Politics are a “fun” part of American tradition where each side tires to paint their opponent in a negative light and the back and forth attacks can cloud out the main issues worth considering in making a choice.
It also reveals that no matter what is said, some people will stick with a person/party regardless of the attacks brought against them, which is also a bad thing. It’s important to make a decision based on critical thought rather than emotion if you want both the most effective leadership in power while having them know they will be judged on their actions and past history rather than just charisma or slick advertising. Emotional voting is one main reason why we never seem to nominate the most qualified deserving candidates.
This election cycle is one that will go down in history books as having two of the most polarizing people in recent history. It has been joked that each candidate has enough flaws that they should be thankful they have each other to run against. There is a huge segment of the population that will be voting against one of the candidates more so than voting for one.
While both Clinton and Trump elicit high emotion from people, it’s still rather straight forward to break down the true pros/cons of each to make a true logical and non emotional choice.
- 1st female candidate to be nominated for Prez in a major party.
- Extensive political background experience covering domestic and foreign relations.
- In favor of overturning “Citizens United” and getting big money out of politics
It’s a historical moment for a woman to be nominated in a major party, but of course one’s gender shouldn’t be ranked over one’s abilities. The capacity to handle the job should be the top concern.
One big plus is she is in favor of getting big money out of politics that is destroying our political system. Most of our politicians are bought out by corporate interests, which is why things seem to be getting worse over time no matter which party wins.
- Political choices made in conflict with Progressive movement.
- Unforced error in email controversy- heavily criticized by FBI in handling classified emails.
- Seen as the typical “quid pro quo”, pro corporate politician.
Years in the political arena has given Clinton that feel of squirmy politician who adjusts according to current public sentiment. Of course, this is no different than over 90% of out current elected candidates, and is the reason why the American public is growing so exasperated.
While she has extensive experience, her choices have not always aligned with Progressives. For example, she voted in favor of the disastrous/needless Iraq War as well as US involvement in Libya and Syria, all of which has caused compounded problems and more instability in the Middle East. The irony is her choices here have been more in line with Conservative strategy, so these are issues that Conservatives have no moral high ground to attack her on, but Progressives do.
The email server controversy was a ridiculous unforced error on her part because she decided on a private server rather than use the government server. The FBI clearly called her out as being very careless. To make matters worse, she attempted to try to explain that the scathing FBI report was a good thing and showed she was honest when in fact it contradicted several statements she made in the past about sending/receiving marked and unmarked classified documents. Doing things like this only justifies the “Crooked Hillary” nickname given by Trump.
She was paid for speeches to Goldman Sachs that she is unwilling to release, indicating they must be pro corporation and embarrassing.
I left out the Benghazi controversy because I don’t hold this to be a true issue. Embassies have been attacked and/or lives lost on the watch of both Reps and Dems (Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Obama), only now we live in such a polarized environment that every tragedy is held under a microscope to find fault. Past administrations would fare no better if held under the same level of scrutiny.
- Lots of business experience
- Not afraid to speak his mind
- Against Citizens United
Trump steps up to the plate with extensive experience in real estate and name brand recognition. As a businessman, he has direct practical experience on the state of the economy. He also ran a near flawless campaign against his Republican opponents during the primaries.
The fact that he was able to beat seasoned politicians should also be a warning to our elected officials that the American public is growing weary of the same old tired politics where much is promised and little is delivered.
One of the things that stood out about Trump is the fact that he didn’t sound “scripted” like the other seasoned politicians he faced. His answers sounded off the cuff and wasn’t afraid to call out the faults of his fellow Republicans. Now compare that to the standard political talk we hear, and it sounded refreshing.
He has stated real problems that other Republicans seem to ignore like the loss of manufacturing jobs to outsourcing- a populist stance more associated with Progressives.
He has also taken a stand against big money in politics, but not to the same level as Progressives. Big money corruption is mutually hated by base Dems and Reps.
- Has seriously insulted or threatened numerous demographics of ethnicities/religions.
- Won’t release his Tax returns – breaking ranks with all other Pres nominees in modern history.
- Trump has his own set of legal problems with lying/fraud with Trump University.
- There is no “Trump 2.0” for the general election.
- Wants to repeal “Obamacare” without showing/offering a superior replacement.
I could clearly see Trump winning the primary race because he was willing to be more extreme than all his rivals. He moved to the far right- more so than his opponents were willing to go because they had enough experience to know that to win a general election, you have to appeal to more than just your base. His opponents failed to call out his extremist viewpoints in the beginning and it then became silent approval from which they couldn’t recover from.
The key moment in the primary was when Trump labeled the majority of illegal Mexican immigrants as drug users/pushers, criminals, and rapists. That should have been immediately called out and condemned by all candidates, but they stayed silent for the most part.
The anti illegal Mexican statement was bad enough, but he proceeded to make even more extremist statements such as:
- Banning all Muslims from entering the US
- Did not disavow FDR’s use of Japanese-American internment camps.
- Bringing back globally defined torture such as water boarding.
- Killing the families of known terrorists.
- Claiming a Mexican-American judge can’t do his job because of his ethnic background.
Making statements like these may be well received as red meat to a Conservative base, but it makes it very hard to pivot towards the center in a general election to win over moderates and Independents. This is where we get to another critical problem of his campaign- he has continued making extremist statements since being nominated and hasn’t pivoted at all. There doesn’t appear to be a polished, more refined and “presidential” Trump able to appeal to a wider audience than his initial primary base. This is bad news for Republicans in general because without building a consensus vote, the odds of winning an election drop like a rock.
Some current examples of Trumps continued offensive/outrageous statements:
- Attacking Muslim gold star family whose son died defending our country.
- Calling Obama/Clinton the founders of ISIS.
- Making statements that can be construed as threatening the life of his opponent Clinton.
You simply can’t act in this manner if the main goal is be the adult in the room and build a working consensus among all groups. Worse yet, he’s now making statements of the “system being rigged” so that if he loses, the election must be illegitimate. This is a direct danger to our Republic since he is priming his group of followers to consider the election to be a fraud if he doesn’t win. This will only further fracture our political system and make the polarization that much worse. Trump is attacking the very legitimacy of our democratic process on baseless claims.
As a result of his continued bombastic statements, more and more prominent Republicans have started coming out denouncing him. These are interesting times people when members of a party are now publicly campaigning against their Prez nominee. Interesting times indeed! What they fear is the outrage against Trump will result in down ballot losses for all Republicans in general.
Lastly, he can’t claim to be “transparent” or more honest than Clinton if he refuses to disclose his tax returns. Trump claims he can’t because he is currently being audited. However Warren Buffet has given him a challenge that he is also being audited but wants Trump to join him in showing their returns.