I’ve worked on this blog post for almost two days now, and a few times, I’ve almost deleted it, because I realize most people, like me, are sick of politics. But, after reading the above quote, I decided to post it anyway. You can read it or not. Believe me, I understand if you don’t.
There is very little that keeps me awake at night and I count that as one of my many blessings. But in the last few nights, politics, the chatter swirling around it and my fears associated with it have–like a solo cricket I can’t find, or a barking dog I can’t shut up–kept me awake.
A few days ago, I read David Brook’s New York Times article, “The Governing Cancer of our Time.” Though it was written in February, I only recently happened upon it in a Twitter retweet. It becomes more relevant as each day passes in this bitter, divisive campaign cycle.
If you don’t want to read the whole article, here’s a list of bullet points that struck me most:
- There are essentially two ways to get things done in a diverse society: politics or some form of dictatorship.
- Politics recognizes the simultaneous existence of different groups, interests and opinions.
- “Antipolitics,” or the move toward dictatorship, “tramples the customs and rules that give legitimacy to legislative decision-making.” It does not recognize anyone with a differing opinion, refuses compromise and wants nothing short of total victory.
And in walks Donald Trump. ~~David Brooks
If you’ve read any of my recent political posts, you already know I’m a lifelong Republican, and have always voted Republican, at least for presidential candidates. You also know that this time, I can’t.
In this election, I think for the first time, I considered two different criteria about the candidate before I’ll vote for him/her:
- Is he/she a sane, principled human being?
- What is his/her platform?
Before Trump’s candidacy, I don’t recall having to be so consciously and completely concerned about #1. Here a few reasons why I’m so concerned about Trump:
- His narcissism.
- His name-calling and/or insults. (I’ve listed several more links with details in my blog post titled, “The Logical Reasons Behind My Emotional Vote.”)
- In more than a year of campaigning, he’s never once apologized, until “P-Gate,” when, 12 hours after the release of the Access Hollywood tape, he finally issued a stiff, scripted apology. He didn’t apologize for his role in the Birther Movement, and he’s never apologized for his full page ad calling for the death penalty for the Central Park 5, despite DNA evidence proving their innocence. I believe he’s incapable of ever thinking he’s wrong.
- He is not a negotiator. Instead, he “punches back harder.” From Hillary Clinton, to John McCain, to Paul Ryan, this has been his modus operandi–to punch back harder, not to try to find common ground. According to The Washington Post,
In his book The Art of the Deal, Trump said: “When people wrong you, go after those people, because it is a good feeling and because other people will see you doing it. I love getting even.”
- He lies constantly. True, most candidates lie. But one can hardly keep up with Trump’s lies, and most of his self-contradictions can easily be discredited by looking at his past tweets or videos.
- BREAKING NEWS 10/12/16: Four Women Accuse Trump of Forcibly Groping, Kissing Them. You may ask, “How do you know it’s true?” Because Trump himself confirmed it in past recordings. He either truly committed these acts, or he blatantly lied about committing them in these recordings. Either way, he’s not the person I want for president.
Then, there are my concerns with his platform/policy:
Oh, heck. This post has gone on long enough, so I’m not even going to get into the details of the platform part. But generally, my concerns lie in the fact he doesn’t seem to understand world politics or the Constitution, including the checks and balances of the three branches of government, as evidenced by his belief that “he alone can fix it.” So my point is, the platform part doesn’t matter to me if the above foundational criteria hasn’t been met.
Trump has gotten so far because people are angry at what Congress has not gotten done. I get that, and I’m fed up, too. But I think the muck in which Congress wallows is made of partisanship, divisiveness and refusal to compromise. They (aided by the media,) have set the example for the rest of us, and THIS is the cancer about which David Brook’s writes in his article referenced at the start of this post, “The Governing Cancer of Our Time.”
Donald Trump is NOT the candidate who will begin to heal this cancer. Many say Hillary Clinton will do no better, and I’m certainly concerned many in Congress will refuse to work with her. But, here’s the difference as I see it.
I don’t think she will refuse to work with Congress.
Based on what I’ve seen of Trump in this last year, he will refuse to work with anyone who disagrees with him. Instead, as we’ve already seen, he will go on a “scorched earth” media frenzy.
David Brooks closed his article with a quote by Harold Laski:
We shall make the basis of our state consent to disagreement. Therein shall we ensure its deepest harmony.
We need a principled person to be our president. Sadly, both candidates are lacking, maybe even void of the principles I’m looking for. Which brings me to what I believe our country most needs now, and that’s the ability to negotiate and compromise. I know for certain, based on what I’ve seen and learned from Trump, that he is NOT that person. I can only pray that Hillary will be better. If you don’t believe in compromise, how can you believe in democracy?
I could care less about party affiliation when so much is at stake.