Anyone who has a passing familiarity with my writing over the past year will be aware of my loathing of Donald Trump. In light of this week’s Republican National Convention, I would like to take this opportunity to state 10 reasons I will not vote for the Republican nominee in November. Honestly, I have far more than 10 reasons. My reasons for voting against Trump are voluminous enough to fill the 32-volume set of The Encyclopedia Britannica. However, for both the sake of brevity and sanity, I shall confine myself to 10 reasons.
Before I proceed further, for those of you who think I’m planning to vote for Hillary Clinton, I intend to write a column outlining the 10 reasons I will never vote for Hillary Clinton next week during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
It has been exactly a year since Trump said of John McCain at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, “He’s not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
What would Trump know of heroism or valor. He isn’t fit to lick McCain’s boots. Unfortunately, there are too many Republicans who hate John McCain more than they love this country.
By all means, dislike McCain all you want. When Trump besmirched McCain, he slurred all POWs. This would includes the like of Greg “Pappy” Boyington, Louis Zamperini and the men forced to walk the Bataan Death March. It’s hard for me to take Trump seriously when he claims he’s going to take care of our soldiers and reform the VA when he holds the soldiers who have suffered the most with such contempt.
If Trump has contempt for American POWs it isn’t much of a stretch for him to show his contempt of someone who is physically disabled.
Last November, Trump mocked New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski’s physical appearance at a rally in South Carolina last November. Kovaleski has a congenital condition known as arthrogryposis which causes curving of the joints in the hands and feet.
At the time, Trump claimed that there were “thousands and thousands” of Muslims who cheered the 9/11 attacks and cited a 2001 article written by Kovaleski when he was with the Washington Post. However, Kovaleski’s article made no such claim and publicly said so. Here is what Kovaleski actually wrote in 2001:
In Jersey City, within hours of two jetliners’ plowing into the World Trade Center, law enforcement authorities detained and questioned a number of people who were allegedly seen celebrating the attacks and holding tailgate-style parties on rooftops while they watched the devastation on the other side of the river.
There it is. Kovaleski never wrote there were “thousands and thousands” of Muslims cheering the 9/11 attack. But Trump isn’t one to let facts get in the way of an argument. Kovaleski had to be punished for crossing The Donald. After Trump received a backlash for mocking Kovaleski’s condition, he denied he claimed he had never met Kovaleski. Trump said, “I have no idea who this reporter, Serge Kovalski [sic], is, what he looks like or his level of intelligence.” In fact, Kovaleski interviewed him on many occasions while he was a reporter for the New York Daily News.
Given that Sarah Palin has a child with disabilities I am at a loss as why she would support someone who behaved in such cruel manner by virtue of his physical condition.
Trump’s cruelty extends to women who don’t measure up to his Miss USA/Supermodel standards. Of his former GOP presidential rival Carly Fiorina, he told Rolling Stone:
Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?! I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not s’posedta say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?
Trump would later say he was referring to Fiorina’s “persona.” Fiorina didn’t buy it and during the GOP candidates debate on CNN last September stated, “I think women all over the country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said.” Looking like a toddler who had just been admonished by his mother for being a naughty boy, Trump could only say, “I think she’s got a beautiful face and I think she’s a beautiful woman.”
There was also the time last March when Trump threatened to “spill the beans” on Heidi Cruz after an anti-Trump Super PAC posted a nude photo of Trump’s wife Melania. Trump escalated matters when he retweeted an unflattering picture of Heidi Cruz alongside one of Melania Trump which read, “No Need to Spill The Beans. The Images Are Worth a Thousand Words.”
The backlash against Trump was such that he actually admitted that retweeting the picture was “a mistake” telling Maureen Dowd of the New York Times, “If I had to do it again, I wouldn’t have sent it.” However, this did not prevent Trump from besmirching other members of Ted Cruz’s family.
Hours before effectively clinching the Republican nomination in early May, Trump saw fit to link Ted Cruz’s father, Rafael to the assassination of President Kennedy. He told Fox & Friends, “I mean, what was he doing — what was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death? Before the shooting?”
While Trump based this on a dubious story from the National Enquirer, when we get to the heart of the matter, he was angry at Cruz’s father for having the nerve to criticize him. The elder Cruz said a vote for Trump “could be the destruction of America.” To which Trump responded, “I think it’s a disgrace that he’s allowed to do it. I think it’s a disgrace that he’s allowed to say it.”
It would appear that Trump is unfamiliar with the notion that the First Amendment equally applies all of us including people who don’t worship the ground on which he walks. Given that he believes that Rafael Cruz nor anyone should be allowed to criticize him, I shudder to think what Trump intends to do with the First Amendment should he get to sit in the Oval Office. In which case, Cruz’s words could come to fruition.
Trump wants Judge Gonzalo Curiel to recuse himself from the Trump University case because of his “Mexican heritage” and “he’s a Mexican”. Well, good to know that Trump judges Curiel by the color of his skin.
Mind you, Trump and his legal team have had ample oppotunity to formally ask for Curiel’s removal and have not done so. For Trump to object to Curiel in this manner is both self-serving, legitimizes racism, and threatens the very independence of our judiciary.
Fresh off winning primaries in Illinois, North Carolina and Florida (which propelled Marco Rubio out of the race) in March, it wasn’t enough for Trump. In a CNN interview, Trump suggested what could happen if he fell short of 1,237 at the Republican National Convention. “I think you’d have riots. I’m representing a tremendous, many, many millions of people,” said Trump. Given the violent behavior of some of his supporters at his rallies and Trump’s encouragement of that behavior up to and including paying for the legal bills of a man who sucker punched a young black man and said that young black man should be killed, the comment was clearly meant to coerce and intimidate. Should he become President, it won’t be the last time he threatens violence if things don’t go his way. These are the first steps towards totalitarianism.
One might take issue with my argument that Trump’s words concerning the Republican National Convention are the first steps towards totalitarianism. Why, then, does Trump admire the likes of Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un, and Saddam Hussein?
Last December, when MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough questioned Trump about Putin’s record of killing journalists, Trump replied, “He’s running his country, and at least he’s a leader. Unlike what we have in this country.” When Scarborough pressed Trump on the killing of journalists, Trump quipped, “I think our country does plenty of killing.” What a nice way for a possible Commander in Chief to bash the military. How utterly disgraceful.
Although Trump referred to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un as a “maniac” he also said “you gotta give him credit” at a rally in Iowa in January:
How many young guys — he was like 26 or 25 when his father died — take over these tough generals, and all of a sudden … he goes in, he takes over, and he’s the boss. It’s incredible. He wiped out the uncle, he wiped out this one, that one.
He’s also wiped out a lot of innocent civilians. A 2014 UN inquiry into human rights in North Korea likened its prison camps to those of the Nazis. A future President of the United States should not give “credit” to a leader whose ambition it is to become the next Hitler or Stalin.
Nor for that matter should a future President praise the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein for killing terrorists as he did earlier this month. Say what you will about the War in Iraq, but Saddam didn’t killed terrorists, he harbored them. How about Fatah founder Abu Nidal? Or Abu Abbas, the man responsible for organizing the 1985 attack on the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro? Abbas’ Palestine Liberation Front shot and killed Leon Klinghoffer, a wheelchair bound American Jew and forced the crew to throw him and his wheelchair overboard. Saddam harbored both terrorists. Or does Trump not consider attacks on Jews to be terrorism?
With her flagrant flouting of the law on her e-mails, her Clinton Foundation dealings or even her cattle futures investment, Hillary Clinton might very well be the “most corrupt candidate ever.” But put that caption with money and a Star of David into a meme that was originally tweeted by a white supremacist and then you’ve got something else altogether.
Trump’s rationalizations simply lack credibility given his efforts to curry favor with the white supremacist vote.
You would think that Trump would have disavowed such support as Ronald Reagan did in both 1980 and in 1984. All Trump needed to do was to quote Reagan who said in 1980, “I have no tolerance with what the Klan represents and I want nothing to do with it.” But Trump doesn’t have Reagan’s character.
This was evident during Trump’s embarrassing interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper in late February when he claimed he knew nothing of David Duke or white supremacy. He would later blame his poor performance on a bad earpiece. People heard Trump loud and clear.
Trump would eventually say of Duke, “I Disavow, OK?” This disavowal was done with all the sincerity of Mike Pence’s support of Ted Cruz. Donald Trump has done more than anyone in this country to make racism legitimate and socially acceptable.
Trump was full of anything but love during the GOP candidates debate in South Carolina the day before Valentine’s Day when he when after Jeb Bush by defaming his brother concerning both the September 11th attacks and WMDs in Iraq.
On Iraq and WMDs, Trump said, “They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction. There were none, and they knew there were none.” This statement effectively put Trump to the Left of Michael Moore. Perhaps Trump will appoint Moore as Secretary of Defense.
Later in that debate, when Marco Rubio disputed Trump’s assertion and said that President Bush kept us safe, Trump replied, “The World Trade Center came down during the reign of George Bush. He kept us safe? That is not safe. That is not safe, Marco. That is not safe.” By that reasoning, Trump could blame FDR for Pearl Harbor. The blame for Pearl Harbor falls on the Japanese and the blame for the attacks of September 11, 2001 fall on al Qaeda.
At best, Trump is a rich man’s Alex Jones and at worst he gives al Qaeda (and by extension ISIS) aid and comfort thereby relieving them of their responsibility for this act of evil.
It is for these 10 reasons (among many others) that I cannot and will not vote for Donald Trump in November or ever.