SIDE NOTE: I originally wrote this blog November 7, 2016. It still works for our current Presidential election. However, now we have 3 1/2 years of clear evidence the incompetency and lack of fitness of Donald J. Trump to hold the highest office in the United States.
My premise: We, all of us collectively, helped to create and promote Trump to be a viable option for the highest office in the land. Give me a chance to explain.
I have taken two articles and synthesized them for you to address the unexpected and stunning rise of Donald Trump as a legitimate Republican nominee for President of the United States. What that says about our country and exactly how that will affect us in the months after November 8th. One article is more liberal leaning, and other is on the conservative side, but I'll give my take on both and my opinion on this whole wacky US of A presidential race.
Let me give you some background information about myself, so you can get a good picture of how I usually come to my opinions. Based on several different things: my personal experiences, my current knowledge and understanding of the world we live in, and some research I've done some anecdotal.
When I have the time, it's a much more rigorous and deeper dive which involves reading academic journal articles and synthesizing the information. Depending if I have to write a paper for school or not. Which reminds me, I was raised Catholic by deeply religious parents, who believed in strong ethics and morality. At the same time, they also taught us the importance of familial bonds and service in the community. In addition to working at a non-profit for over 7 years I have intimate knowledge when it comes to systems and bureaucracy.
I’m a highly educated voter. What do I mean by that? I have a Bachelor of Political Science, and I'm finishing my Master in Public Administration, and I'll probably get a Ph.D. in Public Policy or something just as boring if not more so – so, yeah, I understand government. I know how government works, and I know why the government and government programs are ineffective, problematic, and dysfunctional. I surround myself with politicians, lawyers, academics, nonprofit employees, and everything in-between. If I don't know something, I'll know someone smarter than me to ask for an answer. I create education programs for students K – post-graduate degrees. I can find answers to difficult questions if I need to.
I hate having to preface all of this information because it seems when I discuss politics with people they behave as if Vangie Castro has no idea what I'm talking about and the worst is when people try to speak slowly and "mansplain," or "whitesplanning" things to me. It makes me want to punch people in the face, and I'm a pacifist. Sooo…yeah!
In How the Left Created Donald Trump, Millar said, “Trump capitalizes on the obvious hypocrisy, giving himself a free pass to exclude and demean whomever he wants—Mexicans, Muslims, immigrants, John McCain, Megyn Kelly, Russia, Islam, China, all politicians, all journalists, and so on. Voters like this not so much because they hate Mexicans and Muslims, but because they hate progressive bigotry and feel like Trump embodies a living rejection of it.
“And so on: progressives are the champions of every minority group’s grievance, so Trump gives voice to white grievance. Progressives are suspicious of truth claims, except their own. Trump makes sweeping statements with firmness and conviction, tenaciously holding on even when they are proven false—which is attractive to Americans who are sick of progressives’ self-serving narrative about how everyone is wrong except them. Progressives are suspicious of all authority, except when they wield it. Trump refuses to grant the progressive divine right to rule and flaunts his autocratic personae. Progressives are fixated on welcoming everyone, even to the point of abdicating routine border control and endangering national security. Trump feeds on fear and suspicion of outsiders.
“Progressives, in their overreach, provoked their opposite. Their hypocrisy, double standards, and ruinous public policy have created a thirst for something, anything that looks and feels and smells different. Trump’s ideology is different but, with its nativism, bellicosity, and celebration of jack-booted big-government, it is also at least half-fascist” (Miller, 2015) and autocratic.
Let's pretend there are no conspiracy theories, the Illuminati, and a secret ultra-privilege group that is pulling the puppet strings of our government already pre-ordaining the future and great king of America – I mean, President of the United States. Even if all of those things are true, they still need the American people to buy into the story they are telling us to believe. For us to mindlessly do what they want us to do so, we don't resist, start riots and civil wars.
Nothing gets done in government if there is no strong leadership, a clear path to success, political will, and public support to get things done. The blockade of our current government, its dysfunction, and inability to pass any meaningful policy based on the fact politicians are telling their constituents they are not going to give in to the "liberal agenda" or "conservative agenda" or Obama's administration. That kind of mentality hurts citizens like us who aren't in government and don't have any power or privilege and are just trying to survive, get by and thrive. There is this deep distrust in government, but like in sports, organizations are as good as their worst player/employee/legislator/policymaker.
“I’ve had donors say: ‘I’m a billionaire. Trump’s a clown with a credit card.’” - Rick Wilson, Florida political consultant
In the article, The Scam Behind Donald Trump’s Political Rise: Ignoring evidence, the party bought into the image of a savvy, successful businessman, Date notes that “Trump is the master of creating a perception that he is successful, when he has used aggressive lawsuits and multiple bankruptcies in attempts to mask huge failures,” said Texas Republican consultant Matt Mackowiak.
“For his part, Trump continues to insist he’s worth more than $10 billion, despite outside reviews that calculate his net worth at less than half that. A National Journal analysis of his finances found that he would have been far richer if, when he took control of his father’s empire in 1974, he had instead taken his share and merely put it into a stock market index fund. “Yet for millions of Republican voters, Trump’s self-proclaimed business savvy and great wealth ― as seen on television for years and validated by party leadership last autumn ― were major reasons for backing him over more than a dozen Republican governors and senators” (Date, 2016, para. 5).
Trump's current political campaign founded on the perpetuation of negative biases of already marginalized groups, tapping into white supremacy, and fear of losing one's privilege and place in society. His presidency promises magical things it cannot deliver because politically it's not possible – period. It's like a middle school student running for president promising all 6th graders there will be free candy and pop flowing out of the water fountains but only for the students that vote for him. Humans are basic in their decision-making process. They need clarity, specific outcomes, and "how will this benefit me and my family" in the long run mentality – that's the bottom line.
When people feel a sense of scarcity and fear people turn to "strongman" figures who they believe will solve all our problems and instill “law &order” (MacWilliams, 2016). Manufacturing that left the United States is not coming back, the middle-class is no longer what it was in the 50s &60s, and Mexico will not pay for a wall across the US/Mexico border. The demographics in the United States is changing, there will be over 50% of people from mixed races in the next 10 to 20 years, the current labor market is aging and the one's coming in are continually being stereotyped as lazy, narcissistic, and disengaged (Cloutier, 2015).
Our love of wealth and things has caused the deterioration of our political system, not politicians. We have allowed big business and money to make decisions for everyday people. We believe business people, the same ones who have taken the industry to other countries, the ones that have caused the current problems will be the cure for the sick and dying towns like Grundy, Virginia (Khazan, 2015). People without any real evidence believed that “Trickle-down economics” would help the little people when in truth it created the largest wealth gap since the Industrial Revolution started. Stop looking at industry to save us because the only ones they care about is themselves, stockholders, and the board of trustees.
Look at your community and at yourself to help build the healthy and thriving city where you want to live. Don’t wait for the great White Hope to swoop in and fix all the world’s problems. It hasn’t worked in the past, and it isn't going to work in 2016. Fearing your neighbor isn’t going to fix the economy either.
What I keep hearing over and over again is that Hillary Clinton is untrustworthy and that she has done all these horrible things, in comparison to what? All the other wars and atrocities the other 44 US Presidents have been part of since the founding of this country? Give me a break. PA-LEEZE! Have you read a history book lately? Andrew Jackson thought to be one of the “great” president’s, the people’s president was an awful human being who bought and sold slaves and was a dominant force in the genocide of the Native population. John Quincy Adams, the sixth President of the United States, looked at Jackson’s presidency with dread and feared for the American people because of Jackson’s authoritarian will and use of federal power against non-whites (Dougherty, 2015).
Your fear of Hillary Clinton is rooted in sexist politics.
A 2010 study on backlash against female politicians found that “participants experienced feelings of moral outrage” such as contempt, anger, and disgust when women politicians were described as power-seeking. In contrast, “when participants saw male politicians as power-seeking, they also saw them as having greater agency (i.e., being more assertive, stronger, and tougher) and greater competence (Foran, 2016, para. 5).
Who wants to admit to being a misogynist or anti-feminist? No one. I don’t know, Donald Trump, maybe.
The fact that people would believe that Trump is more trustworthy than Clinton is laughable. In comparing actual data, Trump’s statements have only been proven to be 15% true compared to Clinton’s 50%. She has not been found guilty for any of these wrong doings people are accusing her of, while Trump has been found responsible for several digressions. Including, discrimination against renters of colors. The Department of Justice sued Trump in 1973 for not renting to blacks. That’s just the start of the underhanded business dealings of Trump Industries (Mahler & Ederaug, 2016).
These are the reasons I support Hillary Clinton (Now Biden/Harris) and not Donald Trump in this year’s 2016 (2020) elections.
1. If you support #BlackLivesMatter not voting, or supporting Donald Trump is not going to help your cause. Just saying!
2. If you are a Bernienator (Progressive) supporter, she’s your best hope to push forward Sanders’ agenda against the top 1% plus she wants to raise taxes on the wealthy and raise the federal minimum wage to $12.00. It’s not $15, but it’s better than $7.25.
3. She has worked to provide support and services for women and children for thirty years and wants to continue funding Planned Parenthood.
4. She has evolved on LGBTQ rights and is a staunch supporter of equal rights and treatment for all people. "No matter who you are or who you love."
5. In the end, “Clinton is a patriot. She will uphold the sovereignty and independence of the United States. She will defend allies. She will execute the laws with reasonable impartiality” (Frum, 2016, para. 23).
At the end of the day, the extremism that has overtaken this country is one of the many reasons if not the main reason for our current fractured state of political and moral affairs. Cognitive dissonance and willful blindness have allowed us to be immune to the opinions of others by a mere swipe to the left or filter of our Facebook newsfeed, which can lean either left or right allowing us to never being exposed to views that oppose our own. Democracy in and of itself is the right to be able to have opposing views and have a civil debate around them. To hear the opinions of others and to be able to either agree or dissent without fear of retribution or reprisal. People say many horrible things that can be considered offensive, politically incorrect, or hateful. In our democracy speech is protected by the first amendment. However, what it comes down to is speech that does not allow space for vigorous debate can be problematic to the health and longevity of our beautiful and great republic.
In our need for entertainment, for something different and out of the ordinary – The Donald filled the void that many disenchanted and filled with fear voters created. It amazes me that so many are willing to give up their freedoms and liberties for the dimmest of hope from one of the biggest charlatans of our time. I fear for the collective soul and humanity of our nation. I am afraid that we have gone so far off the beaten path we may never again find our way back. It is not the fear of the other that pushes me to vote one way or another, it is the trumped up fabricated reasons one party over another has created to divide us. To separate us from each other. That is how they win, and we lose. The right and the left has both failed us. Failed to find a way to bring us back together. Failed our children, our environment, our founding fathers and mothers, and failed all of us. We can’t be a Great Nation if we can’t find a way to do it, together.
I beg for you all to put your pitchforks and torches away. Make wise choices that are rooted in policy and the joint forces that will work towards good governance and positive outcomes for all citizens. It’s easy to hate. It’s much harder to be kind to each other.
We have free will, and we can do whatever we want with that free will as long as we understand that we live in a community with others with different thoughts, ideas, and beliefs. Our democracy may not be perfect, and the people who are running our government are completely flawed, but as with the three branches of government – there are always checks and balances. If we do not hold ourselves and our leaders accountable, we are given, “the government we deserve.” The Donald is not the worst enemy of democracy in our modern age, apathy is. I would hope, no matter who you vote for, and if you are eligible to vote go and exercise your rights. Because of the biggest lie that we continue to perpetuate when it comes to our current governmental system; is that your vote does not matter. That is and has always been untrue. One vote may not make a difference in many people’s opinions. But together we can make a thousand and a million votes combined, and that can and does make a difference. It begins with one. It starts with you.
Cloutier, C. (2015). How changing demographics affect the US labor force. Retrieved November 4, 2016, from https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2015/01/14/how-changing-demographics-affect-labor-force/oQelE9sG2tyD2QuzSDfXvL/story.html Date, S.V. (2016).
The Scam Behind Donald Trump’s Political Rise: Ignoring evidence, the party bought into the image of a savvy, successful businessman. Retrieved October 19, 2016, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-wealth-myth_us_57b09a63e4b007c36e4f1bf Frum, D. (2016).
The Conservative Case for Voting for Clinton. Retrieved November 7, 2016, from http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/11/dont-gamble-on-trump/506207/ Khazan, O. (2015).
Life in the Sickest Town in America. Retrieved November 4, 2016, from http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/01/life-in-the-sickest-town-in-america/384718/ MacWilliams, M.C. (2016).
Who Decides When The Party Doesn’t? Authoritarian Voters and the Rise of Donald Trump. Retrieved November 4, 2016, from https://www.cambridge.org/core/services/aop-cambridge-core/content/view/8751AFAC70288BD234A8305F4687B1C7/S1049096516001463a.pdf/who-decides-when-the-party-doesn-t-authoritarian-voters-and-the-rise-of-donald-trump.pdf Miller, P.D. (2015).
How The Left Created Donald Trump. Retrieved October 19, 2016, from http://thefederalist.com/2015/12/08/how-the-left-created-donald-trump/ Dougherty, M.B. (2015).
Andrew Jackson was America’s Worst ‘great’ President. Retrieved November 4, 2016, from http://theweek.com/articles/539274/andrew-jackson-americas-worst-great-president Mahler, J. and Ederaug, S. (2016).
No Vacancies’ for Blacks: How Donald Trump Got His Start and Was First Accused of Bias. Retrieved November 4, 2016, from http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/28/us/politics/donald-trump-housing-race.html?_r=0 Foran, C. (2016).
The Curse of Hillary Clinton’s Ambition. Retrieved November 4, 2016, from http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/09/clinton-trust-sexism/500489/