I am one of those independents that Donald Trump (and Hillary Clinton) is trying to win over with his rhetoric, ideas, and platform; after all, I have voted for Reagan, Clinton, Perot and Obama.
The first two words to the title of this blog is a reference to an ugly part of the world's history, but for those voters that do not recall, Germans in the time of Nazi Germany would welcome Adolph Hitler with the salutation, "Heil Hitler", raising a stiffened right arm at the same time. After Donald Trump's speech to conclude the Republicans' convention this past Thursday evening, the only words that parched my lips were, "Heil...Trump". Scary, huh?
Because Trump reminds me of the rhetoric Hitler employed in order to convince the German voter in the 1930s and into the war (WWII) that he would cure all their ills and blaming others for them, Trump is fast becoming a dictator no one in their right mind wishes to have lead this country. He said, for example, that he (and only he) will be the voice of the oppressed, the disadvantaged, the out-of-work American, the less fortunate; that he (and, again, only he) will fix all that ails America---and from his acceptance speech it seems our country is broken everywhere we look. It was laden with fear and darkness for what the future holds for us if we don't let only him correct it---another resemblance in my opinion to the Germany of the Third Reich.
But to get there, Trump tells me---again as an independent to whom he wishes to court my vote---many statements that are untrue or, generously speaking, are half-truths, like crime becoming more rampant than ever before, or that ISIS did not exist before not too many years ago, or that Hillary Clinton wants to destroy the 2d Amendment, or that he supports the LGBT community (when the Republican party in its platform takes an opposite view of the gay community). And then he wants to abandon the nations of NATO unless they pay up so the U.S. can make a profit off of them. For those of you that are Star Trek-Next Generation fans, in this way he sounds more like the Farenghi, those money-grubbing space capitalists with the oversized bald head, gargantuan ears and pointed teeth. Numerous other inaccurate statements Trump extolls are covered over and over again in other posts and articles in this publication so they need not be repeated here.
Then there is his name calling. What's the childhood adage, "sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me." Name calling never gets a candidate anywhere even if they will not physically hurt anyone. To this extent, and though I am not a fan of his, Ted Cruz could not have been more correct to stand up to Trump in not endorsing him due to his (Trump's) denigration of his wife and father. Trump, it appears, either criticizes, calls them names, or sues those that won't come on bended knee to him. And as reason to criticize Cruz, Trump tells me Cruz signed a pledge to support the party's nominee. When did Trump ever believe in following a written contract; just ask those vendors that he and his companies stiffed after their performing work.
What about his tax returns? In reply, he tells me as the voter whose vote he wants, it is none of my business. Really? And, say, what about that official form he was supposed to sign that converts the loans he made to his campaign into a contribution? Never seen that either. I wonder if it exists.
But as an independent, I must look for "meat on the bones" to what any candidate for president looking for my vote will do for the country and me. Trump says he will bring back jobs from overseas but doesn't outline how he proposes to do this. He will rebuild our country's infrastructure and our military but, concomitantly, he will give us (which class of citizens is his 'us'?) the biggest tax cut the nation has ever seen. The former is antithetical to the latter. Tax cuts leave even less in the treasury to pay for his big talking plans. I feel he is conning me.
Then there is health care that we all need for without it, none of us can do anything. The Affordable Care Act that he wants to abolish has provided health care to millions of Americans that have never had it before. He wants to abolish it and ruin the lives of these voters? And then he tells me he wants to gut the Dodd-Frank law that helps regulate the financial industry. What does he want to do?
In the end, Trump tells me he, in colloquial terms, is the "best thing since sliced bread"---over and over and over and over and over again. I get more than a little nauseated by what I can only believe is his extreme insecurity because he keeps telling me how extremely great he is and everyone (to cite a few---women, the disabled, captured war heroes, Muslims and judges of Mexican heritage) that opposes him is scum found underneath a street level sewer cap. To reemphasize the point, he keeps telling me he can make America great again, but doesn't tell me how he plans to correct anything he tells me is broken, yet alone how he intends to correct even one area of disrepair. In the end, he wants me to blindly follow him like a messiah. Given his pomposity and penchant to exaggerate if not totally lie about areas that should most concern a leader of the free world, I also have to be mindful of the many writings I have read on Trump's mental health, oft-described in terms of his having what I am told is called Narcissistic Personality Disorder (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/miles-j-zaremski/trumps-mental-disorder-it_b_10337952.html; McAdams, "The Mind of Donald Trump", THE ATLANTIC (http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/06/the-mind-of-donald-trump/480771/). His opponent has been generous enough to only say he is "temperamentally unfit" to hold office.
On the other side of the ledger is Hillary Clinton; she wants my vote too. Yes, I know all about what James Comey, head of the FBI, said of her emails and her carelessness, but he tells me she did not do anything illegal. I remember the so-called Whitewater scandal, but no wrongdoing was ever found there either. Yes, she is married to Bill and all of that history, and, yes, she is tied to his Clinton Foundation. And certainly I can see where folks might not accept her word 100% of the time, like her flipping on the TPP (trans Pacific partnership) deal. But, her message is one of hope and optimism weaved together in a realistic fashion, something we need when we see our U.S. flag flying at what seems incessantly to be at half-staff on flag poles in our towns and at our buildings. She has just selected Tim Kaine as her running mate too, probably not the most progressive progressives of the Democratic Party wanted, but moderate enough in his views and actions to be an acceptable and a steady second-in-command. Though I still question his stance on protecting the biggest of the big banks, his experience in government and moderate views, nonetheless, appear to far outweigh the VP pick on the Republican ticket. One can only also be impressed with his fluency in the Spanish language (a shout out to my wife who hails from Cuba).
I must keep in mind, too, the Supreme Court, for the next president will no doubt select more than one replacement. Merritt Garland is a superb candidate that President Obama has nominated, but the party Trump now represents refuses to even give him a hearing. This is too telling of a sign for me to believe Republicans will honor the rule of law in the future [the Senate is supposed to hold hearings on any supreme court nominee but won't]---Kaine constantly believes in following the rule of law though it might offend his personal beliefs, like on abortion.
Guns. She and Kaine are strongly for common sense measures, for guns kill. Her opponent has the backing of the NRA. We have challenges that must be addressed to be sure, but HRC does it not in a bombastic way like I am exposed to seeing her opponent continually advocating. Despite her belonging more to inside the beltway than outside of it, I also believe that she is experienced, articulate and has more of the background to passage our country through the seas of turmoil here at home and abroad, particularly overseas given what we have seen happen in Belgium, France and, now yesterday, in Germany.
So, as one of those independent voters, how would I cast my vote if the election were held today? Give me a scales of justice and let me put the pros and cons of each candidate on it as if weights placed on either side of it. Trump's character, his persona, his belief that only he can take care of us with only his voice but does not tell us why, or how, combined with his fear mongering, darkness, lack of experience and background, personal insecurity, pomposity, deceit, deception and what is in-it for-me attitude is too frightful and unforgiving for me to believe he can be the overall best candidate to lead us come January 2017. In a word, he is just too dangerous. My vote thus would be cloaked in blue. And come November, it will no doubt be cast in the same color.
No more Heil Trump for me.