In years past, I’ve written about local and national elections several times. However, I’ve always tried to keep my personal beliefs to the side. I’m guessing it would not be very hard to figure out which way I lean on the political spectrum, but I’ve tried to stop short of saying “vote for _____” or “you’d be a fool to support X”.
But that needs to change.
I cannot imagine how anybody with half of a brain could vote for Donald Trump.
Let’s set aside the primary reason (“he’s not Hillary”) for a moment, and try to understand why.
Throughout this grueling death march of a campaign, Trump has shown himself – over and over and over and over again – to be:
- An habitual liar who invents his own reality, and refuses to own his past words and actions.
- A creepy (and possibly dirty) old man who struggles to show basic respect to women – especially if they do not meet his ridiculous standards of beauty.
- Someone with zero patience for dissent, debate, or diplomacy.
- A vain, pompous blowhard whose apparent motivation for getting out of bed is the continual gratification of his own ego.
- Somebody easily manipulated into flying off the handle and saying inappropriate things. When a grown man has his Twitter account taken away from him – for his own good – that should be a sign.
- A man incapable of accepting any setback without claiming conspiracies, bias, or the system being “rigged” against him.*
*The irony, of course, is as a white male born into extreme wealth, the it would be very hard to rig the system any more in his favor.
- A person who has built much of his campaign on fear of those who are not white Christians.
- A businessman who has had some shady business dealings, lost over a billion dollars, and bragged about not paying taxes for years.
- A candidate who won’t denounce the support he receives from the KKK.
- Somebody wholly unfit – by nearly every measure – to be Commander-in-Chief
- Sadly, there are probably a half-dozen more examples that I’m forgetting.
Seriously, if you look solely at who Donald Trump is (and completely ignore any of the other candidates), I cannot fathom how anybody could support him in good conscience.
I honestly believe that if Trump was running against anybody other than Hillary Clinton, this would be the greatest landslide in US history. In my lifetime, nobody has gotten stomped worse than Walter Mondale. I’d wager that he’d kick Trump’s ass. But, the reality is that Hillary is the other main candidate. And she has more than enough warts, flaws, and character issues to keep the race as competitive as it has been.
I get it: you dislike Hillary Clinton. You don’t trust her. You believe that she is corrupt, dishonest, and represents everything wrong with Washington D.C. politics. You contend that so many things she is connected to (emails, Benghazi, her husband, etc.) stink to high heaven. For the sake of time, I won’t argue any of that.
But seriously? She will do more damage to our country than Trump? How can you possibly believe that? Even if she forwards every email for the next four years to every email account in the world, I’ll still take my chances that we still come out ahead with her versus a Trump presidency.
The primary system is seriously flawed. It favors candidates who pander to the extremes of their party instead of those who will be moderate, can compromise, and get results. This broken system is how we got to Trump, Clinton, and some third-party jokers barely worthy of a mention. So here is what I propose: let’s spend the next four years fixing the primary system, locating better, more competent candidates and getting them more in tune with what the majority of Americans actually want. Make Hillary a one-term President, especially if she’s not getting the job done.
But please, pretty please, for the sake of our country, our children, ourselves, do not vote for Donald Trump. He needs to be defeated so soundly, so thoroughly that no other candidate tries to emulate his path to the nomination.
Voting Lines. When I go vote today, I’ll have to travel all of five blocks to my precinct. I probably will arrive around 5:20, when many of my neighbors will be getting home from work. If I have to wait to vote – which has rarely, if ever happened in my 24 years of voting – I expect that wait to be less than 10 minutes.
Sadly, that will not be the case for many of our fellow Americans. Take a look at this video explaining why we vote on Tuesday. https://youtu.be/e0bMfS-_pjM When I watched it, I could not help but notice the vast majority of people in line were African-American. Maybe I notice it because Nebraska is not a very diverse state. Or maybe I notice it because in some parts of our country – intentionally or not – it is needlessly hard for people to exercise their right to vote.
Nebraska’s Death Penalty. Last year, the Nebraska Legislature voted to repeal the death penalty. Governor Pete Ricketts vetoed that bill, but the Unicameral overrode his veto. Death penalty supporters then started a petition drive to bring it back. Governor Ricketts has supported this initiative with several hundred thousand of his own dollars.*
*This is a good place to note two key things: 1) Under Nebraska law, Governor Ricketts can spend his money however he damn well pleases. If he wants to spend a small fortune to restore the State’s ability to kill capital offenders, that is his right. 2) The comments and opinions shared on this site do not necessarily reflect those of my employer (who does work with several state agencies).
I bring up this referendum for two reasons: First off, the language is very counter-intuitive. When Nebraskans go to the polls, their options will be to Retain or Repeal. Repeal gets rid of the law (LB268) that eliminated the death penalty, thus bring it back. Retain keeps the law in place, therefore ending the death penalty.
Secondly, there are a multitude of reasons to RETAIN the law (and get rid of the death penalty):
- Capital punishment has been shown to have a systemic bias against minorities.
- There have been many instances where an innocent person was sentenced to death, or killed.
- The multitude of appeals (needed to prevent wrongfully convicted people from being killed) costs more than life in prison. For a fiscally conservative state, this should be reason enough to RETAIN.
- Capital punishment is not proven to be a deterrent to violent crime.
- Currently, Nebraska is unable to legally procure the drugs necessary to perform an execution.
- Capital punishment is rarely used. Nebraska has only executed three people in the last 40 years, and no one since 1997.
There’s also the inherent irony of an overwhelmingly pro-life state being so eager to kill people, but that’s beside the point.
LD25 . Closer to (my) home, there is a hotly contested race for the Nebraska Legislature. I learn just how contested it is every time I go to my mailbox. For the last few weeks, I’m averaging a couple of campaign flyers a day. With few exceptions, they bash the other candidate and focus little on what the candidate will do. Very few of these flyers were purchased by the candidates – instead, they come from the political parties and faceless PACs. And all of this for a (supposedly) non-partisan office that pays $12,000 a year. Tonight, one of the candidates will be elected. But frankly, the only winners will be printing companies and US Postal Service.
Finally – as always, be sure to use your right to vote – or be willing to waive your right to complain.