Donald Trump dominates any conversation he is mentioned in. I began this article with his name instead of Hillary Clinton’s. He has become the poster boy and easy target for every liberal to rant about.
It’s easy to mock Donald Trump. Temptingly so. The Donald is a treasure trove of weirdness, gaffes and childish antics. From the hair to the skin tone to the late-night tirades against former beauty queens, he provides the punditry with no shortage of material.
Here’s my problem – none of that disqualifies him from being President. There is a strong precedent for blowhard, gaffe-prone, eccentrically haired men occupying the Oval, so, when thinking about Trump we need to dig deeper and look at what he plans to do as president and measure this information against his opponent. The results are not encouraging.
Take for example Trump’s positions on the economy, where he has promised to become “ the greatest jobs president that God ever created.” He proposes a simplification of the tax code that would see Americans divided into three tax brackets (low, medium, high…you know, like coffee sizes), a shift that will cost the federal government up to $5.9 billion over ten years. To supplement that shortfall, he plans to cut corporate taxes by 20%, and in the same breath talks about his plans for expanded infrastructure development. Whether or not the construction of a border wall with Mexico is contained within the infrastructure plan is still unclear. What is clear is that Mexico will not be funding said wall, and that money would likely come from rapidly a suddenly underfunded federal government.
Contrast this to Hillary Clinton’s plan for a modest 4% tax increase on people earning more than $5 million a year, while limiting the ability of corporations to dodge taxes by overseas registry. The so called “exit tax” would force corporations to pay to move internationally for tax purposes. This plan projects an increase of $1.1 trillion over ten years, with little to no change for the current bottom 95% of taxpaying Americans. These are not the reforms of a socialist whack-job who somehow also manages to be in the pocket of Wall Street. These are centre-if-anything proposals that still low-ball the money needed to properly reinvest in American infrastructure and healthcare.
Speaking of, Donald Trump wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act- which he consistently refers to as Obamacare- just in case someone becomes curious about this beneficial, if flawed, program and how it might provide them access to healthcare. In its place, Trump proposes transferring Medicaid to total state control, and providing deductible insurance on income taxes. Forget the people who have neither the money, nor year to wait until they see it again, to get insurance in the first place. In this way, he proposes to “take care of everybody”.
Hillary wants to expand the Affordable Care Act by providing more access and fixed premiums to the 20 million Americans who use it. She also plans to fix prescription prices for life-saving drugs, while decreasing the amount patients would have to pay for them. She also plans to expand rural access to healthcare by building new facilities and doubling the funding the community health care centres. Clinton also supports a woman’s access to safe and legal abortions, a right Trump wants to restrict to victims of “rape and incest”.
Besides the obvious legal issues and time constraints of determining whether a sex-crime has been committed before providing an abortion, there is a blatant hypocrisy to Trump’s opposition. Though he does not think that a woman has the right to chose what transpires in her own body, equating abortion with the murder of babies and a violation of the right to life, he is a supporter of concealed carrying and unrestricted access to firearms.
Apparently for Trump, the right to life is important, but not as important as the right to self defense. The right to murder your countrymen in response to trespassing, for instance. The right to purchase assault weapons that have been used to mass murder the most vulnerable people in the country. He mocks Clinton for wanting stricter controls on purchasing, and an assault weapon ban. Yes, certainly, this is a man who holds human life above all else.
He holds life in such high esteem that he advocates increased use of the death penalty and opposes mandatory police cameras. That’s right, Donald Trump thinks that body cams will limit a police officer’s freedom to do their job – a position that should make sense given his recent trouble with being on tape at work. Donald’s defense of ‘freedom’ does not go so far as to give reformed felons the freedom to vote, or to give same-sex couples the freedom to marry, the freedom of Muslim-Americans to practice their religion privately. I don’t think I need to tell you where Hillary stands on these points.
I would like to conclude this contrast of the candidates by comparing their positions on immigration, because they are the most emblematic. Hillary Clinton supports a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants to the United States, she supports ending the 3 and 10 year bars that prevent deportees from legally returning. She would like to increase the amount of refugees sheltered by 55,000 annually from Syria alone. Donald Trump wants to build a wall, build a database of Muslims, take only “extreme-vetted” (a meaningless term of his own invention) refugees, and deport 6 million illegal immigrants in his first year in office (something that will presumably also be a drain on his tax-starved administration). One candidate understands how vital immigrants are to maintaining strong economic growth and population, how vitally they contribute to the fiber of what it means to be an American. When Donald Trump looks out his window in New York and sees the Statue of Liberty – what does he think it represents?
Hillary Clinton has sober and well articulated plans for a continuation of the policies put in place by the Obama administration. Policies that will see increased employment, healthcare coverage and economic growth. Trump has blustering, patriotic-sounding nonsense designed to appeal to a base but not to govern a country.
I understand that Hillary is boring, unappealing and easy to resent. She also happens to be the only qualified person running for President.