So tomorrow is the big day. And this is when any sane, reasonable citizen of the United States must hold his/her nose and vote for Hillary Clinton.
Having said that, it might surprise you, dear reader, to learn that Pendulum is not anti-Trump for the usual hackneyed, clichéd, overblown howls and moans that the outrage-mongers have been persistently feeding us.
No, my gripe with The Donald lies rather with the fact that he is mentally unfit to be President. He is an imbecile and a trigger-happy egomaniac who will be totally incapable of holding the most powerful office in the world.
Yet it cannot be denied that large parts of the American electorate, and indeed the world, have been outraged by many of the “racist,” “xenophobic,” “Islamophobic,” and “___phobic,” (add at will) remarks that Mr. Trump has made during his campaign. As such, it is useful to unpack some of his most controversial claims, and to address them directly:
1) His pledge to build a wall with Mexico to stop illegal immigrants from entering the US (with a “big, beautiful door” to allow for legal immigrants).
Especially among many elements on the political left, it would seem, curiously, as if controlling who enters one’s own nation is totally offensive and unacceptable concept. One wonders why these people who are howling and moaning about this particular policy even bother to have doors and locks in their homes.
They would probably respond that this analogy is, “not exactly comparing the exact same thing”… or something like that. As if analogies ever are. But I think it is sufficiently comparable to capture the jist of the issue; that is to say, that we like to be in control, rightly, of who is allowed to enter our own territory. And it is my that there is nothing inherently wrong in doing this, especially if millions of people have been entering our territory illegally in recent decades.
2) His claim that illegal Mexican immigrants are, “bringing drugs,” “bringing crime,” and that, “they are rapists.” He attempted to mollify this statement by adding the caveat that, “some, I assume, are good people.”
This statement, although crass and totally lacking in intellectual sophistication, has been completely blown out of proportion. Mr. Trump has been called a “racist” against all Mexicans, even though he was clearly only discussing illegal immigrants from Mexico. Incidentally, is “Mexican,” even a race?
Peter Thiel, the billionaire investor and trump supporter, has made the erudite observation that Trump supporters have taken Mr. Trump “seriously, but not literally,” while the media has taken Trump, “literally, but not seriously.”
And this precisely captures the problem with people who call Trump a “racist,” against all Mexicans. Of course he isn’t. He just meant to make the point that illegal immigrants might have a higher rate of criminality than do legal, vetted immigrants.
3) His plan to stop Muslims, “entering the United States” … “until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.” This, he later clarified in a recent debate, has evolved into a policy of, “extreme vetting.”
This policy was presented as proof of Mr. Trump’s “Islamophobia.” But there is, I would argue, nothing “Islamophobic,” about banning groups of people within which there will almost certainly be a minority of people willing to do us harm, or whose second generation children may want to do us harm in the future.
In other words, nobody, including Mr. Trump, is saying that all Muslims are bad, or that Islam is inherently bad. Rather, that there exists a small minority, albeit a deeply problematic and lethal one, within Muslim communities across the West, and that perhaps it is better for America to temporarily suspend Muslim immigration while we figure out how to better integrate those who are already here.
4) His pledge to appoint pro-life Supreme Court Judges.
Although no doubt this would be a great setback for women, it is worth remembering that virtually every Republican in Congress is pro-life. Indeed, being pro-life is almost a litmus test for one’s fitness to be a member of the Republican Party.
The Pendulum view on this issue is that although it is very important to support a woman’s right to choose, this topic is not #1 on my list of priorities for choosing a Presidential candidate. In other words, if, for example, one had to choose between two candidates, one who is pro-life and the other who is pro-choice, one should opt for the candidate with a better set of national security and economic policies, rather than reflexively choose the pro-choice candidate. Because, you know, nobody is getting an abortion if we are all dead or impoverished.
No, dear reader, it is none of the above policy proposals that should deeply trouble us. In fact, some of them, despite Mr. Trump’s crude and unsophisticated elocutions, might actually be rather sensible.
However, let me be unequivocal in my assertion that under no circumstances is Mr. Trump fit to be President of the United States of America.
The issue rather has to do with Mr. Trump’s temperament, and for lack of a better word, his idiocy. He is a fool, pure and simple, albeit one who has an unparalleled knack for connecting with the ordinary voter.
This is a man who probably couldn’t tell us what the capital of Portugal is, or at what temperature water boils. I am willing to bet that he has not even read a single book in the past twenty years of his life. Would he respect diplomatic protocol on the global stage? Don’t hold your breath.
This is a man who very crudely and vengefully went after Fox News reporter Megyn Kelly for (not unjustifiably) questioning his attitudes towards the female sex. This is a man who called Rosie O’Donnell a “slob,” who talks like a, “truck driver.” He mocked the physical appearance of Ted Cruz’s wife, and slapped all sorts of asinine nicknames upon anyone who stood in his way (“Low energy Jeb”; “Lyin’ Ted”; “Little Marco”; “Elizabeth Warren AKA Pocahontas”; and of course “Crooked Hillary”).
Such puerile, vindictive tactics have been par for the course throughout Mr. Trump’s life, be it personal or professional. He has bullied, belittled, and steamrolled his way through anyone or anything that has ever stood in his path. He has called for libel laws to be made more robust in order to stave press criticism of himself. He has stated that a judge of Mexican descent was unfit to preside over his Trump University case. He has irresponsibly asked, “Second Amendment people,” to make sure Hillary Clinton does not appoint liberal Supreme Court judges in the event of her victory.
Although I do not support the notion that Mr. Trump is a closet fascist, as some are overly keen to do, he is clearly of an unsound mental state to be President of the Free World.
Ergo, with all this being said, despite her immense faults and thoroughly noxious personality, it is it Mrs. Clinton for whom we must vote come tomorrow. Too much is at stake, and too much calamity could occur if Mr. Trump were to be elected. We simply cannot afford to place a giant question mark into the Oval Office, especially a one that has the intellect of a baboon.