Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Who Should Win the Election?

Note: This post was written differently from the previous ones. We wrote the initial statements separately, posted them simultaneously, read the other, and then wrote a response.

Donald Trump has given several major policy speeches, including topics such as the economy, terrorism, foreign policy, immigration reform, and law and order.. He didn't have someone ghostwrite a book for him. He developed the policies with experts in each field. These experts have obtained a consensus that the majority of his ideas are better for the country than Clinton’s, particularly when it comes to taxes and the economy.

Economic growth is the key to making America great again. Trump promises to decrease regulation, which is keeping the economy from flourishing. Even the European Union has just introduced language into its charter reigning in regulations because it hurts growth. While we’re currently mired in the slowest recovery since the Depression, Clinton promises bigger government and more regulation. A survey of over 200 economist found that 77% supported Trump’s plans for the economy, while only 15% liked Clintons.

Trump knows more about the US tax code than just about anyone. He has freely admitted that he donated to politicians, because then “they owe you something”. He donated to the Clintons, and they came to his wedding. Wall street and foreign countries have donated to the Clintons, through their foundation. What will they expect in return? Trump understands it’s a rigged system, and has noted specific tax code changes to close loopholes. Clinton has benefitted from this system, and plans to continue to do so. Clinton says she’ll go after Wall Street in her public speeches, but we now know she’s been promising something different to the big bankers behind closed doors, for money. Trump is not paid for by Wall Street.

On foreign policy, many of our allies just don’t trust us anymore. Obama made many promises and threats, and failed to follow through. Our enemies are emboldened, and our allies feel as if we are unreliable. Clinton’s well-known inability to tell the truth exacerbates this problem. Trump will follow the Reagan model of projecting strength through a robust, well-trained, and well-supplied military.

Almost ¾ of Americans believe America is currently on the wrong track. What’s the definition of insanity? Clinton has promised she will deliver more of the same. She believes hard-working, middle-class Americans are deplorable and irredeemable. Trump understands the anger that created both the Trump and Sander’s movements. He understands American exceptionalism, and that it all begins with education. Not Common-Core, liberal, watered-down education, but real, competitive, charter-school driven education advancements that will create the next generation of successful Americans.

Who should win the election, and why? That's easy: Hillary Rodham Clinton. Why? She has shown that she has the right temperament, knowledge, and experience. That's it. There isn't any more to say. If policy mattered at all this election, she also has the right policies. But that doesn't even matter. If Trump had exactly the same policies as Clinton, I would not vote for him. For many, having the right temperament, knowledge, and experience are all that matters.

But why would anyone vote for Trump? Obviously he doesn't have the right temperament. He has over-the-top reactions to just about everything. He has no experience in, or knowledge of, government. He does have some experience, of course. But running a business (or playing an executive on TV) is not useful in running a government. One needs to know how government works. Even if you think that government doesn't actually function well, you still need to know the mechanics of government.

So why would Trump supporters think that proper temperament, knowledge, and experience don't matter? I believe that there are many people angry about their current situation, and it is worth trying anything to fix it. Perhaps they have lost their jobs or homes, or they are angry because they don't believe that they are getting what they deserve. They perceive their life was better in some "good ole days" and they are willing to try anything to get back there. Trump is their "Hail Mary" to an imagined better world.

The very idea of having to be respectful to others makes these people angry. Why? As you have pointed out, many of these people call themselves Christian. Of course, there are many other Christians that are not Trump supporters. But the Christians that are Trump supporters hate the idea of "political correctness" (i.e., being respectful to others). They don't find a problem with Jesus telling them to be respectful of others. But if someone representing the government suggests the same, they yell "we're losing our freedom!"

Government vs. religion. I believe that is the division. Trump Supporters want their church (or other local organization) to be their main organizing infrastructure. Others are fine using government to be that organizing and philosophical structure. Government could be the method that we all work together to build something for the greater good. But will they be willing to let that happen?

You put a great deal of faith in the word temperament. But I don't think you are using that word correctly. When you say temperament, do you mean the ability to lie while looking straight into someone's eyes? Do you mean the ability to have both a public and a private (and opposite) viewpoint on topics like dealing with Wall Street? Is temperament the ability to destroy other's lives while enriching your friends? Or perhaps temperament is just hiding your emails from the public by skirting federal law.

You need to brush up on your American history. Using only your temperament ideals, Teddy Roosevelt would be excluded from contention. LBJ would not have been allowed to be president. Both of these men were loud, obnoxious, and boorish. And, they accomplished great things.

Before they became president, none of our presidents had any experience in running a country. Clinton has a lot of experience being in politics. She's made numerous bad decisions. Her policies helped get Putin in a position where he is now dictating to the USA what we can and cannot do in the Middle East. She helped create the policies that enabled ISIS to become a force against us. She failed to provide enough security for the diplomatic staff at the most dangerous location in Libya. Having a great deal of experience within the machine of Washington DC is just a resume for doing more of the same.

Government versus religion? Yes, I do believe that's how you see the world. But your lack of understanding of Christians and Christianity surprises me. Christians do not like the idea of being forced to accept and condone sin or wrongdoing (political correctness). They are respectful of others, but don't wish the government to force them to participate in activities they believe are wrong. I'm surprised you would even spend half of your space to introduce religion into this debate. Christians have no candidate in this race with anything resembling a moral compass, except for Mike Pence. So they are left to look to the larger picture. Who will pick SCOTUS candidates that will protect innocent lives and ensure religious freedoms? Who is the most likely to protect Christians abroad from ISIS beheadings? Just today, emails revealed that Clinton's camp mocked Catholics and evangelical Christians. No wonder you also have such disdain for these Americans.

You and Hillary can go mock and ridicule (behind their backs) the rednecks, Catholics and Christians, and other deplorable and irredeemable Americans you care so much about.

After Clinton wins the election, and democrats control the Senate, and perhaps even the House, what will happen with Trump's supporters? Even before the votes are counted, some will attempt to cause chaos at the election sites to attempt to keep people from voting. Then, there will be cries that the election was stolen, even though Trump was never predicted to win:

From 538 blog:
Would Trump go as far as inciting attacks on the US government? I think that is a real possibility. In that case, it will be easier to identify those that do not want to live under the rule of law. More likely, people will say that Clinton is not their president, but won't break any laws directly.  This is not an appealing prospect for many Republicans, and will probably result in a third party. But I don't see people like the Koch brothers supporting such a party. The Koch brothers already have made inroads with the established Republicans, and are very cleverly attempting to co-opt colleges with money and institutes.

I expect that Trump and Roger Ailes will move back into their world and create "Trump TV" and other resources where conspiracy theories and hate can fester. As this group gets older, their numbers will diminish. Younger voters are more attracted to hope, not fear. But Trump and Ailes can make still make a couple of bucks before they fade from sight completely. But they won't get the kinds of publicity or attention from main stream media any more.

I suspect that the Republican party will learn some valuable lessons in all of this: there are far worse things than having your opponent win; sometimes you have far more in common with your opponent than someone on your own team; your opponent is not your enemy, but just working towards your goals, albeit via a different path. 


  1. Geesh... i don't talk about politics went my brothers. They can be bullies. Just an fyi... all of Donald Trumps books are all written with ghost writers.

    1. Well, we'll be your brothers! You have a safe space here.

      Trump admitted he doesn't even read, let alone write.

    2. Hi Martha. Hope all is well in Jersey!

      Hillary even notes within her last book that a "writing team" wrote her books for her.

    3. Matha's comment was about your statement: "He didn't have someone ghostwrite a book for him." Which is obviously false:

    4. Sorry Martha, I totally mis-read the meaning of your comment. You are correct and I appreciate your efforts to keep me honest! ~Dave

  2. As a Christian and a pastor, Donald Trump offends me. His extremely negative and offensive speech and actions make it impossible for me to affirm his desire to be POTUS. His heavily narcissistic character is practically a biblical prophecy of doom coming true! He has proven his inability to be a political leader over and over again. Hillary Clinton, while being accused of many, many things has never been actually proven to have committed any of the crimes she has been accused of. She has shown quite a bit of political savvy and the ability to get good things started, and that is the beginning of growth and progress. Perfecting these things remains for the government to continue. Slow and steady growth is healthier than rapid change. Hillary shows leadership as a democracy requires it. Trump shows leadership as a fascist nation requires.

    1. Thank you for your comment. I wonder how many other pastors feel something similar, but don't speak out.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Hi Tom. Thanks for the interest in the blog.
      We'll just have to disagree that starting more big-ticket government programs is a good thing. Bigger government does not equal better government. I personally believe that as a representative of the people, government should live within its means, and I believe the Bible supports that ideal.
      And remember, OJ Simpson was found not guilty in criminal court. Perhaps Doug and I will do a blog comparing
      the different standards of justice in this country for those who have
      wealth and power, and everyone else. ~Dave

  3. If you think Hillary Clinton lies, read her PolitiFact file:

    Then compare Donald Trump:

  4. There is no doubt that Clinton has been demonized for decades by the right. But this election shows that one can overcome the false narrative and false equivalency.

  5. I hope that people will vote based on issues rather than temperament. With respect to temperament, both candidates fail, but it is the issues that count.

    I respect that Trump distributed statements on the issues, with specific details about his plans for the future.

    I agree that economic growth is critical. Trump's plan is to decrease the corporate tax rate to encourage the private sector to expand and create new jobs. Clinton's plan is to increase taxes, which will create growth in the public sector.

    Since 1941 the number of public sector jobs in this country has more than quadrupled, while the number of manufacturing jobs has stayed the same. (Bureau of Labor Statistics: Government jobs increased from 4.8 million in 1941 to 22 million in 2015; manufacturing jobs stayed the same over the same time period at approximately 12.5 million.)

    To make matters worse, the level of taxpayer-funded employment today is understated because the government hires outside contractors rather than outright employees. Over time, a smaller percentage of private sector workers are paying taxes to support a larger public workforce.

    What is a "fair share" of taxes? America already has the highest corporate tax rate in the world and the fifth highest personal tax rate. Meanwhile the list of "entitlements" for each American gets longer. For example, free education used to be high school; now there is a push to include four years of liberal arts studies as well.

    It seems that "profit" has become a 4-letter word, but if the profitable people and companies in this country leave, then no one will be left to pay the taxes that support the 22 million public sector jobs and the entitlements that Americans now expect. Since 2006, the number of Americans renouncing their citizenship has increased ten-fold. Large companies that have reincorporated overseas for tax reasons include: Burger King, Transocean, Accenture, Ingersoll-Rand, Foster Wheeler, and Cooper Industries.

    Most private sector employees are not entrepreneurial. Most work for a company, and they hope that that company stays profitable and keeps jobs in this country.

    Many Wall Street companies would avoid the tax increases that Clinton would impose on everyone else. She favors the carried interest exemption that taxes the income of financial managers as long-term capital gains (20% tax rate) rather than as annual income (40% tax rate). Manufacturing companies are already paying double the tax rate that finance companies pay, and under Clinton's plan their rate will go up while Wall Street's will stay the same.

    Millions of dollars flow from Wall Street into the Clintons' private foundation every year, coincident with Clinton's support of a preferential tax rate for financiers. Trump also has donated to the Clintons' foundation. It is ironic that Clinton chastises Trump for taking advantage of tax code loopholes when past donations to her foundation, by Trump and others, arguably curried the favor that created those loopholes.

    Getting back to temperament, I don't care to dine with either candidate. It's funny that they have dined together: Clinton attended Trump's wedding in 2005. Clinton and Trump are both self-serving. They both fail to avoid the appearance of impropriety. It is certain that Trump has a misguided conception of women. It is certain that Clinton lied to the public over the Benghazi details.

    I hope that voters will put aside the candidates' temperaments, and, instead, gather information on the issues that will affect our future. If we want growth in the private sector and jobs and money that will stay in the United States, then Trump should preside.

    1. Normally, temperament would not be an issue because all candidates usually have a fine temperament. But many people agree that this election is different. I hope next election people will remember this one.


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