I don’t know anyone who dislikes Hilary Clinton as much as I do. And I know a LOT of people who don’t like her. Who even despise her. And yet, I kind of think I might despise her more. I know. It’s not a spitting contest or anything, but I have to say that if it were (a contest), I just might win. I calculated that I’ve written, at least, 17,306 (unkind) words about her. This would translate into somewhere between 45 – 60 pages if it were an actual old-timey book. I’ve also edited down TV footage and made videos comparing her to Bernie Sanders. I’ve spent too many hours to count looking for her Goldman Sachs transcripts, which are clearly in a black hole far, far away.
When I got my arm shattered playing hockey last August (I got hit from behind, never saw it coming), and I had to wear a temporary cast before having emergency surgery, I scribbled this on the outside so medical staff would think about voting for Bernie:
And, not to skip a beat, when I couldn’t type for months because my arm was healing from all the pins and plates that got put into it, I actually bought that stupid Dragon dictation software so I could just keep writing about climate change and how much I distrusted and did not like Hillary Clinton. By the way, I ended up typing with one hand because it’s faster than Dragon software, so don’t waste your money if you break a limb.
When I was up for a grant with a large non-profit which, to my dismay, is funded by someone who has donated many millions to Hillary Clinton’s campaign (but I still wrote about how bad she was), apparently leading to me being disqualified from what should have been a “shoe-in,” I still wrote about how much I didn’t like her. I should have kept my mouth shut and deleted what I wrote about her (and, needless to say, stopped writing more), but that’s how much I dislike her. I was watching a segment on CBS News last night about sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos who held up their arm in what is called a Black Power salute to draw attention to racial inequality in America while they were receiving medals at the 1968 Olympic medal ceremony in Mexico, resulting in them being ejected and banned from the games (and losing their medals), and Smith said this:
“When you do something you really believe in, you really don’t think about the cost. You just do it.”
Yeah. I totally get it.
One of my posts, which was titled, “Fuck Hillary Clinton (and the Democratic Party she rode in on)” got me in a bit of hot water with social media sites because of the salty language. Not to be dissuaded, I kept the title the way it was because that’s how much I don’t like her. What I’m saying is that my distrust and dislike of Hillary Clinton run so deep that I thought, “hell, I’m not even going to vote.” I felt that there was no way I could “pull the lever” and cast a vote for her given what I know. I thought about voting for Trump, but only because that’s just how much I dislike Clinton. I even thought, “hey, what’s the worst he could do?” He’s an idiot, and I don’t even think he believes, or even understands, most of what comes out of his mouth. But then I went back to thinking that I just can’t vote. Jill Stein has no chance and the Libertarian Gary Johnson couldn’t find his own arse (not to mention Aleppo) with GPS and a roadmap. Throw in little facts about Johnson’s campaign like he opposes free college, wants to build more coal-fired power plants (wtf?), is a proponent of private prisons, wants to repeal Obamacare, slash spending on social programs, and (drumroll please) he ignores the subject of climate change and opposes regulation of the fossil fuel industry. And that’s just for starters.
The dangers of having a President who is a half-wit
Somewhere around August 2016, I started to get this ugly feeling of dread when Donald Trump began picking people to be on his “team.” Lots of climate change deniers, fossil fuel guys (and one woman), and a lot of people way more tuned in to how to get things done than The Donald. About that time, I began thinking about the film “Being There,” with Peter Sellers playing Chance the Gardener who is simple-minded and only knows the world through television, but people bizarrely assume he’s brilliant. I began to see how easily Trump could be persuaded, cajoled, conned, and controlled, a la this
Who became a pawn of this guy ↓ (who did know what he was doing):
As I wrote about here, the damage Dick Cheney “baked in” to our energy system is the gift which keeps on giving, or taking. And all these years later, we’re still unable to untangle the web that George W. Bush allowed “in.”
So, what’s my “beef” with Hillary?
Other than having that icky feeling that she isn’t telling the truth about most stuff, and that, as Obama said during his presidential campaign against her, “she’ll do anything to get elected,” the main reason I dislike and distrust Hillary Clinton is because I do not want to be fooled again. And by “again,” I’m referring to President Obama, who I voted for twice, and who I’ve also written a lot about. It really ticks me off to be lied to and tricked and Obama has done that in spades. I trusted his statements about being concerned about climate change, his promises about clean energy, and his pledge to “call Mexico and Canada to amend NAFTA immediately” upon becoming elected. Ha! Right. I actually had a contest for my readers a year or so ago, asking them what were the four most dangerous words spoken by President Obama. The answer was, “all of the above,” as in his “all of the above” energy policy, which really has translated into “all of the below” that can be drilled, fracked, and clawed at. You can read about it, if you wish, by clicking on All of the Above in the tag cloud on this website.
Here’s what oil production looks like under the Obama Administration:
Before Obama began his presidency (January 2009), the US produced 5.1 million barrels per day of oil according to the USEIA. By April 2016, that number had risen 74% to 8.9 million barrels per day. By 2015, the US had pumped more oil than it had in the previous 43 years, the most in American history, and had become the world’s No. 1 petroleum producer when you include (fracked) natural gas. We rank third behind Russia and Saudi Arabia in crude oil production. And under Obama (and the GOP led Congress), the 40 year-old ban on liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports has been lifted, as I wrote here, and here and here.
As for NAFTA, well, we know nothing changed there under Obama. And keep in mind that NAFTA was ushered in by a (previously opposing) Bill Clinton. Now we have Obama, also a Democrat, trying to astroturf and shove the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) down our throats, which is something that I compare to NAFTA on steroids. I have also written a lot about TPP, which Hillary Clinton helped craft and which she was supportive of, until Bernie Sanders made her take a stand against it (thank you, Bernie). In fact, the only way something like NAFTA and TPP could stand a chance of being snuck in under our collective radar is by having a Democrat support them because then, a whole lot of people just assume that they (such trade agreements) can’t be that bad, they can’t be that much about total corporate control over democratic processes because, hey, look, it’s a Democrat supporting it, right? Wrong. As they say about the Holocaust, never again.
As Santayana wrote in “The Life of Reason,” (1905):
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
In other words, Hillary Clinton, I fear and strongly suspect, will not fight climate change. Instead, she’ll do what her record and past suggest, which is support the fossil fuel industry, just as Barack Obama has done. Once elected, we’re stuck and the environment can’t take much more of it, to be honest. Plus, most people will give her a “pass,” just like I did with Obama for the first 4+ years (until it was too late). The problem with not wanting to have Hillary Clinton as president is…
Donald Trump would be SO much worse
As the Jello-mold begins to set on what a Trump presidency would look like (eww):
I have to say that it’s pretty fucking terrifying.
Think about it like a pet dog. It’s the weak ones that are the most dangerous. I had a Rottweiler named Kali (which means Goddess of Destruction in Hindi). She was, right from the start, an “alpha dog.” She wasn’t scared of anything, no matter how big it was. She’d go into a kennel of free ranging German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers, and Swiss Mountain Dogs and they’d “part like the Red Sea.” I remember the owner of that kennel telling me (after her first time boarding there) that she was in charge, and not a single other dog, cha cha’d with her. The guy was in awe. He and his wife actually had Kali sleep in the house with them (!). She wasn’t aggressive, she had confidence and couldn’t be spooked. All 150 pounds of her was as gentle as a kitten. Kids would literally jump on her because they thought she looked like Carl from the children’s books:
Kali never hurt a flea. She was steady, dependable, and unafraid. After she went on to Doggie Heaven, Daisy May came along. She was half Labrador, half Grayhound, and 100% terrified. Daisy was uncertain about herself and she didn’t like things happening around her that spooked her. She was unpredictable and I wouldn’t leave her around kids without me being there. She did bite one girl when the little brat jumped on Daisy and scared her. Hillary Clinton is not Kali, but Donald Trump is Daisy.
Trump doesn’t know what he doesn’t know, but he does realize that he’s out of his league. Couple that with the fact that he has zero attention span, nothing to lose, and he’s about as deep, intellectually, as a puddle. He not only doesn’t know anything about the world, but, worse, he’s not even the slight bit curious. He’s all knuckle-drag, while absolutely convinced that he’s “alpha,” which he’s not. It’s just that he’s not smart enough to know it. This is a dangerous combination, and not because of the oft repeated scenario of him having the “nuclear codes,” which doesn’t mean much to younger generations who did not live during the Cold War. Trump is dangerous because he can so, so easily be manipulated to do a) the wrong thing, b) the right thing, c) any thing. I’m absolutely certain that he doesn’t have a plan, a clue, or even a desire to be president. He most likely thought the whole thing was a great publicity stunt from the beginning which is why he doesn’t care if he contradicts himself, makes stuff up, lies, and does not know one thing about how diplomacy or even geopolitics work.
Policy wonks in Ivory Towers are crapping themselves every time Trump concedes his admiration for Vladimir Putin. But why wouldn’t he? To Trump, who is nearly as simple-minded as Chance the Gardener, Putin is John Wayne or some close approximation. For someone who doesn’t understand or even pretend to care about history, Putin is just one brave shirtless dude riding a horse into the sunset. Now, make no mistake about it, the “right” people could make Trump do “good,” except that those aren’t the people who are surrounding him. The people that understand how weak and malleable Trump really is, and how little he cares to actually learn about the world, are people like this:
The jackal on the right (Cheney) is worse than Rumsfield, but don’t be fooled by their “grandfatherly” demeanor. They’re responsible for a lot of death and destruction and, most relevant here, manipulation of weaker men, like George W. Bush. But don’t take my word for it. You can read some of what they “accomplished” here.
George Bush and Donald Trump are not the same kind of dangerous, nor are they the same kind of stupid, but the damage that can occur under their tutelage is similarly devastating. George W. Bush was (is) a daddy’s boy, pampered, privileged and pretty much a failure. You can see why he’d seek advice from father figures like Cheney et al. Their confidence and assurances could not have felt too different from his father’s. On the flip side of that is the fact that no one, not even a gaggle of white supremacists, would vote Cheney into a position of power, but Dubya, well, he’s just a good ole’ boy, and hard to hate. And it is a good ole boy’s club, after all.
Donald Trump has, and will, surround himself with similarly bad people who know a rube, albeit a pampered one, when they see one. Like sharks in the water who detect blood, these guys, who will all look and sound like people who are already around Trump (so as not to startle him) are busy working on their Christmas lists (like Cheney was) and how best to secure, for the long term, who and what they need. Meanwhile, Trump, who is all reflexive id, is just bobbing and weaving and applying spackle wherever he fears his vulnerabilities are showing, which in his case is his actual or perceived net worth. You almost feel sorry for him when he blurts out, unconsciously, to 100 million people that he doesn’t pay taxes because he’s “smart.” Not smart enough to realize that we all heard him say it, but whatever.
To be clear, I’m not saying that Donald Trump would get into office and “fool us” all with his evil plans. I don’t think he has a plan within a light year of Trump Tower. He’s been flying by the seat of his pants his whole life. Clinton may, or may not, have plans. Honestly, I’m not sure she’s had an original idea her whole life.
She’s also malleable, but less so since she’s not stupid.
I think that if I had to spend a month, or a year, on an island with only either Trump or Clinton, I’d choose Trump. He seems funny enough and entertaining, in a Chance the Gardener kind of way. I think I’d be bored with Hillary Clinton, plus I don’t think she’d have very good survival skills. These are things which are deeply intuitive for most of us, which is why no one I know, including my four kids, think Clinton is untrustworthy. They feel it, deep in their primitive, 10,000 year old evolutionary brains (which are all any of us have to operate with). One of my daughters, when she was only eleven or twelve years old, saw Bernie Sanders speaking on TV (in an interview). At this point, she did not know who he was, what a Democrat, Republican, Progressive, etc. were. She watched him speak and said to me, “I just want to hug him.” Boom. It blew me away. Without me saying a word, or smiling, or nodding (aka priming), she felt he was genuine and sincere.
In fact, I have two (voting) millennials who don’t like or trust Clinton and then there’s me, a 52 year old college educated (with a Master’s degree) white, life-long Democrat (and a woman) – we comprise, literally, the demographic that Clinton needs and which keeps slipping through her fingers, like grains of sand. She doesn’t know how to hold on to these two groups because she can’t speak the language. It’s like we’re on a different frequency she can’t quite tune into. And for many of us, all we hear when she opens her mouth is someone who isn’t genuine. To us, she keeps spouting off politi-speak which means nothing, says nothing, and stands for nothing. For the most part, whatever she says cannot be firm and definitive because then there’s no room to backtrack. She’s had to plainly state a (new) position on the Trans-Pacific Partnership because her back was to the wall thanks to Bernie and even Trump or else she’d have remained vague. I could even see, in the early days of her campaign, how she’d have done it. She said that she wouldn’t support TPP if it wasn’t “a good deal.” So, I imagined that she would then, with very few tweaks, decide it had become said “good deal,” and support it.
For all the ridiculous and outrageous stuff that comes out of Trump’s mouth, you do feel that, like a toddler who’s had too much juice box, he’s genuine…fleetingly believing whatever he’s saying, at least a little bit, while he’s saying it..then forgetting and moving on to the next toy, already bored. The right lobbyist whispering in his ear could get him to flip on something like TPP, with a wave of the hand and a shrug, saying, “Now it’s a good deal.” And boom, that’s done. And we’re done for.
All the people tripping and foaming at the mouth about an apocalyptic Trump presidency aren’t hitting their marks because, like Drunk Uncle on Saturday Night Live, most of us just don’t feel the evil emanating from Donald Trump.
Petulant, restless, clueless, yes. I’d bet he’s (genuinely) surprised when he offends and hurts someone’s feelings.
If pundits and other such voices of reason really want to turn the tide against Trump before the election, they should be highlighting those around him, and I’m not talking about his daughter. Even his sons seem like clueless frat boy nitwits. For example, this past July, Donald Trump told a Colorado TV station that fracking should be disallowed by local communities (that news clip can be seen here), but a few weeks later, billionaire oil man (and potential Trump pick for Energy Secretary) Harold Hamm told the Wall Street Journal that Trump hadn’t “understood the question,” and that he (Trump) would absolutely not support local control of where and what gets fracked. Hamm went so far as to say that he hadn’t actually spoken with Trump about his statements in Colorado, and yet, he felt confident that Trump did not support local bans. Sounds like the tail is wagging the dog, to me. And if I were really trying to scare people away from voting for Trump, I’d highlight assholes like (appropriately named) Harold Hamm as devious and dangerous, because he is.
Or how about Trump advisor and potential EPA chief (and big time climate change denier), Kathleen Hartnett-White, who says that we should create a commission to debate the existence of climate change? W – a- a – t ????
A tipping point has been reached. The evil swarming around a Trump presidency has now outweighed the evil of a Clinton presidency.
There’s a reason that the word realpolitik is in the bottom 40% of Merriam Webster’s words…because it sucks.
To read about what kinds of things Trump can, and presumably will, do on Day One of his presidency (with the help of his “friends”), click this link to a PBS NewsHour story and just try to tell me that a lot of innocent people aren’t going to take a hit, potentially mortal, right from the very start. You just know that if someone puts a stack of papers in front of him to read and sign, it will take about 2 seconds for him to get restless and ask someone, anyone, who’s conveniently standing next to him, to tell him what to do because he doesn’t want to read through it. You just know I’m right, don’t you? You can just feel it.
And then he’ll Tweet about it.
Or, like Chance the Gardener, he’d turn his beloved television back on, where he feels safe and comfortable.
For a fascinating linguistic examination about how Trump and Clinton’s speaking styles differ, click here;
“President Trump’s First Term,” September 26, 2016, The New Yorker;
“Oil Production under Obama,” July 21, 2016, CNN Money;
“Donald Trump’s Energy Policy Would Be a Nightmare,” September 29, 2016, Rolling Stone Magazine;
“Why Dick Cheney is way worse than you remember,” October 6, 2015, Schatzie’s Earth Project;
“What President Donald Trump would do on Day 1,” September 22, 2016, PBS NewsHour.