lincoln. Clinton said politicians must balance "both a public and a private position" while making deals. Clinton gave an example from the movie "Lincoln," and the deal-making that went into the passage of the 13th Amendment, a process she compared to sausage-making. In fact, the only major candidate who has zero public service experience is Donald Trump. 

Before Trump supporters say, "Exactly, the point," I would also like to point out that he has seemingly zero understanding about a lot of things. If you went to a doctor or dentist, would you really want the one with no training? No insight? Just a laptop and Google for information. I just cannot keep up with everything Trump doesn't know. To announce that Hillary is a liar one must also accept that Trump has barely a passing nod to the truth.  His Fact Check file is far worse than Hillary. No! You may not blame Fact Check or Politifact as Liberal propaganda. Shooting the messenger, or the ad hominem or scapegoating, is a classic fallacy and has zero validity. Yes, Fact Checkers do have an agenda; it's the facts.  Hillary has been fact checked 266 times. Her mostly true and true statements are a 135. Trump has been fact checked 285 times. His true and mostly true statements are 45 in number. Clinton has been rated false to pants on fire 33 times to Trump's rating of false to pants on fire a whopping 149 times. Hillary's mostly false is 40 and Trump's is 51 time. Mendacity is not Trump's strong suit. 

Look, I blogged in 2012 about my concern over the lies told by the candidates then.  That said, Mitt's, Ryan's, Obama's, and Biden's abilities to tell the truth makes them look like the Popes compared to Trump's knowledge about the truth. You cannot dismiss one for lying and ignore that the other lies too. It is not just the lying...

I can only say one thing about Trump's taxes. Do you honestly believe that other than signing them, that Trump actually does his own taxes? He has tax lawyers to do his taxes. In fact, one former Trump tax attorney from the 90's says that not only did he not do his taxes; he had no interest in them and did not seem to understand them. 

Even with that horrendous tape that released (warning it is uncensored here), all the issues were there.  Just look at his tweets. He has clearly made racist statements. He has consistently verbally attacked women about their appearance and even bodily functions. He has attacked Muslims. He has attacked African Americans. He has attacked Immigrants. He has attacked war heroes. He has attacked a war hero's family. He has attacked the entire military. He has attacked the disabled. He has hired as a campaign manager a man who once worked for Russia. He has personally praised Putin as a great leader.  He has praised Saddam Hussein and was endorsed by North Korea media controlled by Kim Jong Un. He is also clearly narcissistic. His morality attack on Hillary Clinton is moot for a man who is on his third wife and has admitted he had affairs while married to the other two.  He has dismissedded his vile comments about women as "locker room talk" while he was clearly not in a locker room but actually working and his surrogate Rudy Giuliani uses this line as a puchline. And this list is just the highlights. 

He currently has a campaign manager whose association with the alt-right is long standing.  Steve Bannon announced when he ran Breitbart that it would be a platform for the alt-right. If you do not believe that the alt-right is the new face of racism, conspiracy theory, and other populist and supremacist organizations, all you need to do is spend a minute with Google. If you want to know their talking points, the alt-right held a two-hour press conference which you can find on YouTube. There is also a post with the main talking points here. Is Bannon a member of the alt-right? I do not know, but he has clearly used them for his own purposes and Trump has espoused many of the conspiracy theories espoused on Breitbart. 

Then we have the debates. Trump threatened, to the cheers of his supporters, to put Hillary in jail. I don't know how to put this to you, but not only does such a threat have totalitarian overtones, but also it is illegal.  In fact, when Richard Nixon was about to be successfully impeached, part of the articles of impeachment included misuse of the justice system for political reasons. Trump's threat is illegal. 

Does it not concern supporters that Putin's Russia clearly wants this man to be president? Yes, I know that the hacks are actually more designed to sew distrust in our elections, something that Trump has tried to do too, but the attacks are also clearly for Trump. Despite what Trump has said, he was personally told, according to NBC news, that Russia was responsible for the hacks. It is also clear that Putin is trying to manipulate our election. He has tried this also in European nations. By the way, "Wouldn't it be nice if..." we got along with Russia, North Korea, etc is not a foreign policy; it is the title of a Beach Boys' song.

Does it bother anyone that not a single major paper nation-wide has endorsed Donald Trump? Generally, newspaper endorsements don't mean much, but there are papers that have never endorsed a non-republican who have refused to endorse Trump. There are even papers that have never endorsed anyone or have only endorsed once or twice that have come out endorsing Clinton or saying that Trump is categorically unqualified to be President.

Trump is up at 3 AM tweeting about the weight of a beauty queen. He is by all accounts unable to control his responses. If elected, HE WILL HAVE THE NUCLEAR CODES! The use of these codes requires no congressional approval. Every president in the modern age may order a nuclear strike. It is true that he is supposed to get a second confirmation, but I remind you that the "football" is always with the President. I know conservatives are worried about the Supreme Court appointment, but that will hardly matter if there is no Supreme Court left. Clinton is a centrist. Sorry, Bernie fans, but she is. She is not likely to appoint an extreme left Justice. 

This was all there for the viewing before that horrible tape came out on Friday or before the accusation by numerous women. If you're angry a Washington, I get that. If you are going to throw the molotov cocktail that is Trump at Washington and  have no plan what will replace it, you will end up with a burned down building ruled by a dictator because everything will be gone.

I will not tell you who to vote for. I am just saying, do not vote for Trump. 

Finally, I want to leave you with a moment of hope. At the beginning of my little rant, I told you we have had hard and turbulent times before. It's true. It is also true that when this turmoil has happened we have grown as a nation. We have become better. I am hopeful that this is true now.