Start up the fog machines, crank the speakers, cue the lighting: the Election 2016 reality show is about to kick off another episode. It’s Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton, and no amount of hyperbole, outrage or plain misinformation is out-of-bounds in this well staged production. The mainstream media is almost all in Clinton’s corner. There are very few exceptions. The name of the game on this show is “create every political distraction to keep Americans from focusing on the obvious shortcomings of Hillary Clinton and create every possible perception of a dysfunctional Donald Trump.” And this reality show, at least to date is garnering excellent ratings. And until we have powerful and legitimate Independent choices coming to the forefront, Election 2106 as broadcast by CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, or whoever, is the only show in town.
The problem is, all of this showmanship is a great disservice to the uninformed voter. Those who are well studied on the issues can easily figure out which camp they will stand with. Unfortunately, the great majority of eligible voters are not very clear on the candidates or the issues, or have formed perceptions and opinions from mainstream media that shovels out heaping piles of propaganda or outright falsehoods. How is anyone who will not take the time to dig down to know anything close to the truth of the individuals representing the choices before us?
Fortunately for us, we have a very clear history of Hillary Clinton’s political track record. And that history, if examined closely and from all angles, is a difficult and disturbing one. A true exegesis of the cumulative text of Clinton’s past will reveal a quagmire of self-interest, corruption, scandal, potentially criminal behavior and a general disdain for others that would leave the uninitiated breathless. It is not a stretch to say, as Dick Morris posits in his book “Armageddon” that Hillary Clinton may be the most dangerous candidate ever to run for President. If she is elected, America as you know it is gone within four years. Count on it.
The only other reasonable choice, with apologies to Libertarians and Independents, is Donald Trump. And as I have explored in previous pieces, there are policy and positional reasons to vote for him, even if the vote is a “Never Hillary” vote. But there are many in the Republican Party, and among conservatives in general that have an “I cannot vote for Donald Trump with a clean conscience” mentality. I have determined that I am able to do so. I have given twelve policy based justifications why a Trump vote is the only rational choice. Let’s lay out the case for the individual, looking at the rational and the intuitive combined.
The first and most obvious point is to vote for anyone else other than Trump is a vote for Hillary. Over simplified maybe, but in effect true when it comes to securing enough Electoral College votes. And Trump will need all the help he can get, as the Clinton ground game and the inevitable election fraud that has defined many recent races remains a realistic possibility on the horizon. How many precincts in swing states will suddenly tally 100% for Hillary this year? A statistical impossibility, it happened with Obama in fifty nine precincts in Pennsylvania and nine in Cleveland alone in 2012. Do not be surprised if such a statistical miracle occurs again this fall. Further, we cannot let Gary Johnson become the Ross Perot of 2016. If you remember, without Perot there would likely have been no Clinton dynasty.
The second point, equally important, is to determine who the real Trump is, and what a Trump presidency would ultimately mean. I have spoken to many supposedly informed people who have told me they just know Trump is this or that. When pressed, I find only emotional reaction or suspicious sources for their opinions. Here is the truth of the matter: we have not seen the real Donald Trump yet.
Have we seen enough to know he is blunt, egotistical, unfiltered and outrageous at times? Sure, but do you really think he believes all that guff enough to define how he will act in an executive capacity? Keep in mind that the two sides of Trump we have seen so far are the face of Trump, Inc. (that is the brand and reality show persona), and the Trump excoriated in the mainstream media, labelled a racist, misogynist and about every other form of “ist” the media can conjure up. Neither of these personas likely define the real man inside the suit and questionable hair style.
The fact is that many who have known Trump in private for years, including well-connected politicos as Dick Morris, Rudy Giuliani and others, describe a man more in tune with his blue-collar employees than his other colleagues in the billionaire club. They describe a dedicated father, a man who frequents his businesses and mixes with people at every level and listens to get their perceptions and opinions on things. In other words, he is a pragmatic businessman. His success is not an anomaly. Is he egocentric? Sure, but he at least knows the value of others in feeding his self-perception of success. Not a superfluous skill.
Is he a saint, and beyond any possible corruption? Not likely, but he is practical and knows what it takes to get a job done. And just because he has had to game the system at times to succeed in business does not automatically make him a corrupt, self-centered opportunist. It makes him, at first blush, simply a realist. One has to wonder how he really feels deep down about having to link arms with corrupt politicians and bureaucrats just to get major deals done. My guess is he is not thrilled about it.
And that leads to the two possible directions a Trump presidency would take based on the tendencies of the individual. After all of the analysis available, and some yet to come as we hear what Trump has to say in upcoming debates, there are two possible results a Trump administration might engender. One would justify a vote for him, the other would be a betrayal of that ballot box trust.
The first possible outcome of a Trump presidency, and the one we must all hope for, is the real “Make America Great Again” presidency. In this scenario, Trump takes the gloves off and goes toe to toe with the overspending establishment and puts his neck on the line to reverse the economic and social chaos wrought by decades of fiscal abuse. He plays hardball with Congress and accepts nothing less than a balanced budget and cuts in inefficient spending. He revives our military and shifts foreign policy to re-establish relations with traditional allies and cut off bad actors across the globe at the knees. He sits global leaders down and convinces the major western nations and China that global debt needs to be restructured to ensure we do not have a global economic meltdown. It is painful, but it gets done after endless wrangling.
At home he champions a coherent national energy policy, utilizing our oil, coal and natural gas resources while providing incentives to develop cost-effective clean energy resources for the future and make nuclear power more accessible. This change in policy alone creates millions of new jobs and restarts the flagging economy. He encourages Congress to rework the tax code and deregulate many businesses, creating a new surge in returning capital and small business start-ups. He creates immigration reform to identify and deport criminals and other undesirables while creating realistic paths to citizenship for those who wish to assimilate and contribute to the American dream. He goes into inner city and minority neighborhoods and provides incentives for businesses to revive depressed areas and create economic opportunity for lower-income people, providing opportunities to get off the dole and aspire to a middle class lifestyle. On a personal level he does all of this for one reason, to cement his own legacy as the man and the president that saved America. The ultimate accolade for a Trump sized ego.
The other Trump presidency is one many people fear. Trump reveals a true, sociopathic, egocentric and dictatorial persona. He surrounds himself with hawkish extremists that forward a severely nationalized, self-serving and myopic agenda. He is deaf to the real needs of foreign leaders, further alienates our allies and betrays minorities and immigrants at home. He allies with the corrupt side of Congress and turns out to be twice the crony capitalist that the Clintons already are and puts his self-interests and personal agenda ahead of the interests of the country.
He bows to corporate and special interest factions as long as he gets the final word and a fair payday. He ignores the constitution and finishes selling out America and looks to assume an almost dictatorial role as the country collapses around him. He reaps billions upon billions in a Soros like shorting of the American economy, and like Nero, fiddles as America burns. Racial unrest and social revitalization are ignored and he jets off to New Zealand after four years leaving a smoking hole that once was the greatness of America as an internal civil war and global conflict brew on the horizon.
For some reason, I simply cannot get my arms around the second concept of a Trump presidency. Why would anyone short of an American hating globalist or communist (who listens to guys like Bill Ayers, George Soros or Saul Alinsky, much like Obama and Hillary) want any such outcome as the second scenario? Do I believe Trump could accomplish everything in the first scenario above? It would be a stretch, but what reason is there not to try? In his own words “what do we have to lose?” Under current policies, America is bankrupt and gone in a few years anyway. Why not vote for a guy who at least might, emphasis on might, have the gumption to try to really change a few things?
For me, there really is no other alternative. If Trump number two shows up, we are done. If Clinton gets elected we are done as well. What a choice! At least the pageantry of it all keeps it interesting, even if the rhetoric is so over the top it borders on incredulous. But the conclusion still stands, Trump is the only candidate that gives America half a chance. And that half-hearted endorsement is all that can assuage the bitter conscience of the wary voter.