|Hillary Clinton taking a victory lap last night (Mother Jones)|
I’m also pretty sure that Trump is not the buffoon or racist bigot he acts like in front of his fans and the camera. I know a lot of people that would beg to differ with me about that. But even if I am right about that – it does not rise to the level of endorsing him for President of the United States.
I obviously consider all of a Presidential candidate’s positions on the major issues of our day. But the issue I weight most heavily is ‘what’s good for the Jews’. I know it’s a cliché, but that is how I feel. (Maybe it’s because of the over 2000 year history of Jewish persecution in the world that is in my DNA. I don’t know.) There aren’t too many countries whose foreign policies matter as much to Israel as does the policy of the United States. A policy that can be of existential import. A slight change in America’s approach to Israel could spell disaster.
But despite my view about Trump probably being better for Israel than Clinton, I cannot in good conscience support him.
So who is the real Trump? One might be tempted to say, ‘What you see is what you get’ with him. But I don’t don’t for a minute believe that he means all of his ridiculous rhetoric. I believe what you see is a man putting on a show for public consumption. A show that panders to the base instincts of prejudice that a lot of people feel.
For instance the prejudice far too many feel against all Muslims. A prejudice based on the constant barrage of Islamic terrorism, especially the kind coming out of ISIS where Americans are beheaded. Unfortunately when people see this and other atrocities happening all the time they tend to generalize - painting all Muslims this way. Which is the definition of racism. And that is what Trump panders to. He knows exactly what he’s doing. He is good at it. It got him the nomination.
The irony is that those that support him don’t see his statements as racist. They see instead a man unafraid to be politically incorrect. A straight shooter who is telling it like is. Finally there is a candidate that says what they think.
I believe that the real Trump has not shown up yet. And he won’t show up unless and until he is elected. We cannot therefore know what any of his policies will be. Pandering is not policy.
Which is one reason among many that I can’t support him. Although he is not a racist, the fact that he panders to racism, is not someone I want leading the country. Not to mention the fact that he has a penchant for vindictiveness - lashing out at his opponents and even threatening them.
Like the time he said not long ago that if is denied the nomination at the Republican National Convention by some slick maneuvering - his people may riot. (…with a phony disclaimer that it would not be what he wants but that people will do so spontaneously for being denied.) That he can appeal to mob violence to get his way makes him a bully and in my view a threat to the nation and even to world peace. Can anyone imagine the mob violence he might trigger if someone from an ethnic minority insults him? Or what he might do if a world leader insults him? Do we want someone like this to have his finger on the nuclear trigger?
And then there’s Trump University – a scam if there ever was one. From the New Yorker:
Schnackenberg, who worked in Trump’s office at 40 Wall Street, testified that “while Trump University claimed it wanted to help consumers make money in real estate, in fact Trump University was only interested in selling every person the most expensive seminars they possibly could.” The affidavit concludes, “Based upon my personal experience and employment, I believe that Trump University was a fraudulent scheme, and that it preyed upon the elderly and uneducated to separate them from their money.”
And Trump had the gall to say that the Judge in this case is prejudiced against him because he is of Mexican descent?! We are a better people than that. We should not be putting a con-man with no ethics into office, no matter what his policies will be. Even if they are better polices than his opponent’s. Even on the question of Israel.
I could go on. But if this isn’t enough to stop people from voting for him, nothing is.
Which brings me to his opponent, Hillary Clinton. Mrs. Clinton secured the Democratic Party's nomination for President yesterday . Her first reaction was to claim a victory for feminism. As though being the first woman to be a major party candidate is going to do anything for women. A Clinton Presidency will do nothing for women. They will still be underpaid for the same work that men do. And there will still be a double standard in the way men and women are treated in society.
That a woman could become President of the United States is not some novel idea whose time has come. The people of the United States would have easily elected a woman to that office a long time ago – had the right one run for the job. Claiming this to be some sort of feminist victory is at best ingenuous. And it is one reason of many that turns me off of her. And I consider myself an old fashioned feminist who rails against the inequality between men and women that still exists in many areas today.
Being President has nothing to do with one’s gender. Can anyone imagine Golda Meir saying that her election as Prime Mister of Israel was a victory for feminism? Of course not. Her election was a win for the people and the State of Israel. The fact that she was a woman was completely irrelevant. That is how a candidate should run today. Not as some sort of phony symbol for feminist achievement.
If one considers what her policies might be, I think it is safe to say that she will shift leftward because of her primary opponent, Bernie Sanders. She saw his populist socialism resonating with a lot of people that have in the past tuned out of the election process. She will pander to them… and probably govern that way too.
Clinton’s policies with respect to Israel will probably be along the lines of her immediate predecessor, Barack Obama. I would have preferred a friendlier approach than what we have experienced under him to Israel’s elected leader. He is after all the longest serving prime minster in Israel’s history. That surely would have been the case under any Republican President. Which probably includes Donald Trump.
Her holier than thou attitude about the progressive agenda and her dour speaking style is not something I want to constantly see in a President. She looks just plain mean and angry when she speaks. This does not inspire optimism. It inspires malaise. (Remember Jimmy Carter’s malaise speech?)
Then there are her legal problems when as Secretary of State she carelessly used an unsecured server and private e-mail account to transmit sensitive information (later to become classified). And there is her terrible handling before and after of the Benghazi massacre at the American embassy there. Which cost the lives of the American ambassador and other Americans.
Needless to say, that under any other circumstances, I would not be voting for one such as this. I believe that many Americans feel the same way. These two candidates have the highest negative ratings of any Presidential candidate in American history. And yet, I am endorsing her for President – for one simple reason. She is the lesser of two evils. God help us all.