Clinton vs. Trump

Clinton-Trump

 

Political name-calling is nothing new, and the modern media loves a nickname better than the cure for a deadly disease. They also seem to love controversy better than substance and there has been no shortage of either in the 2016 Presidential election campaign.

Republicans and conservatives love to call her, “Killary,” or “Crooked Hillary,” while Democrats and liberals call him, “Lying Trump, DumbTrump,” or any of a long list of colorful metaphors I’ll leave to your imagination or social media feed.

Hillary Clinton has certainly been accused of lying more than once, along with virtually every member of Congress, but I think there is a large difference between changing your position on a particular issue, qualifying your remarks, and outright lying.

Clinton has changed her position on more than a few points over the years, but after forty years of dealing with law, public issues, and government service I’m not surprised.

I don’t think there are any lawyers or politicians alive who haven’t withheld information, so she isn’t spotless, but who is? If you think that is too passive a statement, then I recall a passage from scripture, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

I’ll freely admit Hillary was not my first choice for a Presidential candidate, but then many saw Bernie Sanders as far too radical to ever win or hold the high office. I saw Bernie as everything Trump is not, as if they were matter/anti-matter particles.

Honestly, it was unlikely the majority of Sanders reforms would ever have passed Congress into law but I’m sure his effort would’ve been valiant.

Trump, on the other hand, is the epitome of the worst kind of salesman. The kind you are forever suspicious of being swindled by before the deal is over. Just in the last few months, not a lifetime, he has contradicted himself repeatedly. This hasn’t been informed change of consideration on particular issues but more saying what goes over well with whoever happens to be in the room.

His list of business failures is equally troubling. In fairness, every business mogul takes on a risky venture at least once and a bust or sell-off isn’t unheard of, it’s simply part of the game. However, the list of ventures that have crashed and burned under Trump’s guidance does enormous damage to his credibility.

The concept of a former Republican mayor from New York City taking the stage at the Democratic Convention is an oddity, but Michael Bloomberg did just that. He sugar coated nothing by saying neither party held all the answers or owned a monopoly on proper solutions, and he gave a bold opinion on his experience with Donald Trump.

Being mayor of the largest city in the country for twelve years provides a well honed perspective, and given Trump has prime property there means his business practices were closely scrutinized by NYC government. Bloomberg blatantly called Trump a con man, citing his bankruptcies, his lawsuits, and his abuse of immigrant work visas. The last point being rather hypocritical given his outspoken plans to deport millions. Bloomberg is easily ten times as wealthy as Trump, and his track record both business and political shames the GOP nominee, which drives home the point he knows from whence he speaks.

Even if you discard the business failures and the rampant, repeated change of opinion, Trump still displays a volatile temperament reminiscent of a schoolyard bully. There is a large difference between a person of strong, assertive character who would stand tall for our country on the international stage, versus a man who holds a press conference after the Democratic Convention to announce how much he wanted to hit people that disagreed or insulted him. Once again, given the brash and lewd terms Trump has publicly thrown at his opponents, a petulant level of hypocrisy becomes clear.

For all of Clinton’s detractors, I am reminded of the words of Franklin Delano Roosevelt who said, “I know my Republican opponents hate me, and I welcome their hatred.”

Roosevelt was branded as a socialist, a communist, and a fascist dictator for his “New Deal” because he supported projects where the government acted in the interest of the middle class and the poor. He supported and pushed forward reform to end what he called, “business and financial monopoly, financial speculation, and reckless banking.”

FDR’s middle class supporters believed their candidate understood and sympathized with them, as one worker put it in 1936, “Roosevelt is the first man to understand that my boss is a son-of-a-bitch.” Despite the unending stream of labels by his opponents, he managed to get elected by wide margins three times.

While much has changed since 1936, many of the accusations laid against Clinton echo from history. For all of the Republican efforts via Congressional committees to State and FBI investigations, not a single charge has been convicted against her. I also find it ironic that for all the claims of lies and wrong-doings, I have seen zero evidence of her so-called crimes. Former Secretaries of State Powell and Rice both publicly admitted using private email for classified information, and fifty-three embassy members died during conflicts under Former President Bush, and there hasn’t been the slightest hint of criminal implication to any of them. What makes their action non-criminal and Clinton’s worthy of punishment?

Few people can put forth the kind of life-long resume of working for the benefit of children and equality that Clinton has in spades. Frankly, I’m amazed that with eight years of complaint and criticism over the Obama Administration, the best the Republicans could muster is Donald Trump? Where are the giants of their party? Where are the people of extraordinary class and character that stand for fiscal responsibility, sound business practices, families, and efficient government? None of those qualities are embodied in Trump.

By contrast, Clinton has spent a lifetime in public service, and the ideals put forth in her nomination acceptance speech covered more ground than many who have already held the Oval Office. She has seen the world and knows we get farther on “we” rather than “me.” One line of her speech gave the great summation of our democracy in that progress is made through compromise, not isolation. She knows we are the melting pot of the world and our diversity is our strength and our future. This country has a long, ugly history of fearing and demonizing every influx of immigration, from the Irish, to the Italians, the Jews, the Blacks, the Japanese, the Middle Eastern, and the Mexicans.

The bottom line being unless your ancestry is pure Native American Indian, we are all a product of someone who came to this land seeking a better life. If we don’t believe in that simple principle then we need to tear down the Statue of Liberty and the words inscribed on the pedestal on which she stands.

Republicans constantly cry reference to the Founding Fathers of our nation, who by the way, were immigrants. We came here seeking freedom from a singular ruler controlled by a national church. We are a plural society, which is what freedom is all about.

Hillary Clinton understands we should not be ruled by Wall Street, the wealthy, or the fear of health care costs. She knows the education of our children is paramount and the safety of our communities is essential. She knows when the Middle Class thrives and grows, people are lifted out of poverty, the economy is stronger, and the country as a whole is better for the majority of its citizens, and that is the essence of a democratic nation.

Hillary Clinton may not be perfect, but the last I checked, I surely am not, but I believe she is the best choice for this moment in history.

 

I’m with Hillary.

 

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