A Clear and Present Danger

The title of this post might have been “Ignoring the Next Six Months – Day 21”, except for two things. Our Presidential election is a little more than five months away and my plan to ignore the campaign has been a complete failure.

In fact, I’ve paid so much attention to the campaign that I haven’t gotten around to doing a few other things, like updating this blog. Instead, I’ve spent a lot of time reading political news and commentary. I’ve left a few of my comments here and there (actually, all of them have been there). I’ve sent a few emails to a New York Times reporter who is assigned to cover Hillary Clinton. For heaven’s sake, I’ve even tweeted (@SomeGuyFromNJ). 

In case you missed it, Donald Trump now has all the delegates he needs to become the Republican nominee for President on the first ballot at their July convention. I’ll repeat that for emphasis: Unless he drops out or drops dead, Donald Trump will be the Republican’s 2016 nominee for President of the United States of America.

That means the question before us is: What should each of us do to stop this person from becoming President?

I don’t know the answer to that, but I do know this: There is no sense in filling a blog with random thoughts and commentary when we’re this close to a disaster.

For now, I’ll leave you with the photograph at the top of this page, a few words from Senator Elizabeth Warren, and my favorite quote from the past few weeks. First, Senator Warren:

Let’s be honest – Donald Trump is a loser. Count all his failed businesses. See how he kept his father’s empire afloat by cheating people with scams like Trump University and by using strategic corporate bankruptcy (excuse me, bankruptcies) to skip out on debt. Listen to the experts who’ve concluded he’s so bad at business that he might have more money today if he’d put his entire inheritance into an index fund and just left it alone.

Trump seems to know he’s a loser. His embarrassing insecurities are on parade: petty bullying, attacks on women, cheap racism, and flagrant narcissism. But just because Trump is a loser everywhere else doesn’t mean he’ll lose this election. People have been underestimating his campaign for nearly a year – and it’s time to wake up.

People talk about how “this is the most important election” in our lifetime every four years, and it gets stale. But consider what hangs in the balance. Affordable college. Accountability for Wall Street. Healthcare for millions of Americans. The Supreme Court. Big corporations and billionaires paying their fair share of taxes. Expanded Social Security. Investments in infrastructure and medical research and jobs right here in America. The chance to turn our back on the ugliness of hatred, sexism, racism and xenophobia. The chance to be a better people.

More than anyone we’ve seen before come within reach of the presidency, Donald Trump stands ready to tear apart an America that was built on values like decency, community, and concern for our neighbors. Many of history’s worst authoritarians started out as losers – and Trump is a serious threat. The way I see it, it’s our job to make sure he ends this campaign every bit the loser that he started it.

I wouldn’t say that America was only built on values like decency and community. America was also built on greed and inhumanity. Senator Warren would certainly agree. But her main point is unassailable: In the 228 years that we have been holding elections, Trump is the absolute worst person who has ever come this close to becoming President of the United States. The worst ever.

And lastly, a quote from Michael Vlock, a rich Connecticut investor who has given a lot of money to Republican candidates, but who says he won’t support you know who. Why?

He’s an ignorant, amoral, dishonest and manipulative, misogynistic, philandering, hyper-litigious, isolationist, protectionist blowhard…I really believe our republic will survive Hillary.

Vlock left out “narcissistic” and “authoritarian”, but it’s not bad for a Republican.