So it’s become fairly common for people to opine that the 2016 election is a choice between “the lesser of two evils”. If your Facebook feed looks anything like mine, I’ve seen people make this complaint daily. I’ve had five people say it to me in person. And South Park has mocked the current election as a choice between a “turd sandwich” and a “douche”.
This is absurd. People complain about choosing between the “lesser of two evils” every election. (Here’s a Christopher Hitchens example in 2000, another example in 2004 and an example from 2008. It took maybe three minutes to find these; I’m sure I can find more.) Clearly, the problem isn’t the candidates; it’s unrealistic expectations. I’m sure Jesus could run against Hitler and disaffected Green Party voters would complain about his tax policies. Though many people like to point out that these are “the two most disliked candidates in American history”, both Hillary and Trump’s supporters actually like them.
But that’s not really the counter-argument that matter. This is not a choice between the “lesser of two evils”; it’s a choice between a normal candidate versus one of the worst, most dangerous candidates in American history.
Actually, it’s barely a choice since the choice is obvious.
If you don’t believe us, check out the work by various media outlets systematically cataloguing Donald Trump’s failures as a candidate for America’s highest office. Slate currently has a running tally of the “230 Things Trump Has Said and Done that Make Him Unfit for Office”. The Atlantic has a running time capsule of his daily embarrassments. The New York Times has an ongoing tally and a tracker of when Republicans pulled their endorsements. Major conservative newspapers have not endorsed him, many for the first time in their publishing history.
Or you can compare our writings in 2012 to today. We wrote a grand total of 4 posts for the entire 2012 election. Check out our introduction:
“Confronted with the first presidential election in On Violence’s short history, we want to write something about both men campaigning for the country’s highest office. We’ll discuss Barack obama first, then Mitt Romney.
This isn’t an endorsement, even though it is probably pretty obvious which candidate we support...But we can say that neither candidate comes out glowing.
We’ll focus on the this blog’s main topics: foreign policy, defense spending, veterans affairs and civil rights...We will criticize both candidates for their failings on foreign policy, and compliment them where they get it right. For Obama, we’ll analyze his time in office, good, bad and inbetween. For Romney, we’ll discuss his stances on the issues. Both candidates get an equal word count.”
Wow. We really ripped in Romney there. Some conservatives have blamed liberals’ rhetoric for Trump’s rise, saying they’ve overhyped threats by conservative candidates in the past. That’s both wrong (Trump rose for other reasons which we don’t have time to get into), one-sided (just ask 50% of Republicans what country Obama was born in) and doesn’t apply to us (see above quote).
By contrast, we’ve written over a dozen posts on Donald Trump and the Republican party’s dangerous foreign policy positions this year. (Check out yesterday’s post ] or this entire series on the 2016 primary.)
Like we said above, Donald Trump is unfit to be President of the United States of America. You could point to his disastrous foreign policy positions, including endorsing torture or civilian air strikes. Or his terrifying obsession with using nuclear weapons. Or the hate speech and vilifying of Muslims. Or his racist and sexist behavior. Or his stances against free trade. Or his desire to build a wall on our borders. Or his shoddy business record. Or his poorly run campaign for President. Or his ignorance on far too many policy positions. Or his irrational temper. Or his constant lies. Or his disdain for the American political system and its norms, which we’ll cover tomorrow.
Of all these faults, the second most-concerning is Trump’s ignorance on basic policy issues, both foreign and domestic, which can be hard to pin down, given his penchant for lying. Despite Trump’s assertions, crime is down, ISIS is crumbling, and illegal immigration rates are falling. Trump claims NAFTA destroyed America’s economy, but it barely had an impact.
Here’s a clearer example. In the second debate, Donald Trump repeatedly referred to Hillary Clinton “acid-washing” her emails. What does that even mean? Nothing, since Trump is confusing the software program “BleachBit” with bleaching clothing. Trump literally doesn’t know what he’s talking about. On one of his primary campaign talking points.
The job of President, despite the high profile optics, is mainly bureaucratic. The President has to run the most important organization in the world. They have to hire a bunch of people, go to a bunch of meetings, and dive deep into complex policy issues. In short, Trump has shown no capability to do this job. Clinton has spent her whole life training for it.
We realize that a significant portion of Republicans will vote for Donald Trump no matter what he says or does, and we get that we can’t reach them. But there are a lot of moderates and liberals who may feel uneasy about voting for Hillary.
But know this: Donald Trump is unfit to be President.
Even worse, he could threaten the future of America, which we’ll cover tomorrow.