For the first time since I have been able to vote I am going to have to cast my vote against someone rather than for someone. For those who know me well know that I vote on issues after researching them. Although my instinct is to be a Liberal Democrat (in the English sense, not, American!!) I have never just voted for a "straight party", but, have always looked at what is being said. For example in England I voted for all three main parties at one time or the other and since being in the States have voted both Democrat, Republican and on one occasion green. In fact one thing I would change in the electoral system is to remove the choice for "straight party" off a ballot as it makes people lazy and not thinking.
The person who I could never vote for is Donald Trump. I am actually amazed anyone can. Even before the recent tapes where released I could not with a clear mind or clear ethics vote for him. He has demonstrated over many years to be to volatile and erratic to ever be considered for any political office never mind President. I have spend much time listening to what he says and read his website. His policy statements are just that, no meat, and what the other side has done is wrong. I need substance. For example on healthcare he said and I'm paraphrasing "I'll figure something out". This on one arguably the most important issue facing America!! Some of his statements on immigration, and this is the issue that I am far most conservative on myself are shocking in ignorance and as far as foreign policy, boy, that is scary. On business he talks about this experience. How many times did he go bankrupt losing millions and millions on dollars? He sends his factories over seas whilst preaching against. Ask the worked in New Jersey for example what they think about his personal greed? If he gets upset at Saturday Night Live what is he going to do if a world leader dares disagree or laughs? However, the main reason I could never with a clear conscience vote for him is the hate that spews from his mouth and that of his followers. Again, I am not saying the other side is perfect, absolutely not, however, there is a different tone of vehemence coming from the Trump supporters. Many years ago I read "Mein Kampf" and I have also studied countries where dictators rule and how they come into power. What I am seeing from the Trump movement is like history being repeated. It is like being at Nuremberg rally. I felt this before the tapes.
Then we get onto his tapes. As a man I am embarrassed and ashamed. I can't imagine how a woman must feel. This is again the behaviour of megalomaniac that I have described above. What is really upsetting me even beyond this is the attitude of many Evangelical Christian Leaders. Over the last few years I have became more and estranged from this wing of the Church. It is like they follow the Bible minus the words of Jesus because they do not match what politically they want. I can't imagine what someone like Bonhoeffer would say. One argument I have heard is that it was eleven years ago and he has changed. OK. First of all eleven years ago he was nearly sixty and on his third marriage so certainly should know better. The argument I hold dear to my heart is that you should not judge, especially as he has asked for forgiveness. Absolutely!! The problem is his only defense has been to go after Bill Clinton. See the problem here? One, Bill is not running (and good job as I could not vote for him either) so this again shows sexist behaviours and two, if he should be forgiven for an event eleven years ago Clinton should be for those over twenty years ago. You can't ask and expect forgiveness on one hand and judge on the other hand. Just again proves the point on what Trump really thinks and also the agenda of some of these Evangelical leaders. Even as I write this I am feeling anger and tears at this complete failure of so many in the Church. Make America great again?! It already is, yes, with problems. It is treasonous to say this, just creating more hate and fear. Imagine getting elected on fear and hate. When did this happen? Germany in the 1930's.
Trump should not and cannot be President, not just for the sake of America, but, for the sake of the World!!
Ok, for those (if anyone) still reading this we come to Hillary Clinton. If I was told even six months ago that I'd be voting for her I'd have said you were crazy. She is also a severely flawed candidate. So I decided to look into the issues and things that have been said against her. Reviewing her website as I did with Trump I found a much more comprehensive list of policies and actually actionable plans. I was pleasantly surprised by this and the fact that I could get behind most of them. So, I moved onto some of things thrown against her regularly:
- Bill Clinton. He is not running for President and I have stated my argument above on this.
- She defended a rapist as a lawyer. She didn't have any choice as a public defender. This is one of the cornerstones of the justice system, so if the argument is this rapist should not have a defense we are again moving into the dictator state previously described. The facts of this case show that the girls mother did not want a long trial so guilty plea-bargain was arranged.
- Thirty years of not going anything? I looked into her career a little. She has worked for children's causes and health issues for a long time and has been a public servant. During this time what has Trump done? Made and lost a lot of money just taking care of himself.
- Her charity. I don't know all the details in this, but, from the information I looked at it appears more money went to good than did Trump's.
- She will defend Rowe vs Wade. A difficult one on the outset. I am not in favour of abortion. However, pro-life is way more than this. It goes to Healthcare and assistance. Here are some facts. The abortion rate in the US is one of the highest in Western Europe (only Sweden is higher). Ironically the countries with some of the lowest rates The Netherlands and Germany for example of the most liberal abortion laws. So, what is the difference? They also have the most comprehensive healthcare and post-pregnancy laws meaning a lot of parents in the States who can't afford to have a baby can there. Also, they have easier adoption laws. So, the real way to reduce abortions is not to legislate against that, but, to implement a universal healthcare. A fact missed by so many conservative's and evangelicals alike. She is also more pro-life than Trump when is comes to things such as the death penalty and military spending. This is why I never categorize abortion as pro-life, as there is such a hypocrisy in this statement or pro-choice, because in greedy America right now there may not be a choice.
- The e-mail scandal and Benghazi. This I do not believe can be defended. She lied. Period. However, looking into this issue holistically let's go back to the previous Republican Presidency. How many e-mails did they lose or destroy? 15,000 like Clinton? A few more? How about approximately two million!!! Perhaps the GOP needs to look at themselves first. For Benghazi, a horrible loss of life and mistakes where undoubtedly made. Again, looking into as a holistic event. During the eight years if the last Republican Presidency eighty embassy staff were killed (slightly higher than the four of Benghazi). Also, lost in this is that the funding for embassy security was cut by the Congress. The Democrats of course? No, the Republican Congress. I think the finger pointing here should be turned around (In this whole post this is the only time I mentioned the fact that the majority of President Obama's tenure there has been a Republican Congress blocking the way... ). One more comment on lies: The Bush Administration and the Iraq war. How many lives where lost because of these lies?
These are just a few of the issues I discovered when trying to decide if I could actually vote for Hillary. The answer surprised my and is a resounding yes.
I am sure many would disagree with me, but, I ask take the blinders of party affiliation or previous history with Clinton off and really look at these candidates and what it could mean not just the future of the world and just not America. Clinton is not a great choice, Trump, is a potential catastrophe.
Note: whilst researching this I found out the GOP as had an "Anybody But Hillary" plan for over 10 years now. Or, put, another way whilst Trump was denigrating woman the GOP was already planning to destroy Clinton. Makes one think!!