I can’t vote, and I am not really sure what to add to the conversation but I am going to undertake this self-sycophantic exhibition because, really, everyone is having a go. A minute does not go by without someone on Facebook telling you why their person should be president, ignoring all their weaknesses, and focusing solely on the weaknesses of their opponent.
From the outset: I don’t think Hillary Clinton will make a good president, for numerous reasons, but all of them pale into comparison to the simple observations that we have all had opportunity to make about Donald Trump when he has power.
Donald Trump cannot cope with power. He simply cannot. He has abused it at every turn in his life, and making him one of the most powerful people on earth is a mistake America should not make. Money in most countries means power, and it certainly does in the US. Donald Trump used his power to forbid black people from renting his apartments. He wasn’t alone in this, but he had power, and that is one of the things he did with it.
Donald Trump did not pay his workers and contractors properly. He had money, but preferred to throw the people he hired into the money-sucking jaws of the court-system instead of paying them, because he knew he had the leverage through his wealth. Any rich person can do this. Those of us who can’t afford lawyers and are easily intimidated by needing one could be at the end of this in any given way, but most rich people don’t do that; most workers and contractors are paid. Donald Trump wasn’t a person who used his wealth to pay the people he employed. He quite literally used his power to get out of paying people much poorer than him.
He has also used the court system and his gargantuan wealth to shut down minor critics of him. He sued a guy in New York for saying Macy’s shouldn’t stock his ties anymore. That guy had to go out and find himself a pro-bono lawyer to avoid some innumerate (to the normal income) value of damages. A billionaire giving the faintest shit about some irritating tweets, to the point where our irascible protagonist tries to financially bully the guy into the ground sounds, and is, absolutely insane.
(To put that into perspective, one of my favorite things to do when bored is go and tweet insults at @HotlineJosh, by far the worst pundit who is taken seriously. Do you know how many times he has responded to me? Zero. Because if he cared about everyone who tweeted shit at him he would die of finger-tapping exhaustion.)
Further to Trump using his power to force other people to do things… the way society is set up, it is easy to intimidate women into getting what you want out of them. Again, this is not Trump alone. But Trump is one of the few people in the world who has enough money, enough heft, and owns enough things, to be able to intimidate women into allowing them to be groped. What he boasted about on the bus to Billy Bush is a very real and present phenomenon in this world. People like Trump CAN intimidate others into complying with being groped. Groping someone without their consent is sexual assault. Intimidating them into going along with your groping is manipulation. Trump used his power to manipulate women into acceding to being touched by him.
He has used his platform – again, the audience he manages to reach is part of his power – to rile up hate against marginalized groups in America: Muslims and Hispanics. While the GOP often speaks out of the side of their mouths to lock in the racist vote, Trump has used his foghorn to let them all out of hiding, and endorsed their behavior. He has used his power to make racism socially acceptable in many parts of the country. Jewish journalists are now routinely hounded on social media. Anti-feminism has had a steroid shot to the balls. And racism has become less embarrassing for the racist than it was before he rode down that escalator.
There is absolutely no indication that Trump has any idea what to do with power. He is quite obviously deeply insecure, and has no temperament. That combination with his inability to rein himself in from abusing power makes him a non-starter.
There is no little guy too important for Trump to go and trash on a whim. There is no critic who won’t have a very real fear of government blowback under President Trump. There are no protesters who can believe they will remain safe. There is no knee-jerk foreign policy that we can rule out under power-drunk President Trump. There will never be a consequence that he cares about. It is not that he will make bad decisions that set him apart: it is that he doesn’t care if the decisions are bad, because they will NEVER be bad. There will never be an internal voice telling him to stop what he is doing.
It isn’t speculation. We have seen it. He cannot – CANNOT – be given any more power than he already has. Which he has used, demonstrably, terribly.