He once editorialized against a liberal candidate for Congress by listing about 200 names ranging from Mickey Mouse to Daffy Duck, just the names of people or cartoons who you would never elect to office. The final line of the editorial was “anybody but (candidate’s name).”
The country faces a similar choice today. I could make a list of Hillary Clinton’s flaws and mistakes. I also could fill this post with all the quotes made by Donald Trump in the past year that were offensive, at best. Disgusting at worst.
Quotes that, as we live out the final days of our long national nightmare, seem to fade into memory as Trump has adopted his new role – one his advisors have wanted him to assume to for months -- a candidate who reads off the teleprompter, written and maybe believed by others but that is merely a new and temporary script for him, a Machiavellian effort to reach his goal.
The president baits him, Hillary Clinton baits him. But he doesn’t grab the bait as he has done so many times before, going off script to be himself, ranting and raving about Gold Star parents, a disabled reporter, a former Miss Universe, Jews as moneylenders, blacks as living in ghettos, Mexicans as rapists, Muslims as the enemy of the people or words out of his own mouth praising himself and confessing to sexual offenses.
Now that the FBI director has stuck to his July statement that Hillary Clinton won’t be prosecuted over her dumb decision to use a separate email server, though, we’ll see if Trump returns to his childish ways for the campaign’s final day.
He is, after all, a skilled performer both during his TV career and his real estate career. Why should anyone expect less as he insults our 240 years of history, of freedom, of traditions, of accepting electoral losses with humility?
He has been sued hundreds of times and, even though he claims he “never settles and always wins,” he settled often and lost his fair share. In the meantime he didn’t pay his debts, stiffed the average working guy he now claims to champion and has lied his way through life, and this campaign. And this self-proclaimed successful businessman started with a “small” $1 million dollar loan from daddy and went bankrupt six times that we know of (screwing those he owed while increasing his bankroll). And right after Election Day, he will be in court defending his phony Trump University against another hundreds of average folks who believed his lies and got stiffed. Not to mention an alleged child rape case that, okay, I mentioned.
I won’t bore you with all his past lying quotes but here are a few:
- “If I decide to run for office, I’ll produce my tax returns, absolutely.”
- “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people who have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
- To his opponent, Hillary Clinton he promised, that if he is elected president, “you’d be in jail.” Apparently without a trial or formal charges or even an investigation alleging crimes.
- He has said that all the challenges this country faces, “I alone can fix.”
- He has ignored the Constitution, pledging to change the laws so he can more easily sue newspapers and TV news outlets.
- He ignores the Constitution pledging to bring back waterboarding “and worse.”
- He pledged to kill the families of terrorists, praised dictators, prefers Vladimir Putin to his own country’s democratically elected leaders, and admires how Saddam Hussein killed people.
- Of protestors exercising their constitutional right to protest he has said, “Get him out!” and “I’d like to punch him in the nose, I tellya.” A quote that won’t be listed in Bartlett’s anytime soon.
But wait, there’s more!
Trump has said the “system is rigged,” the “election is rigged.” He seems to believe people in our government make things up to suit their purposes. As one who worked in a federal department that put out most of the data measuring the country’s economy from GNP to housing starts, I can tell you – those things are not “rigged.” Statisticians, mathematicians, economists, all career employees not political appointees, put that data together and the political folks have no say in it – at all. What we political appointees did do was try to put the best face on the data as we could at times. I worry though that if Trump ever sat in the Oval Office he would think he was empowered to make things look better than they are and alter the data, completely misleading stock and other markets around the world.
It’s one thing to “spin” information – put it in its best light. It’s another to make it up, and I fear he would think that as president, he had the power do that. The man has done nothing but lie since he entered the race. He flat out lies.
Ok, ok, I hear you non-Hillary fans saying “she lies more.” Well, based on the independent fact-checkers in this campaign, no, she doesn’t. According to them she does “lie” too, but not nearly as much as Trump does. Helluva way to decide your vote, huh? Who lies least? But that, folks, is the choice.
There is only one other candidate who can defeat this threat to our democracy and that is, for better or worse, Hillary Clinton – a very flawed candidate but not nearly as flawed as Donald Trump. She also has never been charged with a crime (and I don’t think she’ll be charged with one now), and has been a sloppy administrator at best.
She respects, though, this country’s laws and our place as a leader for peace and democracy in the world. He does not. He would give nuclear weapons to countries that don’t, and shouldn’t, have them and he would break up decades-long security alliances.
I had another boss, Malcolm Baldrige, who was a very successful industrialist and became secretary of commerce in Ronald Reagan’s administration. After serving a year in the Commerce job, Secretary Baldrige was asked by a Wall Street Journal reporter what he found different serving in the government from serving in the private sector. His answer: “When I was in the private sector, I went to bed at night counting all the good things I helped happen that day. When I go to bed now, I count all the bad things I stopped from happening.”
That’s similar to my feeling about this election. It’s not a good choice. But there is only one choice if you truly believe in our Constitution and our values. I don’t expect to change the minds of any of the folks I know who read this blog and who support Donald Trump. Not many folks have been influenced one way or the other in this campaign.
I do hope, when it’s over, we all still can be friends and try to move this country forward.
I do fear, too, that when Tuesday night comes, if Clinton wins, Trump will not concede gracefully. I don’t think he’ll concede at all. That will be a true disaster to this county and the most damaging bullet he will have fired in this campaign.
For an alleged leader to go down guns ablaze, and call a victory for his opponent “rigged,” will be the very worst thing Donald Trump can do to this country he wanted to lead.
And that would move to the head of a very long list of things he’s done to hurt his country.