As someone said to me recently, it’s obvious that Trump is an asshole and a thug. It should be obvious to everyone.
With 53 days until the election, therefore, I’m torn between:
(1) Keeping in mind that millions of Americans are comfortable with the idea that a person as horrific as Trump should or will be President and continuing to take note of that fact;
(2) Keeping in mind that millions of Americans are comfortable with the idea that a person as horrific as Trump should or will be President and simply accepting that fact.
Option (1) sounds more painful for me personally and for anyone who reads this blog. And unlike Trump, I’ve got a conscience, so causing less pain may be the better choice. But if I pick option (2), I’ll probably be ashamed of myself. Unlike Trump, I’ve got a conscience.
While I decide what to do, here are two recent developments worth considering [Preview: I’m dumping (1) and (2) and going for option (3)!]:
The journalist Kurt Eichenwald wrote a long article for Newsweek about the Trump Organization. He points out that Trump hasn’t done any real estate development in years. Instead, he trades on his celebrity by licensing his name all over the world. The Trump Organization isn’t a real estate development company at all. Trump does own property, but much of the property with Trump’s name on it belongs to someone else.
The Trump Organization prospers by allowing actual real estate developers and other business people to put Trump’s name on their products, often in countries we don’t get along with. In addition, the details of these continuing transactions aren’t part of the public record, since the Trump Organization is privately held.
Through his company, Trump has important financial connections to businessmen, often politically connected and often shady, even criminal, in countries all over the world, including Russia, China, India, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Dubai. In Newsweek‘s words:
If Trump moves into the White House and his family continues to receive any benefit from the company, during or even after his presidency, almost every foreign policy decision he makes will raise serious conflicts of interest and ethical quagmires.
Every time President Trump makes a decision affecting any country in which his company does business, the questions will be: How does that decision affect his business interests? Did Trump receive a payoff in order to make that decision? Are America’s foreign policy and national security for sale on the international market?
In theory, Trump could sever all ties to the Trump Organization and never again derive any income from it. But he doesn’t intend to do that. He’s said his family will run the business while he’s publicizing his name from his perch in the White House. He may even operate a reality TV show from the Oval Office (he’s actually talked about this). Then, when he leaves office, his name will be bigger than ever. Eichenwald concludes:
If the company sold its brand in Russia while Trump was in the White House, the world could be faced with the astonishing sight of hotels and office complexes going up in downtown Moscow with the name of the American president emblazoned in gold atop the buildings….
Never before has an American candidate for president had so many financial ties with American allies and enemies, and never before has a business posed such a threat to the United States. If Donald Trump wins this election and his company is not immediately shut down or forever severed from the Trump family, the foreign policy of the United States of America could well be for sale.
In other news, the entertainer Jimmy Fallon had Trump on his late-night talk show yesterday. Fallon mussed Trump’s hair and the news media went wild. Helping to make a monster seem like a human being will get Fallon a mention in the history books if Trump loses and get him a night in the Lincoln Bedroom if Trump wins. Fallon should be ashamed of himself, but he’s a child who has a TV program. He wants to be popular. Let’s hope he never lives this down, but more importantly, that he never gets anywhere near the Lincoln Bedroom.
But seriously, Trump can’t win, can he? Even though millions of Americans are comfortable with the idea that a person as terrible as Trump should or will be our next President? I still believe there are enough decent, un-brainwashed Americans to elect Hillary Clinton. She’s got a superior organization, popular politicians campaigning for her, more money, the debates are still coming up and not a single newspaper has endorsed Trump, not even one in New Hampshire that’s endorsed every Republican for the past 100 years. Believe it or not, there are even millions of voters who are still undecided.
I wrote almost all of that last night and then went to bed. On waking this morning, another option occurred to me that’s much better than (1) or (2):
(3) Keep in mind that millions of Americans are comfortable with the idea that a person as terrible as Trump should or will be President, but focus on Hillary Clinton’s admirable words, deeds and ideas instead, of which there are many.
For example, The Guardian‘s daily running coverage of the campaign quotes her speaking this morning before a black women’s group in Washington:
The good news is, my pneumonia finally got some Republicans interested in women’s health! … My instinct was, to push through it. That’s what women do every day… I think it is fair to say that black women have an even tougher road.
While your stories may not appear in the history books, you are changemakers, the pathbreakers and the ground shakers….
It goes to show that black women deserve more than a seat at the table. It’s past time that you had a chance to run the meeting….
I’m going to close my campaign the way I began my career all those years ago at the Children’s Defense Fund… I will be focused on opportunities for kids and families. The American people deserve something to vote for, not just against.
African American women turned out to vote more than any other group of Americans in 2012. This year once again you have your hands on the wheel of history and you can write the next chapter of the American story. To rise up, but most importantly, to show up at the polls this November. With our power and strength. I know. I believe this or I would not be standing here before you… that together we can build a future, where yes, love trumps hate.
According to The Guardian, she was continuously applauded.
Lifting people up instead of tearing them down. What a concept for the politicians of America! And also for this humble blog.