Sunday, November 6, 2016

A Plea to the Conscience of Conservative Republicans and Independents

The question for you on Tuesday is:  do you vote for Donald Trump because he’s the Republican candidate and just hold your nose, or do you vote for Hilary Clinton because, although she’s a Democrat and a disliked Clinton at that, her presidency would clearly be in the better interest of the country than a Trump presidency?

What is a presidential election about?  Is it just about winning, like many things in our culture?  Or is it about something bigger … doing what is best for our country?  Clearly it is or should be the latter.

There was a time in the not so distant past when one could make a very legitimate case that the election of either the Republican or Democratic candidate would be in the best interest of the country.  They each would do things differently, have different agendas, but they were both solid, good, level-headed people who you knew without any question wanted what was best for the country.  They had strong egos, lord knows, but in their minds the election wasn’t about them, it was what they could do for the country.

Let’s look at this year’s candidates in this light.  First, Donald Trump.  Donald is as far from level-headed as one could get.  He has an incredibly thin skin and he’s a bully.  It is all about him.  Is this the person you want as Commander-in-Chief and responsible for our safety as well as the welfare of you, your children, and everyone in this country?  

Is Donald a good person?  Would you hold him up as a role-model for your children?  Donald has spent his life with only one goal … to make as much money and attract as much attention to himself as possible.  Now there’s no moral sin to being rich, or seeking riches.  But when one does so to the exclusion of concern for other people. when there is no socially redeeming aspect of your life, then that is a sin.  And that is the case with Donald.

Then there’s the question of whether he is a good citizen.  It’s probably safe to say that most rich people, hell most people, try to pay as little taxes as they can get away with.  They do not really view taxes as being a responsibility of citizenship, of paying one’s fair share to help the larger body politic, their fellow citizens.  They pay taxes grudgingly as something one has to do, or else!  

But if someone is running for President of this country, should he or she be someone who has this attitude?  Who says, “Hey, I’m just doing what the law allows me to do?”  The answer should be, no.  Someone running for President, who is seeking to lead this country, should be a role model regarding the responsibilities of citizenship.  And clearly Donald Trump is no such role model.

I could go on and on listing the reasons why a Trump presidency would not be in the country’s best interest, but I think these are really the main points.  We have had numerous candidates and presidents that were not well-disposed to people of color, just none that have been so openly hateful in their speech.  We have had a number of  candidates and presidents who were womanizers, philanderers.  Not just Bill Clinton; the list is filled with many otherwise good people.  But in each of these cases, the people were otherwise good, level-headed people who, if one took off one’s partisan hat, one would have to say acted in the best interest of the country.

Now let’s look at Hillary Clinton.  Hillary is certainly level-headed.  One may disagree with her conclusions, but she is always level-headed.  She has been prodded and provoked for years, but she has always remained level-headed (to my knowledge).  A sharp barb may escape her lips, but that’s about it.  I don’t know if she holds a grudge, but I do know that she doesn’t seek revenge.  She is not a bully like Donald.

Is Hillary a good person?  Would you hold her up as a role-model for your children?  I would answer that question, yes.  Although she is certainly ego-driven, and has made lots of money from her political-celebrity status, she has always had at the top of the list  of things driving her a concern for the welfare of those less fortunate … whether women, children, or people of color as well as working men and women.   Quite the polar opposite of Donald.   And she has worked tirelessly on their behalf.   Clearly, she’s not a revolutionary a la Sanders with her ties to Wall Street, but that does not diminish her work.  It just limits her.

Is Hillary a good citizen?   Both Hillary and Bill Clinton, while having gotten quite rich, do pay their fare share in taxes.  They are in an income tax bracket where had they so desired they could have instructed their tax planners to devise legal ways to pay much less, but they … as opposed to Donald … chose not to go that route.  She and they both understand the responsibility of citizenship.

Finally, I want to make the point that for someone of Trump’s low ethics to besmirch the ethics of Hillary is truly chutzpah!  Everyone should take whatever he says with a huge grain of salt.  Plus, LATE BREAKING NEWS, the FBI has just told Congress that they found no evidence in the new cache of Clinton emails that she was guilty of wrongdoing.

So ask yourself the question when you vote on Tuesday: which candidate’s presidency would be in the best interests of the country?  And vote accordingly.  Not according to your partisan position, but for what’s best for the country.