2020 Reelection Campaign Already?!

In July of 2016, the Urban Dictionary added the definition of “Trumpence” as:



Roughly one month after making a mockery of the Oath of Office — by violating the constitutional emoluments clause while saying the words — Donald J. Trump filed the official papers to open his 2020 reelection campaign.

Today, , writing for Vox, informs us that the Republican president’s first reelection fundraiser is a $35,000-a-ticket soiree at his own hotel.”

You might ask “Why?”

Why would a president less than a year into office already be campaigning for reelection instead of focusing on implementing the policy he pushed during his first campaign?

There are many answers to that question, and all of them are correct.   All of them should prove to you that you should not support this reelection campaign.

First, as the Vox article points out:


In hosting the dinner at his hotel, Trump manages to raise money not only for his 2020 campaign but for himself too. After all, any business the hotel does is personal profit for the president, who still owns the Trump Organization. It’s unclear if the hotel will make money from the dinner, but even if the hotel gave the food for free, any money attendees spend on hotel rooms, at the bar, or at shops in the hotel goes straight to the Trump Organization.


Hosting the event as his own hotel is a revenue windfall for the hotel even if it doesn’t charge the President’s campaign itself a dime; but they’ll charge in order to funnel the money from the campaign back into the family business coffers.

But there are other several other, and probably far more important reasons that Trump is doing this, and they need to be exposed as well.   Which brings us to the second reason.

By establishing the campaign fund, and officially holding rallies, large donors who want Presidential favor can funnel money into his campaign efforts through various SuperPac funds over the entire first four years of the Presidential term in return for pay-to-play favoritism.

But, wait, don’t order yet, there’s more!

The big trick is declaring all of his public appearances as official campaign rallies or fund raisers.   By doing so, he can block access to whomever he wants without violating constitutional rights of anyone that doesn’t agree with him.   He can have protestors, hecklers, and anyone who speaks out forcibly removed as an “unapproved guest” instead of being forced to hear what those citizens have to say in opposition to him.

It allows him to continue the “Lock her up!” and “Repeal and Replace!” chants while deflecting from his own inability to do either and from the investigations into his own unethical and possibly criminal infractions.

Next, there is the fact that political campaign speech is protected in a way that the official words of a civil servant are not, so it is much harder — legally — to hold him accountable for the “dog whistle” and overt racist rhetoric he uses at these campaigns to rile up the”Alt-Right,” Neo-Nazi, and  White Nationalist voter base that refuses to abandon him as long as he keeps speaking their language.

Let us not forget the fact that the continuation of the campaign allows him to keep the merchandise sales flowing as well.

Finally, there is the fact that he can set up reservations and accommodations in his own properties for foreign government agents to accidentally — on purpose — bump into him for a brief unscheduled meeting that is off the White House records, while claiming those agents were just there at the same time as his rally/fund-raiser purely by coincidence.

Please, I implore you, do not allow yourself to be one of the willfully ignorant targets of this trumpence campaign that gets whipped into enough uninformed outrage to vote for this administration a second time.

Fascism for Dummies

There is a famous quote frequently attributed to either Sinclair Lewis or Huey Long that states “When fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in the flag and waving a cross.”

Watching the campaign of Donald Trump it certainly appears as if he is following a step-by-step guide he copied out of his own personal “Fascism for Dummies.”

Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each.

So, let us examine each point and look at specific examples of the Trump campaign enacting them as we go.

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism – Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

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From his simplistic “Make America Great Again” baseball caps, to his oft repeated calls to build a border wall, The Donald has made this Nationalism, specifically White Nationalism, the cornerstone of his campaign.   His continued acceptance of his own supporters use of Confederate Battle and Nazi flags and paraphernalia at his own events also speak volumes to his manipulation of this Nationalist anger.   Episodes of racial violence are a recurring theme at his rallies to the extent that he’s even offered to pay the legal fees for those that commit it.

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights – Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

The most glaring example here is his stated desire to kill the families of enemy combatants, “The other thing with the terrorists is you have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. They care about their lives, don’t kid yourself. When they say they don’t care about their lives, you have to take out their families,” Trump said.

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He has also called to reinstate torture techniques that are now considered both human rights violations and war crimes.

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause – The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

From the moment his campaign began he has been scapegoating Mexicans as violent criminals, all Muslims domestic and foreign as terrorists, and all Black people are ignorant, uneducated, poverty stricken, violent criminals.

4. Supremacy of the Military – Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

Trump has held frequent fund raisers supposedly for the benefit of our veterans, using them to boost his image, only to fall through on delivering the funds raised to the organizations.

While constantly berating our current military as not being good enough, from ignorant generals who don’t know as much as he does, to claiming women are only being sexually assaulted in the military because they’ve been allowed in, and saying that those that suffer PTSD just weren’t emotionally or mentally strong enough to handle their service, he is also calling for major increases in military funding so that we can increase our efforts in the Middle East and make our military great again.

5. Rampant Sexism – The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

An entire book could easily be written about the rampant sexism of “The Donald.”


The obvious place to start is with his video confession while at work, to a peer from another company, of a history of criminal sexual assault, abuse of power, coercion, and workplace violence upon women that he and his supporters have attempted to dismiss, normalize, and trivialize as “locker room banter.”

However, it is much more pervasive than just that.   There are his repeated attacks on Megyn Kelly, Rosie O’Donnell, Alicia Machado, and a long string of misogynistic tirades.

We even have the video of him finding a 10 year old girl so attractive that he plans to date her in just a few years.   As of today, we are seeing an increase in the number of women coming forward with allegations of their own encounters resulting in being assaulted by him.

6. Controlled Mass Media – Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

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As of May, MarketWatch estimates that Trump had manipulated roughly $3M worth of free advertising for his name brand and presidential campaign from our corporate funded mass media outlets.   That total has been increasing steadily since then, with the most dramatic example being when he used a campaign stunt tricked the media into airing a 30 minute  infomercial announcing the opening of his newest hotel venture.

At the same time, he is threatening to change the laws to make it easier to sue journalists who say things about him that he doesn’t like; a move that some claim would put an end to Freedom of the Press.   And on the campaign trail he is refusing access to reporters by banning certain outlets from his public events.

7. Obsession with National Security – Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

Vice Senior Editor, Harry Cheadle explains quite well that Trump’s entire national security view is a combination of “Fear, Ignorance, BS, and More Fear.”

Not only does Trump fear immigrants, he encourages others to be afraid, too.

8. Religion and Government are Intertwined – Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government’s policies or actions.

First up, here, we have Trump’s desire to turn the mega-Churches into the new Super-PAC powerhouses of our political system by promising to repeal the Johnson Amendment, which would end a ban on non-profit churches politicking for candidates and the implementation of religious laws.

Then we have his desire to punish women and their doctors for abortion procedures, a desire his Vice Presidential running mate would take even further.

9. Corporate Power is Protected – The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

At least we know where he stands on the intersection of cronyism and politics; and it’s not pretty.  He is a man who admitted during the Presidential debates that he explicitly rejects the free market and has enabled corruption.

Then we have Donald Trump’s speech accepting the Republican Presidential Nomination offered promises of tax reductions and regulatory relief – while simultaneously promoting trade protectionism that would inflict a severely regressive tax on poor and middle-class consumers.

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While he claims to feel “in a certain way to be a blue collar worker,” himself, the New York Attorney General states “This is a guy who leaves a trail of broken contracts, unpaid bills…and ruined lives everywhere he goes,” on his way to being a self-proclaimed “successful businessman” with a perpetual string of failed business endeavors.

10. Labor Power is Suppressed – Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

Mr. Trump, as he courts working-class votes, has said that he has “tremendous support” from unions, however as his own employees attempt to unionize for their own benefit he has instructed his businesses to refuse to negotiate and has tried to block their efforts at every turn, including disciplining or firing employees who wear pro-union buttons.

National union leaders representing the AFL-CIO, laborers, teachers and public sector employees have already laid the groundwork for a campaign to hammer the real estate tycoon as anti-worker.

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts – Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.

“It’s actually been part of the Republican Party brand for a long time,” Max Boot says. “Republicans going all the way back to [Dwight D.] Eisenhower have masqueraded by pretending to be dumber than they actually were by attacking elite intellectuals and snobs and so forth [as a way] to identify with the common man. This was a strategy pursued by Richard Nixon, by Ronald Reagan, and by George W. Bush.”

But according to Boot, Trump is different.

“Those leaders were not themselves actually stupid or ignorant,” he says. “If you think about Eisenhower or Nixon, they were actually incredibly worldly, sophisticated, and knowledgeable. The problem is that Donald Trump is every bit as ignorant in reality as his predecessors only pretended to be. In a way, the joke’s kind of on the Republican Party because after masquerading for decades, the Republican Party has actually become the ‘Stupid Party.’”

On the campaign trail he promises to go so far as to eliminate or drastically cut the U.S. Department of Education.

And he has an ongoing track record of denying science and experts on many subjects.

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment – Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

Donald Trump has amplified his focus in recent weeks on a strident nationalist and law-and-order message, emphasizing rhetoric that has fueled his popularity among white working-class voters but which also threatens to antagonize the centrists likely to decide the November election.

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He has called for a return to racial profiling stop-and-frisk to selectively violate the 4th amendment rights of people of whom he disapproves and to have police arbitrarily confiscate their weapons in violation of the 2nd amendment rights, despite the fact that he was wrong about Stop and Frisk — and the ruling that called it racial profiling and being wrong about the success of the process in New York before it was declared unconstitutional.

Then, when asked about growing concerns over police brutality toward black Americans, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said that more power should be given to the police.

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption – Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

We can begin here with his own debate admissions of gaming a corrupted system by buying off politicians on a regular basis and continue through his own direct efforts to lobby for the law that allowed him to let tax payers pay the taxes on a business loss of nearly $1B.

But Trump is not just shamelessly self-promoting; he’s shamelessly crony capitalist, often trying to expand his business by using the power of government. And in an election where the Republican candidate will claim that entrepreneurs — not the government — can create jobs and prosperity for all, Trump’s record makes him a liability.

14. Fraudulent Elections – Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

We’ve already addressed the manipulation of the media above.

For decades the Republicans have been building legislative means of obstructing the supporters of their opposition from being able to vote, even though those laws are consistently overturned, they are often left in place until after the election ballots have been cast.

After a spree of favorable court rulings that softened or blocked Republican-passed voting restrictions, voting rights advocates are engaged in a new phase of trench warfare with a mere month left before November’s election and early voting in some places already underway. There was no time for civil rights groups to rest on their laurels after winning the high-profile legal challenges. In many states, such rulings were met with attempts to undermine or circumvent court orders meant to make it easier to vote.

And yet, after all that, Mr. Trump is already creating a narrative of the election being rigged against him, instead of in favor of both himself and the party supporting him.

He has even gone so far to call for the establishment of a brute squad of Poll Watchers for intimidation at the election polls, and claiming that he and his followers may not abide by the election results as his supporters threaten a civil war uprising if he looses.

Rights and Responsibilities

Today I came across this article from Q Political.

In it, Jeremy Schneider, a fan of Mike Rowe, wrote the celebrity to ask simply:

“Hey Mike, I have nothing but respect for you. Your no-nonsense outlook and incredible eloquence have really had a profound impact in my life. Can you please encourage your huge following to go out and vote this election? I would never impose on you by asking you to advocate one politician over another, but I do feel this election could really use your help. I know that there are many people out there who feel like there is nothing they can do. Please try to use your gifts to make them see that they can do something – that their vote counts.”

The author of the article then summarizes Mr. Rowe’s response as:

“Mike’s response is arguably the most perfect thing I’ve read about voting in America, and is filled with tons of wisdom. In short, he likens the right to vote to the right to bear arms, and proceeds to question whether we should feel obligated to cast a ballot at all.”


Now, let’s be aware that Mike Rowe has for quite some time advocated his politics with a decidedly conservative libertarian bias, so coming from him this response is not at all surprising.

The person who brought all this to my attention had this to say as an introduction:

“I like Mike Rowe sometimes, but this speaks of privilege. We have the right to vote because many people fight and died for it. And because of that it is a duty, no matter your beliefs or leanings. It’s not a prefect system. You may not like the options, but someone voting put the candidates in that place. So, votes do matter. Elections have consequences.”

You do have the right not to vote, it is not mandatory or compulsory.  There are arguments that it should be, but the concern would be that whoever had the responsibility of enforcing it could then compel compliance toward the outcome they preferred.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t vote.

In fact, it is one of very few responsibilities of citizenship asked of us for all the rights granted to us under the Constitution.   The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website lists 9 responsibilities of citizenship in our nation:

  • Support and defend the Constitution.
  • Stay informed of the issues affecting your community.
  • Participate in the democratic process.
  • Respect and obey federal, state, and local laws.
  • Respect the rights, beliefs, and opinions of others.
  • Participate in your local community.
  • Pay income and other taxes honestly, and on time, to federal, state, and local authorities.
  • Serve on a jury when called upon.
  • Defend the country if the need should arise.

In his answer, Mr. Rowe is both right and wrong.  He begins with:

I’m afraid I can’t encourage millions of people whom I’ve never met to just run out and cast a ballot, simply because they have the right to vote. That would be like encouraging everyone to buy an AR-15, simply because they have the right to bear arms.

Which is a remarkably irresponsible false equivalency, and surprising coming from Mr. Rowe.  

Normally, this is where I’d tell you that anyone advising you not to vote is doing so because they don’t want you to show up and vote against their interests or the candidate they prefer.

However, he goes on to explain that:

None of the freedoms spelled out in our Constitution were put there so people could cast uninformed ballots out of some misplaced sense of civic duty brought on by a celebrity guilt-trip. The right to assemble, to protest, to speak freely – these rights were included to help assure that the best ideas and the best candidates would emerge from the most transparent process possible.

And in this respect he is absolutely correct.

Looking back at the responsibilities of citizenship they could be summed up quite simply into just five statements:

  • Be a law-abiding citizen
  • Be an informed and involved voter.
  • Serve on a Jury when called
  • Defend the country and its principles when necessary
  • Don’t violate the rights of another person

Most of us consider ourselves law abiding citizens.   But for more and more, the general rule of thumb is becoming it’s only illegal if you get caught.

Many people wallow in willful ignorance, refusing to educate themselves on the important issues facing their communities, cities, counties, states, and our nation, so that when it comes time to vote, they are unprepared to make an intelligent choice.

Almost every one hates being called to Jury duty, and as soon as they see the summons they begin looking for excuses that will enable to them to “get out of it.”

As a result, we’ve allowed self serving politicians to drive all the true statesmen out of our governmental process and corrupt the laws to their own advantage.

And, they keep us divisively pitted against each other so we won’t join together and turn our attention to fixing the damage they’ve already done.

If you choose not to exercise your right and responsibility to vote because you embrace the negligence of willful ignorance then maybe you don’t deserve those other rights, but you certainly shouldn’t let your uninformed outrage interfere with the actual selection of our leaders.  So please, as Mike said, don’t vote, we’ll all be better off without your input.

However, if you are one of the many well informed, but disenfranchised and disheartened people that want to vote, want to make a difference, but just don’t see the point now, either because you can’t abide any of the candidates or because you feel that your vote truly won’t make any difference.   I understand the feeling.   I’ve been there in previous elections.

It’s hard to get excited about an election with a candidate — who’s immediately family is one of two (Clinton and Bush) that has held the office of President, Vice President or Secretary of State for all but four years of the last three and a half decades and is directly or indirectly responsible for many of the issues we face to day — offering up a lackluster opposition to a narcissistic fascist perfectly willing to stoke racial and religious discord by inciting White Nationalism to further his personal agenda.

I was wrong.   So are you.

According to the folks at The United States Election Project, in the 2012 Presidential election only 58% of eligible citizens voted, in the general elections of 2014 only 36% showed up to vote.

If you choose not to vote, you certainly don’t deserve to complain about losing your rights and freedoms when the people you didn’t vote against remove them.

We have reached this point because far too many intelligent but disenfranchised people are abstaining out of frustration and disgust.  If we want to take our county back from those self serving politicians and put an end to adversarial government so that we can re-establish cooperative leadership by true statesmen we must get out and cast our votes.  We must do so with as much knowledge and honest evaluation of the issues and candidates as possible.  And in today’s 24/7 infotainment industry presenting opinion as factual and supposedly unbiased news, we must vet everything as thoroughly as possible.

We have no one to blame but ourselves.   We have no one who can save us but ourselves.

If we do not do it at the ballots, at every level of government, on every election and initiative, then we will reach a point where it will be too late for any solution other than violent revolution.   That day looms closer and closer with each election day that passes.

Ultimately Mr. Rowe was right, if you’re not going to bother to vote responsibility, then don’t vote.  I just wish he had packaged his answer better.

Do We Deserve Better?

I’ve chosen to launch this site with an honest essay that is going to anger many, regardless of political alignment, as they read it.  If you are one of them, hopefully you’ll stay with it to the end, and join us in an honest discussion of how we address the issues presented that have angered you.

I’ve recently said “We deserve better,” but do we?   Really?

I am going to use our two primary current Presidential candidates’ campaigns to evaluate a problem within our political discourse, society, media reporting, news presentation, and governmental process that we ourselves have allowed to be created.

We may not deserve better, we may be reaping what we’ve sowed, and it may be exactly what we deserve.

But our future generations deserve better, and we owe it to them to correct our mistakes before they inherit an even bigger mess as a result.

Recently on my social media discussion page (Tim’s Timely Topics), I pointed out that a recent statement by one of the candidates was an indication of poor campaigning because regardless of the underlying intent of the commentary, the wording offered a self-destructive sound bite opportunity for the opposition to run with in attack advertisements.   And both these candidates are building their campaigns on attacking each other at lower and lower levels with their own words instead of campaigning upon their own merits.   They are both running fear mongering campaigns in which, despite their own failings, they are our only hope of defeating the evil other.

By pointing out this flaw in campaign strategy, I was condemned in the commentary for propagating support for the evil other.  So before we go further, let me be clear.

Despite my desire for third party candidates to be seriously involved in the selection process for the voters, it isn’t going to happen during this election cycle.  Barring some catastrophic mythical “October Surprise” that is so devastating it puts one or both of them in jail (not on trial, but actually convicted) prior to Tuesday, November 8, one of these two people will be our next President – for better or worse.

While many consider Donald Trump to be an anomaly in modern politics — is he? Really?

In his recent essay for Truthdig, former Clinton cabinet member and longtime family friend and supporter, Robert Reich explained:

“The reality is that Trump’s proposals aren’t far removed from what the Republican Party has been trying to achieve for years – cutting taxes on the rich and on corporations; gutting health, safety, and environmental regulations; repealing Obamacare; spending more on defense; blocking immigration and sending more undocumented workers packing; imposing “law and order” in black communities; and preventing an increase in the minimum wage.

Focusing on Trump’s character flaws instead of the flawed Republican agenda is appropriate – up to a point. Donald Trump is dangerous. And, yes, the first priority must be to stop him.”

While both candidates are focusing so much on smear campaigns of the other to distract from the need to honestly address their own flaws and actual platform policy initiatives and plans, they are doing considerable damage to their down ballot candidates in the struggle for both State and Federal legislature.

So what did we do?  How did we get here?

We have created, enabled, and supported a society in which negative attack advertisements instead of focus on individual personal merit have become the norm.

We have created, enabled, and supported an always-on opinion presentation infotainment industry disguised as “News reporting and analysis” which is so driven by ratings and internet link click counts that the headline has become more important than the information, and being first with the story has become more important than being first with the facts.   In reality, facts have become mostly irrelevant in our political process.    Scientific data and research is ignored, and in some cases even prevented from being collected and compiled.    As a result, we have a system where even obviously disproven theories can be repeatedly presented as worthy counterpoint in an attempt to appear “fair and balanced.”

We have created, enabled, and supported a two party political structure, and we have given it so much power it has created laws, rules, and regulations that very effectively prevent any third party from challenging their stranglehold on our government.   And then we let them make it worse.

Over the last few generations we have let these two parties, present us with consistently worse and worse options from both sides, with the argument that it is imperative that we must stop one of these two from obtaining power at all cost.   The cost, invariably is further erosion of personal Constitutional and Human rights in favor of greater rights of “personhood” for large corporations and an ever widening income opportunity gap.   With each election we stop the immediate threat and drift one step closer to the re-establishment of a modern Robber Baron society, or worse, the eventual serf/Lord society of old.

Which brings us to where we are right now, a point where the optics of the campaign are more important than the content of the campaign message.   With two candidates who have spent the last 30 years developing both their message and their optics, one in the political arena and one in the entertainment arena.   Both should be masters of the craft now, which makes the obvious gaffes even that much more inexcusable.

Let us look at couple very good examples from the last few days.

A recording from a February fund raiser has been leaked which opponents of Hillary Clinton are attempting to spin in a manner that claims Clinton has called all of the Millennial generation Sanders supporters losers who live in their parent’s basements and who are too naïve and ignorant to understand how politics work.

The Clinton campaign is claiming that in full context the message is really “Educated millennial voters have been disenfranchised by our governmental representation to the extent that in our current economy even the hope of the ‘American Dream’ is being denied them, and that we must understand that in order to win over their support.”   Taken in full context, the latter is absolutely how the message should be interpreted.

However, if we take that correct context and apply it to everything the campaign has said and done in reference to that understanding and millennial reach out since the statement, it is clear that she hasn’t taken her own advice.   The campaign and its surrogates have been nothing but condescending and derisive towards those millennial voters since.  Even those asking remarkably good, important, and valid questions that disprove the theory that they are naïve and inexperienced.

We have to keep in mind, all of us, that for those voters under the age of 35, we have been at war in the Middle Eastern region of the world for roughly half of their life, and all but the last four years of their lives have been lived with either a member of the Bush or Clinton family in the office of the President, Vice President, or Secretary of State.      These people represent to those voters the very heart of the established and deeply entrenched problems that we face today and hold specific responsibility for getting us to the point we are at now.

No attempt to reach out to them and secure their support will be a success without considering those things.

At roughly the same time as the Clinton recording being released, Trump made a statement at a presentation to veterans that is being spun by his opponents as “Trump claims veterans in need of mental or emotional support and assistance as a result of their service are weak or ‘not strong.’”

The campaign is claiming that the intent of the message, delivered as part of a call for improved veteran support was that the trials and tribulations of war can create mental and emotional stress and problems that even the strongest of our veterans can have a hard time handling it.

However, if we put it in context with all the things he has said during this campaign cycle about preferring soldiers who weren’t captured, mocking the physically disabled, and the repeated issues with his promises of charitable donations and funds from fundraisers for veterans’ organizations not being delivered, it is clear that he not only does view it as weakness, but a weakness to be exploited and used to his personal advantage.

With the advent of personal recording devices available to everyone, every politician should assume they are being recorded every time they are speaking.  At this point, in today’s political environment they should assume even their chosen aides and supporters are recording for the opportunity to further their own personal political agendas.   For people who have made careers out of controlling the optics of their images and personas, these gaffes are troublesome, as they appear to be a slip in the mask more than a true accident of phrasing.

All of this brings us back to the fear mongering approach of both campaigns as they attempt to convince us how bad a vote for the other would be, instead of campaigning on how good they would be.

If we set aside the divisive social commentary, there is little difference between the candidates and their “disconnect” from the average voter.

Trump has bankrupted many companies while profiting from the failure.  Clinton claimed in her own biography that she and her husband were absolutely broke when they left the White House despite being much more well off than most of the upper middle class of our nation and in possession of multiple homes.

So instead let us look at those other issues of substantive policy.

Clinton has done considerable work for both women and children throughout her life.   She also has a history of making mistakes she would later regret and have to spend a great deal of time apologizing for having made.   She is deeply entrenched with both the Wall Street elite and the industrial war machine economy.   She was aggressively responsible for pushing the expansion of Fracking on a global scale as Secretary of State.   There are some serious issues with the economic status she is personally directly responsible for helping create in Puerto Rico.  She advocates for a higher minimum wage, but has frequently advocating against the establishment of a living wage minimum.    She claims to advocate pragmatism, while appearing to give up negotiating ground before even agreeing to sit down to discuss terms.

Trump has proven to be successful in terms of maintaining and possibly even increasing his own personal fortune, and building a bit of an entertainment empire, but has a record of doing so by destroying businesses (and the lives of the employees of those businesses) through poor management and then using the available laws to shelter his personal fortune from the aftermath.   He has a proven track record of refusing to pay money he owes other companies, until they either give up completely or settle for a smaller payment and loss to themselves just to receive something at all.   He has been proven to use his own charity to funnel money to himself and launder it from one business to another to avoid taxation.   The actual charitable work meant so little to him that he’s just been ordered to cease and desist fund raising because he never properly established the charity, something completely inexcusable for a man who employs a battery of lawyers to maintain his businesses and their legitimacy.  If the 1995, tax returns were accurate, he lost roughly a billion dollars in a single year, and has been recouping that money over two decades by claiming the loss as a tax deduction.    This means that the government has been paying back his laws from the tax dollars of those of us that do pay during that time, instead of using those funds for support of things like education and veterans’ care.

And while, Clinton has claimed that she made the wrong choice when making some of the ‘tough choices,’ at least she has had the capability to learn from many of them and adjust.   Trump isn’t just incapable of learning from his mistakes, he appears to be incapable of admitting or acknowledging them.   That inability to recognize and learn from mistakes is a remarkably dangerous quality in a world leader.

Now, if we add back in the social reform issues, Trump is campaigning on a return to “law and order” by allowing police to violate our constitutional rights on a selective and arbitrary basis.   Clinton is on record for having been in great support of establishment of the laws by the former President Clinton which have helped lay the foundation of our school to prison pipelines and the over-incarceration of our citizens for non-violent offenses, and the privatized corporate prisons that profit by it.

Over all, Clinton has done better work.   She is beyond a doubt the less bad option of the two to lead our country for the next four years.

All hyperbole aside is absolutely imperative that we not allow Donald Trump to become the President of the United States.   His inability to learn from mistakes, or admit that others may be more knowledgeable on any subject, will lead to an international incident that could easily spark another world war.  His embrace of White Nationalism (whether he believes it or not) and willingness to propagate it could easily lead us into another civil war.   His economic policies could very easily result in a full scale economic class revolt.  In all aspects, domestic and foreign, a Trump presidency would be disastrous.

Many of the blindly devoted Clinton supporters have made the claim that if you don’t vote for her, you must be anti-woman.

Not voting for Clinton doesn’t make you anti-woman.

Advocating support for someone who is as clearly anti-woman as Trump certainly might. By supporting him, even if you are not anti-woman you are condoning and enabling a person who is and attempting to place them in a position of power.

You can substitute many things for “woman” in that statement and it will still hold true.

Mentally ill
Physically Disabled
Constitutional Rights

Trump is against them all, and if you support him, you are pushing those agendas as legitimate and enabling their continuation.

He must not only be defeated, but he must be defeated in a devastating fashion.   We must send the message that his misogynistic, racist, xenophobic hate and fear filled rhetoric has no credibility and no further place in our political discourse.   If he is not crushed, the next candidate put forth may very well be worse, because Trump’s efforts, and the media’s morbid ratings-driven embrace of it, will have given it credence and legitimacy.    We cannot, must not, allow that.

In order to create that defeat, with the necessary margins, we’ll have to vote for Hillary Clinton.

We must also make it clear, that that margin of victory is not a mandated endorsement of her own political agenda so much as a condemnation of her opponents.

We must make it clear that it is not a vote of blind acceptance. She will be held accountable for the people to continue forward progress on health care reform, social reform, economic reform, educational reform, student loan restructuring, bringing our military personal and their support staff home and taking care of them after they return, rebuilding our infrastructure and then making the commitment to maintain it, addressing climate change issues (man-made or not, we must begin making plans for the national and international issues it is going to create, we are too far behind already).   We must make it clear that if instead of addressing these things, she continues to drive to the Democratic party further to the political right and erode our individual rights in favor of corporate rights she will not be returning for a second term.

As long as we continue to embrace the “lesser evil” without holding it accountable, our efforts to prevent the immediate disaster are doing nothing more than delaying the inevitable.

We can’t consider it a win to take a few small steps in the wrong direction over and over again to prevent bigger steps in the wrong direction.

A death by a thousand cuts, is still a painful, unpleasant death.

In addition to all of that, neither candidate will be able to accomplish anything beyond what is available to our President through the use of Executive Orders and Executive Actions with a divided, partisan, obstructionist congress.

So vote for Clinton, but don’t stop protesting, don’t stop campaigning, don’t stop researching and discussing the important issues.

Vote the down ballot races accordingly, to provide the candidate who must win the congressional support necessary to accomplish what we need them to accomplish.

We must vote on the ballot initiatives for establishing or repealing laws especially state constitutional amendments.   We must vote for the local candidates in our city, county and state government races, as the people in these offices that are successful will be the ones to rise to higher positions in a few years.

We must stop supporting news agencies that propagate lies and false information as factual data, and hold them accountable for the truth.

We must drive reform that breaks the two party control of our government apart and allows for the rise of other options.

We must break the cycle.

If not us?  Who?

If not now?  When?