Pres­i­dent Havoc

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - Eu­gene Robi

— This is no or­di­nary elec­tion. Time for a re­minder of what’s at stake:

Cli­mate pol­icy and the clean-en­ergy econ­omy: For any­one who ac­cepts the sci­en­tific con­sen­sus that global warm­ing poses a clear and present dan­ger, there is only one choice. Hil­lary Clin­ton will con­tinue along the path laid out by Pres­i­dent Obama and other world lead­ers. Don­ald Trump has claimed, ridicu­lously, that cli­mate change is a hoax in­vented by the Chi­nese.

For the first time, the three na­tions most re­spon­si­ble for spew­ing heat-trap­ping car­bon diox­ide into the at­mos­phere — China, the United States and In­dia — have all for­mally agreed to curb emis­sions. The land­mark Paris agree­ment is the big­gest and most im­por­tant step taken to date. Clin­ton would honor the ac­cord; Trump would re­nounce it on his first day in of­fice.

The rest of the world is mov­ing rapidly to­ward re­new­able sources of en­ergy, which re­cently sur­passed coal as the largest global source of power-gen­er­at­ing ca­pac­ity. Ac­cord­ing to the In­ter­na­tional En­ergy Agency, last year an es­ti­mated 500,000 so­lar pan­els were in­stalled world­wide ev­ery day. Clin­ton would en­cour­age the growth of the cleanen­ergy sec­tor, which has the po­ten­tial to cre­ate mil­lions of jobs. Trump prom­ises a re­nais­sance of fos­sil fu­els —


min­ing more coal, pump­ing more oil — even though the elec­tric-power in­dus­try is mov­ing on.

The West­ern al­liance: Since the end of World War II, NATO has been the globe’s most im­por­tant mil­i­tary al­liance, a bul­wark against Soviet — now Rus­sian — ex­pan­sion­ism and a source of peace and pros­per­ity. It is no ac­ci­dent that the United States and Europe are the world’s big­gest eco­nomic pow­ers.

Clin­ton may be a bit hawk­ish for some tastes, but she is firmly com­mit­ted to the NATO se­cu­rity frame­work. Trump de­scribes NATO as if it were a pro­tec­tion racket.

Trump has re­peat­edly and con­sis­tently ex­pressed a de­sire for an al­liance with Rus­sia, even after it seized Crimea from Ukraine and in­ter­vened to save the mur­der­ous regime of dic­ta­tor Bashar As­sad in Syria. Trump of­ten voices his ad­mi­ra­tion for Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin — who, ac­cord­ing to U.S. in­tel­li­gence an­a­lysts, has de­ployed an army of in­ter­net hack­ers against the Demo­cratic Party in a shock­ing and un­prece­dented at­tempt to med­dle in our elec­tion. Trump has done noth­ing to re­fute Clin­ton’s claim that he would be Putin’s “pup­pet” in the White House.

Im­mi­gra­tion re­form: An es­ti­mated 11 mil­lion un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants live here, most of them from Mex­ico and Cen­tral Amer­ica. Clin­ton sup­ports com­mon­sense im­mi­gra­tion re­form that would se­cure the south­ern bor­der, mod­ern­ize our sys­tem of le­gal im­mi­gra­tion and bring the un­doc­u­mented out of the shad­ows by giv­ing them le­gal sta­tus and a path to­ward cit­i­zen­ship. Trump does not.

Trump launched his cam­paign by say­ing of Mex­i­can im­mi­grants: “They’re bring­ing drugs. They’re bring­ing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I as­sume, are good peo­ple.” He has called for build­ing a phys­i­cal wall along the en­tire bor­der with Mex­ico, and ab­surdly claimed that Mex­ico would some­how pay for it. And he pledges to de­port all of the un­doc­u­mented, in what would amount to a mas­sive cam­paign of eth­nic cleans­ing. Do­ing so would re­quire a gar­gan­tuan and in­tru­sive de­por­ta­tion force the likes of which this coun­try has never imag­ined, let alone wit­nessed.

The so­cial fab­ric: The coun­try is un­der­go­ing a process of in­ex­orable de­mo­graphic change. By 2044 if not sooner, ac­cord­ing to the Cen­sus Bureau, there will be no racial or eth­nic ma­jor­ity; non-His­panic whites, in other words, will be less than 50 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion, be­com­ing a mi­nor­ity just like ev­ery other group. This is al­ready the case in Cal­i­for­nia, Texas, New Mex­ico and Hawaii; and na­tion­wide among chil­dren un­der 5.

Clin­ton un­der­stands and em­braces these changes. Trump, by con­trast, has be­come the cham­pion of those whites who, like King Canute, would hold back the sea. It is no ac­ci­dent that he is avidly sup­ported by the likes of David Duke, the un­abashed white na­tion­al­ist, Holo­caust de­nier and for­mer im­pe­rial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. When Trump says “Make Amer­ica Great Again,” many mi­nori­ties hear “Make Amer­ica White Again.”

Fis­cal san­ity: Clin­ton pro­poses new spend­ing — in­clud­ing to im­prove the Af­ford­able Care Act — that would in­crease the na­tional debt by $250 bil­lion over the next decade, ac­cord­ing to the bi­par­ti­san Com­mit­tee for a Re­spon­si­ble Fed­eral Bud­get. Trump’s com­bi­na­tion of huge tax cuts and in­creased spend­ing, how­ever, would bal­loon the debt by a crush­ing $10 tril­lion over the same pe­riod.

I could go on, but you get the point. Don­ald Trump gravely threat­ens our fu­ture. He must be stopped.

Eu­gene Robin­son is a syn­di­cated colum­nist. Con­tact him at eu­gen­er­obin­son@wash­

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