In a perfect world, when an outlet would endorse Hillary Clinton for president, it would simply stand on its own and not be questioned. However, we live in a world where a mendacious, self-proclaimed businessman like Donald Trump can not only run for president, but he can also be considered a serious contender for the highest office in the United States.
In the past, Trump has considered running for president, but back then, the thought of a thrice-married loudmouth with no governing experience, a universally offensive viewpoint on everything from women to minorities to basic human rights, and an almost uncanny ability to bankrupt every single one of his companies wouldn’t even make it past the primary stage of a candidacy. It would be viewed as a curiosity and nothing more.
But we’ve lost all sense of decency in 2016, so much so that the thought of having Hillary Clinton as the president is scary enough for the states south of the Mason-Dixon Line to want to cease this democracy experiment and go for a dictatorship. The thought of the most dangerous leader since Adolf Hitler assuming control of the nation is more pleasing to these people than the thought of having to take orders from a woman.
What a sad commentary on the state of American affairs.
And it seems that the more offensive Trump gets — the more his supporters beat up old women, give the Hitler salute in the street, and mercilessly troll social media and the more unarmed black men are shot dead in the street with no rational explanation whatsoever — the more emboldened his legion becomes. The more news outlets come out with the comparisons between this bombastic “reality star” and the leader of the Third Reich — from the memes that originated on the Storm Front message boards, to the endorsement from none other than Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke, to the reports that he kept a book of Hitler’s speeches by his bedside and his employees would tap their heels and shout “heil, Hitler” as they walked by his office, to the promises that he will excoriate the First Amendment and restrict the right to free press if elected president, to the people who were actually victims of the Third Reich speaking out loudly against his candidacy and potential presidency — the more his supporters shout that he is a “working class hero” when he is simply appealing to the lowest common denominator of humanity and banking on the hatred to shoo him into office.
You almost get the sense that these supporters breathe a sigh of relief when they shout racist, sexist, and anti-Semitic invective, as though they should do so without repercussion for their actions.
Yet, when asked about Trump’s policies — when demanded to explain what, politically, makes Trump a more favorable candidate over his opponent — his supporters either remain silent (because they’re unable to say what, policy-wise, Trump really stands for because even they know that it’s unclear), or they spout more derogatory terms offending the querent’s race, gender, sexual orientation, or disability that not only goes outside the bounds of basic moral decency but has absolutely nothing to do with the question at hand.
Trump is a candidate that runs on the platform of nonsense and a simulacrum of reality made popular by reality shows that appeal to the increasing idiocracy of American popular culture.
And this is why tonight’s debates are absolutely essential if America wants Hillary Clinton for president. Clinton’s biggest strength is her ability to convey her message intelligently, to remain calm in the face of even the most disgusting invective, and to get the job done without fail. We, as New Yorkers, saw this quality in her when she was our senator, and we will see it again when we have Hillary Clinton for president.
But before she gets there, there are three important points that she has to bring up in the face of Trump’s countless lies to the American people.
1. His Concept of America Is Patently False
One of the biggest reasons why we should have Hillary Clinton for president is that, unlike Donald Trump, she understands what America is really all about.
The Washington Post did a comprehensive study on the sheer number of Trump’s lies, and they found that the most mendacious lie of all is his basic concept of America as a culture and a society. According to Trump, America is a country ravaged by terrorism because of illegal immigrants and Syrian refugees, and that Clinton looked the other way on the “immigration problem” for too long.
Not only is that entire sentiment untrue, on its face, but in the words of the Washington Post, “There is nothing to stop police from questioning a person suspected of carrying a massive bomb, and the United States does allow certain types of profiling of airline passengers and immigrants.”
The fact that Trump has the audacity to want to excoriate the Fourth Amendment, which entitles every person in the United States to due process under the law, needs to be one of the first things that Clinton calls out. One of the most important things that make America great (and yes, Mr. Trump, it’s already great, thank you very much) is the fact that every accused criminal, no matter the crime, is entitled to a fair and speedy trial. That Mr. Trump feels it’s okay to deny anyone this right — to play judge, jury, and executioner without any regard for the system of checks and balances, to find someone guilty just by looking at them, and may the court system be damned — is as appalling as it is un-American. And Hillary Clinton, as a seasoned lawyer and politician, should be calling Trump to task for it all, especially if Americans want to see Hillary Clinton for president.
2. He Has Really Unsavory Ties To Russia & Refuses To Divest Himself of His Foreign Investments
Although there has been almost a virtual blackout of media coverage surrounding Trump’s confirmed ties to Russia, the Hillary Clinton for president machine needs to make every effort to bring these facts to light if they want their candidate to win.
It’s pretty interesting that a so-called “working class champion for the American people” who bloviates on ridiculously about “foreign threats” in America would allow a foreign entity like Russia — whose relationship with the United States has been questionable, at best, thanks to Vladimir Putin — go so far as to try to rig the election in his favor.
As Think Progress reports, “U.S. intelligence officials are seeking to determine whether an American businessman identified by Donald Trump as one of his foreign policy advisers has opened up private communications with senior Russian officials — including talks about the possible lifting of economic sanctions if the Republican nominee becomes president, according to multiple sources who have been briefed on the issue. The activities of Trump adviser Carter Page, who has extensive business interests in Russia, have been discussed with senior members of Congress during recent briefings about suspected efforts by Moscow to influence the presidential election, the sources said.”
Since when was the “American Dream” for sale by Russia? And what kind of country is it when a presidential candidate is allowed to sell our country’s best interests to a man who has no vested interest in wanting what’s best for America and still be allowed to run for president and be called a “working class hero” for his efforts?
Trump’s further refusal to divest himself of all his foreign interests in the event he does become president is even more proof that we need Hillary Clinton for president. If Trump becomes president and refuses to divest himself of all his foreign interests, it won’t just be Russia bidding for the United States. To Trump, the United States is just another piece of real estate that’s “for sale, by owner,” but the president of the United States does not own the country — he or she runs it as a representative of the people. How can we elect a president for whom this simple concept proves elusive?
If Hillary Clinton wants to be president, she needs to address this matter.
3. Those Tax Returns
From the day the 16th Amendment has been passed, presidential candidates have been releasing their tax returns to the public for scrutiny, if for no other reason than to prove that there will be no undue influence on the potential President’s newly-found office. Yet, Trump steadfastly refuses to release his tax returns despite repeated demands to do so. Why is that?
According to Forbes Magazine, the Hillary Clinton’s team has the answer — and it’s a pretty reasonable answer.
“The tax returns will show effective tax rates, and that could hurt, as it did Mitt Romney. Trump’s effective tax rates may not be high. Most of Mr. Trump’s income is probably not ordinary income taxed at 39.6%. Most may be capital gain taxed at 20% (plus maybe the 3.8% Obamacare tax). If that is so, that could grate on some of his supporters. Still, Trump does say with some pride that he pays as little tax as he can.”
You don’t need to be a CPA to figure out the implications of that statement: How can a “self-made millionaire businessman” brag about paying so little in taxes? The answer is only one of two possibilities: either he’s not as wealthy as he likes to brag, or he takes an extraordinary amount of unauthorized tax cuts that any CPA with even the most basic of training can suss out in a matter of minutes. Trump’s tax returns, as well, could prove the definitive link between himself and Russia, one that could not easily be shaken off with his usual red-faced bombast if he tried.
Hillary Clinton needs to bring this up as quickly as possible in tonight’s debates if she wants to win the presidency.
The only way, in short, that we can conclusively chant “Hillary Clinton for President” is if she is able to successfully excoriate Trump in tonight’s debates. For the sake of the future of American democracy, let’s hope we get Hillary Clinton for president.
[Featured Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]