What’s Really at Stake? Think Logically.

If you claim you want a progressive country, many of you seem to be going about it the absolute wrong way. I know; every presidential election is touted as “the most important in our lifetime.” However, even a cliche is right sometimes. This is one of those times. Never before in American history have we seen a major party nominee that is absolutely unfit for office. That’s not hyperbole. I mean, we’ve had a few who weren’t likely to be competent, but never one who was the exact opposite of what we imagine we want a president to be.

This election is about the next four years, at least. While that’s not a long time, it could spell disaster, depending on who we place in that office for four years.

On the one hand, if Hillary Clinton wins, we at least know she’s not going to burn down the house, as it were. I mean, she lived there for eight years previously and no major disasters happened in that time. I mean, her healthcare plan failed, but that’s about the worst thing that happened that we could possibly blame on her. In her eight years in the Senate, the people of New York seemed to like her a lot; I mean, after six years, they reelected her in a landslide. Also, she knows a ton of competent people who could run her administration, so we know she’ll fill her administration with people who care about the country and who care about doing a good job. Will we like them all? Who knows? Even if she can’t get everything done that she promised the other night, you can be sure she won’t bring down the country. And we can replace her in four years.

On the other hand, there is Donald Trump. Donald Trump would be far worse even than George W. Bush. Unlike Bush, Trump doesn’t know anyone in government who could run his administration. And while the idea of outsiders sounds great, in theory, to get things done, you have to know what to do. Who the hell will he find to work for him? The leadership of his party pretty much skipped his nominating convention, so we can’t be sure that the semi-competent elements of the GOP would want to help him in any way. Even the onerous Ted Cruz thinks he’s a dick. If you thought the Bush Administration was full of cronies – and it most certainly was – can you even begin to imagine a Trump Administration?  The Bushies had a White House legal staff made up of new graduates of Jerry Falwell’s law school, and they decided torture was perfectly fine. The Trump White House legal staff will be made up of guys who defended him against contractors who sued him for non-payment.

Consider this; in his first four years, George W. Bush, the current holder of the title, “Worst President in History,” started TWO wars, took a 10-year, $1 trillion surplus and turned it into a record deficit and presided over a recession. If Hurricane Katrina had happened a year earlier, President Kerry may have been able to prevent the depression. Any economic positives you could point to under Bush were the result of the most massive bubble in our nation’s history, and he sat and watched as that bubble burst and took down the entire global economy, although that took another four-year term. Daesh/ISIL was made possible by his foreign policy and that is the only reason the wars he started still basically continue. He broke two countries and destabilized the Middle East to an extent we haven’t seen since the Ottoman Empire crumbled.

Trump is worse than that. 


Trump is a guy who thinks it’s a great idea to build a wall to keep out immigrants and to spend billions on that effort, even though net Mexican migration to the US has been zero for the last few years. This is a guy who thinks the United States should be run like his businesses, which evidence shows are actually quite a disaster. Besides the obvious truth, that government is not a businesse and can’t be run as such because the overall goal is the benefit of all, there is the fact that he’s SUCH a good businessman that he has stiffed thousands of families, as well as the American people and brags about it.

Donald Trump has openly recommended screwing those who hold U.S. debt, which sounds like a great idea to some morons, until they realize that AMERICANS hold most of the national debt. A large portion of that debt is owed to the Social Security trust fund, for example, and, as we speak, it is that money that is keeping Social Security checks coming during the Baby Boomer retirement wave. Obama just got things squared away enough to recoup your 401(k) – remember what happened to that the last time the GOP was in charge? – and here’s Donald Trump promising to redeem your bonds for 20 cents on the dollar to get rid of the debt. And his idiot horde are cheering him for it.

Isn’t it bad enough that we have a Republican Party who thinks that screwing with the debt ceiling is a great way to get leverage for their goal, which is to prove that government is incompetent to do anything? Do you realize how many debt crises we’ve had since they took over after we progressives handed them Congress in 2010 and 2014? Do we really need Donald Trump even proposing a deal to sell off our debt and ruin us as an economy? This is a guy, after all, who thinks  debt, bankruptcy, and civil suits are great business strategies.

Hillary Clinton is as open and above board a candidate as we have ever had. Through all of the rhetorical bullshit thrown at her over the years, she has always cooperated with every ridiculous “investigation” the right has thrown at her. Last year, while she was running for president, she sat in front of a Republican committee for more than 11 hours and answered every insipid question they threw at her. Of all ex-presidents’ foundations, the Clinton Foundation is rated one of the most open and, while it’s made mistakes at times, its mission is also more extensive than others as well. (Source)  In other words, while it is often claimed that, somehow, the Clintons are crooked, there is no actual evidence.

On the other hand, we can’t even get Donald Trump to release his income tax forms. He’s more obstinate than even Mitt Romney in 2012, which was considered extraordinary at the time. He won’t show us even one tax return because he knows they will show that he’s lying about pretty much everything he tells us. He’s not as rich as he says, he has ties to foreign governments and he’s currently a defendant in thousands of lawsuits. He’s hiding an awful lot from us and you have to wonder aloud how many foreign governments may have enough leverage to get him to do something against American interests? The last “businessman” who occupied the White House left us with an economy that was steaming toward economic depression, but even Dubya wasn’t as toxic a “businessman” as Trump.

But there is one thing that worries me above all, and it is one that will have ramifications far beyond four years. That’s the Supreme Court. If Merrick Garland isn’t confirmed before the lame duck is over, the next president will have at least one and probably 3-4 Supreme Court nominations to make. If Hillary Clinton is president, you know those nominees will be sane, responsible, relatively young, legal minds who will care about a woman’s right to choose, equal rights for minorities and LGBT people and who will not think that the rich should have more rights than the rest of us. If Donald Trump is elected, who knows what he will choose to fill the court? He knows absolutely nothing about the law; his lawyers handle that. He also demonstrates no knowledge of or care for the Constitution, since he imagines that being the President will be like being a dictator and he’ll be able to do anything he wants. Whoever he chooses will be in their 40s or 50s, and we will have to deal with the effects of that choice for at least a generation.

That is what is at stake in this election. We have  a nominee by one major political party who will not only make history but who is enormously qualified for the job and can assemble an administration of supremely qualified people. We have a nominee of another major political party that is imploding as we speak, who is completely unqualified for the job and who has no connections to create a functional government.

And if you’re wondering why I didn’t include Jill Stein and Gary Johnson in this assessment, it’s because even they know they won’t win, so they’ll never have to do any of this. This election is too important to toss away your vote.

Even if you don’t like either of them, think about this: if you elect Hillary, it’s only for four years; after that, you can replace her. If you elect Trump, imagine the damage he could do in four years. Given that we’re still recovering from the damage Bush did, is it really rational to exacerbate that and make it more difficult for President Warren to fix?

Yeah, there is a difference this election. Stop pretending there isn’t.

About Milt Shook

A writer with more than 45 years in the political game (and let's face it, it is a game). I am a liberal because facts have a liberal bias, and I really like facts. If you like facts, you'll like this blog. If not, you'll have a hard time.


What’s Really at Stake? Think Logically. — 1 Comment

  1. Dubya’s two wars… People forget about Afghanistan, but after 9/11 Bush had a solid 95% of the electorate telling pollsters that they want Afghan blood. I was one of the 5% saying “bad idea, don’t do it” and feeling greatly relieved that the operation went off without a massive effusion of blood. But it was ugly, the politics back home, and I ultimately sought refuge outside the country for a few years.

    Which I mention only because, these days, everyone claims to have been against both wars since the very beginning. Among the hordes of gibbering faux radicals who gnaw my ankles these days in their enthusiast denunciations of Hillary the Blood Thirsty War Hawk, there may well be a few adolescents who simply had not yet been born but the vast majority – we know for a stone cold statistical certainty – once howled for blood (when it was safe and convenient) and now howl for Bernie (now that it is safe and convenient).

    This kind of cheap hypocrisy is why the purity trolls always lose, why the purity trolls can never understand why they always lose, and why we must take great care not to allow them to sabotage our efforts from within.