Shiny object – or clear thinking?
To the Editor: A grab-bag of popular phrases is making the rounds this election season; and it really puzzles me. Two statements you hear: “I don’t like either candidate.” “I guess I’ll vote for the lesser of two evils.”
First, the “I don’t like either candidate” lament. It’s good to remind ourselves here that we’re electing a president – not a roommate. I say look closely at their qualifications. Whose list of qualifications shows readiness to govern the nation – Hillary’s or Donald’s? Based on a record of solid performance and reliable temperament, who could best lead the nation in a competent, serious, judicious way in this troubled time? In whose hands do I want to put this nation and really, the whole world?
Then there’s the popular “lesser of two evils” comment. Generally they mean Hillary. Curious, because in Clinton you’ve got a candidate with the proven capacity to rise to the most complex and confounding challenges (of which there are plenty); who has been dedicated to public service all her life; who comes to the job with a record of accomplishment, strong intellect and concern for a better life for all Americans. Not to mention two terms as a U.S. Senator and four years as Secretary of State.
I’m not sure how all that makes Hillary the “lesser of two evils.”
Her opponents and some undecideds like to wave the “emails and Benghazi” flags to justify their reservations about Hillary. Even though she’s apologized for the email error. And even though a year-long investigation by the FBI failed to uncover any wrongdoing! Then there’s Benghazi – a sad episode in diplomatic life which led to the deaths of four State Department personnel in 2012. For that too she has taken responsibility as Secretary of State (and testified for 11 hours before a House investigating committee that found no evidence of wrongdoing).
But notice how differently this Benghazi attack is treated versus back in 1983 when a suicide bomber killed 241 U.S. servicemen in Beirut. No one hammered relentlessly on President Reagan for these deaths. Democrats did not seize it as an election issue. It was just a tragic day in the life of American international presence – and all shared it equally.
Trump’s candidacy, on the other hand, has relied on his ability to pump up vast, adoring crowds. They don’t seem to think his lack of knowledge on policy matters and his lack of interest in learning, or his unstable temperament, disqualify him for the office of president. They often say, “He’s a good businessman.” Well, not so fast there. His business record shows a nearly billion-dollar loss in one year reported in the recently leaked Trump tax return. Good business?
I’m mystified that Trump’s fans do not seem to mind the easy way he traffics in untruth, as in his quest for Obama’s birth certificate (long after Obama produced it). The result was to lay racebased suspicion on the nation’s first African-American president that would never have been cast on another president.
So let’s hear it for clear thinking this election. You can’t waste your vote on a dangerously leaky vessel to carry us forward.
My thought is, let’s go for the brains, the dedication and the experience. Go for the record of accomplishment demonstrated over many decades. Resist the drumbeat of an empty promise to “make America great again” – with no specifics provided.
There’s a nation at stake. Be careful.
E.A. Bonner Devon