Monday, August 1, 2016

Beyond Partisanship... Why We Must Elect Hillary Rodham Clinton POTUS

Eight years of partisan and cultural tensions in our country have served to produce the clearest choice for President of the United States that we have had in a generation. That choice, without doubt, is former Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The challenges of our time, and the fundamental principles of our democracy, demand that we reject the candidacy of Donald J. Trump. In a political moment such as we are experiencing as a nation, and as a world... we must rise above the partisan impulses that have come to define our political behavior. We must do so because to do otherwise compromises any claim to intelligent moral leadership that we might make as Americans.

It has been declared that politics is about life. I want to expand and expound on that: Politics is about our lives together. Beyond our individual interests, and the group interests that are at times used to divide and rule us; there is that greater imperative that calls us to build the kind of national and international community that will secure our mutual interests and bolster our collective security. The leadership that this vision of our lives demands is what we are now being called on to elect... to choose. Donald Trump's lack of moral acuity, his demonstrably horrible temperament, and his ill-mannered attitude toward others, are antithetical to everything we should be working toward as a society.

One does not have to look far in order to find the reasons that disqualify Mr Trump for the Presidency. Any casual observer of his conduct so far in this political season can, without much effort, identify a host of such reasons. His unapologetic divisiveness. His crass abrasiveness. His activist appeal to the racist underbelly of a nation still scarred by its history of bigotry. His disrespect for women, and for immigrants who are not white and rich. His obvious inability to intelligently address any of the issues of critical importance in our national life. His demonstrated lack of intellectual curiosity about our world. His careless disregard for those with disabilities among us. His history of exploiting the economic system to benefit himself to the disadvantage of others. His careless disregard for truth. His propensity to promote violence against those who don't share his worldview. His ludicrously inconsequential bravado, and his disrespect of those who have served in our military. 

Donald Trump's slighting of the suffering of our soldiers, and his disregard for the sacrifices they and their families have made in service to the country he wants to lead is in and of itself a reason he must never be Commander in Chief. And, in the face of all this, we can add his total lack of any ability to be meaningfully self-critical.

The contrast between Donald Trump and Secretary Clinton could not be more stark. What we have here is a choice between a candidate who has dedicated her whole life to advocating for those who are less fortunate among us; and a man who has no real record of serving anyone but himself and his own selfish interests. This is a contrast between someone who has fought for justice in our education and healthcare system; and a man who is accused of establishing a fake university to separate gullible clients from their money. We have a choice between a man who was being sued for racial discrimination in housing practices in New York; while Hillary Clinton was fighting for equal justice in the segregated South. We have a public servant who counts among her accomplishments CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program), which brings the added security of guaranteed health insurance to millions of low income families; and a man who regards the less fortunate as "losers".

Tony Schwartz, who states that he is the real author of the book that Trump has boasted about writing: The Art of the Deal... has declared his opposition to the Donald Trump that he came to know very well. Schwartz, who spent much time observing Trump for this now well known book, says this about Trump's character, and the possible outcome of a Trump Presidency:

I put lipstick on a pig,” ... ... “I feel a deep sense of remorse that I contributed to presenting Trump in a way that brought him wider attention and made him more appealing than he is.” He went on: “I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization.”

The Republicans have spent much time over the years, and a significant amount of the nation's capital, in their efforts to make Hillary Clinton seem like a terrible person and a bad politician. Those efforts have largely failed. As unpopular a choice as they have succeeded in making her among many in the Republican base, there is no assessment of her that is as grim as that of the Schwartz assessment of Trump.

While the GOP has put a lot of resources into diminishing the appeal of Hillary Clinton, they are apparently ignoring the Trojan Horse which Trump represents. He has most certainly shown himself to be a hollow human being, but beyond that... he is a bearer of traits and ideals that go against the grain of the kind of society we aspire to be. The former Secretary of State has her faults, of which she is duly self-critical. But Donald J. Trump is a collective of the very values that we have spent the last two and a half centuries fighting against as Americans.

We must stand against the destructive divisiveness that Donald Trump represents. Let us affirm the strength that comes from a people united... Let us rise above partisanship, and elect Hillary Clinton President of these United States of America. 

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