TO THE UNDECIDED VOTERS

I’ve never been into sports so politics has always been my way of enjoying competition, with real. life-changing consequences. I’m not going to bore you with reasons why this election is so important, because you’ve heard that one at least every 4 years.  I cannot tell you to vote if you’re not going to do so – the consequences of inaction are actually quite inconsequential on an individual level. But if you are planning to vote and have not made up your mind, here are some things to chew on while you’re standing in that ballot box, pen in hand, ready to make THE choice.

Even though it is weighed down by racist, sexist and kooky baggage, bereft of facts, details or supporting evidence, some of what Trump says has merit.  To throw out the baby with the bathwater would be the wrong move. Clinton has flaws.  Her penchant for secrecy and failure to follow the strict rules (albeit without clear intent to hide anything) regarding emails is a problem. The idea that her husband received enormously high speaking fees while she was Secretary of State from countries that had a vested interest in her decisions screams conflict of interest, despite the fact that there is nothing specifically illegal about such an arrangement. The same goes for donations to the Clinton Foundation, which, luckily, appears to have been involved in solid efforts around the world. There’s probably a better politician than Clinton, but Donald Trump is not that man.

He has solid points about the Iraq War (at least now), and Clinton’s course of action in Libya, Syria and Iraq. His misgivings about tax dollars being spent on defending the world and Middle Eastern imperialist adventurism are not without a basis in fact either. It is telling that many of the same Democrats who were adamantly against the post 9/11 Iraq War are happily voting for a candidate with a hawkish foreign policy.  So in that sense, I get it from the Trump side of things. When it comes to free trade, we differ strongly, but I understand his dissatisfaction with the losers of NAFTA.  There may be a politician who can eloquently and, without recklessness, implement strategies that effectuate these changes in foreign policy and trade imbalances, but Donald Trump is not that man.

Maybe you’re mad about how Bernie was shafted and the DNC was out for him from day 1. Some of his ideas are the same as Donald Trump’s, but he’s sadly off the ticket.  There might be someone out there to replace him, but Donald Trump is not that man.  Maybe you’re against immigration from Muslims or Mexicans, but Donald Trump won’t be able to implement any of his alleged plans.  His expensive wall will be useless (tunnels) and his ban on Muslim immigrants will almost certainly be thwarted.  Maybe you want a politician who can solve the real problem: massive unemployment among those without a college education but that just won’t happen because of automation and robots.

Donald Trump IS a man who operates mostly in a reckless manner, without regard to facts, expert advice or even common sense much of the time.  I can go down the list, but you already know that about him.  If you’re a Trump supporter, you’ve chosen to just ignore it, like a flaw in your partner on the first date (a flash of anger) which turned into something terrible (domestic violence).  But it’s relevant because the same guy who is up at 3am tweeting about to Miss Universe may find himself embroiled in a diplomatic row with a country where we have good relations, only to see them completely destroyed either by failing to carry out a trade agreement or, quite possibly, by an act of war. Trump shoots from the hip, and what is needed is caution, nuance and patience, especially in today’s very dangerous world.

If you’re worried about Clinton’s honesty, her record on obliterating authoritarian nations into failed states, and her apparent conflict of interest with regards to the Clinton Foundation, you’re not alone, but that does not mean you cannot vote for her.  Indeed, the safety of the entire planet depends on it.  We can debate the merits of free trade, isolationism, and immigration all day long, but the best way to save your country is to vote for her, and then apply political pressure to ensure your version of a just society is implemented.  Clinton is not ideal, but she can be repaired. Trump struggles with staying on message every day, and he will be off leash if he is elected.  So if you haven’t figured it out by now, you undecided voter, please vote Hillary Clinton.  She’s not the Messiah, she’s not particularly entertaining or exciting, but she has the experience and reason to set this country on the correct course, with a bit of nudging from the left and the reasonable right.  Happy voting!

 

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