On Trump and Politics
Today, John Scalzi went all political talking about Donald Trump and the madness that is the idea of Trump ever becoming President. I meant to just post a link to his article on Facebook, but one thing led to another, and my short intro to the article turned into an essay, and a response to someone’s support of Trump turned into another essay.
For posterity’s purpose, here is my original Facebook posting (with a couple of typos cleaned up.)
If you still support Donald Trump (or Ted Cruz or Ben Carson or Lindsay Graham for that matter), please read this excellent essay from John Scalzi about Trump and his bigoted, hate-spewing ways. http://whatever.scalzi.com/…/eight-things-about-donald-trump.
If you still support anyone that far to the right after reading that, I’m honestly quite baffled. I don’t want to chase away friends with political ramblings–though it’s tempting to go off on a rant of my own. I want to engage in reasonable discourse with the hopes that I can convince you that this type of bigotry and fear mongering and hate does nothing for the country or the world except support those who want to amplify the hate for their own goals and the solidification of their own base of power.
I’ve seen a lot of people I’ve known for a long time post vicious, hateful things about minorities and other religions. I’m not a racial minority (obviously) and I’m an atheist. But I have friends in lots of different faiths, and of many different backgrounds. I believe that if you’ve never sat down with many people from different cultures and shared a meal, you have no right to judge them. I do that every day, and it’s amazing how that turns the ideas in your head from US and THEM to just “WE”. WE have big problems to solve in this world, and splitting everyone up into more arbitrary castes base on beliefs and skin color is not helping anyone.
One gentleman replied to my link with the following comment:
Bob Donohue Trump is better than the socialist Sanders and the scandal queen Hillary
To which I then replied (again typos cleaned up):
Hi Bob. All politicians are socialists. They take money from those they value least, and give it to those they value most. In Trump’s case, he wants to take everyone’s money and give it to people like himself: the rich, the powerful and the unscrupulous. He will say or do anything to convince the voters that he’s populist, but will always, always turn his back on anyone who doesn’t toe his line. Canada just had a PM like that in Stephen Harper, though Harper was less overt about it. That’s how he lasted for 9 years as PM, gutting the “Canadian Way” while stroking his own ego till his brains nearly jizzed all over Parliament.
Sanders is a self-admitted socialist and his targets for the give and take are the extremely wealthy and the extremely poor, respectively. His beliefs are no secret, and he doesn’t believe socialism is a bad thing. At least he stands for something and doesn’t change with the wind. He’s actually less socialist than most of the GOP when it comes to the amount of money he wants to “give away”. The GOP wants to give it to their big donors in the military industrial complex in the form of trillion dollar subsides for things that no longer need subsidies to compete globally (see sugar, oil, corn, pharmaceuticals, etc.)
As for Clinton, I’m not that impressed with her either, but at least I trust her on the foreign relations aspects of world issues. The thought that Trump might someday have his finger on the nuclear button should scare the crap out of every man, woman and child on this planet, and be enough for the world to declare the US derelictionem officium and invade as a precautionary measure.
Trump’s main problem is that he’s not ‘presidential’ It’s not just a matter of getting elected. It’s a matter of being able to safely guide the nation (and for better or worse, the world) through the challenges facing society and the planet without making things markedly worse. Ideally better. It’d be like letting a python into the hen house to keep the birds warm at night.
Absolutely no good can come from letting Trump anywhere near the White House. I don’t think that’s an exaggeration in any way, shape or form.
Now I could keep going on this topic for quite I while, but as Scalzi already said many of the things I might want to say, I suggest you read his article, then come back and let me know if my thoughts make any sense. I’m not the debate captain that Mr. Scalzi is (I’m more likely to pick up my mallet and go home than to swat you with a quote from Winston Churchill), so I’ll just say this: I want the debate to stay civil. I want to hear good, reasoned alternatives that try to convince me that I am wrong. Saying someone is a socialist doesn’t bother me. I grew up in Canada, for god’s sake. Saying someone is a capitalist doesn’t bother me either. I work for a multi-billion dollar company and enjoy my work (and my paycheck) quite a bit, thank-you-very-much. If you think I should go back to where I came from, well, there are definitely days where I wonder if that might just happen, but as I am an American citizen now, I have just as many rights to speak my mind as the next person, so tuck that zinger in your pants for a while and save it for someone else.
What does bother me is inciting hate. Whether it be because of religious or racial or political ideology, it’s short sighted and wrong. Just plain wrong. Unless and until we can find other planets to live on and we can choose where to live and with whom, we are stuck on this one Earth. Together. We can make the lives of the people on the other side of our debate as shitty as we want, but as Kacey Musgraves says, putting salt in someone’s coffee won’t make yours any sweeter. I’ll let her take it from there.
Well said, Joe. The explosion of hate and fear mongering that we saw to some degree in the Canadian Conservative election campaign and now in the unspeakable invective from Trump is highly concerning and sad. Canada chose a kinder, gentler, more inclusive alternative; I hope the US does as well.