Right right right. I know just last week I posted about how I wish people would stop sharing content that does nothing but antagonize the people who disagree with them while getting the people who already are on board to shower them with praises. But then a friend asked me on Facebook why I dislike Trump. She’s on the fence and is interested in hearing me out, and it’s been a while since I actually got to the nitty gritty about why I could never bring myself to vote for him, regardless of policies.
So here I am. I have posted about Trump approximately 50 times, whether it’s been directly or indirectly. (That’s searching my posts for “Trump” and limiting it to “Current Events.” There might be some posts outside those constraints, but I also might have used the word “trump” at some point when not referring to him. We’ll call it a wash.) My first post on the man was what I still remember fondly as a fun little humor piece. A fake news article announcing a new book he planned to publish called My Struggle. That was back on December 8, 2015. Suffice it to say, my feelings for the man never warmed from there.
I could point out all the different articles I’ve written, but I’m going to try and sum up here. Less reading for you. Yay! Here we go: top ten reasons I dislike Trump.
TEN: His demeanor leaves so much to be desired, words fail. Even his own admirers will readily admit they wish he didn’t say what he often says, or that he’d at least say it in a different way. “He didn’t mean that, he meant this” is a justification I’ve heard time and time again. But often he goes and then restates what he said, clarifying that yes, he really did mean it. Whether he’s pontificating on shit hole countries or how he’d like to manhandle women, he rarely misses an opportunity to further lower the standing of the office he was elected to. I don’t really think this is debatable by anyone, but it’s also far from my number one reason to dislike the man. If it were truly the only thing wrong with him, I suppose I might (in theory) be able to get beyond it. However . . .
NINE: He panders to the worst aspects of our society. I’m not going to say he’s responsible for those aspects, though he has certainly cultivated their growth during his time in office, much as a gardener isn’t responsible for the existence of tomatoes, but can certainly be given credit for the crop they’ve raised each year. His disinclination to call out racism and sexism when they’re staring him in the face. He gleefully revels in name calling and mudslinging when it suits his purpose, and then he suddenly becomes a connoisseur of nuance and hidden meanings and motivation when his flunkies are being scrutinized for their behavior. Which leads me to
EIGHT: He’s a hypocrite. Yes, I realize he’s also a politician, and so those two words often might seem synonymous, but Trump has raised hypocrisy to an art form. As a deeply religious person myself, I am beyond disturbed by the way he panders to people of faith, giving lip service to his faith while showing absolutely no evidence of it. He excels at calling people out on behavior he himself practices on a regular basis, and when he’s taken to task for that, he resorts to his knee-jerk response:
SEVEN: He lies. About everything and anything. Whether it’s the size of the crowd at his inauguration or any number of other items over the years. 20,000 lies and counting. And again, yes he’s a politician, but his willingness to embrace blatant lying as a political tool in such an overt, regular way is disappointing to me. I would never continue to interact with a person who lies as much as Trump lies in my personal life. Why would I tolerate it in my leader? He has lied so often about so many different things, those lies no longer register as important. By lying so frequently, he has made the country immune to those falsehoods.
SIX: He’s dangerously ignorant. I readily admit no one knows everything, and I don’t hold ignorance against a person, up to a point. But when that person is in charge of a major global superpower, I’d like to expect they would be ready to become more informed and do their best to get up to speed on what needs to happen and why. Trump has shown little interest in doing the actual work needed to combat the ignorance he arrived in the White House with. Worse yet, he’s ready and willing to act on that ignorance, often to the detriment of our country. Whether it’s blithely wondering aloud in a news conference if drinking bleach would cure Corona or ignoring the findings of his own intelligence agencies, choosing to pay attention to what Putin has assured him instead of what our own efforts have brought to light, Trump has consistently ignored information that conflicts with what he’d like to do. As an information professional, that’s pretty antithetical to a huge chunk of my worldview. He has contributed to the tendency of so many to ignore experts, choosing instead to listen to the pundit of their choice.
FIVE: When Trump was elected, I tried to console myself with the thought that the Republican Party would help shield the nation from the worst of his tendencies. That he was just a single man, and that he’d be surrounded by experts who would steer him toward something resembling an okay future. But Trump has, instead, packed his Cabinet and his counselors with yes men and sycophants and people singularly unqualified to lead in their respective areas. Often he’s chosen to put people in charge who are vocal critics of the areas they are supposed to be leading. Yes, putting a fox in charge of a hen house might make sense, because foxes love hens, but it’s the wrong kind of love. He has insulated himself from any real criticism by sticking his family and past associates into key areas of government. They have responded in kind by doing damage to many of the things they touch. An easy example would be the way he has handled the Corona pandemic. It’s been one huge botched “solution” after another. A string of lies and half-truths to assure us the nation has it fixed, while it’s plain to see we do not. He talks about “Draining the Swamp,” but I think he understands that phrase differently. What he means is “Developing the Swamp.” Getting the most out of it he can, like some sort of two-bit real estate shyster. Can’t let all that lovely swampland just sit around idle, after all.
FOUR: He has ruined the Republican Party, a party I’m still officially registered in. I am incredibly sad to see so many people I am friends with taken in by this charlatan. I am disgusted to see the way the Republicans have embraced Trumpism instead of vomiting him out the first chance they got. (And they have had many, many chances.) In return for their tolerance of the man, they have gotten a number of their stated goals pushed through government, but it’s a scorched earth approach that is destroying the nation they supposedly want to help. I’ve seen a Facebook post making the rounds, summarizing all the things Trump has done for the nation. I’m glad there are items on there that people feel good about. There are certainly some to be proud of. (Though how many were actually accomplished by him or even during his time in office is most definitely up for debate.) I’m not going to pick the list apart item by item. I’ll just say that even if all those things were all to be placed to Trump’s credit, they would not counterbalance the effect he has had on this country or on Republicans as a whole. The ends do not justify the means. Whether it’s abortion or religious freedom or the conservative balance of the Supreme Court, none of those is worth what Republicans have had to sacrifice in return. It’s a Faustian bargain, but one so many of them seem unable to acknowledge.
THREE: He embraces an America of the past. He talks about making America great again, referring to a time period when many aspects of American life were truly broken. A more accurate slogan would be “Make America Great (for Some) Again.” But the “some” refers to straight white Christians. I prefer an America that is forward facing. That acknowledges we have made mistakes and that strives to continually improve. An America that realizes the fundamental thesis statement that started this country: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” An America that acknowledges that statement didn’t end up applying to all races or all genders, and that it should have.
TWO: He evidences many fascist traits. I realize “fascism” is an easy word to lob around these days. It seems to have grown to stand for “things we don’t like in politicians” in the way many people use it, but if you go through the actual characteristics of a fascist government, Trump has done much to try to bring America closer to that fate. His continued admiration for dictators on a global stage is disturbing, and his proven track record of using scapegoats to unite his base smacks all too strongly of Nazism. I’ve made multiple comparisons of Trump to Hitler, and I recognize it’s simple enough to dismiss those as “just another comparison to Hitler.” But a paranoiac isn’t paranoid if everyone really is out to get them, and just because Hitler comparisons haven’t been justified in the past doesn’t mean they’re not justified now.
ONE: Perhaps the thing I find most disturbing about Trump is the way his presence on the political scene in America has warped the political landscape. There’s this sense of false equivalency that’s cropped up, comparing Trump to Obama, and saying “Well, half the country didn’t like Obama, but they put up with him. Now the other half don’t like Trump, but it’s their turn to stomach him.” I voted for George W. Bush. I voted for Romney. I voted for Obama (when McCain picked Palin, and there was no way for me to support that choice). What I mean to say is I am not a Democrat by any stretch. (Though I hate that we’ve come to this: having to pull out our voting record to make it feel like we have a leg to stand on in this debate.) It is true that both Democrat and Republican parties have many issues. Things they do a bad job at. But to put Trump and Obama on two sides of a scale and to try and claim those two sides balance out is a gross misrepresentation of the facts. To try and repeat the practice with Biden and Trump is more of the same. Trump, to me, is a fundamentally different politician. He is dangerous to the core, and he never should have ascended to be our President. The sooner we can be rid of him, the better.
Biden would not be my first choice for President. But in this case, I view him as the only one. It’s like saying, “Would you like to slam your finger in the door, or would you like me to chop your head off?” Yes, they’re both not options I’m in love with, but it’s not exactly a decision I need to spend too much time dithering over. They are not two sides of a mirror.
So there you have it. A post I don’t really think is going to do much to move the needle for anyone. People who were going to vote for Trump will look at it and dismiss it (if they even read it at all), and people who weren’t going to vote for him will nod their head and move on. I find the whole thing discouraging, and the only thing I dread more than the next two months of the campaign is the next four years of Trump if he’s elected.
And I suppose that’s all I have to say about that for today.
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