We are 22 days away from the general election and the stakes get more and more interesting by the minute. For people who enjoy a good laugh, this election has not been disappointing. The debates have been absolute jokes and our front-running candidates are both scaring the hell out of most of us. This could not be truer for our good old friend, Donald J. Trump.
In case you have not been following the election, which I think is virtually impossible at this point, Donald Trump was recently caught up in another scandal questioning his opinions and attitudes towards women. A recording was obtained by The Washington Post, which featured Trump telling Billy Bush, a co-host of NBC’s Today Show, about his sexual escapades with women. On the recording, Trump can be heard saying the following:
“I did try and **** her. She was married.”
“I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said, ‘I’ll show you where they have some nice furniture.’ I took her out furniture — I moved on her like a bitch. But I couldn’t get there. And she was married. Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look.”
“I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”
“Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.”
There is no question that this recording probably marks the end of the Trump campaign for presidency. Trump has come under so much more scrutiny, an overwhelming amount of an overwhelming variety, but this was the first scandal to result in well-known Republicans withdrawing their support for him, most notably Arizona Senator John McCain. Trump looks like he is done, as he probably should be. It is obvious that, despite his legitimate conservative stances on important policies, he is not someone who should be leading this country. He has said too much.
Yet, there are still many supporters holding on to Trump.
I could never understand the appeal of such a man, but I think there is an overall fear and hatred for Hillary Clinton that is driving people to continue their support for him. To make more of an effort to understand Trump supporters, I perused some of the editorials on various news sites, as well as some of the pro-Trump pieces on The Odyssey. I made a short list of the very few remaining reasons why Trump supporters continue to hold on. Now, I intend to kill the last of those reasons because, well, I care about this country.
Before you get angry at me and start calling me a bleeding-heart liberal (which I am not offended by at the slightest), please understand that I am writing this article with the intention of getting remaining Trump supporters to consider a different candidate. I am not just talking about Hillary Clinton. I am also referring to legitimate third-party candidates who are all better choices than Donald Trump. I do plan on debunking some of the myths behind Hillary Clinton’s reputation, but only because I believe misperceptions of Clinton are fueling the fire behind the remaining Trump supporters. I am not pro-Hillary, but I am anti-Trump. Being anti-Trump does not mean I am pro-Hillary.
Now, let’s get into this.
Remaining Reason One: The Trump Tapes were just private “locker-room talk.” Why should we be surprised anyway? It's Donald Trump.
The “locker-room talk” defense did not play over kindly with professional athletes who spend a significant amount of time in actual locker rooms. LeBron James, along with many other athletes, have denounced Trump’s locker-room defense. ‘‘We don’t disrespect women in no shape or fashion in our locker room. That never comes up. Obviously, I got a mother-in-law, a wife, a mom and a daughter and those conversations just don’t go on in our locker room.”
The fact that Trump and his supporters even tried to play the recording off as locker-room talk simply perpetuates the notion of “boys will be boys,” which implies that men should not be held accountable for constantly sexualizing and mistreating women as long as it stays behind closed doors. When we allow that to happen, then we start to let other things happen behind closed doors, such as sexual assault and domestic violence. Then begins the domino effect of women being blamed for their assault and men getting off scot-free, such as Brock Turner and his three-month prison sentence for sexual assault this year.
Of course, I must bring up Tomi Lahren’s Final Thoughts video about the Trump Tapes. In her video, she says that she is not surprised at all by Trump’s comments, and says that most of her viewers should not be surprised either. “It’s Donald Trump, a billionaire, business man, reality star, not the Pope! Is anyone really that taken aback by what he said?”
What Tomi is missing is that Donald Trump is running for President of the United States! Imagine if this was Obama during the 2008 election. Do you really think the public reaction to the Trump Tapes would have been the same if they were the Obama Tapes? Why should we allow this bully to get away with this kind of talk? He is supposed to be a role model for the entire country. Donald Trump is the absolute polar opposite of a role model.
I also read an editorial in the Detroit News where the author called Trump a gentleman because he apologized for his remarks. I am sorry, but if he “grabbed your pussy,” but apologized for it afterwards, would you really say, “oh, what a gentleman!”? Get real people.
Remaining Reason Two: That tape was an invasion of privacy anyway. It should have never been released to the public.
I beg to differ. I will say it again: this guy is running for president. At this point, we need everything out on the table, and that goes for all candidates. It does not matter if this recording was obtained unethically. The recording exists and Trump said what he said.
Going along with this notion of finding out everything about the presidential candidates, I am one of the people who support the effort of trying to recover Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails. I am not on the level of Fox News, where there could be a tornado destroying Los Angeles and the top story would still be her emails, but I agree that the situation is sketchy and her excuses are shady at best.
Remaining Reason Three: “I am more bothered by what Hillary has done more than what Trump has said.”
Many remaining Trump-backers have turned this into their most-recent mantra. Let me ask you all: what exactly has Hillary done? Allow me quickly to break down the top three reasons people give me for why Hillary cannot be president.
Benghazi: Okay, if this is your main reason for not supporting her, can you at least tell me where Benghazi is, or what it is? Here is the deal. Four Americans were killed in an attack in Benghazi, Libya. An investigation into the State Department was conducted after the attack because some Republicans were convinced that Benghazi was a cover-up by the Obama Administration. Hillary Clinton was secretary of state at the time, and the investigation discovered that her government email address had no correspondence about the attack. The investigation committee requested her to turn over her private email server, which started “emailgate,” because the committee was convinced she was somehow behind the attack. The Benghazi scandal was covered heavily by Fox News and covered more in-depth by conservative news networks than by mainstream media. After all the trouble, no substantial evidence of Clinton’s involvement was discovered.
Emailgate: I am still concerned of why she delayed handing over her server, why she noted that nearly 30,000 personal emails were deleted, and her bad excuses as to why she had a private server to begin with. Despite my reservations, Benghazi and her email scandal was blown out of proportion by Fox News. End of story.
Bill Clinton: Just stop. Bill is not running for president, Hillary is, which does not mean that they are the same exact person! Someone obviously needs to remind Donald Trump of that. I hear people complain about how she handled herself and how she defended her husband for his actions, but let me ask this. If you were the first lady or husband, and your spouse (the president) was caught in scandal, is there really any correct way of reacting to it? The scandal was a mess, but it was over 16 years ago and had nothing to do with Hillary herself.
Remaining Reason Four: Screw everything else, he is going to do what is most important: securing our borders.
Okay. The Great Wall of Mexico is not going to work. The idea is too extreme and it does not consider the real reasons why we have such a porous border. Check out this hilarious video from Adam Ruins Everything, which does a good job at capturing the stupidity of the wall.
If you want more substantial facts on why it will not work, check out these statistics from the Pew Research Center on undocumented immigrants. The inflow of undocumented immigrants has stabilized in recent years. Only around half of undocumented immigrants are from Mexico, and as Adam notes in his video, some of those people come over in planes. That leaves way less than five million undocumented immigrants from Mexico that came over the border itself. That is a smaller number than 11.1 million, isn’t it? Can we justify building a really expensive wall to keep five million people out of our country? Maybe we could focus on different efforts, such as an easier path to citizenship or cracking down on border security guards who, after all, are human and susceptible to human error, whether it is accidental or intentional.
Moral of the story: stop chanting “build a wall.” It’s not going to work.
Remaining Reason Five: Trump will stop extreme Islamic terrorists and defeat ISIS.
Actually, this is somewhat true. If America whole-heartedly agreed that we need a rugged cowboy who’s ready to kill all the terrorists, Donald Trump would be our man. However, Trump is way too unstable to be our commander in chief. He has publicly supported the use of nuclear weapons and told his supporters that he would “bomb the shit out of” ISIS and “kill their families.”
Let’s face it, my military friends, Donald Trump is not good for America’s well-being. Yes, he wants to build up our defense, which is a legitimate debatable issue to take a stance on, but it sounds like he would use our military personnel as pawns to destroy all our enemies (especially Muslims). Trump does not have the temperament to pursue diplomatic solutions first, which is what we all should be hoping for.
Also, I look at our conflicts through a humanistic perspective. Every time the United States bombs Syria, we end up killing innocent civilians. Families, children specifically, live in constant fear of our drones. In my opinion, the way we pursue armed conflict right now is not the most effective, efficient, or ethical. Donald Trump is not going to make it any better. Of course, you can sit there and just be thankful it is not happening to Americans, on American soil. You can think that way if you want, but I prefer to think about all lives affected by a war in this world. Americans are not a special breed of human undeserving of tragedy and violence. We are all humans.
Remaining Reason Six: Trump is going to run this country like a business, and Hillary is just going to raise everyone’s taxes.
This helpful article out of The Washington Post explains what is wrong with this statement. Both candidates are going to have to raise taxes on people; that is just the tale of the times. However, Donald Trump has drastically over exaggerated how much Clinton’s policies will raise taxes, where his own policies, according to the article, are likely to increase taxes on single-parent and multiple-child households.
Also, how exactly does someone run a country of over 300 million people like a business? Have you seen Congress? There is always going to be so much conflict at the government level due to party affiliations. A country cannot run as a business that negotiates deals when the government can’t even negotiate with itself. A business’s goal is to make money, which is why this sounds so appealing to everyone.
Remaining Reason Seven: Trump is pro-America, and we need a true American who is concerned with Americans and American issues. ‘Murica!
Okay, calm down. Everyone running to be president is obviously concerned about Americans and American issues. Donald Trump just happens to be the candidate that spews the most red, white, and blue. Do not let yourself be blinded by that. As we have discussed already, Trump is a businessman. Coming from someone who has gone through two years of business school, the goal of being a businessman is to make money. Yes, that means making money for the country, but this is a multi-billionaire we are talking about, who avoided paying income taxes for several years. Is this someone we can undoubtedly trust to make money for our country without having ulterior profit motives?
Remaining Reason Eight: Look. The only other choice is Hillary, and she’s nothing but a two-faced liar.
Politifact, a great fact-checking website, actually says that Hillary Clinton is trustworthy more often than Donald Trump is. Just going to put that right there…
Everyone, Hillary Clinton is not as bad as Fox News makes her out to be. Fox News, which is the number-one most-watched “news” network in the country, has a huge conservative bias. Hillary Clinton’s platform is more liberal, so naturally, Fox News is going to present her in a negative light.
If your only source of news media is Fox News or any of those Facebook pages like The Daily Conservative, diversify yourself. Watch a good balance of CNN, MSNBC, and Fox. Read articles from The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. Get a balance, and you will be able to tell which truths are stressed when it comes to our presidential candidates.
Lastly, Hillary Clinton is by no means the only other choice. Our country’s two-party political system tricks us into thinking that way. It makes us question our ability to vote for a third-party candidate. We get stuck in the notion that there is no way a third-party candidate will be able to get more votes than the two major candidates. The only way a third-party candidate can get elected is by doing what many Americans are too afraid to do: vote for them.
I highly encourage you to reconsider your perceptions of Hillary Clinton, put your conservative media biases aside, and take an honest look at her platform. If you still share some uneasiness for Hillary Clinton like I do, check out Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, Darrell Castle, and Chris Keniston. Not all of these people are on the ballot in every state, but you can always write them in. Let this be the election where Americans are not bullied into voting for the lesser of the two evils. Maybe in 2020, we can rid ourselves of only two choices. The only way that happens is if we allow ourselves to believe there are only two choices.
Overall, we need to just drop Trump. The man is dangerous. He is a racist, sexist, Islamophobic, trigger-happy nut job. I do not like dropping labels like these, but he has earned every one of them. If you support Trump, it is okay to not vote for him. It is okay to admit he is wrong for us. There are other candidates who have the conservative platform you are looking for.
Dump Trump. He’s not your answer, and that’s okay.