Conservatives are stumped by TrumpBaltimore Post-Examiner

Conservatives are stumped by Trump

No one is bored this election season, but no sane American is more than two stressors away from a Xanax either.

With the GOP rightfully torn over their choices (vote for a buffoon with no concept of adult dialogue or support a Democrat), it seemed like the perfect time for an article on the necessity of non-partisan voting decisions — or even a rallying cry for conservatives to vote for Hillary, rather than Trump.

Then he went on Twitter post-debate with opinions on beauty queens and sex tapes. As if that wasn’t enough, now videos have surfaced with him bragging about grabbing women “by the pussy” and being able to “get away with anything” because he’s a “star.” Even by hyperbolic, oafish standards, that’s contemptuously gross. Furthermore, he wasn’t at a bar with a close friend, but standing with a mic attached to him — and apparently no sense to check whether or not it was on — while talking to a Bush. (That’s about as religious as he’s ever been, by the way.)

Governor Mike Pence of Indiana. How long will he continue to be Donald Trump’s running mate?

Governor Mike Pence of Indiana. How long will he continue to be Donald Trump’s running mate?

With Trump making all the arguments against himself and for Hillary these days, no one actually needs to read yet another series of paragraphs lamenting the state of this country’s election process or our current options.

It’s no wonder that Mike Pence practically disowned him during the VP debate. He’s like the dog that gets out, shits in everyone’s yard, breaks the neighbor’s fence, and makes you regret having him microchipped. If only we could just disown this destructive mess. Alas, all the latest reports state that he’ll be staying in the race, so let’s go ahead with that unnecessary and yet oh-so-called-for plea for sanity.

To be clear, I’m talking about a very decisive vote for Hillary Clinton, and I’m aiming at the people who say they’re voting for Donald because “at least he’s not Hillary.”

Conservative groups generally have a series of F words fueling their campaigns: Family, Faith, and Fiscal Responsibility. These are official party “values” that may or may not be expressed in actions, but certainly make their way into every single speech, in some form. Today, those values seem like they came from a different party than the GOP, as we see little evidence of them in any politician, but it’s worthwhile to do a little compare/contrast of the current nominees to see who better fits the bill.

Facebook meme

Facebook meme

Family

While Trump and Clinton both support paid leave (actually a sign of progress, given that we’re the only developed country really lagging behind on this point), they have entirely different standards for who should get paid leave and how those families ought to be supported.

The following is an informatively laid-out list of differences in their Paid Leave/Family Policy, as published by Robert Schroeder of MarketWatch this September:

Trump Clinton
Six weeks paid maternity leave. Paid for by eliminating unemployment insurance fraud. 12 weeks paid leave. Paid for by increasing taxes on wealthy Americans.
Allow deduction of child-care expenses up to amount equal to average cost of care in state. Cap cost of child care at 10% of family’s income.
New savings accounts for families to cover child-related costs. Scholarships of up to $1,500 a year to help student parents afford child care.
“Spending rebates” of up to $1,200 a year to lower-income families through Earned Income Tax Credit. Double investment in Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership program for low-income families.

To summarize, not only does Clinton show greater support for the family system as a whole with paternity leave included, but she sees the importance of early child care and education as a stepping stone to success. Trump’s plans here, by the way, are not poor by our current national standards.

Donald Trump from his apology video (YouTube)

Donald Trump from his apology video (YouTube)

Faith

Perhaps the biggest area where faith in this country can actually prove to be helpful, rather than simply personal and subjective, is that of charity. Here, Hillary’s career has been marked by a history of working on child and family issues, whereas Trump has primarily given his name away to children and the young woman with whom he spawned those children.

Seriously though, we can look at the facts if those snarky remarks are just too big of a turn off for Trump supporters (which they shouldn’t be, considering that his snarky remarks are rarely literate and usually downright hateful).

Last month alone, The Washington Post published two articles on Trump’s charitable efforts. The first article described how Trump has failed to properly certify The Trump Foundation for any charitable gifts, and the second went into detail on how he has covered up business fraud with the label of “charity.”

Countless other publications, such as The Atlantic, The Smoking Gun, The Daily Beast and The New York Times, have all released more troubling information. Trump has not only proven to be “the least charitable billionaire in the world” (exact quote from The Examiner and The Smoking Gun), but has repeatedly been caught using “charity” funds to pay for resorts and other personal elements of his lifestyle.

The crowd cheering for Hillary Clinton at the DNC (Douglas Christian)

The crowd cheering for Hillary Clinton at the DNC
(Douglas Christian)

Here, I must say, Clinton is almost in the same boat. The main difference is in the extent of each candidate’s efforts and the coverage their lies received. Clinton’s charity scandals (using charity for personal gain) was wildly reported, even when she did in fact use some of those charity funds for actual charity, whereas Trump flew under the radar despite little to no instance of actual charity being used anywhere outside of his personal domain.

Fiscal Responsibility

Trump has long bragged about his greatness as a CEO and businessman, whereas Clinton has actually done the legwork of negotiating deals with foreign countries.

Again, a helpful analysis can be found elsewhere, as presented below from Politifact.com, published this July in an effort to clarify the economic stances of both candidates.

Issue Clinton Trump
Taxes Would largely maintain the current tax code, with some increases for wealthier taxpayers. Proposes across-the-board tax cut, with large cuts for wealthier taxpayers.
Minimum wage Would increase nationally to $12, with $15 in some locations. Has said he does not support a federal minimum wage but wants states to set their own minimum wages.
Trans-Pacific Partnership After once helping negotiate the deal, she has since expressed skepticism. Has come out forcefully against the trade agreement.
Manufacturing sector Favors tax incentives for investment in hard-hit manufacturing locales and incentives for companies to bring back jobs to the U.S. Also favors increased policing of trading partners. Proposes using aggressive trade enforcement and possible tariff increases to rebuild the manufacturing industry.
WorkerRetraining Enhance worker retraining options, such as a tax credit for businesses of $1,500 per apprentice. No public stance.
Infrastructure Would boost federal investment by $275 billion over five years and create a $25 billion infrastructure bank. Supports infrastructure expansion but hasn’t offered funding details.
Energy development Will propose goal of renewable electricity “to power every home in America within 10 years” and slash oil consumption by one-third. Promises to revive the U.S. fossil-fuel sector, including by reducing regulations.
Science and technology Would increase funding for scientific research at agencies like the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. No public stance.
Income inequality Create a 15 percent tax credit for companies that share profits with workers on top of wages and pay increases. Has offered few details beyond his tax plan and a comment critical of CEO pay.
Wall Street regulation Supports keeping the Dodd-Frank law and in some cases would tighten rules for Wall Street, such as taxing high-frequency trading. Has said he would dismantle Dodd-Frank.
Small business Would ease regulatory burdens on community banks and support innovative financing methods. Has sharply criticized government regulation but has not proposed specific policies.
Policies for working families Advocates equal pay, paid family leave, earned sick days, and expanded child care. No public stance.

Oh, and on the issue of taxes, Trump’s shady history of (not) paying taxes makes it’s a wonder he really feels that he has any ground to stand on here.

Hopefully, on these points alone, it’s painfully obvious that Trump doesn’t have much ground to stand on anywhere (unless you count literal ground, of which he’s purchased plenty).

Facebook meme

Facebook meme

Conservatives, if you really can’t vote for Hillary Clinton, just throw your vote away and don’t vote. Or, ya know, vote for Gary Johnson. That’s pretty much the same thing. Voting for Donald Trump simply because he isn’t part of a corrupt government system is willfully ignoring that he’s just a corrupt system himself.

Quite possibly, his lack of personal responsibility and restraint would bring down this country on a global scale. In essence, the president’s job is to showcase our best traits, minimize our worst traits, and graciously negotiate and selectively align ourselves with the fellow members of the planet.

Trump doesn’t know the difference between best and worst traits, has no concept of grace, and will only align with beautiful women or entrepreneurs. Nothing says “presidential” like a man who can’t keep his personal views off Twitter and thinks charity means free rounds of golf while he skips out on taxes. And yet, somehow, he’s made it to the finals.

Let’s acknowledge the only elephant in the room here — and the real F word: Stupid Fucking Politics.

 


About the author

Megan Wallin

Megan Wallin is a young writer with a background in the social sciences and an interest in seeking the extraordinary in the mundane. A Seattle native, she finds complaining about the constant drizzle and overabundance of Starbucks coffee therapeutic. With varied work experiences as a residential counselor, preprimary educator, musician, writing tutor and college newspaper reporter/editor, Megan is thrilled to offer a unique perspective through writing, research and open dialogue. Contact the author.
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