“I am not a fan of Hillary, but …”
Then follows an appeal to the principles of
any Republican contemplating voting for Trump that implicitly leaves the
conclusion that if you do vote for him you have no principles. As far as a rhetorical technique, it lacks the
“how to win friends and influence people” vibe, and in fact I’ve defriended
Facebook friends who feel the need to pre-insult anyone who might vote for
Trump as unprincipled on a daily basis.
Let’s get this on the table – it’s not sufficient that
you are “not a fan of Hillary.” Hillary
is a crooked, incompetent, lying shrew. The
last genuine laugh she mustered was while describing getting a guy off on a
rape charge of a twelve year-old girl. But
you know that already. Or if you don’t,
it’s because you refuse to look at the evidence. You choose to remain blind to it, and instead
chalk it to up to a vast right wing conspiracy (a term that is Hillary’s lone
act of cleverness in her long corrupt and divisive career). That term, initially used to deny allegations against
her husband that she knew to be true, has nevertheless provided her and her
husband with all the cover they’ve ever needed for every scandal that has
followed. And they owe that cover to
people like you, sitting there telling people like me that we risk
demonstrating a lack of principle.
Admit a few things for me – you are a partisan who really
doesn’t care about competence, principle, or the character of your candidate. If Trump were your candidate (and he’s closer
to your party than you think), none of his crazy assedness would matter to
you. What we would now be witnessing is
the smearing of whoever the Republican candidate would be as a racist sexist
troglodyte. You’d be starting your
Facebook posts, “I am not a fan of Trump, but …” and the rest of the content
would be the same.
So let’s just talk about principle. Your candidate has amassed a fortune as a
public speaker who has never had an original thought, and one shudders to think
what fees she would have been able to garner if she had more than one tone of
voice, or if that tone wasn’t that of a woman who seems to be perpetually
auditioning for the role of Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
(I actually googled to make sure I got the correct spelling for Ratched
and one of the autocompletes was Nurse Ratched Hillary – so much for what I
thought was an original comparison). I’d
rather pay to attend a speaking event that consists entirely of a someone dragging
fingernails down a chalk board for 30 minutes. So, if the payee doesn’t expect to get any
real insight out of such speeches, what do you think those speaking fees are
for? Now, you could say it is not her
fault that people may have an unreasonable expectation of some undefined quid
pro quo down the line. But how could so
many corporate organizations who’ve shelled out the big bucks for the a
forty-minute snooze fest not have some inkling that they would realize some
return beyond that mid-day snooze fest?
But it’s people like you who wake up in a cold sweat
screaming about the Citizens United
case. In your eyes, corporate lobbying
is the big boogeyman under the American political bed, unless of course it’s
the incessant lobbying of the New York times or CBS news on behalf of your pet
causes – oh, wait, sorry, I forgot, that’s journalism. So let’s say we ban all corporate lobbying. All that will do is raise the speaking fees
for monotone simpletons who don’t know that “C” stands for classified, and the
result will be the same, or even worse because said speaker can actually pocket
those fees directly rather than laundering them through a campaign. Want a candidate who amassed some riches
without being able to sell political favors?
Trump’s your guy (although he probably bought a few favors that
So let’s talk about competence. The great progressive lie is that there is no
agenda to progressivism other than to bring competence to government. Obama rode that wave in 2008 – he was, and
would bring in, the best and the brightest.
All we needed was more Harvard guys, or gals, or guys who wanna be gals,
or vice versa, and all in certain acceptable proportions, who know best. I don’t want to open up a Bush vs. Obama
discussion on comparative competence, but certainly no one can say that all of
a sudden our government seems to be competently run. The last eight years have been marked by scandals
at the VA, the IRS, the Secret Service, and the State department, not to
mention the incompetent rollout of healthcare.gov and the beginnings of the (predictable)
pending implosions of the private exchanges. Our foreign policy is a shambles, with enemies
emboldened, and allies disheartened.
And of course one of the scandals of incompetence is all
centered around your candidate. Now, you
can chalk up all of the criminal allegations to the vast right wing conspiracy,
and you probably will. You will say shit
like “move on” and “she hasn’t been convicted” and that all of these
investigations “were a waste of taxpayer money,” but pause to remember how
feverishly you wanted the government to pursue the leak of Valerie Plame’s
identity as a CIA agent. That was back
when classified meant something to you. Here we are, thirty-thousand e-mails
sent over a private unsecured server later by a simpleton who did all she could
to erase any evidence of criminal negligence, and we are supposed to trust that
our governance will be competent in her hands?
At best she’s a nincompoop; at worst she’s a lying criminal with wonton
disregard for national security. Take
your pick. Neither is very comforting.
At this point no doubt you’ve either stopped reading or
some variant of “starting disastrous foreign wars on the pretense of WMDs” is
spewing forth with a little spit from your lips as you feel your heart rate
quicken. This is your way of saying I
really couldn’t care less about the character of the candidate – unless of
course we are talking about the opposing candidate - it’s all about the
policy. And it’s not even about any
policy being put forth by anyone – it’s about a policy put forth 13 years ago
by a guy who’s not running. Meanwhile,
the chick who is running voted for that war, and the dude who is running thinks
the President who initiated that war should be tried as a war criminal. If you suffer from Bush derangement syndrome
to this day (and clearly you do), Trump is your guy.
Meanwhile, your gal, at best, was hoodwinked into voting
for the war by a guy you consider to have the IQ of an invertebrate. But at least she was steadfastly against the
surge. Oops, that turned out to be a
smashing success, so much so that Biden at one point tried to take credit for a
stable and secure Iraq as the Obama administration’s greatest
accomplishment. Hillary seems to have a
history of zigging when she should be zagging.
Good thing Hillary was on the job with Obama to sign that stay of forces
agreement to maintain that success and not let any crazy practitioners of
workplace violence or manmade disasters get a foothold from which to start
beheading Christians. Oh wait, I think I
have that wrong again.
RACIST! RACIST! RACIST!
Ah, took you awhile to get there.
You were doing so well there for a while, what with your Citizens United
reference and your incessant harkening back to the early Bush years as the
explanation of everything that has ever gone bad before, during, or after that
time. Now we’re down to Peter in the
forest crying wolf. Can you name for me
a Republican candidate in the last 60 years whom you haven’t called a
racist? Bush had the most diverse
cabinet in history with Powell and Rice, and that didn’t spare him because the
race police can dismiss their service under him to the selling out of a couple of Uncle Toms; Rice
in particular was subjected to all manner of racist scorn from liberal
Democrats. The Republicans could clone
MLK and have him run and he’d be tarred and feathered.
Maybe you do have a real live racist on your hands this
time, but I doubt it. And you would be
the last to be able to identify one. I’m
sure you’ll scream that the policies he advocates, particularly with respect to
immigration, are racist. I’ll deal with
that charge in a later post (it could be much later judging by the frequency of my blogs). But putting that aside, if you asked a group of economists to pick a particular policy in place
that is most likely to hurt the most vulnerable and at risk African Americans,
I would bet that a plurality would choose the minimum wage. In fact, if you had damaging that population
as your primary goal, you would be hard-pressed to find a more insidiously
effective policy. Why? Because a young male high school dropout’s chances of finding employment is effectively killed by the minimum wage – with little
skill and no established work history, they are forced to compete at a wage
that is too high. And it’s not about racism.
Denied that first rung on the ladder, the options and prospects are not good. That’s not an opinion – it is an established
Is Hillary Clinton, who is all on board for raising the
minimum wage, a racist? By your
definition, with an understanding of the science (remember science - that thing
you believe in so fervently when it suits you?), clearly she’s as racist as
they come. And you cannot protest that
any failure to show evidence of personally racist behavior means she’s not a
racist – you’ve dismissed that type of evidence as a non-issue for anyone who
believes, for example, that affirmative action is fundamentally wrong. If she successfully maintains or increases
the federal minimum wage, she’ll do more harm to the black community than the
grand wizard of the KKK could ever hope to.
And guess what – there is no way she is unaware of the effect of the
minimum wage on African American employment.
She’s aware, but she’s made her political calculations and she knows
that doing the right thing – educating her base of this fact – is not her best
political move, as her union support is largely based on the federal minimum
wage (unions who do work with the federal government have rates specified as a
multiple of that federal minimum wage).
But I appreciate your concern for principles, and can happily tell you the reason I probably will vote for Trump relates
specifically to principles. Not to mine,
mind you, but to yours. It’s your principles that trouble me, or at least how
little they ever seem to mean to you.
For decades now you’ve been saying things like “it’s just about sex”,
and now you are adding “it’s just about a few e-mails.” The latter was about perjury in a context
where the perjurer’s lies were meant to deny a citizen’s civil right to a fair
civil trial over sexual harassment. The
former is about purposefully destroying evidence in a potential criminal
investigation over matters of betraying national security, and repeatedly lying
about it to at least the American public, if not the FBI (but of course she was
never put under oath with the FBI, so she was free to lie). Last I checked, your principles’ nominally
include telling the truth, respecting other people’s civil rights, respecting the
right of a woman to go to work without being harassed by a sexual predator, not
laying out national security secrets for all eyes to see, etc. etc. And when it is a Scooter Libby being sent to
prison, or a General Petraus having to end his career in disgrace, your good by
these principles. But when push comes to
shove in applying them across the board, you put that little smirk on your face
and say “it’s just about sex.” I really
don’t relish the list of “it’s just about …” tut-tutting you’ll subject me to
for the next eight years or beyond, as the Clintons continue to operate under
their own set of rules.
You see, it’s precisely the fact that I trust Republicans
will hew to their principles and you won’t that makes a Hillary presidency a
larger pending disaster. We had a field
of 14 candidates through most of the primaries, and the dynamics of that excuse
the fact that Trump made it through.
Your party has no such excuse.
The fact that only one old socialist kook even tried to take her on is
proof enough that principles ceased to matter to the Democratic party long
ago. Trump will be boxed in by many in
his party who view him as a usurper, by the entire Democratic Party, and by the
entire mainstream media. Hillary will be
boxed in only by Republicans, who may not manage to hold a majority in
So I’ll leave you with this: I’m no fan of Trump, but …