One of the most unprecedented qualities of the 2016 Presidential Election, and there are many, is that so many prominent Republican Party leaders, past and present, and influential conservatives have rejected their party’s own presidential nominee, Donald Trump. Of the last 7 presidential nominees, only one, Bob Dole, has said that they are supporting Donald Trump. The others, like Mitt Romney, have vocally opposed Donald Trump, and continue to do so, or, like George W. Bush, have simply refused to endorse him or comment publicly on him. Neither Romney, Bush, John McCain, or George H.W. Bush attended the Republican National Convention. The sitting governor of Ohio and former 2016 GOP presidential candidate, John Kasich, also did not attend the convention, even though it was held in Cleveland. Below is a partial list of Republicans who have rejected Trump with some of their reasons for doing so, as well as links to articles or summaries of their public statements about Trump.
“Not only did he seem at the debate to lose his temper, but to get up at 3:30 a.m. and reach for your smartphone is to me a hysterical reaction. If you’re president, the button you reach for is not the Twitter button; it’s the nuclear button,” Chertoff told Bloomberg.
“At the political level, Trump sees quite a few powerful “others” in the American electoral process: a corrupt media, international banks, unrestricted immigrants, a variety of globalists, free-traders and (at least some) Muslims. It’s a list Putin could second or, in some cases, jail or worse.
Sounding simultaneously populist and a little bit the conspiratorial Marxist, Trump has claimed that these unseen forces could rig the U.S. election. It’s a theme that Putin is happy to echo. Indeed, it’s a theme that his intelligence services are happy to actively propagate.
And in that case, the American presidential candidate routinely comes to the defense of his Russian soul mate. In the face of a high-confidence judgment of the U.S. intelligence community that Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee and then weaponized embarrassing emails to sow confusion here, the man who would be president has declared: “Our country has no idea,” “I don’t think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC. . . . It could also be lots of other people” and “They always blame Russia.”
“Donald Trump’s unfitness for public office has become ever more apparent, we urge our fellow Republicans not to vote for this man whose disgraceful candidacy is indefensible. This is no longer about our party; it’s now about America. We may differ on how we will cast our ballots in November but none of us will vote for Donald Trump.”
“At some point, you have to look in the mirror and recognize that you cannot possibly justify support for Trump to your children — especially your daughters,” said David Humphreys, a Missouri business executive who contributed more than $2.5 million to Republicans from the 2012 campaign cycle through this spring and opposed Mr. Trump’s bid from the outset.
Bruce Kovner, a New York investor and philanthropist who with his wife has given $2.7 million to Republicans over the same period, was just as blunt. “He is a dangerous demagogue completely unsuited to the responsibilities of a United States president,” Mr. Kovner wrote in an email, referring to Mr. Trump.
“But Donald Trump’s behavior this week, concluding with the disclosure of his demeaning comments about women and his boasts about sexual assaults, make it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy.”
“Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire was the first Republican senator facing a competitive re-election to say she would no longer back Mr. Trump, announcing in a statement that she would write in Mr. Pence for president instead.
“I’m a mom and an American first, and I cannot and will not support a candidate for president who brags about degrading and assaulting women.”
“The lesson Trump has taught is not only that certain Republican dogmas have passed out of date, but that American democracy itself is much more vulnerable than anyone would have believed only 24 months ago. Incredibly, a country that—through wars and depression—so magnificently resisted the authoritarian temptations of the mid-20th century has half-yielded to a more farcical version of that same threat without any of the same excuse. The hungry and houseless Americans of the Great Depression sustained a constitutional republic. How shameful that the Americans of today—so vastly better off in so many ways, despite their undoubted problems—have done so much less well.”
“I’ve been pretty clear. Donald Trump has said a lot of things, advocated a lot of policies that I have real problems with. I’ve supported every Republican nominee since Ronald Reagan. I’ve had differences with every one of them,” Toomey said Friday.
“But with Donald Trump, it’s a different situation. He’s said things that are very, very objectionable and he’s indicated support for policies that are very, very problematic.”
“I’m concerned about his attitude toward minorities,” he said. “His statements against Mexicans I find repulsive; the same of his statements toward Muslims and his ridicule of women. I want to have a president that I can be proud of.”
“One of the candidates — Donald J. Trump — is entirely unqualified to serve as President and Commander-in-Chief. He is ignorant of the complex nature of the challenges facing our country, from Russia to China to ISIS to nuclear proliferation to refugees to drugs, but he has expressed no interest in being educated. Indeed he has recently demonstrated he entirely misunderstands and disrespects the role of the very officials who could educate him: the senior career officers of our intelligence services and of our military services (whom he has characterized as “rubble”).”
“I wanted my grandkids to see that I simply couldn’t ignore what Mr. Trump was saying and doing, which revealed a character and temperament unfit for the leader of the free world.” Romney continued: “I know that some people are offended that someone who lost and is the former nominee continues to speak, but that’s how I can sleep at night.” (May 27, 2016)
“Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the former lieutenant governor of Maryland and daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy, posted the news Monday on Facebook. Alongside a photo of her posing with Bush, she wrote, “The President told me he’s voting for Hillary!!”
“I was damn near puking during the debates,” Steele said, adding that Trump has “captured that racist underbelly, that frustration, that angry underbelly of American life and gave voice to that.” Here’s another sign of the times: Steele is the sixth former RNC chair to say that he’s opposing Trump.
“Ultimately, I could not abide the hateful rhetoric of Donald Trump and his complete lack of principles and conservative philosophy. I didn’t make this decision lightly,” she told CNN. She said if Florida looks close, she will vote for Hillary Clinton in order to defeat Trump.
“I joined it because I was a conservative, and I leave it for the same reason: I’m a conservative,” Will said. “The long and the short of it is, as Ronald Reagan said when he changed his registration, ‘I did not leave the Democratic Party; the Democratic Party left me,’ ” he said.
Will, who worked on President Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign, also said at the luncheon that Trump as president with “no opposition” from a Republican-led Congress would be worse than Clinton as president with a Republican-led Congress.
A vote for Trump is not a vote for insurrection or terrorism or secession. But it is a vote for a man who stands well outside the norms of American presidential politics, who has displayed a naked contempt for republican institutions and constitutional constraints, who deliberately injects noxious conspiracy theories into political conversation, who has tiptoed closer to the incitement of political violence than any major politician in my lifetime, whose admiration for authoritarian rulers is longstanding, who has endorsed war crimes and indulged racists and so on down a list that would exhaust this column’s word count if I continued to compile it.
“Brooks said globalization, the influx of immigrants and feminism “has been really good” for America. “We had a lot of good things over the years that were really good for America,” he said. “I think globalization has been really good for America. I think the influx of immigrants has been really good for America. Feminism has been really good for America.”
Brooks said he is not sharing who is voting for, leaving it up to the viewer to surmise who he’ll pull the lever for. “I can’t say who I’m going to vote for, but one person is clearly disqualified for that job,” Brooks said at the end of the segment. “And I can’t mention his name.”
Newspaper Endorsements for Hillary Clinton and AGAINST Donald Trump
This is not just a typical “liberal media bias”. Obama only received 95 endorsements in 2012 from the approximately 300 papers listed above. Mitt Romney received 87 endorsements from these papers. This year, 225 different newspapers papers, have endorsed Hillary Clinton this year. Trump has received only 8 endorsements, with 6 other newspapers writing editorials specifically opposing him.This reflects something fundamentally different than we have ever seen before.
Many of these newspapers are traditionally conservative newspapers from Republican dominated states. It is highly unusual that they would endorse a Democrat and many papers have specifically pointed out that they are rejecting Donald Trump more than they endorsing Hillary Clinton.
“We are impressed by many of the qualities of the Democratic Party’s nominee for president, even as we are exasperated by others, but we are mainly concerned with the Republican Party’s nominee, Donald J. Trump, who might be the most ostentatiously unqualified major-party candidate in the 227-year history of the American presidency.”
“There is only one serious candidate on the presidential ballot in November. We recommend Hillary Clinton.
We don’t come to this decision easily. This newspaper has not recommended a Democrat for the nation’s highest office since before World War II — if you’re counting, that’s more than 75 years and nearly 20 elections.”
“Since The Arizona Republic began publication in 1890, we have never endorsed a Democrat over a Republican for president. Never. This reflects a deep philosophical appreciation for conservative ideals and Republican principles.
This year is different.
The 2016 Republican candidate is not conservative and he is not qualified.”
“Because every presidential race is different, we revisit our no-endorsement policy every four years. We’ve never seen reason to alter our approach. Until now.
This year, the choice isn’t between two capable major party nominees who happen to have significant ideological differences. This year, one of the candidates — Republican nominee Donald Trump — is, by unanimous consensus of the Editorial Board, unfit for the presidency.”
“We acknowledge upfront that one major reason to support Hillary is that RepublicanDonald Trump is manifestly unqualified to be president of the United States. In a related editorial, we explain why the Donald Trump/Mike Pence slate would be a terrible choice.
“Trump is a clear and present danger to our country. He has no history of governance that should engender any confidence from voters. Trump has no foreign policy experience, and the fact that he doesn’t recognize it – instead insisting that, “I know more about ISIS than the generals do” – is even more troubling.”
“Heaven help America were, unthinkably, Clinton to fail. She is all that stands between the United States of America and never-before-seen proof that the Founding Fathers weren’t all that they’ve been cracked up to be.”
“For us, the choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is not pleasant, but it isn’t difficult. Republican candidate Donald Trump is unfit to be president of the United States. Democrat Hillary Clinton, despite her flaws, is well-equipped for the job.
The Dispatch traditionally has endorsed Republican presidential candidates, but Trump does not espouse or support traditional Republican values, such as fiscal prudence, limited government and free trade, not to mention civility and decency. We are disappointed that so many Republican leaders have accommodated a narcissistic, morally bankrupt candidate who is so clearly out of step with those values.”
“Mrs. Clinton is a seriously flawed candidate. Many voters don’t trust her, and with good reason. Her careless use of a private email server while secretary of state, and her stubborn reluctance to admit wrongdoing, are troubling. Her claim during last weekend’s debate to be emulating Abraham Lincoln when saying one thing in public and another in private was absurd.
She is reflexively defensive and habitually evasive. For Hillary Clinton, transparency always feels like a last resort.
But Mrs. Clinton’s failings can’t compare, in scale or in number, to Republican nominee Donald Trump’s.
Mr. Trump has proved himself wholly unsuited to be president. He has spent this campaign denigrating women, Muslims, Mexicans, refugees, disabled people, the parents of a soldier who died in Iraq and essentially anyone who questioned him. He has suggested that an African-American protester at one of his rallies should be “roughed up,” made gross generalizations suggesting that all black people live in poor, violent neighborhoods, expressed support for racial profiling by police. And he threatened in the last debate to jail his political rival if elected.”
“The last two Republican presidential nominees — Mitt Romney and John McCain — say they won’t vote for him. The last two Republican presidents — George W. and George H. W. Bush — refused to attend his nominating convention. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a revered statesman and four-star general for Republican administrations, slammed Trump as “a national disgrace” and “international pariah.”
“The risk of a Donald Trump presidency is simply too great.
His alienation of so many groups — women, the disabled, Muslim-Americans, former prisoners of war, the family of a Muslim soldier killed in action, Mexican nationals and Mexican-Americans — is too divisive.
Trump shows a lack of statesmanship that is fundamental to serving in the Oval Office.
Trump has repeatedly shown a disdain for our nation’s allies and alliances and an affection for its enemies.
He has revealed a lack of command over key issues, such as the nation’s nuclear triad, Russian aggression and the significance of NATO alliances, paired with a propensity for unrealistic hyperbole, such as his promise to end all crime and violence in the country, or to build a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico and have the Mexican government pay for it, with no pragmatic path to achieve such aims.”
“With Trump on the Nov. 8 ballot, there is more at stake than important policy decisions on immigration, energy, the economy, education, climate change and foreign intervention. Democracy itself is threatened when its care is entrusted to individuals who are neither statesman nor thinkers and who would abuse the powers of their office to silence opposition and retaliate against their political opponents.”
“From puerile feuding, to “birtherism,” to bigotry, Trump’s candidacy draws out the ugly side of America. He seems incapable of accurately discussing any issue, choosing instead to pull the pin on verbal grenades, many of which blow up in his face. His claim that the election is rigged undermines the very task that thousands of candidates in local, state and national elections have undertaken in earnest.
Trump touts his business acumen, but he’s left behind a string of failures, along with unpaid contractors and workers. Governing is not a series of deals backstopped by bankruptcy laws. Trump isn’t any better when it comes to transparency, refusing to release tax returns that might contradict his boasting.”
“This is not an endorsement taken lightly, nor is it an easy one to make, as Hillary Clinton does not represent the fiscal conservatism, free-market mind-set and desire to keep restraints on government overreach that this newspaper usually supports.
Sadly, neither does Trump, as evidenced by his enthusiastic support of eminent domain; his insistence that an impractical, multibillion-dollar wall (which also would mean taking private property owners’ land) would be a good investment; his admiration of tyrants, attacks on free speech and instinct to use brash threats as a military strategy; and his pledge that if elected he would jail his opponent, something that has no place in American politics.
“Continuing irrational, vulgar, bullying behavior from Trump has confirmed what many of us long suspected: Trump is in no way fit to lead our great nation. Among innumerable examples: His mockery of a disabled journalist, his bragging about sexually assaulting women, his racist tirade against the judge presiding in the Trump University fraud case, his chummy praise for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. In the second presidential debate Trump said he would have a special prosecutor investigate Clinton and put her in jail. Imprisoning one’s political opponent is right out of the Putin playbook.”
“Supporting a Republican candidate simply because he or she is a Republican isn’t a great democratic process to begin with, as it is rarely a good idea to opt for straight black or white when there are so many shades of gray when evaluating those we want to represent us in government.
In the case of Trump, offering such support in the wake of mounting evidence that shows he is unfit for any political office — much less the U.S. presidency — is simply unconscionable.”
“Her opponent, Donald Trump, has shown himself not to measure up to the job. He has an astonishing lack of knowledge about the world and about how government works. Worse, he shows no curiosity to learn. His stunning refusal Wednesday night to say he will accept the results of the election undermines one of the hallmarks of our democracy. And he has no peer in his ability to spout untruths. If that weren’t enough, his temperament disqualifies him. He wants to be president like it’s a trophy to be won, and he would have others do the actual work. That is not leadership.”
Still, the decision to endorse Clinton was easy considering the superior qualifications she has in comparison with her opponent. It comes down to this: A Donald Trump presidency is dangerous.
As promised, the Republican candidate has broken all the rules of politics – but also any sense of decorum and civility along the way. The despicable things he’s said about women and minorities, not to mention the sexual assault allegations, reveal character we would not value in anyone, let alone the leader of a nation that prides itself on freedom and equality.
But Trump — the man is nothing short of a racist, misogynist demagogue with no respect for the rule of law. The foibles of the two candidates aren’t even in the same galaxy. Clinton bends the rules with lawyerly imprecision slathered in hubris and entitlement. Trump stomps on the Constitution one amendment at a time.
“Beyond this, however, in the areas in which we at FP specialize, he has repeatedly demonstrated his ignorance of the most basic facts of international affairs, let alone the nuances so crucial to the responsibilities of diplomacy inherent in the U.S. president’s daily responsibilities. Trump has not onlypromoted the leadership of a tyrant and menace like Vladimir Putin, but he has welcomed Russian meddling in the current U.S. election. He has alternatively forgiven then defended Russia’s invasion of Crimea and employed advisors with close ties to the Russian president and his cronies. Trump has spoken so cavalierly about the use of nuclear weapons, including a repeated willingness to use them against terrorists, that it has become clear he understands little if anything about America’s nuclear policies — not to mention the moral, legal, and human consequences of such actions. He has embraced the use of torture and the violation of international law against it. He has suggested he would ignoreAmerica’s treaty obligations and would only conditionally support allies in need. He has repeatedly insulted Mexico and proposed policies that would inflame and damage one of America’s most vital trading relationships with that country.”
Evangelicals, of all people, should not be silent about Donald Trump’s blatant immorality.
“Enthusiasm for a candidate like Trump gives our neighbors ample reason to doubt that we believe Jesus is Lord. They see that some of us are so self-interested, and so self-protective, that we will ally ourselves with someone who violates all that is sacred to us—in hope, almost certainly a vain hope given his mendacity and record of betrayal, that his rule will save us.”
“Donald J. Trump is the least qualified, most flawed, and most dangerous person ever nominated by a major American political party. He is not the successful businessman he claims to be. He is not the political savior he claims to be.
He is a con man and a liar. He is interested only in promoting his brand name and furthering a megalomaniacal drive to power. His promise to “make America great again” is sheer hucksterism – the empty slogan of a demagogue who this year turned American politics into his latest reality TV show.”
“When Trump beats up on Clinton for her misuse of a private email server as secretary of state—an egregious mistake that the head of the FBI called “extremely careless”—we hear him. But when Trump goes on to ask Russian hackers to continue their apparent assaults on an American election by finding more of Clinton’s emails, even as a wan joke, he takes the side of the arsonists while attacking his opponent for a fire code violation. When he says the press is corrupt and the electoral system is rigged, he’s not acting like someone who wants to lead. He’s acting like someone who demands to be followed.”
“Americans have long prided themselves on their ability to see the world for what it is, as opposed to what someone says it is or what most people happen to believe. In one of the most powerful lines in American literature, Huck Finn says: “It warn’t so. I tried it.” A respect for evidence is not just a part of the national character. It goes to the heart of the country’s particular brand of democratic government. When the founding fathers, including Benjamin Franklin, scientist and inventor, wrote arguably the most important line in the Declaration of Independence—“We hold these truths to be self-evident”—they were asserting the fledgling nation’s grounding in the primacy of reason based on evidence.
Scientific American is not in the business of endorsing political candidates. But we do take a stand for science—the most reliable path to objective knowledge the world has seen—and the Enlightenment values that gave rise to it. For more than 170 years we have documented, for better and for worse, the rise of science and technology and their impact on the nation and the world. We have strived to assert in our reporting, writing and editing the principle that decision making in the sphere of public policy should accept the conclusions that evidence, gathered in the spirit and with the methods of science, tells us to be true.”
For Hillary Clinton, there is a documented pattern of behavior that extends far back in her public life, at least to her husband’s time as governor of Arkansas. There have been a range of behaviors over the years that have raised questions about her integrity. She and her husband were accused of being involved in some questionable financial investments through which they might have used both his access to the governor’s office and her connections gained through here employment in a prominent law firm to gain access to loans and insider information on real estate that would not have been available to the average citizen. There is reason to think that she and her husband might have lied to investigators and taken other actions to obstruct the investigation into potentially criminal activities. This pattern continued into Bill Clinton’s presidency, during which their behavior continued to generate controversy, with scandals related both their role in managing the executive branch as well as covering up Bill Clinton’s extramarital affairs, and potentially illegal sexual indiscretions. Since leaving the White House, Hillary Clinton, while mostly keeping a low profile while in the Senate, has continued to generate controversy both in her role as Secretary of State and through her association with special interest groups that have paid her exorbitant speaking fees, presumably to gain access to the Clintons when she returns to the oval office as president next January.
The Clintons and their supporters, have argued that many, if not almost all of these supposed scandals were really just “a vast right-wing conspiracy” motivated by partisan animosity and the “politics of personal destruction.” Yet the fact remains that the investigations have all too often revealed unsavory details with regard to the ethical judgements made by both Bill and Hillary Clinton in their professional lives. In Hillary Clinton’s defense, many of the most egregious offenses were perpetrated by Bill Clinton and many of those ethical lapses were more personal than professional, but the cumulative effect of these episodes over the course of their public life has made it difficult for even their most ardent supporters to argue that they are completely innocent of all of the many errors of judgement of which they have been accused. Even if, as is likely the case, Hillary Clinton does not deserve some of the substantial tarnish to her reputation that has resulted from the seemingly endless cycle of accusation and investigation, she also assuredly has earned some of it through the decisions that she has made both with regard to the content of her choices as well as the way that she has chosen to address many of these controversies in public. It is simply not reasonable for her to contend that the considerable public skepticism regarding her integrity can simply be explained by partisan attacks and animosity. Some of this mistrust, and perhaps much of it, is warranted based simply based on her documented behavior.
Enter “the Donald.”
Yet, it is exactly at this point at which the decision of many to support Donald Trump is the most confounding to someone who is familiar with the very public lives that each person has led. A person that is truly concerned about Clinton’s lack of integrity would have to be even more concerned about Trump’s because by almost any reasonable measure, he has a much greater problem of dishonesty and lack of transparency then she does. Whatever concerns one might have over Bill Clinton’s personal behavior, and there are legitimate reasons for concern, one would have to be even more concerned with Donald Trump’s even more egregious behavior. And remember, we are comparing Trump and Hillary Clinton, not Bill, and she has been accused only of enabling Bill, attacking his accusers, and helping cover up his bad behavior. Trump, on the other hand, has done all of these things in addition to actually being the person who perpetrated the sexual assaults. It hardly requires advanced training in ethics to evaluate the relative moral culpability here.
Whatever your position on Hillary Clinton’s integrity might be, whatever it is that you believe she has done, whatever evidence you believe may exist to support your claims, the evidence against Trump is far more compelling. If you don’t understand this, it is not because it is a debatable point. You must simply be unaware of the overwhelming amount of publicly available evidence documenting Trump’s corrupt business practices, pathological dishonesty, and perverse personal life. Some, but hardly all, of the considerable evidence to support this conclusion is presented below.
Casting a vote for Donald Trump based on a belief that Hillary Clinton is corrupt or dishonest is irresponsible citizenship of the worst sort. It is act of profound ignorance, either willful or self-delusional, to vote for Donald Trump based on concerns over Hillary Clinton’s integrity. Casting a ballot for Donald Trump is an overt action in which a person would be promoting behavior that is objectively wrong in order to punish behavior that is objectively less bad. If you find Hillary Clinton to be too reprehensible to support, you might have legitimate cause for that evaluation. Personally, I would not fault you for refusing to vote for her. But casting a ballot instead for Donald Trump undermines the credibility of whatever principles you claim to be upholding to the point that it is clear that a person who would do so does not actually have these principles and is simply voting out of spite, anger, ignorance, or an inability to process information. It is not possible to cast a ballot for Trump over Hillary on moral or ethical grounds because the evidence of Trump’s corrupt and unethical behavior is so overwhelming that such an act is unreasonable on it face.
The Honesty Issue: Trump Lies ALL THE TIME and Far More Often than Hillary Clinton
There is a widespread perception among the public that Hillary Clinton is dishonest. There is probably not much point in either refuting or rehashing this claim because it would be very difficult to make a case otherwise. She has lived a long public life and the public record of her dishonesty is compelling. She has lied in public about things that she has done or said. She has lied about actions she has taken and the reasons that she took them. She has acted throughout her public life in a way that suggests that either she should not be held accountable, doesn’t believe she will be, or simply believes that people are not intelligent enough to reason through the truth of a situation.
Nevertheless, even if you agree with the statements made above- and I realize that many would object- it cannot be a reasonable basis on which to cast a ballot for Donald Trump. Because the evidence of Trump’s dishonesty is even more compelling and more troubling in almost every conceivable way.
I would never argue that Clinton is a thoroughly honest person. She has lied at length about her email server. She has lied about her stances on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. You can make a convincing case that she is inauthentic. But on a daily basis, she is, believe it or not, predominantly factual. The two general election debates, for which I fact-checked both Trump and Clinton, have shown how much more accurate she is than her opponent: Clinton made four false claims at the first debate to Trump’s 34, five false claims at the second debate to Trump’s 33.
Perhaps no example illustrates this point more clearly than the so-called birther controversy. Barack Obama was clearly born in the United States. It is a fact that is as easy to prove as the fact that Hillary Clinton or Mitt Romney or George W. Bush or Donald Trump or almost anyone else born in the United States was born in the United States. Donald Trump should have known this and most likely did. But he kept repeating the claim that Obama was not or that he had not released his birth certificate or other falsehoods. Not until it appeared that it had the potential to affect his chances of winning the election in November did he, sort of, back off this claim. But in the process of doing so, he made a host of new dishonest statements.
In 2000, James Kuklinski and other political scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign established an important distinction: American citizens with incorrect information can be divided into two groups, the misinformed and the uninformed. The difference between the two is stark. Uninformed citizens don’t have any information at all, while those who are misinformed have information that conflicts with the best evidence and expert opinion. As Kuklinski and his colleagues established, in the U.S., the most misinformed citizens tend to be the most confident in their views and are also the strongest partisans.
How Could Anyone Believe that Donald Trump is More Honest than Hillary Clinton?
Yet despite the considerable evidence that Trump routinely lies in his public statements both with regard to his own personal and professional life, as well as his willingness to routinely misrepresent basic facts about the world in which we live, many still argue that he is more honest than Hillary Clinton or that his dishonesty matters less.
The arguments for Trump and against Hillary come in all shape and sizes. Some contend that, as a private businessman, Trump should not be held to the same standards as an elected or public official since private citizens are not accountable to voters. Others say that Trump has been held accountable by investors, customers, and donors for his behavior, because actors in the private sector are held accountable in ways that public officials are not. Some argue that it really doesn’t matter if he is honest because we need someone with Trump’s take-no-prisoner’s approach to his professional and personal life to shake up our paralyzed political system. Some even claim that Trump’s lying is not as ethically challenged as Hillary Clinton’s because he doesn’t know any better, his lies are so outrageous that nobody will believe him, and that he just lies instinctively rather than being deliberate and calculating about it.
Enough people seem to believe one or more of these arguments that we are actually having to debate the point despite the considerable evidence that Trump is one of the most dishonest and corrupt individuals to disgrace the stage of American public life in decades. He has publicly demonstrated levels of unethical behavior that would shame even the most shameless politicians- even the Clintons. He is arguably the least transparent and most dishonest figure to gain widespread public support in modern American politics. Indeed, if we were to rank him in the pantheon of the political figures that we associate with a lack of integrity, he stacks up as probably the worst of them all. To vote for Trump based on concerns about Hillary’s integrity requires mental gymnastics so strained that if you could somehow transform these twists, turns, leaps, and flips into actual gymnastics, you would have easily outscored Simone Biles at the Olympics.
Some might claim that Trump still isn’t as bad simply because they don’t believe that he actually lies or engages in corrupt behavior to the same extent as Hillary Clinton. However, to draw this conclusion, a person would have to consistently make assumptions about Hillary Clinton and believe things about her that are at best speculative, while also believing that easily demonstrable claims about Trump are not true even when there is considerable evidence to demonstrate otherwise. One would have to willfully assume the wort case scenario about Clinton and the best case scenario about Trump just to get the two to moral equivalency. This is the very definition of “wishful thinking.”
The reality is that Donald Trump has lived a life that is so corrupt, dishonest, and irresponsible that it is truly shocking that anyone would think that he should be the leader of anything, and beyond shocking that anyone would think that he should be the president of the United States.
Let’s reexamine some of the arguments for why Trump is not as dishonest as Hillary in a different light. The pro-Trump argument contends that Trump lies so often and so outrageously that his lies are not calculating in the way that Clinton’s more subtle and nuanced lies are. So she is more culpable because her lies are too close to the truth to be excused whereas Trump’s lies are so far from the truth that they can somehow be forgiven. The argument for Trump implies that Trump’s lies are so much a part of his personality that they could not really be calculated to further his ambitions but are rather just something that he does but cannot help. Therefore, he does not have the same “consciousness of guilt” as Hillary. The argument also implies that Trump is less culpable simply because he does not always appear to even be aware that he is lying whereas Hillary Clinton is obviously intelligent enough to know better, making her lies more morally repugnant as a result.
Let’s say that we were to accept these assumptions and implications. This would mean that Trump consistently characterizes the world and himself in ways that are far from reality, further from the reality than the world that Hillary Clinton describes. It would mean that Trump is pathologically incapable of telling the truth whereas Hillary Clinton has the ability within her, suggesting that she could learn to be more honest if given the opportunity. Finally, it implies that she has a level of knowledge and understanding of the world that makes her capable of acting rationally within it whereas Trump does not. I am not actually sure that you could make a better argument for favoring Hillary Clinton over Trump if you tried.
Trump’s Personal Life is Pretty Bizarre
In terms of his morality in his personal life, Donald Trump certainly cannot claim to represent, stand for, or have lived a life that in an way resembles “traditional family values.” A comparison to a modern exemplar of personal immorality, Bill Clinton, is revealing. Bill Clinton, while being forced to admit publicly to marital infidelity on more than one occasion, and having been accused of sexual indiscretions including sexual harassment and rape, has also demonstrated the decency- out of respect for his family, his wife, and his office- to attempt to keep his personal shortcomings out of the public eye. He demonstrates some degree of shame when being asked about these questions publicly. He has not bragged about his sexual conquests or discussed the personal details of his marital infidelities or sought to bring attention to them in any way. While it is easy to contend that his actual behavior has shown great disrespect for his wife and his family, it is not because he has sought out public attention for them.
“If you can’t handle some of the basic stuff that’s become a problem in the workforce today, then you don’t belong in the workforce. Like, you should go maybe teach kindergarten. I think it’s a respectable position,” Trump says.
“You can’t be negotiating billion-dollar deals if you can’t handle, you know,”
“I know plenty of people, I’ve had conversations like that with plenty of people where people use language off color. They’re talking two guys amongst themselves, they’re talking. I’ve seen it time and time again.
I think most American people just say, ‘You know what, I’ve probably said those kind of things myself.’ We’re not happy that he said it, for sure, I get that.
But I think it means that he’s a human being, that he’s a regular person like everyone else. I think that’s what endeared him to the American public.”
Of course, this rationalization is ridiculous on a number of levels. You could start with the idea that people support Trump because he is a regular person. I am a regular person. Trump is supposedly a fabulously successful businessman. If people wanted a regular person who knew a lot about the government, they could vote for me. And as a regular person, I feel quite comfortable asserting that most American would not say that they just reach out and grab the genitals of other people and get away with it because they are celebrities. Seriously, this is the defense for the behavior that one of his children volunteered. These people really do make the Clintons look the champions of family values.
You couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried. But you don’t have to. The Donald did it for you.
Donald Trump Treats People- Especially Women- Very Poorly
Donald Trump is just disrespectful to other people. He is disrespectful to individual people that he encounters in politics and he is disrespectful toward entire groups of people. He is boorish and a bully. These characteristics are very difficult to deny. Indeed, some of his supporters actually claim that this is part of his appeal. Why it would cause others to support him, I do not understand. But the point is that even his supporters would not deny that he he is disrespectful. That is just part of his “he tells it like it is” appeal. Of course, it hardly matters to his supporters that he is almost pathologically dishonest. Yet this makes his disrespect even more concerning. It is not just that he “is willing to say the thing that nobody else will say” even if it is disrespectful. It is that he is saying things that are not accurate and not fair toward other people and then simply dismissing criticisms with the “this is just my opinion” argument that somehow excuses his behavior. Or he denies that he said the thing that he is on videotape saying.
One of the oddest moments from the presidential debate on September 26th against Hillary Clinton was when Trump complained about the negative ads that Clinton was running against him, saying that she was attacking him. Yet the ads he was complaining about were just clips of him talking. It is almost as if he realizes that he is boorish and disrespectful but just does not want to be confronted with it.
‘The recent record may be more familiar: Trump’s suggestions that President Obama was born in Kenya; his insinuations that Obama was admitted to Ivy League schools only because of affirmative action; his denunciations of Mexican immigrants as, “in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists”; his calls for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States; his dismissal of an American-born judge of Mexican ancestry as a Mexican who cannot fairly hear his case; his reluctance to distance himself from the Ku Klux Klan in a television interview; his retweet of a graphic suggesting that 81 percent of white murder victims are killed by blacks (the actual figure is about 15 percent); and so on.’
Trump response to this flurry of claims of sexual assault. Of course he denied it. What else could he do? But that isn’t enough for “The Donald.” He also wants you to know that all of these women are unattractive, as if that proves that they are liars.
Yet his description of what he is accused of doing matches very well with the 2005 video of him saying that he regularly did exactly that and always got away with it. Don’t take the accusers word for it. Take his.
Of course, this comments raises two important points. First, people could have been making these claims against Obama for a long time, but they haven’t. Nobody made these claims against Mitt Romney or John McCain or George W. Bush or John Kerry or George H.W. Bush either. They could have but they didn’t. More importantly, it illustrates vividly Trump’s entire attitude toward “the truth”:
Reality is whatever Trump says it is and it doesn’t matter if he is lying. Anybody who claims a reality that conflicts with his must be lying or could be lying or who cares what’s a lie or what isn’t after all; the whole thing is a game and he is winning. If he is not winning, it is because others are cheating.
At one point, he compared both Ivana and Marla to one of his buildings.
“I love creating stars. And to a certain extent, I’ve done that with Ivana. To a certain extent, I’ve done that with Marla. And I like that,” Trump said. “Unfortunately, after they’re a star, the fun is over for me. It’s like a creation process. It’s almost like creating a building; it’s pretty sad.”
It is not JUST words as Donald Trump suggests. He has been accused, like Bill Clinton, of inappropriate touching and sexual advanced- including contact- on a number of occasions.
After the New York Times ran a story in May this year about Trump’s history with women, including an account of Harth’s story, Trump’s campaign even reached out to her to pressure her to take back her account, she told the Guardian on Tuesday.
“His office – and I have it on my voicemails that he called, that they called – they asked me to recant everything when the New York Times article came out. They were trying to get me to say it never happened and I made it up. And I said I’m not doing that,” she recalled. Trump’s office denied this.
She was further upset by an interview Trump’s daughter Ivanka gave in the wake of the New York Times article saying her dad is “not a groper”.
Jill Harth: “I understand that the girl wanted to defend her dad, being it’s her dad,” she said, “but what did she know? She was 10 years old! She was 10 years old at the time. She didn’t know what her father was about, what he was doing, how he was acting.”
Such statements felt defamatory to Harth, adding insult to injury. That’s when she hired attorney Lisa Bloom to demand that Trump retract his statements that are, as Bloom put it, “effectively calling her a liar”.
And another example….
The Times spoke with Temple Taggart, a 21-year-old Miss Utah, who was startled by how forward Mr. Trump was with young contestants like her in 1997, his first year as an owner of Miss USA, a branch of the beauty pageant organization. As she recalls it, he introduced himself in an unusually intimate manner.
“He kissed me directly on the lips. I thought: ‘Oh, my gosh. Gross.’ He was married to Marla Maples at the time. I think there were a few other girls that he kissed on the mouth. I was like, ‘Wow, that’s inappropriate.’”
Donald Trump claimed in the 2nd Presidential Debate with Hillary Clinton that he was only accused of words that were inappropriate, “locker room talk,” as he called it. He compared himself favorably to Bill Clinton and actually brought out women that had accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault or sexual harassment to the debate to highlight this. But now it turns out that Donald Trump has triggered a wave of announcements that he is guilty of the exact same behavior- not words but actions.
“No men are anywhere, and I’m allowed to go in, because I’m the owner of the pageant and therefore I’m inspecting it,” Trump said. “You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. ‘Is everybody OK?’ And you see these incredible-looking women, and so I sort of get away with things like that.”
But it is not just the his own words that confirms these women’s stories. It is Trump’s repeated and very public misogynistic behavior toward women that makes it impossible to believe that he could be telling the truth when all of these other women are lying.
Trump and his supporters immediately went on the attack against his accuser, Alicia Machado, characterizing her as a disturbed individual for a variety of things that she has done or accused of having done after her involvement in the Miss Universe contest. I have no idea which of the allegations against her or true or not and it really doesn’t matter. She isn’t running for president and the activities that she has engaged in since the incident in question bear no relationship at all on what happened to her when she was 18. What happened to her when she was 18 is largely public record. Even if it were possible to argue that she had subsequently exaggerated the extent of her mistreatment by Trump and that she should not be believed because she is not credible, it is largely irrelevant to an assessment of Trump’s involvement in the incident.
Trump was publicly on record as having commented on her weight at the time and arranged the photo-op to show her at the gym during which he commented to the press that she had an “eating problem.”
Trump has continued to discuss her weight-even after the incident became publicly debated- and argue that it was appropriate for a 50 year old man to be discussing an 18 year-old girl’s weight in public.
The catalogue of Trump’s abominable treatment of women is so rich that one could really write an entire book on this topic alone. It is only out of the need to limit the space devoted to this particular topic that I have to select a few characteristic examples.
Can anyone identify any example of any president discussing women in public in this way? Can anyone rationalize how having a president who speaks of women this way could possibly be an acceptable role model for either women or men? Does anyone really want to have to explain to this to their children or grandchildren? After all, at some point they will see it and judge it for themselves and they will know how you assessed this man’s character by how you voted. Does it bother you at all what they will think about you when they put it all together? Shouldn’t it?
It really doesn’t matter if you think that people are too sensitive. Maybe they are, but the president has to be held to a higher standard. Presidents often are criticized for tilting too far one way or the other in some public controversy even when they are doing their best to remain neutral. Yet, Trump does not pretend to remain neutral. He attacks people- innocent bystanders who have done no harm to him- directly and often without provocation. This is exactly what bullies do.
Click on this link. Read these quotes. These are not accusations against Trump or speculation about what he might have done, said or thought. These are actual words that he voluntarily uttered in a public setting. Think about what this says to a woman about who she is and who she is supposed to be in Trump-land. If it does not appall you, I, and a whole lot of other people, are appalled on your behalf, and more than a little concerned about why you are not. It is one thing to claim not to know that this is who this man is. Yet if you just read those quotes and are still making this claim, it is something worse than ignorance which is motivating your unwillingness to see this man for who he is.
Ironically, this is actually an issue on which Clinton opponents attack her and think she should be attacked. And I think they are serious too. Yet this is another example of how the anti-Clinton people have become so hysterical that they are making, defending, and repeating an argument that is so confounding that I cannot believe a person’s head wouldn’t explode trying to make it.
It goes something like this:
1) Hillary is a bad role model because she tolerated her husband’s infidelity and stood by him, perhaps even participating in the cover-up, and questioning the honesty of those who accused him.
2) This sets a bad example for other women and especially our daughters who need to learn to stand up for themselves against bullies and men who objectify them and treat them badly. Women should support each other when being bullied and abused my men.
3) We need to hold Hillary Clinton accountable for the poor example she is setting for our daughters.
5) This will demonstrate to our daughters what our real values are. Women should stand up for themselves not by standing up to their abusive husbands but by becoming completely submissive to men in every conceivable way. Women should not tolerate unfaithful husbands. They should complete succumb to the whims of every man and should never question a man’s judgement on anything. That will teach our daughters how to be ….. what exactly?
“When we’re talking about this issue, this is sexual assault,” said Ellmers. “So we’re accusing a man of sexual assault here, and I’m not going to debate who’s telling the truth here, but it is a ‘she said, he said’ situation.”
Yet as Tapper pointed out, this is not just two people making competing claims.
He responded to Ellmers by saying, “Just to correct you, I’m sorry — it’s a she said, she said, she said, she said, she said, she said, she said, she said, she said situation.”
And some of the women have corroborating evidence that is every bit as compelling as the evidence that was used to convict Bill Clinton in the minds of many of his detractors. For example, People reporter Natasha Stoynoff, who claims to have been attacked by Donald Trump in 2006, right around the time that the Donald was telling Billy Bush that he attacked women, has produced 6 different eyewitnesses to confirm various aspects of her account.
And why should Donald Trump get the benefit of the doubt with regard to accusations made against him when Bill Clinton does not. As if there is any doubt whatsoever about Donald Trump’s attitude toward and treatment of woman after the litany of evidence presented above.
“expecting now for everybody that will be seeing these interviews with these women to not believe them, and one of the things they say in their statement is, How dare you reach back decades and look at possible sexual assaults from way before, like, how could it matter? But the problem is, that’s exactly what they are asking people to do when they look at Bill Clinton.”
Of course, it is possible that these are just political vendettas, just as it is possible that they were with the Clintons. But there is really no more reason to doubt them than there was with Bill Clinton. In Clinton’ case, most of the allegations were raised years after the fact during times when Clinton was either running for national office or had his sex life and his denials of wrong doing being covered prominently in the media. These are exactly the same circumstances in which the allegations against Trump have been raised.
But easily the most compelling evidence against Trump is the FACT that there is a videotape of him voluntarily telling someone that he did these very same things that he is now denying. The women’s motivation to provide their names to the media and admit to this sexual harassment after years of not coming out to the public about it makes sense given the obvious problem that they would subject themselves to public ridicule and probably not be believed. The same justification was used to defend Bill Clinton’s accusers, most of whom came forward years after the abuse was said to have taken place. But most importantly, Trump admitting that he does these things in one forum while simultaneously denying it in another surely provided motivation for these women to come forward, as did the realization that they were not the only ones and might be part of a much larger group that has been sexually assaulted by Donald Trump over a long period of time.
Let’s suppose Donald Trump were to win the presidency. There are going to be biographies written about him that will cover his life and controversies. All of the information provided here is going to become MORE discussed and publicized- not less. These controversies will not go away but will become central themes in the Donald Trump narrative. Your children and grandchildren will become infinitely familiar with the details of this man’s life, just as you are with the details of Bill Clinton’s. But instead of just Bill, Hillary, Monica, Paula, Juanita, and Kathleen, we will have the Donald, Ivana, Marla, Melania, Jessica, Rachel, Alicia, Jill, Mindy, Natasha, Temple, Kristin, Cathy, Summer, Cassandra……………….
I have two daughters. I don’t know how I could explain to them that the president of the United States talks about and treats women this way. I have worked very hard to teach them that a man is, can be, and should be much more than this. I am not the only person that feels this way. I have no intention of even trying to defend this man to my daughters. I will tell them what they will surely figure out on their own: “President Trump (a phrase I definitely hope that I never have to utter) is simply not a very good person and does not care about people like you. You should not listen to what he says.” So our hope is that this is what our daughters will believe about the president- that they should not care what the president says. What kind of message does that send? This is one of those issues on which Hillary Clinton, despite all of her flaws and biases, is clearly in the right in her criticisms of Trump.
“If there is one recurring theme in the litigation spawned by Mr. Trump’s business ventures, it is his brazen willingness to ignore the plain terms of contracts he finds inconvenient while relentlessly enforcing contract terms he finds useful.?
The Trump Foundation: A Scheme to Launder Money for the Trump Family
It should hardly surprise anyone who has actually followed the very public career of Donald Trump that the primary beneficiary of his supposedly charitable foundation would be none other than Donald Trump and his family. That appears to be the only charity that Donald Trump believe is worthy of his attention. Trump certainly doesn’t give any of his own money to charity- and never has.
Trump’s inability to understand the difference between an effective charity and ineffective charity should hardly surprise anyone as his very own Trump Foundation is a borderline criminal activity.It is certainly not a charitable one. Much has been made about the conflicts of interest- both apparent and real- concerning the Clinton Foundation and Hillary Clinton’s position of Secretary of State, a conflict that would become even more glaring should she become president. It is difficult to deny that this conflict of interest exists- nor should we. It is an issue that must be addressed and the Clintons have at least superficially acknowledged the need to address it should she be elected.
Regardless of whether the I.R.S. objected, Mr. Trump’s tax avoidance in this case violated a central principle of American tax law, said Mr. Buckley, the former chief of staff for Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation, who later served as chief tax counsel for Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee.
“He deducted somebody else’s losses,” Mr. Buckley said. By that, Mr. Buckley meant that only the bondholders who forgave Mr. Trump’s unpaid casino debts should have been allowed to use those losses to offset future income and reduce their taxes. That Mr. Trump used the same losses to reduce his taxes ultimately increases the tax burden on everyone else, Mr. Buckley explained. “He is double dipping big time.”
Trump is clearly hypocritical when raising the tax code as a problem, and particularly when he calls out others for cheating the system, gaming the system, and failing to pay their fare share, something which he does frequently.
Here are some representative tweets from Trump.
According to Trump, President Obama does not pay enough in taxes. Of course, the only reason that Trump knows this is because Obama released his tax returns which he has done every year since he started his campaign for the presidency in 2007. Yet Trump, who appears to have paid a considerable lower percentage of his income in federal tax, has not released his tax returns at all. That is hypocrisy.
2. Trump identifies hedge fund people as taking advantage of the tax code and says that they pay practically nothing in federal tax. Perhaps it would be less hypocritical if he had pointed out that real estate developers also get substantial tax breaks and that as one, he pays practically nothing in federal income tax. Interestingly he directly associates the low tax rates of hedge fund managers with the middle class paying too much in tax. Yet, by that reasoning, the middle class must also be financing his low tax burden, meaning that his wealth is partially driven by the fact that others are paying higher taxes to compensate for the money that he is keeping to finance his lifestyle. Trump has even taken advantage of tax breaks that are supposed to be reserved for middle class tax payers while simultaneously claiming to be outrageously wealthy.
3. He wholeheartedly jumped in on the Mitt Romney, “47% don’t pay federal taxes” argument, seemingly forgetting to note that he was among those. Given Mitt Romney’s concern for those who were not pulling their weight in our society, perhaps this is why he had such concerns with Trump, since he recognized that Trump was among that 47% who do not pay their share of federal income taxes.
4. Yet, here he is saying that there are no tax breaks for the wealthy and that the rich pay all of the taxes. Again, he conveniently leaves out that he is not one of those rich people. No, he is one of the rich people that is, in his own words, “smart” enough to game the system to avoid paying taxes.
So to recap: In Trumpland, the rich don’t pay their fair share in taxes but they also do. The tax code does not give advantages to the wealthy except when it does. Not paying taxes is bad except when it is smart. Politicians should be held accountable for not paying enough in tax except when they shouldn’t be. This all would make perfect sense to a Trump voter but probably not to anyone else.
Seriously, How Could You?
Almost every argument Trump has made for his candidacy has been based on a fundamental untruth. His presentation of himself is completely dishonest and the public record of this is readily available. We don’t have to speculate about the kind of man he is. We only have to open our eyes and look. His policy positions are either completely uninformed, inconsistent and contradictory, or simply harmful and counterproductive. The Republican Party made a terrible mistake choosing him as its nominee and there is just not a single defensible argument for voting for him now. This is not an argument based on arrogance; it is an argument based on common sense and the evidence sitting right in front of you.
People don’t like it when others have to point out the obvious to them. Personally, I get annoyed when people are always reminding me to tie my shoes or show up to things on time. But if I am shamed by it, that is my fault. It doesn’t take much to figure out that Donald Trump is a bad person that is not qualified to be president. The fact that so many citizens have failed to see this is deeply troubling, perhaps the single most disturbing phenomenon in American politics for nearly a half century.
There are those who question whether democracy can work in a country of people this ignorant, apathetic and unreasonable. It is hard now to think anything other than that those critics might be correct. Having taught US Government for over 20 years, I honestly never thought I would see the day when we came this close to simply giving up on our country and on our system of self-government. But here we are.
Individuals are going to have to make a choice soon to simply see this man for who he actually is and recognize that there is nothing he could possibly do- and certainly nothing that he has proposed to do- but make an already difficult situation considerably worse. Anyone who does not see that is uninformed- either willfully or because they are not capable of knowing better. Either way, this is about the darkest time in US politics that I have lived through in my lifetime- and that is really saying something. If Richard Nixon was running for president this year against Donald Trump, I would vote for Nixon because, even after knowing about Watergate, he would still be more qualified for the presidency. Donald Trump is simply the worst candidate either party has ever nominated for the presidency and the 2nd worst nominee is not really that close.
This isn’t partisan. It is personal. I don’t have a personal relationship with Trump so my point is not that I have a personal vendetta against him. Rather it is personal in the sense that it has nothing to do with the party he represents or even his policy positions. I am deeply concerned about his policies positions and I am working to articulate my concerns in a different setting. Particularly troubling are the policy positions that he emphasizes the most- trade, immigration, policing, and foreign policy. These also happen to be the issues on which he is most egregiously uninformed.
Donald Trump is not a good person. He knows it. That is why he refused his own campaign the opportunity to do a background check on him. He is not someone that you would hold up as a role model for your children. He is not someone that you would want to be your neighbor. He is not someone that you would like if you had to interact with him on a daily basis. He is a bully. He is a liar. He is unacceptably disrespectful to both individual people with whom he interacts and toward entire groups of people whom he judges and demeans simply because of their personal characteristics. He is the kind of person that you would warn your kids about when advising them about choosing their friends and associates wisely. Perhaps you did not realize this about him before he started running for president. Perhaps you don’t want to believe it because you dislike Hilary Clinton so much that you don’t want him to be this person. But at some point the evidence becomes so overwhelming that you cannot deny it. No doubt people will do so anyway. But if you have read this far and you have really examined the information available and reflected upon it and you are still willing to walk into a voting booth and cast a ballot for Donald Trump to be the president of the United States, that act will ultimately say something about you and your character and your judgement and your ability to fulfill your responsibilities as a citizen of this country- and what it will say is not good.
In a sign that the Trump campaign has finally recognized the dire straits in which it finds itself, they have sought out my advice on how to prepare for the final presidential debate next week. In the interest of full disclosure, I am sharing this publicly. I have full confidence that this advice is the best path to Make Donald Trump Great Again.
Final Debate Preparation Survey
How would you rate Donald Trump’s takedown of Hillary during the second debate?
Not strong enough
Other, please specify: Pathetic
Should Trump continue to attack Hillary’s failures during the final debate or concentrate more on the issues?
Attack Hillary’s failures
Concentrate more on the issues
Other, please specify: I’m surprised sexual assault is not listed as an option.
Has Trump done enough to convey to American voters just how truly corrupt Hillary’s email scandal is?
Other, please specify:
No, you should compare it to your own many corruption scandals and explain how your expertise as a corrupt businessman qualifies you to judge others’ corruption.
Did you agree with Trump’s decision to call for a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton’s email scandal if he becomes president?
Other, please specify:
Obviously you are not becoming president so does this question even matter?
Are you satisfied with the way Trump has exposed the Clinton Foundation during the first two debates?
Other, please specify:
I think you should talk more about how the Trump Foundation is far more corrupt that the Clinton Foundation as a way to emphasize how much better you are.
Should Trump do more to bring up Hillary’s failures in Benghazi?
Other, please specify:
This is obviously one of the biggest non-issues that anyone has ever tried to make an issue.
Rather than defending himself, should Trump turn those defensive moments into opportunities to attack Hillary?
Other, please specify:
No. You really have a lot of explaining to do. I think you should spend the entire debate explaining why you shouldn’t be in jail.
Did Trump effectively articulate the problems with ObamaCare during the second debate?
Other, please specify:
There are problems but it’s not like you have a clue what they are or how to fix them.
Do you agree with Trump’s attack of Hillary as an “all-talk, no-action” politician?
Other, please specify: I thought it was just “locker room talk”.
Should Trump call attention to the fact that in secret paid speeches Hillary called for “open trade and open borders”?
Other, please specify:
Yes, remind everyone that Hillary is the real conservative in the race.
Has Trump done enough to contrast himself as an outsider with private-sector experience with Hillary’s career as a government bureaucrat?
Other, please specify:
You should call more attention to your bankruptcies, lawsuits, tax fraud, and other ways in which you have gamed the system for your own financial advantage.
Should Trump call attention to Hillary’s statement that there are no systemic problems with Veteran Affairs treatment centers?
Other, please specify:
Let’s not talk veterans. You don’t want to embarrass yourself any more than you already have on that topic.
Should Trump bring up Hillary’s leaked audio in which she states that “the Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment”?
Other, please specify:
I guess, but the Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment.
Should Trump call out Hillary for wanting activists on the Supreme Court who have an agenda rather than judges who simply interpret the Constitution as it was written?
Other, please specify:
Don’t remind voters how scary it will be to have you appointing people to important positions.
Should Trump contrast his America-First mindset with Hillary’s globalist ideology?
Other, please specify:
Yes and remind voters how well that worked out when Charles Lindbergh sold that line in the 1930s. Be sure to bring up Pearl Harbor.
Has Trump spoken enough about veterans’ issues at the debates?
Other, please specify:
You’ve spoken too much already. Have you thought about just not talking at all? You could always clarify where all the money that you raised for veterans went and why you have never given to veterans causes before this year and why you only did it when the media called you for lying about it.
Should Trump talk about the need to rebuild our military since Obama has decimated it after two terms in office?
Other, please specify
This would be pretty stupid since it is not true but I guess that has never stopped you before.
Do you think Trump should continue to tie Hillary to the last eight years of Obama’s failures?
Other, please specify:
Don’t remind people how much more popular Obama is than you. He would probably beat you by 20 or 30 percentage points.
Has Trump talked enough about the economy and the unique background he’ll bring to the table to fix it?
Other, please specify:
Again, the less you talk the better it will be for everyone.
Should Trump spend more time talking about his proven ability to create jobs?
Other, please specify:
Not unless you are going to bring up your hiring of illegal immigrants and your outsourcing to China and the fact that you frequently refuse to pay the people who work for you. This is probably not an area of strength for you. Hiring people and then refusing to pay them always reminds me of slavery.
Has Trump done enough to cover the importance of developing American energy?
Other, please specify:
You’ve made it clear that you don’t need Viagra if that is the kind of energy you are talking about.
Has Trump done enough to justify his call for extreme vetting processes for immigrants coming from countries compromised by terrorism?
Other, please specify:
Is this the kind of extreme vetting that you do with your female employees or the kind of extreme vetting you don’t want people to do about your business career and personal finances, and history of sexual abuse?
Should Trump make illegal immigration an important point at this final debate?
Other, please specify:
It’s been a pretty stupid argument all along. It’s not likely to help you now. You might mention how the country starting going downhill when we started letting in all of those Scottish immigrants.
Should Trump discuss the importance of cutting taxes in order to grow the economy?
Other, please specify:
So I actually checked on this and your proposed tax plan will raise my taxes by over $2000 a year so it will just make me mad if you bring this up.
In addition to attacking bad trade deals, should Trump attack the burdensome regulations that cause companies to leave America in the first place?
Other, please specify:
No, because these are the same regulations that have allowed you to get rich in the first place.
Should Trump talk about law and order and the endorsements he’s received from law enforcement?
Other, please specify:
Threatening to jail people who disagree with you is always the best way to get them to change their minds.
Do you think Trump showed the right amount of personality during the second debate?
Other, please specify:
If you were going for the sexual predator thing, then yes.
Did Trump have the right demeanor during the second debate?
Other, please specify:
If I had been in a school cafeteria, I would have known who was getting all the lunch money.
Do you think Trump came off as presidential during the second debate?
Other, please specify:
Is this a serious question? Perhaps criminal would be a better adjective.
30. Is there anything Trump has not done during the first two debates that he absolutely must do during this final debate?
I liked the idea of you skipping the debates. It’s not too late to skip this one. How are you going to convince us that we can win when you keep losing? Maybe encourage us to just quit instead.