It is difficult to address all of the issues that make Donald Trump unfit for the presidency, but after the last long post, which you can find here, I realized quickly that I hadn’t done much more than scratch the surface. There will be a few other parts to this coming before the election. I am also well aware that none of this will move his strongest supporters since they are actually irrational and occasionally insane. If you want to see some examples, watch this video. These people are not actually voting for Trump because they want to “make America great again, their votes are little more than a big “fuck you” to America. That is what’s so absurd about liberals who claim their vote for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson is a “protest” vote. These, too, are “fuck you” votes designed to express their “rage.” And that’s what makes them look much like the Trumpettes in the video. If they’re proud, they need a stronger sedative.
However, we do want to enlighten some otherwise decent folk who are thinking of voting for Trump for a number of other reasons. Perhaps they genuinely want to “make America great again.” Perhaps they habitually vote Republican because that’s how they roll. This is the most frightening candidate in our history and I say that as someone who avoids hyperbole as much as possible. The first thing anyone should do is to…
Look at who supports Trump.
Now, I want to start off being fair. I can say that Trump can’t control which assholes support him. However, he has never once rejected these people or told them he doesn’t want their support. It is common for candidates to draw support from people they normally find reprehensible, but it is also common for candidates to reject their support. They send the money back or they publicly reject the person’s ideas. Trump doesn’t do that. As long as someone supports Trump, that’s good enough for him, apparently.
For example, he happily accepts the support of Don King, who, besides being a “fight promoter,” has also been convicted of second-degree murder after he stomped someone to death over a debt. We all know why Trump likes guys like this. And no, it’s not because King’s Black, it’s because he’s been able to use the system to get out of paying people who do work for him. And, like Trump, he’s been tied to mob figures. (Source) Trump didn’t just get an endorsement from King, he bragged about it obsessively and still does. That is because King’s Black.
Being followed by Don King is only unfortunate. That’s nothing compared to many of the other people who have endorsed Trump, like August Kreiss III, who displayed a “Vote for Trump” sign at his sentencing last year, in which he received 50 years in prison as a child molester. (Source) Kreiss is also a fringe “Christian,” a white supremacist, a former KKK leader and a neo-Nazi. If we’re known by the company we keep, I wonder how many Trump voters realize their company includes a neo-Nazi pedophile.
Of course, that’s but the tip of the iceberg. His candidacy has also been routinely supported by the Ku Klux Klan. For example, a guy who wouldn’t give his name (the KKK are known cowards) and who would only be identified as an “Imperial Wizard of the Rebel Brigade Knights of the Ku Klux Klan” (there are apparently 32 of them) announced his fervent endorsement of Trump back in April (Source). That came about two months after he was endorsed by former Grand Wizard of the KKK David Duke (Source). He has never rejected their support, nor will he say anything against them. How does a legitimate presidential candidate for either party not denounce the KKK in 2016? Well, the same reason he’s never denounced the support of the publisher of the “white nationalist website Stormfront, the ironically named Don Black. According to Black, Trump is “helping his cause,” which is basically, well, white supremacy. Black thinks Hitler got a raw deal from history. (Source) Yet not a word from Trump, even though the white nationalist stalwart has sung Trump’s praises all year.
When you widen the scope of Trump’s support to the world stage, you can see what a disaster he would be on foreign policy, especially since it’s quite obvious that, if you praise Trump at all, you are considered his bestest buddy and life-long pal. And look at who has praised Trump so far. The most obvious is Vladimir Putin, a man whom Trump imagines emulating as a “leader” if he is elected. Putin is the most Soviet-like leader in Russia since the end of the Cold War. He routinely steps on the rights of Russians; for example, he has led a major crackdown on being gay in Russia, including the worst punishments imaginable. Putin has created twin climates of fear and corruption inside Russia and out. He also invaded Ukraine, took Crimea by force and even made his troops dress in garb that didn’t identify them as Russian soldiers in a lame attempt to avoid culpability. And Trump suggested that all of that was a sign of strength. (Source) By the way, Putin called Trump “flamboyant” and insinuated that he was crazy and Trump thought Putin called him smart. Trump’s not only Putin’s best foreign buddy; he has other fans over there. He has also been endorsed by extreme right-wing Russian nutbar, Aleksandr Dugin, who is something of a Russian Alex Jones. (Source) (And Alex? That’s not a compliment; you’re batshit crazy.)
Other big fans of Donald Trump who should raise eyebrows include Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who truly admires Trump and prefers him over “Thick-headed Hillary,” who plans to sanction him for testing his nukes. (Source) Despite his anti-China trade rhetoric, Trump is also endorsed by the Chinese Communist Party. (Source) If that’s not enough for you, then how about the Serbian war criminal and terrorist that Bill Clinton tried to kill when he was president? Serbian nationalist leader Vojislav Seselj likes Trump just fine. (Source) This is a nasty guy; A Hague tribunal charged Seselj with murder, forced deportation, illegal imprisonment and a dozen other crimes against humanity. Prosecutors have recommended a 28-year sentence for recruiting paramilitary groups and inciting them to commit atrocities. Seselj says the court has no jurisdiction, which explains why Trump likes him. Trump also has a big fan in Ilias Panagiotaros, who just happens to be a leader in Golden Dawn, a Greek neo-Nazi party. (Source) Yes, that’s right, Donald Trump enjoys support from Neo-Nazis worldwide. And he has never rejected any of them.
Trump See the Presidency as a Monarchy
One thing that makes the United States government very strong and resilient is the active presence of a separation of powers between the various branches of government that prevents the concentration of power in one person or small group. We also have a civilian military that allows anyone to refuse to follow an order that they know to be illegal. However, Trump has all but promised to challenge both of those notions in a number of different ways, not the least of which is a promise to violate treaties pretty much at will. At the Commander-in-Chief Forum a few weeks back, he complained about the conduct of the Iraq War and faulted previous administrations and the military for not “taking the oil.” It wasn’t exactly clear what he meant by that until he (mis-)quoted the old Andrew Jackson line, “to the victor (goes) the spoils.” He has repeated that line a number of times in speeches and, while it’s pretty clear he doesn’t know where it came from (it didn’t actually originate with Jackson), he is pretty certain that he thinks, if he ‘wins” a war, he’s entitled to take anything he wants, despite international law.
That brings up some troubling points. First, it means he envisions the presidency as something akin to an emperor, in which he imagines he’s the “boss” of the country. That shouldn’t surprise anyone, given that he has talked about the position as if he was the CEO of a company in which he maintained majority interest. He truly believes he can do whatever he wants by sheer force of will. He has no concept of the fact that the root word of “president” is “preside.” The President presides over the Executive Branch. Again, the root of that is “execute.” Put simply enough for Trump voters to understand, the President executes the laws passed by the Legislative Branch; the ability for a president to make law is remarkably limited. Trump obviously doesn’t understand that. He has an image of the presidency that is akin to that of a six-year-old who takes the term “leader of the free world” literally and who thinks “leader” and “boss” are synonyms. (Dear Trump voters: they’re not.) In other words, while he can’t make many laws himself, he can waste a lot of time trying to make them, which means another four years of government that could be much worse than it was under Dubya Bush.
It also indicates that Trump is eager to show his might to everyone else and he would think nothing of sending troops into war and using our advanced weapons systems in a show of “strength.” He also believes that we should force our allies to “pay to play” in the world, which means there is a good possibility that he would advocate for, and might even try to achieve, a complete pullout of American forces in Europe and Asia if they don’t cough up some big bucks. He’s already talked about ransoming NATO member states. He would actually tell them to defend themselves if they don’t cough up the money to pay for NATO. (Source) I know many who don’t this is a big deal, but that’s because their history knowledge is lacking. Who could possibly imagine large European countries bulking up and attacking other European countries, right? Well, it apparently hasn’t occurred to Trump and his supporters that the reason that seems inconceivable these days is because of NATO. The two “World Wars” started in Europe between several European powers. Even in the post-War era, we had the Soviet Union running roughshod over a large swath of Eastern Europe and padding its empire and we also had Trump’s buddy Putin invading Ukraine and taking Crimea, just because he wanted to.
Trump Sees Other Countries as “Lesser”
The concept of “Trump Foreign Policy” is an oxymoron. Trump would be a disaster on foreign policy, not just because he seems to have no idea what it entails, but because he is too intent on hitting all of the “right” chords for his far right idiot horde, with his talk about Obama having gone on a series of “apology tours” for the last eight years (source). His approach to other countries consists of a middle schooler’s view of what “strength” entails. He is thin-skinned and vindictive and he will never stop going after someone he feels slighted him until he feels like he got even. This is the opposite of the temperament that makes for good foreign policy. I mean, he can’t even get over Rosie O’Donnell insulting him 15 years ago; how will he handle it when a foreign leader calls him an idiot. And it will happen. Foreign policy requires diplomacy, and diplomacy isn’t about showing everyone how tough you are, but by quietly learning what the opponent wants and ceding as little as possible to get what you want. It’s about talking and listening. Both of them. Trump talks constantly, but he really doesn’t listen at all. He also approaches everything in his life as if he is the center of the universe. Even if he extends that to placing the country at the center of the universe, which is actually giving him more credit than he deserves, how does anyone conduct foreign policy from that perspective?
We already dealt with this before. It’s pretty certain that George W. Bush invaded Iraq to take out Saddam Hussein for trying to kill his Daddy. In other words, Bush, Sr. had the ability to invade Iraq and stop before the war got too big to handle and Bush, Jr. didn’t have that ability. And even Dubya has better foreign policy chops than Trump. Foreign policy requires diplomacy, and diplomacy isn’t about showing everyone how tough you are. Diplomacy is about quietly learning what the opponent wants and ceding as little as possible to get what you want. It’s about talking and listening. Both of them. Trump talks constantly, but he really doesn’t listen at all. He also approaches everything in his life as if he is the center of the universe. Even if he extends that to placing the country at the center of the universe, which is actually giving him more credit than he deserves, how does anyone conduct foreign policy from that perspective?
We are the largest economic power in the world and we have the most frightening military complex in the world. However, while that actually increases our need to employ diplomacy, Trump believes that diplomacy is a sign of weakness and everything about him is about projecting that middle school definition of “strength.” You know, like war crimes. In addition to lamenting the fact that we didn’t steal all of Iraq’s oil (not that the Bushies didn’t try), Trump has also called for the mass slaughter of terrorists’ families. And he’s also promised that no soldier would be able to refuse his order to slaughter these women and children, although, in the usual Trump style, he wasn’t specific as to how he’d make them. (Source) He’s also very much pro-torture which, if you’ll recall, did some major damage to our reputation as a country when the previous Republican Administration administered it. This, despite the fact that it doesn’t work. Trump doesn’t seem to care about that, remarking that, even “if it doesn’t work, they deserve it anyway for what they’re doing to us.” (Source) And that is the problem. If we do it to “them,” that cedes the moral high ground, which puts our troops in greater danger. When one of “them” beheads a Western journalist and we respond by murdering their family, we no longer look better than them, and being better than our opponents is the key to foreign policy.
That’s the danger of Trump’s “us vs. them” mentality. His response to the Istanbul terrorist bombings, for example, was to call for greater use of torture. (Source) He calls the Geneva Conventions “a problem” since they define “war crimes.” He claims that soldiers are too afraid to do their jobs because they are afraid of being accused of war crimes. (Source) Not only is that an insult to the men and women of our armed forces, but it indicates that he will willingly not abide by any rules, including the internationally accepted standards of humane treatment. If he fails to abide by them, that will effectively make them moot, which means no one else opposing us will have to follow them, either. Again, such things put our troops in much greater peril. And let’s be real here. There is nothing to indicate that Trump would ever avoid war with anyone. As friendly as he is with Putin, he has said that, if diplomacy fails, he will simply start shooting Russian planes out of the sky. (Source) Given that the concept of diplomacy doesn’t seem to be in Trump’s wheelhouse, what does “diplomacy” mean, coming from him? Given that he seems to believe that everyone who isn’t us would seem to be “the enemy,” and given that he seems to think that telling the other side our intentions if they don’t comply (apparently, he thinks General Douglas MacArthur was a psycho) is a bad thing to do, will we ever know when he’s engaging in diplomacy and will we ever know it failed? And given that Trump won’t even rule out using nuclear weapons in Europe (Source), how can we be sure he will use them responsibly?
The answer is, we don’t.
Next up, later this week, I’ll be going into great detail with regard to the danger Trump poses to everyone’s rights.