The Abandonment of Vigilance and the Embracing of Empty Promises
I have voted in every primary election, off-year election, and presidential election since I was of voting age (1968), with the exception of one off-year election when I was in the hospital and unable to get to the polls. If the choice in November is between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, I believe there is at least a chance that I may sadly sit an election out, not because I am proving a point, as I have known people to foolishly do in the past, but because America will have reached the point at which its citizens have placed two completely incompetent, utterly characterless candidates at the top of the tickets, when there were many well-qualified people of character from which they could have chosen. I believe such a circumstance may finally signify that the electorate no longer concerns itself with honesty and integrity, and is simply willing to accept shallow, verbose, clarion-call, empty promises from candidates whose resumés reveal that they have no right to expect anyone (who has been paying attention) to place any realistic value on those promises.
Donald Trump has promised to use the power of the executive order every bit as often as Barack Obama has, and presumably with every bit as much disregard for the limits of presidential power imposed upon him by the U.S. Constitution, the most brilliant blueprint for governance ever devised by the mind of man. If you appear to have little genuine knowledge of, and utter disregard for, that magnificent document, I cannot in good conscience support your candidacy, and I consider you an enemy of my beloved republic.
It is primarily through the gradual, and purposeful, demeaning and degrading of the Constitution that America has been brought to her knees by those who consider it nothing more than an outdated, restrictive piece of yellowed, meaningless antiquity. It is not! It is the foundation upon which this republic anchored itself in order to become the most moral and prosperous civilization in the history of mankind. Without it that process would have failed miserably, and unless we renew our commitment to see to it that our leadership has as its primary focus the defense of every word of that document, we are condemning ourselves to the dustbin of history. Think about the past history of the man who proudly promises to use the telephone and the pen to, in effect, create unconstitutional legislation. Just a few (of countless) examples of behaviors that deeply concern me:
(1) Referring to Barack Obama in 2009: He understands how the economy works on a comprehensive level. He has surrounded himself with very competent people and that’s the mark of a strong leader.
(2) Made a maximum donation to Harry Reid’s 2010 campaign, after Obamacare had passed.
(3) Donated $50K to Rahm Emanuel, then Obama’s Chief of Staff, in his Chicago mayoral bid.
(4) Supported the stimulus.
(5) Supported Obama’s efforts to nationalize banks.
(6) I was his biggest cheerleader, in an interview with Sean Hannity regarding his support of Barack Obama in 2008.
(7) Was once vehemently in favor of partial birth abortion (the torture and gruesome murder of full-term babies) and strongly pro-choice.
(8) Believes (present tense) in universal healthcare, and when asked how it would be financed replied, The government will pay for it.
(9) Has made substantial contributions to Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Charles Rangel, Chuck Schumer, Ted Kennedy, the Democratic State Campaign Committee of NY, etc. Of all of his contributions to NY candidates, 2/3 of that money has been given to democrats.
(10) Has used the shield of eminent domain, as described in the Fifth Amendment, to use the power of the government as a hired thug in order to confiscate other people’s property, line his own personal coffers, and increase the tax base of neighborhoods in which he invests. The concept of property rights, so sacred to our Founders, means nothing to him.
Yes, a politician has the right to change positions on issues by evolving over time. But Donald Trump’s evolution has been dramatic and drastic, depending on the way the political winds are blowing from one year to the next. None of the other republican candidates have changed their views on more than one or two issues (if that) over their political/non-political careers, and few or none of those changes have been major ones. I would also venture to guess that not one of them has ever contributed one dollar to politicians as ultra-liberal/progressive as those politicians who have consistently been the beneficiaries of Trump’s financial largesse.
I cannot support a man who proudly brags that he will use the power of the executive pen, with Barack Obama as his role model in doing so, in order to get things done the way he believes they need to be done, when his policy beliefs change as often as the weather. Who on earth knows what he will consider needing to be done a year, or two years, from now? His priorities, and his viewpoints, swing from one end of the spectrum to the other, and I don’t think anyone (including Trump himself) can rely on the concreteness, and longevity, of any of his convictions.
And yet Donald Trump has tapped into the paralyzing fears that have taken root in every American’s (myself included) heart. His supreme gift is the ability to verbalize those fears and promise to eradicate the causes of them. How he will do so, whether he will create other fearsome threats in the process, and how long his commitment to honor his promises will last, is anyone’s guess.
As I see it, a choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will boil down to a choice between a grandiose, narcissistic, rude, childish, arrogant pig-in-a-poke and a grandiose, narcissistic, rude, arrogant traitorous felon. America can do so much better, and the fact that the citizenry is not demanding a better choice (which is available for the asking, since any one of the remaining republican candidates fit that so much better bill) is evidence that the vigilance that our Founders pleaded with us to practice in order to maintain our republic has been abandoned, at the most pivotal point in our history, when that abandonment removes the hope of any lifeline to forestall, or prevent, the demise of our republic.