October 16, 2016
The choice this election is relatively simple. You can choose between a candidate who is indisputably qualified and capable of serving or, as Wall Street Journalcolumnist Dorothy Rabinowitz explained, elect “the most unstable, proudly uninformed, psychologically unfit president ever to enter the White House.”[i] This should not be a difficult choice.
The Trump Economy
Donald Trump proclaims that he will make America Great Again. Trump projects that he can exceed four percent annual growth under his economic plan. Yet it is telling that not one Republican alumnus of the Council of Economic Advisors has endorsed Trump. In fact, Martin Feldstein, who chaired the council under President Reagan, stated
I have known personally every Republican president since Richard Nixon. They all showed a real understanding of economics and international affairs. . . . Donald Trump does not have that understanding and does not seem to be concerned about it.[ii]
Trump’s call for huge punitive tariffs against China and Mexico would spark a trade war that economists project could cost 4 million jobs and sink us into recession.[iii]
I fully understand that working families are frustrated by the changing economy and feel that Washington is not looking out for them. I fail to see, however, how such families think they will be better off with a President who built his business empire by stiffing people like them or who peddles merchandise assembled in the very countries he claims engage in unfair trade.
Trump and the World
Donald Trump also claims he will make America safer and stronger, but Robert Gates who served as Secretary of Defense under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama is not alone is saying “[a] thin-skinned, temperamental, shoot-from-the-hip and lip, uninformed commander-in-chief is too great a risk for America.”[iv] In fact, Foreign Policy was compelled to issues its first endorsement ever since Trump has “repeatedly demonstrated his ignorance of the most basic facts of international affairs.”[v]
Trump’s statements questioning the United States’ commitment to NATO or favoring allowing Japan, South Korea or even Saudi Arabia to acquire nuclear weapons set off alarm bells worldwide. In addition, there have been many questions about his “bro-mance” with Russian President Vladimir Putin, especially since he is disregarding his intelligence briefings to deny any Russian involvement in the hacking of Clinton operatives.[vi]
Do we really want to give the nuclear codes to a man who gets unhinged over a tweet?
A Trump America
What truly makes America great, however, is the Constitution which is something Trump has shown little regard for. He has called for jailing Hillary Clinton and her lawyers, requiring Muslims to register for a government database, believes libel laws need to be changed to allow him to go after and intimidate the media and has called for disregarding U.S. and international law against torture and war crimes.
It begs the question – is he running for President of the United States or dictator of a banana republic? It is no wonder that traditionally Republican newspapers like theHouston Chronicle and Cincinnati Enquirer have called him a danger to the Republic.[vii]
Trump has stoked a chauvinistic nativism that is more akin to Making the Confederacy Great Again and is antithetical to American values. Even worse, with his campaign collapsing in the polls, he is now trying to undermine the legitimacy of the election itself and foment unrest after the election.
Herein lies the quandary for Republicans. Understandably, their views are at odds with Hillary Clinton’s platform but a Trump Presidency would put our country at grave risk. That is why many prominent Republicans have refused to support Trump; in fact Arnold Schwarzenegger has argued that “it is not only acceptable to choose your country over your party – it is your duty.”[viii]
Hillary Clinton is the only candidate with the temperament and experience to serve as President. Hillary Clinton she is the only candidate who will uphold American ideals, as Trump’s only loyalty is to himself. As the Salt Lake City Tribune explained,
The fact is that the next president of the United States will be one of two people, one eminently qualified and painfully forged, the other a total disgrace.[ix]
An election is not just about electing candidates, but rather is a statement about who we are as a nation. The world is watching anxiously as we make this choice.
This is not an ordinary election. As your official voter guides arrive in the mail, think of it, instead, as a draft notice to defend America. The threat is clear and Democrats and Republicans alike must unite and speak with a loud voice on Election Day rejecting Trump’s Banana Republicanism.