Speaking out against Trump

I will repeat the well known quote from Martin Niemöller:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out –
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out –
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out –
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.

I am speaking out now.

Never in my lifetime has a candidate for President of the United States had so many negatives, so many reasons why he is unqualified and should not be considered for the job.  Yet the polls show it is close.  I don’t get it.  It’s reminiscent of the Seinfeld episode where George does the opposite of what he thinks he should do in order to get women.  Or the Producers, where Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom attempt to lose money on a play, and everything they do to make it fail succeeds.  Here are some of the reasons why a Trump win would be a disaster for the country and why he should never get anywhere near the White House.  I say some because there are just too many, and I could not possibly list them all.  But I will list some of them here.

He has crossed the line on racial and religious prejudice.  To my way of thinking, prejudice in any form against groups based on ethnicity or religion is unforgiveable and unrepairable.  Bad deeds start with bad words.  There are still people alive who survived the Holocaust.  It started with anti-Semitism.  Words.  That led to efforts to deport Jews.  Destruction and confiscation of property.  And then slave labor, concentration camps, mobile killing, and the death camps.  Genocide.  It starts with words.  Trump started it when he announced his candidacy.  Mexicans coming across the border are rapists and criminals and maybe a few good ones.  He crossed the line that day.  No one should be surprised with the attacks on Muslims, the bigoted and unprecedented attack on the judge of Mexican descent hearing his Trump University case.  He failed to promptly disavow David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan.  They got the message.  White supremacists support Trump.

He has no respect for anybody besides himself.  There is something sick about a person who builds himself up by tearing other people down to the extent that he has.  I imagine we all know people who are generally very critical of other people.  For Trump, insults come as naturally as breathing.  They come out in a steady stream.  The New York Times even has a web page devoted to this: The 239 People, Places and Things Donald Trump Has Insulted on Twitter: A Complete List.  This is beyond the pale.  The name calling has made the presidential election more undignified than ever before with no bottom in sight beneath which he will not go.  Saying John McCain is not a war hero because he was captured.  Insulting the Governor of New Mexico.  “Not doing the job.”  And he just keeps sinking.  “Low energy Jed,” “Lying Ted,” “Little Marco,” “Crooked Hillary.”  One would hope that the American people are too smart to be taken in by this, and according to polls, by a slim majority only, they are.

He has no respect for women.  He has publicly called a woman  “a pig.”  When Megyn Kelly questioned him aggressively in a debate he accused her of being on her period “bleeding out of her whatever.”

He mocks the disabled.  His crude gestures mocking a reporter he didn’t like are well known.

He is a consistent liar.  He lies so consistently and so frequently that the press cannot keep up.  As Tim Egan said in his op-ed in the New York Times on June 6, Lord of the Lies:

I no more expect CNN to set Wolf Blitzer’s beard on fire than to instantly call out the Mount Everest of liars. Trump lies about big things (there is no drought in California) and small things (his hair spray could not affect the ozone layer because it’s sealed within Trump Tower). He lies about himself, and the fake self he invented to talk about himself. He’s been shown to lie more than 70 times in a single event.

He lies in his business dealings.  Donald Trump’s Deals Rely on Being Creative With The Truth.  He lies about Hillary lying.  All Politicians Lie. Some Lie More Than Others.  He lies about contributing to charity.  Trump campaign admits it did not raise $6 million for veterans.

He promotes lies about Hillary.  Eight congressional investigations have been unable to lay a glove on Hillary, yet front and center at the Republican convention was the accusation that she was responsible for Benghazi, Trump said that she slept through it, despite the lack of any evidence, and his convention called Hillary a traitor who should be shot by a firing squad.

            He is a con-man, a fraud, a bully, and a thief.  This “king of debt” has made ripping off businesses and people an art form.  He has been sued by contractors and employees who performed services for him and he tried to rip off.  And bullied some of them into accepting far less than they were owed.  The number of lawsuits he has been involved in is astonishing.  His own employees at Trump University called it a scheme to take advantage of prospective students.

            He promotes fantastical conspiracy theories and fantasies.  He called climate change a hoax.  Denied the California drought was real.  Supported the completely absurd birther movement.  He makes claims by saying he doesn’t know about something but he has heard or some people say that for example Cruz’s dad might have had something to do with the Kennedy assassination or that the Clintons killed Vince Foster.

            He is totally unprepared to be President.  He is completely ignorant of things a president must know to run the country.  Jon Meacham, For Trump, intuition beats experience.  What that would mean for the presidency.  Time Magazine, July 25, 2016.  He doesn’t read books.  He advises himself.  He has no plans for anything other than to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it, deport 11 million people, and ban Muslims, and now people from certain territories from entering the U.S.   To completely change our foreign policy.  He would order US troops to commit war crimes.  These are absurd proposals that have no basis in reality.

            His Supreme Court appointments would be horrible and would shape the Court for many years to come.  His appointments would turn back the clock on many of the advances our country has made in race relations, press freedoms, women’s rights, LGBT rights, and numerous constitutional protections.

            He has advocated violence at his rallies against protesters.  While every responsible politician has condemned violence at political rallies, Trump has gone the other way, offering to pay for lawyers for his supporters who assault protesters.

He sets a horrible example for our youth.  Young people can be extremely impressionable.  His bigoted remarks have already been latched onto to by misguided students.  Students use ‘Trump’ as anti-Latino taunt during basketball game …;

Two Northwestern University students have been charged with vandalizing a chapel on campus with spray paint, writing a swastika, slurs against black and gay people — and the word “Trump.” Days later, two students at Wichita State University — one Muslim and one Hispanic — were attacked at a gas station by a man who shouted, “Trump, Trump, Trump, we will make America great again. You losers will be thrown out of the wall.”

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/03/15/trump-used-taunt-against-students-and-minority-groups .  History repeats itself.  He is stoking some very dangerous fires.

In the New York Times Nick Kristoff collected quotes from respectable Republicans.  I say respectable because although I probably disagree with all of them on many issues, they will emerge from this election with their dignity intact because they refuse to tolerate Trump’s intolerable behavior and statements.  I refuse to accept that his behavior is the new norm in politics.

“He’s a race-baiting, xenophobic religious bigot. He doesn’t represent my party. He doesn’t represent the values that the men and women who wear the uniform are fighting for.” — Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina

“I don’t think this guy has any more core principles than a Kardashian marriage.” — Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska

“We saw and looked at true hate in the eyes last year in Charleston. I will not stop until we fight a man that chooses not to disavow the K.K.K. That is not a part of our party.” — Nikki Haley, Republican governor of South Carolina

“A moral degenerate.” — Peter Wehner, evangelical Christian commentator who served in last three Republican administrations

“Donald Trump is a madman who must be stopped,” — Bobby Jindal, former Republican governor of Louisiana

“I won’t vote for Donald Trump because of who he isn’t. He isn’t a Republican. He isn’t a conservative. He isn’t a truth teller. … I also won’t vote for Donald Trump because of who he is. A bigot. A misogynist. A fraud. A bully.” — Norm Coleman, former Republican senator from Minnesota

“To support Trump is to support a bigot. It’s really that simple.” — Stuart Stevens, chief strategist to Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign

“Donald Trump is unfit to be president. He is a dishonest demagogue who plays to our worst fears. Trump would take America on a dangerous journey.” — Meg Whitman, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise C.E.O. and former national finance co-chairwoman for Chris Christie’s presidential campaign

“I thought he was an embarrassment to my party; I think he’s an embarrassment to my country. … I can’t vote for him.” — Tom Ridge, former Republican governor of Pennsylvania and secretary of homeland security under George W. Bush

“I would not vote for Trump, clearly. If there is any, any, any other choice, a living, breathing person with a pulse, I would be there.” — Mel Martinez, former Republican senator from Florida and former chairman of the Republican National Committee

“The G.O.P., in putting Trump at the top of the ticket, is endorsing a brand of populism rooted in ignorance, prejudice, fear and isolationism. This troubles me deeply as a Republican, but it troubles me even more as an American. … Never Trump.” — Henry M. Paulson Jr., Treasury secretary under George W. Bush

“Hillary is preferable to Trump, just like malaria is preferable to Ebola. … If it’s Trump-Hillary with no serious third-party option in the fall, as hard as it is for me to believe I am actually writing these words, there is just no question: I’d take a Tums and cast my ballot for Hillary.” — Jamie Weinstein, senior writer, the Daily Caller, a conservative website

“Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University.” — Mitt Romney, 2012 Republican nominee for president

“When you’ve got a guy favorably quoting Mussolini, I don’t care what party you’re in, I’m not voting for that guy.” — Ken Cuccinelli, president of the Senate Conservatives Fund

“Donald Trump is a scam. Evangelical voters should back away.” — The Christian Post, a popular U.S. evangelical website

“Listen, Donald Trump is a serial philanderer, and he boasts about it. … The president of the United States talks about how great it is to commit adultery. How proud he is. Describes his battles with venereal disease as his own personal Vietnam.” — Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas

“A man utterly unfit for the position by temperament, values and policy preferences … whose personal record of chicanery and wild rhetoric of bigotry, misogyny and misplaced belligerence are without parallel in the modern history of either major party.” — Eliot A. Cohen, a senior State Department official under George W. Bush

“Leaders don’t need to do research to reject Klan support. #NeverTrump” — Ken Mehlman, former chairman of the Republican National Committee

“God bless this man” — Daily Stormer, white supremacist website

Does Hillary have flaws?  Sure.  All people do.  But whatever anyone thinks her flaws are, and I say it like that because there’s a lot of crap flying around that has no basis in reality, her flaws are minuscule compared to Trump’s.   But she has been a First Lady, a Senator, and Secretary of State.  She has experience.  She knows how things work. She knows how to get things done, and she has actual plans.  She knows how to run the federal government and Trump does not.

So who to vote for is a pretty easy, obvious, and necessary choice.