Bill Press: Why Trump must not be pres­i­dent

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE -

“OK, let’s end this com­edy. No more Big Or­ange jokes. This mad­ness has gone on long enough.”

OK, let’s end this com­edy. No more Big Or­ange jokes. This mad­ness has gone on long enough.

It’s time to stop pre­tend­ing. There are not two se­ri­ous con­tenders for pres­i­dent. There’s one can­di­date, Hil­lary Clin­ton, who’s not per­fect, but who at least has the ex­pe­ri­ence, in­tel­li­gence and ca­pac­ity to do the job. There’s an­other, Don­ald Trump, who shouldn’t even be on the bal­lot.

If you don’t be­lieve it, go back and watch a re­run of the first de­bate. He blamed it on the mi­cro­phone and the mod­er­a­tor, but no mat­ter how many lame ex­cuses he makes, Don­ald Trump proved once and for all why he doesn’t be­long on the same stage with Hil­lary Clin­ton. She was ev­ery­thing he was not. She was pre­pared, he was not. She was cool, he was hot. She was sub­stan­tive, he was shal­low. She was po­lite, he was rude and ob­nox­ious. She an­swered ques­tions di­rectly, he bobbed and weaved. She told the truth. And he lied.

He lied about not sup­port­ing the war in Iraq. He lied about not call­ing cli­mate change a hoax in­vented by the Chi­nese. He lied about the suc­cess of stop-and-frisk. He lied about Hil­lary’s start­ing the birther move­ment. He lied about NATO’s role in fight­ing ter­ror­ism.

Along the way, he not only ad­mit­ted to pay­ing no fed­eral in­come tax, at least for a few years. He bragged about it — “That was smart” — and de­fended it — “They would only have squan­dered it.” And, of course, he still re­fuses to re­lease his tax re­turns, un­like every pres­i­den­tial can­di­date for the last 40 years. He ac­knowl­edged root­ing for mil­lions of Amer­i­cans to lose their homes in the 2008 hous­ing cri­sis be­cause “That’s busi­ness.” And he didn’t deny rou­tinely stiff­ing sub­con­trac­tors and con­struc­tion work­ers on his ma­jor build­ing projects. Then there are all the other scary things Trump has pro­posed through­out the cam­paign. Granted, it’s dif­fi­cult to know ex­actly where he stands on many is­sues. NBC News re­ports that Trump has made 117 dis­tinct pol­icy shifts on 20 ma­jor is­sues, in­clud­ing three dif­fer­ent po­si­tions on abor­tion in one eighthour stretch. But this much we do know. On im­mi­gra­tion. He pledges to round up and de­port 11 mil­lion peo­ple who came to this coun­try il­le­gally and ban 1.6 bil­lion Mus­lims from en­ter­ing this coun­try, sim­ply be­cause of their re­li­gion.

On the en­vi­ron­ment. Trump prom­ises to “can­cel the Paris cli­mate agree­ment” on global warm­ing, which he’s re­peat­edly called a hoax, and to re­scind ex­ist­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal reg­u­la­tions, in­clud­ing EPA’s new rules on coal-fired power plants.

On do­mes­tic pol­icy. Trump would abol­ish Oba­macare, leav­ing 18 mil­lion Amer­i­cans who were able to ac­quire health in­sur­ance for the first time with — noth­ing. He’d es­tab­lish a na­tional pol­icy of stop-and-frisk, al­ready de­clared a racist prac­tice by a New York fed­eral court. And, con­tra­dict­ing his pledge to fight for the mid­dle class, he’d ini­ti­ate a new round of “trickle-down” tax cuts to fur­ther en­rich the wealth­i­est Amer­i­cans and add an es­ti­mated $10 tril­lion to the na­tional debt. On for­eign pol­icy. He’s raised the pos­si­bil­ity of pulling out of NATO. He sup­ports let­ting Ja­pan and South Korea ac­quire nu­clear weapons. He’d can­cel the re­cently ne­go­ti­ated Iran Nu­clear Deal, which pre­vents Iran from de­vel­op­ing a nu­clear weapon for at least 15 years. He says he’d il­le­gally seize Iraq’s oil. And he praises Vladimir Putin as his role model. This is the same man who was sued by the Jus­tice Depart­ment for racial dis­crim­i­na­tion, who led the birther move­ment against Pres­i­dent Obama for five years, who’s now be­ing sued for de­fraud­ing stu­dents of Trump Uni­ver­sity, who started his cam­paign call­ing all Mex­i­can im­mi­grants “crim­i­nals” and “rapists,” and who has since en­gaged in ugly per­sonal at­tacks against a Mex­i­can-Amer­i­can judge, a Gold Star Mus­lim fam­ily, and, this week, the win­ner of his Miss Uni­verse con­test. Add it all up. Don­ald Trump’s not just wrong about ev­ery­thing. He’s dan­ger­ous. He’d un­der­mine and undo ev­ery­thing this coun­try stands for. He’s tem­per­a­men­tally un­fit even to be a tourist at the White House, let alone oc­cupy the Oval Of­fice. Of course, it’s too late to dump this mon­ster can­di­date the Repub­li­can Party has sad­dled us with. They can’t get him off the ticket, no mat­ter how badly mil­lions of Repub­li­cans would like to. The only so­lu­tion now is for Don­ald Trump to get crushed so badly that af­ter Nov. 8 he and his ilk dis­ap­pear from the po­lit­i­cal scene for­ever.

Bill Press is syn­di­cated by Tri­bune Me­dia Ser­vices. Read­ers may write to him via email at bill@bill­

Bill Press

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