About three and a half years ago, I wrote a blog post explaining why I would prefer that Clinton not be the Democratic presidential nominee in 2016. Well now, she is the nominee, and it is time to support her in order to stop Donald Trump. Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein, and Gary Johnson are all candidates that I would much prefer to Clinton. All of these candidates have a policy record more in keeping with mine than Clinton does. Johnson is a real social liberal-fiscal conservative and LGBT rights supporter, and Sanders and Stein are consummate civil libertarians who, most importantly, have far better LGBT rights records than Clinton. Unfortunately, Sanders did not win the nomination, and Stein and Johnson do not have a snowball’s chance in Hell of winning. Our choices are either Clinton or Trump. Clinton has come around slowly on equal rights for LGBT Americans, but she has come around. Trump has promised to try and turn back the clock on LGBT rights. He hopes to appoint judges who will reverse the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage, supports right-to-discriminate legislation, and cannot decide on whether or not transgender Americans should be able to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity. But Trump’s bigotry goes far beyond LGBT Americans. The following is a not-necessarily exhaustive list of groups that Trump has denigrated:
- LGBT People
- Native Americans
- Black People
- Middle Easterners
- Disabled People
- Japanese Americans
- Poor People
Clinton has always favored racial and gender equality, while Trump has always opposed it. His denigration of people different from him is not limited just to bigoted personal attitudes. For one thing, as indicated above, he has repeatedly shown a willingness to let bigotry influence his public policy. For another, during the debates, he did not even deny point blank that he and his father discriminated against black people in their real estate business. So this strongly suggests that he was guilty. The alternative is that he wants Confederate Flag-waving, swastika tattoo-adorned, white-hooded skinheads to think he did so that they will vote for him. Additionally, he has admitted to and been accused of sexual abuse. So again, he’s probably guilty, and if not, he sure is acting like it.
But do not think that just because you are a white, cis male, able-bodied, middle or upper class heterosexual WASP that Trump is going to leave you alone. He has advocated government censorship against protesters who burn the American Flag and journalists who displease him. After being more vulgar than any president in recent memory, he demanded that the FCC fine National Review‘s Rich Lowry for making a joke about Carly Fiorina cutting his testicles off. We can add that to the list of Trump’s sins–making me side with Rich Lowry. I hope that the news networks and late night comedians have enjoyed the ratings boost that Trump has given them, because if elected president, “The Donald” might try to throw them in prison for sedition. I have to give John Kasich credit for a point his campaign raised in an ad: even if Trump does not have you in his crosshairs yet, he could easily try to upend your existence six months down the road.
Let me be honest: I am a single issue voter–my policy is to vote for whichever candidate has the best LGBT rights record and is not otherwise a bigot. For that reason alone, Clinton is the obvious choice. But even if I were to look at all the issues and try to weigh them equally, I would still vote for Clinton, because even on issues where Trump seemingly takes a better position than Clinton, his stances are basically meaningless. Let’s consider some. I am generally anti-gun control. Trump wrote in 2000 that he favored banning assault weapons, but in fairness, this was also when he disliked David Duke, so we know he has changed a lot since then. More important is the fact that nothing about Trump’s worldview of authoritarian big government suggests that he will uphold gun rights if elected. When leaders impose a police State, they generally favor confiscating guns to prevent an uprising. I am very concerned about Clinton’s past support for the Iraq War and fear that she will be fairly hawkish as president. However, it has been proven that Trump was lying when he claimed to have always opposed the Iraq War. And with him as president, I would be afraid of waking up one morning to nuclear Armageddon, because he is so belligerent, erratic, and megalomaniacal that he might annihilate another country because he was in a bad mood. Trump seemingly is less supportive than Clinton of trade deals that lead to American workers losing their jobs. But with his own business record of laying off employees to move operations overseas, there is no reason to trust him on this issue either. What about his promises to end the U.S. government’s policy of cozying up to brutal regimes like Saudi Arabia? Well, linked with his hypocrisy on free trade, he lined his pockets with money from Saudi Arabia, and he has lots of kind words for Russia’s Vladimir Putin, so once again he cannot be trusted on this issue. I disagree with Clinton’s views on health insurance policy, but Trump himself called for national health insurance back in 2000 and actually suggested earlier this year that he favored an individual mandate requiring people to buy insurance before he backpedaled. And yes, Clinton is a big spender when it comes to the federal budget. But Trump’s calls for increased military expenditures and a border wall are very difficult to reconcile with the idea of low federal spending. The only way that he will be able to fulfill his promise to make Mexico pay for the wall is by going to war–which again, will cost money. And if he fulfills his promise of tax cuts, then that will simply give us the Reagan-Bush, Jr. combination of high spending without the revenue to pay for it, plus the associated increases in the national debt and deficit. I implore everyone not to vote for Trump. I am endorsing Hillary Clinton, since she is the only candidate besides him who has a chance of winning. And I encourage others to vote for her as well. But if you feel that you cannot bring yourselves to vote for Clinton, then I urge you to vote for Johnson or Stein. Just please do not vote for Trump. If he gets elected, it won’t just be Mexico paying for it. We will all pay dearly.