Because of the American electoral system at the presidential level, as designed by their Founders and influenced by tradition and partisan legacy, only one of two options will be elected to serve as the Forty-Fifth President of the United States. Those two options won nomination by each of the two major political parties of the republic over the course of a long primary election process. Representing the Democratic Party is the former First Lady of the State of Arkansas, former First Lady of the United States, former United States Senator representing the State of New York, and former Secretary of State of the United States, Hillary Clinton. Representing the Republican Party is former reality TV star, gambler, playboy, and erstwhile builder who dabbled in myriad of failed promotional and investment schemes, Donald J. Trump. Though several others will appear on ballots throughout the nation, no others will win the majority of Electoral Votes needed to take the oath of office in January of 2017.
The American Election is a No-Brainer
Elect Hillary Rodham Clinton President of the United States of America.
There is little need to write further! Or, at least, that should be true. Unfortunately, a case needs to be made, when it really should be the easiest choice in American electoral history. For Democrats and reasonable independents, no case need be made. But for Republicans, nonvoters, and those American readers inclined to vote for a third party, a case is, depressingly albeit understandably, required.
We will say it again: for any human of reason, this election should be a no-brainer. Obviously, Hillary Clinton should win election, and do so easily, when faced with such an unaccomplished alternative having no background in, or even exposure to, domestic policy, foreign policy, or governing itself. One of her opponents in this election, Libertarian Party nominee for Vice-President, William Weld, summed up the issue of qualification best, stating he was "not sure anybody is more qualified than Hillary Clinton to be president of the United States." Truth be told, the former two-term governor of Massachusetts himself is far more qualified, not only for Vice President, but also President, than Donald J. Trump. Comparing the two candidates on the matter of qualification is almost comical. Mrs. Clinton has a long record of public service, starting in her youth, volunteering with the 1972 presidential campaign of Democratic nominee George McGovern, then to her work with the Children's Defense Fund, and to her time as a legal aid for the House Committee on the Judiciary during the Watergate investigation, all which occurred before moving to Arkansas and marrying Bill Clinton. From there we have her championing causes and backing legislation as First Lady, crafting legislation and representing the interests of New Yorkers, and acting as the chief diplomat of the United States writ large. The first earnest foray into public service for Donald Trump was his announcement launching a campaign to seek the presidency of the United States, unless counting his years-long effort promoting a racist conspiracy theory to undermine the legitimacy of the first African-American president. He has also, on a few occasions, flirted with the idea of running for president or for governor of New York, though such flirting gained him only publicity, rather than leading to any campaign. Some point to his background as some kind of business success story. Yet we have a man who inherited his business and his wealth, regularly squandered it, and found himself bailed out numerous times, be it by his father or bankers. He asserts without proof that he is a multi-billionaire, while most evidence suggests he is not. After a string of failures and bailouts, his only lasting business success came after establishing his name as a famous one, allowing him to lease his name to building projects around the world, lease it to other goods including clothing, steaks, wine, and similar, and star in a TV show, rather than him actually doing anything, such as building things or coming up with product ideas.
There should be no debate on who wins on qualifications. Unfortunately, somehow, there is. Those attempting this effort, thus, are clearly sycophants of Mr. Trump, intentionally and willfully lying, or hopelessly delusional, or grossly misinformed. There really are not any other options. Despite the resounding disparity in qualification, tens of millions of Americans intend to cast their vote for Donald Trump. Much of this is the simple result of him being the nominee of the Republican Party. This is helped by many accomplished public officials of that party having endorsed him. It is also the result of his curious embrace of white cultural politics - racism, bigotry, and the like - as well as dumbfounding levels of rabid misogyny. Another defining factor is a deep loathing of Hillary Clinton. Further still is the unprecedented mountains of spin, hyperbole, outright lies, and distortions emanating from the Trump campaign, about the candidate himself, his opponent, and everything around and in between.
Despite these efforts to confound and obfuscate, this election has been, is, and should remain, a no-brainer. Hillary Clinton should be, and must be, elected president of the United States, done so in a resounding landslide of historic proportion.
Partisanship is not, understandably, an insignificant thing. Democratic and Republican politicians, prodded by niche media and interest groups, spend their lives fighting over even the slightest of disagreements, scoring political points where they can, while rallying their most passionate supporters. Fighting, rather than seeking a compromise, has been normalized within American culture, and arguably more so among the Republican constituency. It is generally accepted that, because of partisanship alone, a nominee of either party can be reasonably confident some forty percent of the electorate will cast their vote for the Republican candidate while another forty percent will cast theirs for the Democratic candidate. This makes more sense, rationally, when the nominees are conventional political leaders, such as Republicans John McCain and Mitt Romney, or Democrats Barack Obama and John Kerry. The two dominate political parties, traditionally, are "big tents", with one tilting toward the right side of the political spectrum while the other tilts left, each with rabble-rousers on the fringes. Individual voters align with a party that either most reflects their interests on the issues they care most about, or the one they identify with because of their voting background, region, family, and similarly heuristic motivation. When electing a president, the American people are electing the entire Executive Branch, which includes thousands of staffers, appointed officers, as well as nominated officials and jurists. Because of this, a voter may not be overtly fond of a specific candidate, but will select them regardless, with the expectation they will advance the broader and familiar interests their party represents. Yet, there is not clear or obvious reasons any would, or should, expect Mr. Trump to advance interests the Republican Party has long come to reflect. Indeed he has worked tirelessly to turn away potential Republican-leaning voters by adopting white cultural and resentment politics, while promoting conspiracy, misogyny, and wanton sexual assault. He overtly opposes traditional Republican ideals of individual liberty, constitutionalism, free trade, or even cultural conservatism. He publicly insults and spars with Republican leaders, including the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin (who, if the United States were a Westminster-style parliament, would be their Prime Minister), the 2012 Republican Party nominee for president, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, and the 2008 Republican Party nominee for president and indisputable war-hero, Arizona Senator John McCain. This has helped him with his Reactionary base, but does little to ensure Republicanism, as Americans have come to know it, would be reflected in a Trump Administration.
Here then, is the problem for Republican voters. Donald Trump is no John McCain or Mitt Romney. The Republican Party has been suffering from the power and impact of niche media for almost a generation. These include radio talk show hosts, polemic infotainment-as-news television personalities, hyperbolic bloggers, and similar, having no overt interest in advancing and broadening the appeal of the Republican Party or the conservatism it traditionally represents, but, rather, are purely interested in advancing their own interests - broadening their audience, increasing their revenues - at the expense of the electoral interests - and conservative policy appeal - of the party they nominally support. The Republican Party has done well, facing this, in advancing reasoned conservative candidates for national office, yet their base, driven by niche media, continues lurching towards that narrower, Reactionary core.
Donald Trump is the logical apex of this. The base constituency of the party has revealed itself as hardly supportive of the traditionally conservative political and national institution of the party brand. The base has become a provincial, Reactionary, homogeneous, and male-dominated bloc, hostile to outsiders, even if they are affiliated with the same party, or use the same word - "conservative" - to define themselves. By spending decades promoting the idea all media outside of a narrow, well defined niche, is to be avoided, distrusted, and, regardless, has a liberal bias, it then has become harder for conservatives to push back against the obvious Reactionary, authoritarian populism that such an environment created and foments.
When, for example, the Fox News Network came along, it was pandering to a conservative audience. Defining itself as "Fair & Balanced", it corralled its conservative audience - mostly older white men - and left with nowhere else to go, it pushed its audience further Right. Even the most benign events are sensationalized, such as their annual over-blowing of a supposed "War on Christmas" - something those outside of that media bubble would find unrecognizable as an issue. Any Republican officeholder caught working with The Enemy is attacked, and so with it goes their audience. There comes, inevitably, a point where this base constituency passes through the invisible line separating the conservative from the Reactionary. For many, that line was crossed some time ago, much to the surprise of the Republican intellectual class, leadership, and even some of their polemics. So much so, in fact, that for many, Fox News is viewed as liberal media. It is reminiscent of the former leader of the conservative movement, Arizona Senator and 1964 Republican Party nominee for president, Barry Goldwater, lamenting to the 1996 nominee, Bob Dole of Kansas, "We're the new liberals of the Republican Party." The base has been and continues moving further and further rightward.
As noted, electing a president is not electing just that one person - it is the election of the entire Executive Branch. Furthermore, whichever party controls congress expect a president of their party to sign their legislation into law. At present, the Republican Party controls both the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate - both houses of congress. The combination of partisanship and careerism naturally ensures Republican officials will support their party nominee for president. This is also true for former Republican officeholders and institutional professionals who hope to land a nice job in the Executive Branch. After all, higher offices need to be filled, judges need to be appointed, and someone needs to sign the laws passed by congress. Endorsements from elected officials give their candidate a level of institutional credibility that cannot be matched; it places their candidate on par with prior nominees. It implies there is nothing substantively unusual or different about the person nominated by base voters of the party. In the case of Donald Trump, this creates a tremendous problem. First and foremost, the institutional support ties Mr. Trump to the entire party brand. It also forces officials to place on the line their credibility on all matters going forward. All of this, without any bankable assurances that Trump, if elected, would sign their legislation, or would appoint jurists and officials reflecting the ideals of traditional Republicanism. For his sycophants, many of whom could not win election to any significant office even before Trump came along, or land a respectable appointment or job within conventional Republican circles, it makes sense to marry themselves to him. For others, through their support, they are risking the nation - and the world - on an idealized outcome that has yet to show a hint of itself over the course of the campaign.
Republicans have long claimed the mantle of being the protectors of the Constitution of the United States. Yet the American electorate is in unprecedented waters when it comes to constitutional issues. The nominee of the Republican Party consistently eschews the constitution of the nation he hopes to lead. He has stated, flatly, that his political opponent, Hillary Clinton, not only should be in jail, but, if elected, he would ensure it, despite all issues he references regarding her having already been litigated. Additionally, he has banned various press outlets from covering his campaign, and has stated he will, as president, change laws to limit freedom of the press. He has proposed banning an entire religious group from entering the United States, has proposed placing citizen members of a specific religion in a national database, and has proposed creating a policing force intent on rounding up and detaining tens of millions of people. He has repeatedly endorsed the concept of "Stop & Frisk" - a police pactice ruled unconstitutional and thus illegal - which targets those who might appear suspect, despite otherwise doing nothing suspicious, stopping them, frisking them, and taking from them any item deemed a risk or illegal - including firearms, whether legally carried or not. If carrying a legally owned firearm, the person subjected to this search & seizure will have to go and prove its legality to reclaim their lawful firearms. In essence, this is a proposal that targets people who look a certain way, while simultaneously promoting a gun grab by law enforcement on a scale never before seen, in a nation where it is otherwise constitutionally legal to carry one. Notably revealing of his contempt for law, in the 1980's, a heinous crime occurred in New York City, motivating Trump to take out a full page ad in the local paper demanding the death penalty for those arrested. Later, those convicted where exonerated of the crime in a court of law, based on, among other things, DNA evidence and the conviction of another. To this day, Trump asserts they are guilty, refusing to admit he may have been wrong. He further endorses the creation of laws that punish - his words - women who have abortions, despite, to the chagrin of many, abortion being legal in the United States. Though this list of "Greatest Hits" can go on, the simple truth is Trump has no regard for the limits the Constitution of the United States places on its chief executive, nor the freedoms it guarantees to its citizens.
Endless Offense & Nonsense
We can go on, ad nauseam, on all the stupid things, dangerous things, hypocritical things, racist things, sexist things, and ignorant things he has said or promoted. Things like asserting, time and again, he will unlawfully seize regions of foreign nations, stealing their natural resources. Or saying repeatedly he will build a giant wall and somehow, without explaining, get a foreign, sovereign nation to pay for it. Or his arguing, repeatedly, in favor of torture, and the illegal murder of family members of those suspected of being terrorists. Or his continued promotion of the idea that South Korea, Japan, and others should acquire a nuclear arsenal, flying in the face the long preference of the world and the United States for non-proliferation. Or his argument that a judge, born and raised in the United States, could not possibly be a professional owing to his ethnic heritage. Or he asserting the United States will not back up allies who may not have contributed an adequate dollar amount to the NATO common-defense effort. Or his infamous attacks on the Muslim parents of a soldier killed in action, or denigrating a woman for gaining weight, or, in an effort to humiliate his opponent, trotting out women who allege former president Bill Clinton sexually assaulted them in the 1970's and 1980's, despite their claims being litigated in the 1990's by an independent counsel (and despite the fact Bill Clinton is not running for office), while simultaneously dismissing similar charges directly concerning his own behavior from a litany of women, on grounds that some are, well, allegations from a decade ago. The mass of his appalling statements regarding women and promotion of sexual assault are, themselves, beyond disqualifying, not to mention his defense of it. It is endless.
his campaign strategy is one built on bald-faced lies so easily disproven it borders on farce and so appalling it insults humanity
The campaign strategy, when confronted with his rhetoric to an audience outside his base, is simply to deny it. He never said the things he has said. On tape. With video. An alternative is to spin something to appear less odious or dangerous. His surrogates work overtime trying to normalize the unimaginable, the unhinged, and the absurdity. Regardless, his campaign strategy is one built on bald-faced lies so easily disproven it borders on farce and so appalling it insults humanity.
Though everything preceding this point is utterly disqualifying to an epic degree, there is, unfortunately, more ground to cover. Donald Trump is a fascist. Yes, fascism can be hard to define, owing to its "third way" philosophy, where it seeks to borrow from the left and right, and each regime having borrowed differently, as well as its promotion of revolutionary regressive change, given each regime had different traditions to draw from as ideals. Yes, it is also a loaded term. However, it is a political term! Donald Trump is ideologically opportunistic, bouncing around however the winds blow, picking things from the left and right, such as his rejection of free trade and promise to protect entitlements, married with his support for massive tax cuts and increases to the defense budget. His entire campaign is built on a vague return to an idealized past; make America great again. He is an unabashed authoritarian. He is a bigot, while strongly believing in winners and losers. He promotes conspiracy, including the notion, though the election is weeks away, it is already rigged and so will be stolen from him. He flippantly endorses jailing his political opponents. He has contempt for a free press. He has a "strong leader" fetish, and regularly presents himself in that mold. He is a cult of personality all unto himself. He even has a modern form of "brown shirts" - his online hordes of white nationalists harassing those who dare speak ill of him. He is, of course, a nationalist and a xenophobe. He is a contemporary, buffoonish, poorly-read, bumbling and incoherent version of Benito Mussolini. There is no rational, or plausibly just, and certainly no good reasons to cast a vote for a fascist, even if the fascist took control over a revered national political institution; namely, the Republican Party.
How can this be close?
Celebrity is critical to his success, especially early in the process. Partisanship explains a lot of it too. A narrow, homogeneous and Reactionary base, attracted to white cultural resentment politics, certainly forms his strong base of support. Ignorance, no doubt, has a huge influence on why so many continue to support a demonstrable liar of proportions never before seen in American politics. Celebrity, partisanship, a core base, and ignorance, in light of everything Trump has shown himself to be, may explain why Trump is not on a path to lose all fifty states in November. Perhaps these explain why this election has been close. Yet, despite this, how is it a nation that prides itself on defeating fascism is so perilously close to electing one? Partisanship, surely, cannot be enough to forgive and explain away all the ways Trump shows how contemptuous he is of his own nation, how dangerous he is to it, and how unfit he is for any office, much less the highest office in the land - the office that demands of him, Donald Trump, to set the tone for how Americans discuss and debate issues of justice, rights, race, economic concerns, foreign entanglements, and so on, and to offer solace to the nation after school shootings, natural disasters, and unforeseen tragedy, while setting the example as a national role model and representative of the United States to the world.
Despite a lifetime of public service, Hillary Clinton is widely loathed. Why? What has she ever done to earn such resentment? Sure, she has flaws, and has made her share of mistakes. Yet so too has any human.
Clinton has been pilloried by Right-leaning media, and, especially, the fever swamps of the Reactionary conspiracy theory circuit, since she first landed on the scene. Decades of bile, occasionally boiling over. She and he husband have been subject to accusations from the tiniest of things all the way to literal murder. In the nineteen-nineties, congress commissioned a special, independent prosecutor to investigate a failed investment, known as Whitewater. It spiraled into investigations of every rumor that came along (including those regarding the alleged sexual assaults by Bill Clinton, which Trump is promoting once again). Hundreds of investigators, tens of millions of dollars spent, and several years of work, ended with nothing more than something that occurred during the investigations - Bill Clinton's tryst two evenings with a White House intern and him lying about it. Everything else, from Whitewater, to those alleged sexual assaults, to the alleged murder of White House lawyer Vince Foster, revealed nothing prosecutable or even, in most cases, incriminating at all. The bulk of it were just wild conspiracy theories that morphed into allegations picked up by partisans intent on damaging the opposition, ultimately used to launch and justify congressional investigation and independent review.
What was learned is this: all one has to do is throw out the accusation. That is enough. Many will reflexively believe it, and promote it as fact. Most Americans, removed from the game, will hear the juicy bits, souring to whomever the target is. All the while, the target remains in a state of near-constant damage control. Every little mistake afterward, those that might re-enforce the narrative, is blown out of proportion and leads credence to the nonsense.
This is Hillary Clinton. Since the nineteen-nineties, we have seen this model repeated, most notably with the attack of the consulate in Benghazi, Libya, where four Americans, including their Ambassador to Libya, were killed. This event has been blamed on Clinton herself - many accusing her of personally orchestrating it - or her personally ordering the military not to intervene. The desire to believe every rumor, no matter how far-fetched, led to eight congressional investigations, plus numerous others by various government departments, all told, upwards of thirty-something investigations at different levels. These have repeatedly cleared her of any wrongdoing regarding the attack, though through them, more issues were opened. These include her private email server. Contrast that with the Iraq War, arguably one of the biggest foreign policy blunders in American history, and one where many questions remain, yet there have been a total of two congressional investigations concerning it. Simply put, any rumor about Hillary Clinton is subjected to scrutiny no other, no matter the severity or importance of the issue, ever find themselves. An entire cottage industry has grown of this, promoting endless Clinton conspiracies. There is no career to make promoting conspiracies about Mitt Romney, John McCain, Paul Ryan, or virtually any other official who is not a Democrat. It is a proven money maker, however, to make a career promoting conspiracy about Democrats, few more so than those named Clinton.
Hillary Clinton is widely viewed as dishonest, untrustworthy, and holding some nefarious goals. This, despite a life of public service. This, despite having all of her tax records going back to the nineteen-seventies being public record. This, despite her charity, the Clinton Foundation, having every financial record - how much came in, from whom, and where it went - publicly available. This, despite every private investment, alleged crime, general rumor, up to and including the infidelity of her spouse, not only humiliatingly made public, but officially in the congressional record. This, despite every major fact-checking organization, having reviewed her public comments, rating her the most honest candidate in the entire 2016 election cycle, besting even the beloved Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Despite all of this, she is viewed as dishonest and secretive. Even tens of thousands of her infamous emails are public. There is no person with whom she can be compared - she is the most publicly exposed person on the planet.
It is, perhaps, that she tries (and so often fails) to keep a secret, and that is enough for her to been seen as secretive and dishonest. Her being caught keeping a secret validates the narrative. Frankly, this standard is absurd. Yet it is so normalized that few seen to question its absurdity.
Hillary's Biggest Flaw
Our assessment is this: Hillary Clinton is a woman. That is her Big Flaw. Few dare say it! Yet why is the most qualified, most experienced, most exposed, most honest candidate running only slightly better than a pathologically lying fascist demagogue? There is no standard with whom Americans can compare Clinton. She is, in every sense of the word, a trailblazer. There are no role models for her who are not men. She cannot imitate any other American. Everything she says or does, no matter how inspired by Lincoln she may be, is always in the unique context of her being a woman. Her best bet is to look overseas - but what works overseas does not automatically translate to such a large and diverse nation. She simply cannot say and do the same things as her American role models, and each foreign leader she might copy offers only limited returns. For many, it always seems off, wrong somehow. She is not, what is the word? Natural.
No doubt, she has had to account for and compensate for misogyny throughout her life. Under that viewing, it makes sense that she cannot let her hair down. Someone like Green Party candidate Jill Stein can afford to wear a t-shirt while being an ideological purist because she would never be elected to anything with a large constituency anyway. Someone like Senator Bernie Sanders can wear unkempt, crazy hair as if combed with a balloon, while dressed in a ruffled suit, and yelling to the point of being horsed, because, well, he is a guy! There is a long history of men who present such an affect. Even Donald Trump yells more often than not. When Clinton raises her voice, even slightly, it is enough to set off countless blog posts and references in media. Donald Trump, frankly, can be a horrific excuse for a human and yet compete in a national election only because his opponent is a woman.
Because the leadership of the Republican Party has aided and abetted the campaign of the least-qualified human ever achieving a credible shot at winning election to the office of President of the United States, because the majority of Republican officeholders and interest leaders, including evangelical leaders, have offered their endorsement and support to the least temperamentally fit human ever having achieved a credible shot at winning election as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States, and because a record-setting number of Republican Party primary voters chose to nominate an ideologically-opportunistic, know-nothing, fascist, xenophobic, misogynist, racist, demagogic, egomaniac as Leader of the Free World, it is too late for the Republican Party to completely absolve themselves of this.
It is, however, never too late to begin the process. This process will surely begin after the election, should he lose. Best, then, to get a head start. Save the world, save the republic, save the party, and save face.
To those American readers inclined to support a third party, or sit this out, be it out of spite, or because of buying the ridiculous notion of false equivalence - that "lesser of two evils" nonsense - for your country, as patriots, you must resist the urge. Additionally, not voting is voting. There is a civic and patriotic duty, shared by all, to save your nation. It calls to you!
Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson, Green Party nominee Jill Stein, and independent Evan McMullin, will not win the majority of Electoral Votes. Only McMullin has polls suggesting a plausible shot at winning Electoral Votes from the state of Utah. Voting for these candidates serves only one purpose beyond some trite protest of the privileged, and that is to help elect Donald Trump, or make closer an election that must be, for the sake of the nation and the world, a blowout. And it must be. Donald J. Trump must lose in a historic landslide. Anything short might inspire a kinder, gentler, fascist demagogue to try their hand at it, building upon the foundation Trump has built. Rather, Americans must nip this in the bud before it ever gains electoral success - success seen as being either a win, or even a close election.
A final note is this: Donald Trump has spent months promoting conspiracy that the upcoming election is rigged. He has asked his supporters to loiter around voting precincts in areas where Democrats typically perform well - notably, those dominated by African Americans. Ostensibly, they are to observe and look for shenanigans, and specifically, in-person voter fraud. However, the presence of a horde of white people hanging around minority voting precincts comes pretty close to voter intimidation. Regardless, in-person voter fraud is so rare it is hardly worth mentioning. By promoting a myth while fomenting distrust in the very foundation of the democratic process, akin to a despot in a developing nation, Trump is undermining the integrity the United States itself. Any close election will face challenges. Mr. Trump is a notorious litigator, and few should be surprised if he were to sue each state in the event of a narrow loss. As a person who promotes the idea that he is a winner, and cannot lose or be wrong about anything, he may even choose not to concede a close election. Such an environment presents a great deal of potential for disaster, possibly interfering with the tradition of a peaceful transfer of power, while opening the potential to a constitutional crisis as yet unseen in American history. The one way to ensure this cannot happen is a resounding thumping at the ballot box, where no person, even Trump, could ever hope to spin the result as anything but a complete, comprehensive, and utter defeat.
The American Election is a No-Brainer
Elect Hillary Rodham Clinton President of the United States of America.