Asking voters to choose between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in November is like asking a man sentenced to death how he would like to die: by drowning or hanging? Between the two of them, they are both nightmarish in their ideologies and methods, and neither would be good for the country.
In June, Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein told Democracy Now that while Donald Trump says scary things, Hillary Clinton has already done them. More recently, Trump ghostwriter Tony Schwartz expressed deep regret at having written The Art of the Deal, because it helped launch the Republican nominee into the national spotlight like never before. In political circles, a raging debate continues about which candidate is better or worse for the country: Trump or Clinton? Whose policies will save or destroy America?
Contrary to Robert Reich’s blog in which he declares Trump much worse than Clinton, both are dangerous, with Clinton edging out Trump because, as Stein said, she has actually committed some of the atrocities he’s advocated.
Trump supporters believe he’s just the tough guy the United States needs to get immigration and the economy under control. His unapologetic rhetoric against Muslims, immigrants, and women makes him unpalatable among traditional Republicans and progressives alike. He’s a blowhard who loves attention, any kind of attention. But what really makes him tick?
Schwartz shadowed Trump for 18 months in the mid-’80s taking notes on everything he saw, keeping a journal about the real estate mogul’s motivation and reasons for his actions.
An interview with The New Yorker reveals just how much a Trump presidency terrifies Schwartz.
“I put lipstick on a pig. I feel a deep sense of remorse that I contributed to presenting Trump in a way that brought him wider attention and made him more appealing than he is. I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization.”
Schwartz describes Trump as a man incapable of deep introspection or self-reflection, and a man who craves attention. He describes the GOP nominee as a man whose attention span is shorter than a toddler’s, who takes on more projects than he can handle, with an overblown sense of importance.
In describing Trump’s short attention span, Schwartz told the magazine, “I seriously doubt that Trump has ever read a book straight through in his adult life.”
A master manipulator, a hot-headed bully, a showy narcissist; Schwartz ultimately came to the conclusion that with Trump, what you see is what you get.
“There is no private Trump.”
The man Schwartz describes, then, sounds as though he never quite left the toddler stage of mental development. If he doesn’t get what he wants, he will bully, cajole, manipulate, and harangue until he does, and if he still doesn’t get it, he casts aspersions on those who denied him as the bad guys. He doubles down on lies, grows belligerent when challenged, and throws a temper tantrum.
Schwartz’s interview with The New Yorker is perhaps more revealing than most other stories on Trump out there, because the former ghostwriter observed him as an outsider for a year and a half. He was the fly on the wall, the shadow who could see and hear all. He saw the man when no one else was looking or watching. And he found very little depth and a willingness to spin a kernel of truth into an epic fiction about his greatness, his habit of steamrolling anyone who stands in his way.
People, he said, are disposable to Trump. And this is perfectly highlighted in the events from last spring. Trump had promised to pay the legal fees for supporters accused of violence and his rallies. Mother Jones reports Trump denied the promise and refused to pay a North Carolina man’s legal fees after he sucker-punched a black protester at a rally.
Contrast this vision of Trump with Hillary Clinton. Going by just this primary, Clinton has also steamrolled her way to an assumed nomination. She has insulted millennial voters, who preferred Bernie Sanders, as young and inexperienced. She has scolded anyone who challenges her. She laughs off accusations that she’s broken domestic and international laws. She doubles down on her lies and also casts aspersions on her accusers.
Is there really much of a difference between Trump and Clinton?
In 2008, while running against Barack Obama, Clinton appeared on a morning television program and threatened to “obliterate” Iran in the event its leaders were to attack Israel. She didn’t threaten to take out Iranian leaders. Reuters reports she said she would wipe the entire nation — including innocent civilians — off the face of the earth.
Instead of denouncing Israel’s illegal settlements in Gaza, she would rather protect the nation from condemnation. Even Senator Bernie Sanders, who is Jewish himself, supports a two-state solution and has called out Israel for its human rights violations against Palestinians, something very few politicians are brave enough to do.
Going back to Stein’s interview in June, she said what many Sanders supporters have thought all along.
“Look at the walk and not the talk … Trump says very scary things — deporting immigrants, massive militarism and … ignoring the climate. Well, Hillary … has a track record of doing all of those things. Hillary has supported deportations of immigrants, opposed the refugees … coming from Honduras, whose refugee crisis she was very much responsible for by giving a thumbs-up to this corporate coup in Honduras.”
Clinton also has a record of promoting fracking in countries around the world. Lee Fang and Steve Horn of The Intercept obtained emails from the Department of State that show how Clinton’s State Department pressed vulnerable countries to adopt the dangerous practice.
“Far from challenging fossil fuel companies, the emails … show that State Department officials worked closely with private sector oil and gas companies, pressed other agencies within the Obama administration to commit federal government resources including technical assistance for locating shale reserves, and distributed agreements with partner nations pledging to help secure investments for new fracking projects.”
Clinton helped to bring the horizontal drilling technique to countries such as China, South Africa, Romania, Morocco, Bulgaria, Chile, India, Pakistan, Argentina, Indonesia, and Ukraine.
Clinton speaks out of both sides of her mouth, publicly paying lip service to preserving the environment while advocating for its destruction behind closed doors. Although the Democratic platform shows evidence of rival Bernie Sanders’ progressive policies, Clinton aides have claimed she could ignore parts of it.
In conclusion, it is my firm opinion that whether it is Trump or Clinton in the White House next year, the American people will suffer. They will suffer either at the hands of a man who has pandered to extreme right-wing ideologues, or they will suffer at the hands of a woman who has proven our nation’s security, natural resources, and civil rights mean nothing to her.
[Photo by Mary Altaffer, Chuck Burton/AP Images]