Why I’m #NeverTrump
Many others have already set out their reasons for pledging to never support Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign. It is time to add my voice to theirs; to express my outright horror and dread at the thought of a Trump presidency. There are many reasons why I can not support Trump, but they boil down to this: I will not abandon the principles that led to the creation of this Nation. Our nation, in living by those principles, once gave refuge to my family from the totalitarian states that flourished in Europe in the mid-20th century. In return, I’ve spent my lifetime defending those principles, adopting them as a creed. To abandon them on the altar of Trump would make a mockery of everything I, my family, and the United States has ever stood for.
Reason #1: Donald Trump may not be a fascist, but he sure acts like one
Fascism is a system of government that relies on four things – a cult of personality, managed markets (usually by coercion), identifying national problems as being caused by an “other,” and militarism, both abroad and domestically. Trump hits on all those themes as part of his standard spiel. The cult of personality is obvious, he’s spent 40 years developing it.
The managed markets part of his platform isn’t as obvious. After all, Trump loves to proclaim his affinity for business. But if you listen closely, you begin to see a pattern emerge. If you want to do business in Trump’s America, you have to do it his way – or else. He’s threatened Nabisco, Ford Motors, Carrier, Apple and Pfizer in just the past week. You might think using governmental power to force companies to do business in ways that are neither profitable nor humane isn’t really socialism. I’m sure many Germans thought the way Hitler coerced everyone from Mercedes to Krupps to only do business the Nazi way was perfectly respectable, too.
Trump launched his campaign last June with a diatribe against the “others.” As with all fascists, he identified a sub-population that isn’t well liked by the majority of the citizenry. A group that is forced to live on the periphery of society. Just as with the Jews and Gypsies of central and eastern Europe, a group that is largely homogenous. Donald Trump chose to demonize illegal aliens. From day one, he has castigated illegal aliens as purveyors of rape, murder and mayhem. Why do we have rampant crime in our cities? Illegal aliens. Why do we have high unemployment? Illegal aliens. Why are illicit drugs flooding our neighborhoods? Illegal aliens. For such a marginalized and relatively small group, illegal aliens have a tremendous amount of sway over our everyday lives.
Then, after the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino last year, Trump had a second group of “others”: muslims. Another marginalized group, living on the periphery of society and not well understood by most Americans (I read once that only 20% of us have ever actually met a muslim). And again, Trump laid many of our national ills at their feet. It’s a repetitive cycle; a simple solution to the world’s most complex and vexing problems.
Now, I am not a fan of illegal immigration or Islamists. but it isn’t difficult to see where Trump’s call for mass deportations lead to a national secret police force and internment camps. It is equally possible to foresee what they might look like:
One of Trump’s standard lines is that he’s “strong.” The United States needs “strength.” We don’t “win” anymore because America’s leadership is “weak.” And how does Trump define strength? He identifies strong governments as like the one in Beijing, using tanks to literally crush protesters. He identifies strong leaders as men like Vladimir Putin, who maintains a reign of terror over not only the Russian people but also those in neighboring countries. In short, he identifies strength as a willingness to use force – if necessary military force – to achieve goals and suppress opposition. That such a man could command the world’s largest military is something that should give everyone pause.
Reason #2: Donald Trump may not be a bigot, but he sure acts like one
Bigotry is nothing new to the United States. Carroll O’Connor and Sherman Helmsley both gained fame by playing bigots on memorable television shows. Donald Trump may be a TV star, but the bigotry he overtly displays isn’t a laughing matter. Like Archie Bunker, Trump has shown bigotry towards almost everyone who isn’t a WASP. Women, blacks, hispanics, asians – all have come under fire and derision. The ugliness almost caught him when he wouldn’t tell David Duke, of KKK fame, to take a hike. A consummate politician, Donald understands his base of support is white bigots – he couldn’t do the right thing, for that simple reason. Besides, the bigotry serves a useful purpose for him: it’s much easier to ostracize minority groups when they’re guilty of nothing more than being a minority group.
In times past, we’ve had bigots occupy the Oval Office, including the guy currently there. We survived them. But odds are the next president will serve two terms (most do) and by 2025, no ethnic group will command a majority of the population. The next President needs to be a president of and for ALL Americans, not just WASPS. If not, the divisions we’re already witnessing will fracture the nation irreparably.
Reason #3: Donald Trump may understand the Constitution, but he doesn’t act like he does
Many of Trump’s proposed solutions run counter to the Constitution. He wants to undo First Amendment protections for the press and protesters. He demands arbitrary control over the nation’s budget, even though that power is reserved for the House of Representatives. Indeed, as much as Barack Obama has run roughshod over the Constitution, he would be a piker compared to what Trump has planned. Trump’s very first act as President would be a lie: swearing to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
Reason #4: Donald Trump’s moral code was written Machiavelli
I understand politics is a dirty game. It always has been and always will be. However, one could and should expect that people of conscience would occupy the political world, that their decisions would be informed by a moral code that reflects the best in humanity. Trump’s morality, such as can be discerned from his public stances throughout his life, is best described as one of expediency and instant gratification. If ever there were a perfect representative of the moral faults of the “Me Generation,” Trump is it.
Extended to how Trump would “reign,” his brand of morality would cause all previous generations of Americans to blanche. In matters of the military, he has made it plain he would order the torture of POW’s and mass casualties of enemy non-combatants. Officers who refused to carry out those orders “will be made to pay.” As if that weren’t enough, he wants to turn our military into a mercenary force, available to any nation that wants to wage war, for whatever reason, so long as they can pay the price.
That Donald is corrupt is irrefutable, he gladly admits to it. What’s more, he admits to corrupting public officials. Imagine such a man with his hands on the levers of the executive branch. The damage he can cause is nearly unfathomable when combined with Trump’s greed and insatiable desire for attention, I shudder at the thought of what would happen should he get Presidency.
I realize that for many, taking this stance is unacceptable. They argue that withholding my vote from Trump means I am tacitly supporting the Democrat nominee (and this election, both choices offered by that party are as distasteful as Trump). However, the idea that Trump represents the Republican party is either a joke or the Republican party no longer aspires to make America a “shining city on the hill.” Of course, Trump’s nomination is far from assured. I hope Republicans awake from their slumber and realize the danger their flirtation with a demagogue poses not only to the party, but the nation.
In the meantime, I hope you’ll take a few minutes of your time to watch this video. Almost 70 years ago, we recognized the dangers a man like Donald Trump posed to the national well-being, and the stability of the world. It is almost eerie watching this, as if a newsreel of current events had been transported back to 1947.