Gregory Bresiger will continue his perfect presidential voting record.
One’s bad. The other’s worse.
That is how many of my friends on both the left and right view this ridiculous presidential race. It is an illustration of why we need major third parties and a “none of the above” system to replace our two-party tyranny here in the United States.
Who can be enthusiastic about voting in a Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton presidential race?
(By the way, as I write this, Clinton hasn’t quite wrapped up the Democratic party nomination. However, it seems likely that she will be the nominee of the party of Al Smith and FDR. Yet, in a last show of arrogance in the Democratic party contest, she is refusing to debate Bernie Sanders in the last scheduled debate. Do you think Sanders’s supporters will want to “unite” behind Hillary after this?).
Hillary versus the Donald is no choice. A vote for either of these two is merely an invitation to hurt oneself in different ways. Neither would promote increased economic or political liberty, my criteria for voting for someone. And there is no doubt that, whoever wins, the American people, and the rest of the world, lose.
Admit it, fellow masochist, I mean voter, you do not look forward in going to the polls in the first Tuesday in November.
Many people have the same dream as I do: Someway, somehow, they both lose.
Let us consider Hillary Clinton, who seemingly has been a part of our national politics for generations. Her blunders, conflicts of interest and outlandish comments are many. The only question is where and when they will occur next. Her comments have even alienated some of her natural supporters on the left. In fact, at times, they have alienated almost everyone.
To Hell with Coal!
For example, about four months ago, campaigning in a coalmining region of the United States, she was trying to brag about her environmental gravitas. To her, that means hurting a “dirty” industry such as coal. As president, she promised to put “a lot of coal miners and coal mining companies out of business.”
She was promising lots of unemployment for regions of the nation, West Virginia and Kentucky, that depend on coal. This is the same as going into the tobacco regions of the country and pledging to put the tobacco industry out of business. This is tantamount to going to lower Manhattan in New York City and promising to shut down the stock market.
Why wasn’t there an immediate backlash to the coal mining comment? Why didn’t it become a national cause celebre?
Several months ago the mainstream media—the big networks, the biggest papers, the New York Times and the Washington Post—virtually ignored these outrageous comments. This is the same media that bent over backwards eight years ago to put Barack Obama in the White House. It was grossly biased against republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain (Disclosure: I didn’t like either one in 2008. I voted for a minor party candidate. I never liked McCain’s comment that we should keep troops in Iraq and other places for years. Our country has blundered into many superfluous wars).
What if Trump had made the same comments as Hillary? These same major media outlets would have gone crazy.
Remember Hillary Clinton is the same person who downplayed the killing of U.S diplomatic personnel in Libya after she had been warned when Secretary of State that there wasn’t enough security.
“What difference does it make?” she told Senate investigators.
It makes a big difference to people who serve in American embassies around the world. It makes a big difference to the relatives of the slain State Department personnel.
Another strange aspect of her campaign is her insistence that the government should remedy income inequality. This inevitable leads us down “the Road to Serfdom.” Inevitably the government will take from some and give to us, which will endanger private property and what Jefferson called “the fruits” of honest labor.
This kind of backdoor socialist sentiment is strange coming from Hillary Clinton. She, along with her husband and much of the rest of her family including heir apparent Chelsea Clinton, seem to have gobbled up every money making opportunity under the sun. (The last comment about daughter Chelsea was not dirty pool. Chelsea, taking a page out of the Billy Carter lobbying for Libya textbook of the late 1970s, had a highly paid reporting job on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. That’s even though she had no journalism experience. She was obviously “gifted” with this choice job because her parents are well connected. Most journalists won’t get within a thousand miles of this kind of job, which paid her hundreds of thousands of dollars, that was routinely bestowed on her until she went back to her mother’s campaign).
I assume that Hillary Clinton’s justification for money grubbing is poverty. That’s right poverty. When she and her husband left the White House in 2001 she complained that they were “broke.” That was a comment that was widely ridiculed.
And remember all this comes from a woman who had given countless speeches to investment banks, earning tens of millions of dollars. When questioned about these speeches, she has refused to say what was in them. Is Madame Moneybags embarrassed to say why?
Are You in a Time Tunnel?
Recently, Hillary Clinton recently gave us another gem: When she becomes president, she promised, she is going to put her husband, former president Bill Clinton, in charge of the economy.
Are we living in the United States in the early 21st century or 1940s Argentina under the unpredictable, bizarre Evita and Juan Peron?
And speaking of bizarre and unpredictable, let us not forget the republican presidential nominee.
The Donald Triumphant
When I think of Donald Trump, and his politics of personal attack and little substance, I think of a comment made by the madman U.S Senator of the 1940s and 1950s, Joe McCarthy.
“I don’t get ulcers,” McCarthy famously said, “I give them.”
That sums up the Donald. If he can spot the slightest weakness in a person, look out. One can imagine what these debates between Hillary and the Donald will be—they’ll be mud wrestling in a steel cage format; they’ll be twenty rounds and then some.
Given the unpopularity of Hillary Clinton, given her incredible negative numbers in polls, one would think that the republican nominee, almost anyone, would be in a good position. One would be wrong. That’s because Trump’s negatives, at this point, are actually worse than Hillary’s.
His constant personal attacks remind one of the classroom bully who folds when someone stands up to him. His mugging for the camera reminds me of the clown (el payaso) in the circus.
Trump’s problem isn’t necessarily his politics—whatever they are—it is his credibility. He has changed and changed again so many times on taxes and on so many other subjects that it is impossible to keep up with him.
What is he? A conservative? A liberal? Who knows? I don’t think he even does.
When challenged on his many changes, he often reverts to the schoolyard bully, making personal attacks on people who are often asking reasonable questions and trying to get at what it is he actually believes.
The answer to the last question is that it is hard to tell—he changes so often as though he is reviewing instant public opinion polls and trying to figure out where the votes are in taking a certain position.
“He’s a builder,” one of his supporters said on the radio the other day. Well, hopefully you weren’t investing in one of his Atlantic City buildings. I speak of his casinos that went belly up. And, for those who think he will build a national consensus to rebuild the economy or destroy the forces of terrorism, I ask this: How?
He has most of his fellow Republicans mad at him—I assume he is a Republican because he has been running in the republican primary. But any assumptions with Trump are questionable. And, of course, just about all Democrats detest Trump.
Now some of the antipathy of our professional political ruling class of both parties is welcome. And I think this enemy of my enemy thinking is partly why Trump has tapped into an American populism that isn’t all wrong. Indeed, on many counts—such as the outrageously intrusive and incredibly expensive government along with a national security effort that doesn’t seem to know how to combat terrorism—this populist anger is right, even though at times it is misguided.
But ultimately the problem is Trump is running for president of the United States, not the czar of 18th century Russia. He is not supposed to be the Donald the Great or even Donald the Terrible.
The president, whoever he or she is, should have a plan, a vision of how to accomplish things. But Trump is too busy insulting people, playing the role of “one bad dude,” to come up with intelligent plans on how to turn the country around.
The Donald’s Plaything
Power to him seems like a plaything. It is a new trophy wife or a building he can show off or a new book that has been ghost written for him. It is a “university” that he lends his name to, a university where no one learns a thing and everyone wants his money back. It is the record of a bully who had an analyst fired because he correctly predicted that one of business would go bust (In life, it is often dangerous to be right too early). Trump uses people, institutionsand things as an excuse to lord it over us. He and Hillary’s mad antics—their bullying, money grubbing and their win at any cost politics– make it easy for me to vote.
In 1972, I cast my first presidential vote for George McGovern, whose economic policies I thought were nuts. Still, I believed he would have ended the Vietnam War. I believed then and now that war was useless and avoidable, the same as so many other wars I have studied. (By the way, much to his credit, McGovern, in his old age, took the weak President Obama to task for sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan.
The president’s reply was that this is what the generals told him to do. McGovern chastised the president with the comment, “Mr. President, the American people didn’t elect the generals.”)
So over the years, I have constantly voted for men and women who were independents or libertarians or constitutionalists; people who didn’t boast that they would destroy legal businesses that were momentarily unpopular with some.
No, these were men and women I was convinced would reduce the size and scope of an ever growing warfare/welfare state, steering us clear of the world saving policies of the New Frontiersmen and Neo-Cons. Over these generations they seem to love to take the arrogant social engineering of the welfare state and impose it on other countries, whether they want it or not. Often they didn’t. And the United States ended up bombing people whose main crime was they want to be like us.
I’m convinced I was right. In November, I’ll keep my perfect record intact of being on the losing side every time.
I’ll possibly write in someone on my ballot. Possibly, I’ll find some comedians who I have loved and never forgotten. Possibly, I’ll be guffawing as I do the dirty deed: Expose myself to the seediness of our pols, with their endless promises, lies and drivel.
But there’s one thing I won’t be doing when I vote: I won’t be shaking my head and holding my nose.