Sunday, November 06, 2016

Why I cannot vote for Donald Trump

I am certainly not voting for Hillary Clinton, but neither am I voting for Donald Trump. Some of my friends tell me a vote for anyone other than Trump is a vote for Hillary. Obviously that is not true. That assumes that if I were going to vote for one of the two, that I would vote for Trump. That is not necessarily assured. If I had a gun to my head and the deciding vote and told to pick one or the other I would say, "can I have some more time to think about it." Many people who say a vote for anyone other than Trump is a vote for Hillary, apparently do not know or do not understand how the electoral process works.  The popular vote is totally irrelevant. My voting for Trump in Tennessee does not cancel out a vote for Hillary in a different state. Since I am virtually certain that all 11 of Tennessee's votes will go to Donald Trump I have the luxury of not voting or voting for someone other than Trump or Hilllary and my vote not effecting the outcome. I do not have to decide which is the lesser of two evils and vote for Lesser Evil.

There are several reasons I am not supporting Donald Trump for president.  Primary among these is that he seems to totally lack a governor, self control, or diplomacy. He says whatever pops into his head.  Some find that refreshing. That he does not parse words, or concern himself with political correctness, or does not appear to be a slick politician, they find to be breath of fresh air.  I understand that and at times have also cheered him on as he has said what I may have thought.  However, that may be good trait in a radio talk show host, but I am not sure "plain talk" is a good trait in a the person who will be the next president of the United States. I want a president who will think of everything he says before he says it. I want someone with some self control. I am not sure that I want someone with Donald Trump's temperament to have his finger on the nuclear button.

Another fault I find with Donald Trump is that he is simply a jerk, a bully, and impolite. He is not a gentleman. He acts like a reality TV personality.  I am sick and tired of political correctness but there is a difference between hiding the truth behind words that obscure and being a crude, rude, mean, jerk. Calling a drug dealer an unlicensed pharmacist or calling an illegal alien a undocumented immigrant is political correctness; making fun of a crippled person is being a jerk. Dishonoring John McCain by saying you like people who don't get captured is being a jerk. I would prefer a president with some dignity and who was a nice person. Donald Trump is not a nice person.

Trump's attitude toward women is also a negative factor.  This factor however is cancelled out by Hilary Clinton's worse treatment of women. Hillary's has enabled her serial abuser husband and has viciously attacked and demeaned his victims. When it comes to disrespecting women, Hillary trumps Trump. Neither of them deserve a vote.

The above things are more personality and character traits, not policy positions. On policy, I am not supporting Donald Trump simply because he is a liberal who advocates expanding government. He has said he would not touch the entitlements of Medicare and Social Security. Without some reform of these programs they will go broke and they are the largest part of the federal budget. He does not appear serious about reducing the national debt. He has called for creating parental leave and child care as a new entitlement and he wants the Federal government to insure so-called equal-pay-for-equal work and he wants to do something about student loan debt. He has also called for a one trillion dollar public works spending project to build roads, airports, hospitals and schools. Unbelievable! Our nation is already $20 trillion in debt. The only way to spend a trillion dollars on new public works projects is to borrow the money.  Our debt trajectory is not sustainable.  There is a limit.  If a Democrat was proposing these government intrusions and expansions and an additional trillion dollars to be spend on public works projects, Republicans would be screaming.

Trump, until he decided to run for president was pro gun control, pro choice and was a supporter of liberal politicians. More of his political contributions went to Democrats than Republicans. He once endorsed a massive surtax on the rich, but he now wants the top income tax rate cut in half. He once said of himself that he was a liberal on healthcare and he advocated a single-payer plan.  It was only in 2009 that Trump changed his party registration from Democrat to Republican.  I welcome former Democrats who become Republicans but with Trump, I just don't believe he has  had a real conversion. I just don't believe the leopard has changed his spots.

One positions where I find myself at odds with Donald Trump is his position on immigration. I am not so much in disagreement with his position that we must get control of immigration and control who comes into our country as I am his demonizing of Mexico and illegal Mexican immigrants. I am very much turned off by his characterizing Mexican immigrants as drug dealers and rapist. Most studies show that immigrants, legal or illegal, actually lower the crime rate.

The one position that makes me unable to support Donald Trump above all others, is his position on trade. Traditionally Republicans  have been the party of free trade and tariff reductions and Democrats the party of protectionism.  How life-long Republican activist can do a complete flip flop and allow the Republican Party to become the party of protectionism, I don't know. Ever since Trump announced his candidacy he has said that when he is elected he will impose a 35% tariff on Carrier Air Conditioners and vehicles imported from Mexico.  He has called NAFTA a disaster and the "worst trade deal in history."  He has said he would not approve the Trans Pacific Partnership. I know Hillary has also jumped on the anti-trade bandwagon of late but she does not express her anti-trade position with near as much passion and she had not called for specific tariffs. Also Hillary lies a lot and I just don't believe her anti-trade rhetoric.  In her speech to Goldman Sachs she sang a different tune.  When it comes to trade, I trust Hillary more than Trump.

The economic recovery has been anemic and we have a national debt of $20 trillion. Our economy is fragile.  If we start unilaterally imposing tariffs, if we tear up trade deals, we can expect retaliation. The Smoot-Hawley Tariff of 1930 is considered one of the three of four primary causes of the Great Depression.  I fear that Trump's proposed trade war could lead to the Second Great Depression. I cannot support Donald Trump.

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