The United States of America is on suicide watch. We all should pray that we wake up before it's too late.
The nominee of one of our major parties poses a mortal threat to everything America at its best has been and is. American values and our very democracy are at stake in this year's election.
This is not a "reality show"; it's reality. It's not a football game; it's our country. It's not at all like, "I'm for Michigan, and no matter happens I'll always be against Ohio State." Our future depends on patriotic Americans putting the nation above partisanship.
Many newspapers that have long identified with the Republican Party are endorsing Hillary Clinton this year. The Arizona Republic, which had never before in its history, going back to 1890, backed a Democrat for the presidency, endorsed Mrs. Clinton. "This year is different," the editors explain. "The 2016 Republican candidate is not conservative and he is not qualified."
The Dallas Morning News, which had not endorsed a Democrat for president since before World War II, says: "There is only one serious candidate on the presidential ballot in November. We recommend Hillary Clinton." "Trump's values are hostile to conservatism." The Cincinnati Enquirer, which had endorsed every Republican candidate for the past 100 years, also joined the ranks of patriotism and sanity, saying that "Trump is a clear and present danger to our country" and "We need a leader who will bring out the best in all Americans, not the worst. That's why there is only one choice when we elect a president in November: Hillary Clinton."
Donald Trump's campaign consists of lies--hundreds of lies. Today I'll focus on its two foundational lies, each the result of a highly successful disinformation campaign.
America is Great Now
The first foundational Trump lie is that America is in awful shape and we must change course. While it's true that there are many Americans still hurting and we need to help them (which Mrs. Clinton has clear proposals to do, while Trump offers nothing but "I'll bring back those jobs--believe me!"), Trump's characterization of our nation and its direction is a web of lies. When George W. Bush left office, we were rapidly falling into a new Great Depression. How different it is today. In 2015, median household income rose by 5.2%, the biggest increase on record. More people (3.5 million) rose out of poverty last year than in any year since 1968. Unemployment, which peaked in the Bush Recession at 10% in 2009, is now less than half that (4.9%). Roughly 15 million new jobs have been created under Obama. The stock market hovers around record highs. The federal deficit is $327 billion, 80 percent lower than the $1.632 trillion it was in Bush's last fiscal year. Great progress has been made in clean energy. Oil imports have been cut by more than 60%. Violent crime is down by 16%. About 16 million more people have health insurance. The American military, which Trump constantly badmouths, is far and away the strongest in the world.
The truth is that what Trump proposes is a return to the policies--massive tax cuts for the richest and deregulation of the financial industry--that produced not only the 2008 collapse (which Trump cheered because he could make money off it) but also the Great Depression. The slogan for Trump's trickle-down economics should be: "Make America a Great Depression Again!"
Hillary Isn't What You Think
The other foundational lie of the Trump campaign is that Hillary Clinton is a horrible person who is totally dishonest and untrustworthy. While it is, of course, true that Mrs. Clinton has not always been truthful (who among us has?), she has faced 25 years of intense scrutiny and attacks that would have destroyed almost anyone (Trump whines like a baby whenever anything doesn't go his way). Many of them--such as that she is a murderer, which Trump has again floated--are absurd. Much of Hillary's image as "crooked" and a "liar" stem from charges that were leveled during her husband's administration. All of them were thoroughly investigated by anti-Clinton special prosecutor Ken Starr and found to be baseless.
What we constantly hear about now are "emails," "Benghazi," and "the Clinton Foundation." The private email server was certainly a mistake, but there is no indication that any harm came of it. Benghazi was a tragedy, but four Republican-led investigations, one of which climaxed in grilling Mrs. Clinton for eleven hours, found no wrongdoing on her part. And the supposed "scandal" involving the Clinton Foundation is entirely Trumped-up. It is a charitable organization that has done enormous good around the world, and the Clintons have never made a penny from it. Yet Trump lies and says they "enriched" themselves from the Foundation. Perhaps he was looking in a mirror, since he has repeatedly used the Trump Foundation for his personal gain.
In fact, Hillary Clinton is the most qualified person ever to seek the presidency. Her accomplishments over her adult life are staggering: promoting the welfare of children, human rights, women's rights, the enormously successful Children's Health Insurance Program, getting through Congress a bill to rebuild after 9/11 and pushing a health bill for 9/11 first responders within the first 48 hours after the attack. (In contrast, Trump's immediate reaction to the fall of the twin towers was to brag that now his building was the tallest in the Financial District. Really. He said that on September 11, 2001.)
Hillary Clinton may not be your cup of tea, but Donald Trump would be a cup of arsenic for America.