The past week and a half has been possibly the most surreal in an election year that has defied all reason. News broke on September 23rd that yet another Trump adviser- Carter Page- had disturbing ties to Russia, and was possibly working on the Kremlin’s behalf within the Trump campaign. That news was quickly eclipsed by the debate and Trump’s disastrous performance. Demonstrating his ignorance on the issues was not enough for Trump- he had to throw in a bit of his trademark misogyny by reprising his attacks on Rosie O’Donnell and claimed that not paying taxes made him smart.
Clinton laid a trap for Trump by bringing up his outrageous and degrading treatment of former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, and predictably Trump blundered into the trap.
Revelations in Newsweek that Trump had broken laws by violating the Cuban Trade Embargo 1998 and covering it up after the fact took a back seat to Trump’s escalating attacks on Machado- no doubt, done over the protests of his advisers.
Reporting from the Washington post that the Trump Foundation was operating illegally was drowned out by a flurry of late night tweets by the candidate in which he escalated his outrageous and self-defeating attacks on the former Miss Universe. These attacks culminated in telling all Americans on Twitter to watch a non-existent ‘sex tape’. These attacks could hardly be considered ‘Presidential’ by anyone, and certainly harmed the candidate’s standing with many voter’s. They also prompted reporters to uncover the fact that the Candidate that has the support of the Christian Right had also had a cameo in a porn video. The GOP platform calls pornography a ‘public health crisis’, yet their candidate has participated in the industry.
A flurry of additional sordid details followed. Trump pressured his second wife to pose in Playboy, and had discussions with Howard Stern about how ‘Vagina is expensive’, and whether or not he wanted to ‘bang’ a 12-year-old Paris Hilton. After numerous examples of Trump using the foundation as his personal slush fund were made public, the Trump foundation was found to be operating illegally and ordered to cease activities. The New York Times revealed that the man campaigning as an ‘amazing businessman’ managed to lose almost a billion dollars in 1995. Trump also accused Hillary Clinton of being unfaithful to her husband, and implied that veterans suffering from PTSD were not as strong as others. There will no doubt be new outrages to add to the list tomorrow, it has become as predictable as the sun rising.
All this in the past 10 days or so.
This all might be somewhat entertaining if it were only some juvenile sitcom, but this is deadly serious- this is about choosing what kind of world we, and our children, will live in. We are dangerously close to having a dangerously unbalanced man in the White House. A man that will harm himself and his cause in order to settle a decades old score with a former Miss Universe. A man that cannot control himself, and who is petty to the point of absurdity.
Trump has repeatedly shown dangerous ignorance on policy both foreign and domestic. He has advocated nuclear proliferation and has indicated he would not stand by our allies. He has demonstrated a disturbing admiration for Putin and his oppressive regime. He has advocated for war crimes, and a weakening of constitutional guarantees (freedom of religion, freedom of the press, birthright citizenship, protection against unreasonable searches). Despite his claims to the contrary in the debate, the man who would set national priorities dismisses the science of global warming as a Chinese hoax, he has an antagonistic relationship with the facts. Trump has lowered the bar for political discourse to a low unimaginable 18 months ago.
None of the above is an attempt to sway Trump’s enthusiastic supporters. For the rabid Trump supporter none of the above matters, they find it refreshing that Trump feels unconstrained by reality or civility. They know he is peddling a fiction, but it is a fiction they find satisfying- so they play along with zeal. They have a nihilistic desire to burn the whole system down, they eagerly anticipate watching the flames while giving no thought to how we will clean up the ashes. No appeal to reason or sanity can reach them.
My hope is that the reluctant Trump voter can be talked off the ledge.
Perhaps you are deeply disturbed by Trump’s statements and actions, but feel you must vote for him because he is your party’s nominee? You have to realize by now that Trump does not represent your party’s ideology- Trump only has his ego as his agenda.
Perhaps you have told yourself that as unprepared as Trump is, he will have advisers that will guide his actions to a sane course? This past week alone should convince you that is a futile hope. Trump, with his polls falling ignored all his advisers and went on a late night misogynistic rant. He boasts about his lack of preparation for the debate. You must know by now that Trump will only tolerate those advisers that tell him what he wants to hear.
At this point there simply is no reasonable excuse for voting for Trump for president. He has explicitly shown you what he really is.
Those that will cast their votes for a demagogue that has stoked their fears of immigrant hordes and other religions somehow destroying ‘Their America’ need only look in the mirror to see the true barbarians at the gates.