author: Brad Spear
posted 27 September 2016 in Politics
I’ve tried to avoid commenting too much on this election, and sorry if this essay is a little rambling, but I just watched the first “debate” between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and it pretty much confirmed everything I’ve thought about Trump since he declared his candidacy. I’m no Hillary fan-boy, but OMG.
If you still think Trump is the best choice, you’ve already drunk the Kool-Aid and your ability to reason may have already been lost. Trump truly seems to be ignorant and says things that are good for The Donald, not the public. He presents as a demagogue and an egotist and has tried to rewrite his own history rather than own up to his mistakes. Like it or not, apologizing for mistakes is an adult thing to do.
In his world, he likes anyone who agrees with him, and anyone who disagrees is evil and/or stupid, until they say something good about him. He seems to not understand world history. He even still believes in Reagan-era trickle-down economics, a long discredited economic model. I mean, I’m not an expert in history or economics, but if I can see his errors, certainly he should.
For whatever you can say about Hillary, she is simply nowhere near as vile as Trump. She recognizes the problems we face in this world, but is not going to scare you with fake information and it was obvious that Trump’s lies far outstrip Clinton’s.
And for crying out loud, remember that it is we, the electorate, who encourage candidates to lie. They couldn’t get elected otherwise. For example, consider groups I’ll name Apples and Berries. Apples wants policy Tree, and Berries wants policy Shrub. Apples won’t vote for anyone who endorses policy Shrub and Berries won’t vote for anyone who endorses policy Tree. And neither side will back down. A democracy can’t work with such intransigent groups, so the politician has to color the truth to try to appease both groups. A rational citizen’s job is to evaluate this. A rational person also has to understand compromise.
Please, just check what both candidates have said against reality and try to investigate. Google, Bing, and other good search engines are your friend, but don’t stay in your conservative bubble. Check out sites that are known to be non-partisan. Look at the fact check sites. And I’m sorry but that may mean more intelligent sites that sometimes use big words — don’t be afraid, the dictionary will help you.
Don’t trust the Breitbarts and the Drudges, and don’t expect that sites with “patriot” or “american” in the name will be anything more than conservative shill sites that will only feed your preconceptions. They won’t give you truth. I’ve seen memes on the social networks for both the extreme left and the extreme right that are posted by people who are oblivious to the errors and misdirection of these partisan groups. (A note about the extreme right, it seems there are precious few rational conservatives left.)
I’m a registered Republican, somewhat moderate-to-conservative economically but socially liberal, but Trump has just been so outrageous that it scares me he might be elected. It is embarrassing that so many people in my country are so devoted to this nut case. The rest of my party just lost it and fell onto the Trump bandwagon rather than selecting an individual that might actually be capable of leading the country.
Remember that we are a diverse country. We won’t survive on one set of values. A basic requirement of a democracy is the ability to live with others. In recent years Republican party conservatism has gone farther and farther to the right, and seems to have lost the ability to compromise. (Yes, I know we are a republic, but those representatives are democratically elected, mostly. This is not about the electoral college; one problem at a time.)
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