Saturday, November 05, 2016

A Deplorable Campaign

At the beginning of her second debate with Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton claimed to be taking the high road compared with her opponent. This was a missed opportunity for Trump. He could have deflated her campaign by asking if she'd actually seen the ads that she authorizes.

While Hillary has run a few ads selling herself in general, glowing terms, the majority of her ad budget are all variations of one ad - Trump quotes, some of them decades old and some taken out of context designed to disgust Trump voters. That's it. No comparison of policies or experience. Just trump quotes repackaged multiple ways.

But if Hillary's campaign is taking the low road, that's nothing compared to various media outlets. The mainstream media has given up all pretense of non-partisanship. The excuse is that Trump is so much worse than other candidates that they cannot stand aside and do nothing.

It's important to remember that, regardless of Trump's qualifications, some things are always true for the Republican candidate. He's always going to be a racist and a sexist who wants to turn the clock back decades. Some pundits even admitted that they'd called wolf before but this time it was real.

We keep hearing that Trump is a racist because he said that illegal immigrants have a high percentage of criminals. He has said that he wants to encourage legal immigrants. He also wanted a freeze on accepting Muslim refugees until we have a better system of vetting them. Keep in mind that the flood of refugees is straining Europe and German police just arrested a second refugee who was plotting a terrorist attack.

It's true that Trump's business was cited for discrimination nearly 40 years ago but barely anyone has heard of that. All of the racism charges come from his insistence on getting control of the border. Somehow illegal immigrants have become a race.

It says a lot about Hillary and the left that wanting to close the border is unthinkable. The flood of illegal aliens depresses wages for people without college degrees and stresses social safety nets.

The same is true about their refusal to heed warnings about ISIS fighters merging in with refugees. Americans are afraid of attacks by Islamic militants. The attacks in France and Belgium have been horrifying. But Hillary wants to increase the number of refugees and decrease the time spent on vetting them.

Instead of a rational debate on these positions we hear that Trump is Hitler, Mussolini, a strong-man, but really, he's Hitler.

Months ago Putin called Trump "colorful" but the original translation came out more complimentary. Trump accepted the compliment. Later he called on Russia to release any letters they had from Hillary's email server. Because of the first, Hillary and company insist that Trump is Putin's puppet. She even suggested that in a debate. The second was a tripple-edged joke, reminding us that Hillary had a private server, it was poorly protected and that she'd deleted 30,000+ emails from it. The left insisted on interpreting it as a call for a foreign power to hack into Hillary's server. This was obviously impossible since the server had been decommissioned and was in FBI custody and the deleted emails were already deleted. Regardless, I still see this accusation.

A common complaint is that Trump will rule as a strong-man, turning our country into a fascist dictatorship. The reasoning that, as bad and corrupt as Hillary is, she at least understands the division of power and the checks and balances built into the system. Anyone who has paid attention to Hillary's record will know that she's the last person to trust in restraining presidential power. Early in her husband's presidency, she had the White House Travel Office staff fired so that she could reward friends in Little Rock. As soon as she stared as Secretary of State, she ordered a private server, presumably so that she could hide emails from FOIA requests. She and Bill have a long history of bending the law.

And she has a major support network already in place for bending the law and expanding presidential authority. President Obama has stretched presidential and regulatory authority far beyond any presidents since the Supreme Court reined in FDR. The Democratic Party has been cheering this on.

President Trump, on the other hand, has luck-warm support from the Republicans. There's no group set to cheer him expanding presidential power and several institutions that will oppose it.

Hillary has invented a "Trump effect" and run against it. Supposedly Trump inspires intolerance. An unusual attack ad on Trump features the mother of Matthew Sheppard, a collage student who was murdered, possibly because he was gay. The mother warns that a Trump presidency will inspire more such acts.

This is an outrageous claim. The Trump Effect only exists as anecdotal evidence from biased observers. Further, Trump has been the most supportive Republican candidate for gay rights ever. He had the first openly gay speaker during the Republican convention (during prime time, too) and he pledged to support LBGTQ rights. The idea that a candidate wo supports gays somehow inspires anti-gay bullying is a huge stretch.

The final low attack on Trump has been on his supporters. Hillary dismissed half of them as a basket of Deplorables. Other sources describe Trump's support as white supremacists and crypto-nazis. The idea here is to shame voters away from Trump. Yes, there are white supremacists supporting Trump but no one looks at Hillary's supporters. The undesirable element of Trump's supporters is much smaller than Hillary's 1/2. What percentage of Hillary's supporters believe in "toxic whiteness" or "toxic masculinity". These attitudes are acceptable among the left but millions of Americans would be horrified to know that the left considers them deplorable just because of their gender or race. Currently the Justice Department is full of social justice warriors who look down on average Americans.

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