Perception

Most of my close friends and family know how I feel about Donald Trump; I make no secret of it. He is a buffoon…uncouth, unqualified, and unhinged. Those are actually the best words I could come up for him. For those of us who want to vomit when thinking of choosing either nominee, something gets lost in all of the daily coverage of the GOP’s circus clown: Former First Lady, US Senator, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She gets a pretty easy media treatment for a variety of reasons, not the least of which are the antics of Mr. Trump. Every time she has a bad day, he seems to cover it up with some outlandish statement or accusation or misguided policy.

Do not let her get lost in this. I do not judge the two candidates “relative” to one another. I judge them each separately, because an opponent does not make a person qualified for office. Hillary Clinton is not a good enough reason to vote for Donald Trump, and Donald Trump is certainly no reason to vote for Hillary Clinton. I love my country too much to use reasoning that cheap.

Ms. Clinton is as disqualified to hold the Office of President of the United States as anyone who has been a major party’s nominee. I see her, daily, giving speeches and (rarely) answering questions about the way the public views her as a person, and views the way she handled her email controversy. Her response is consistent. She always seems to profess that she needs to “do a better job” and get out into the world of retail politics and “meet people” to show them that she really does “care about their problems.” Many of you read those words and you scoffed; I scoffed as I wrote them. The American people are quite familiar with Mrs. Clinton. The problem with her public persona is not a lack of familiarity. Familiarity breeds contempt, and we are all too familiar with the former secretary.

She was skewered by the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, publicly, and without hesitation. She mishandled classified information, and she knew it. She kept a private server in a closet, unsecure and haphazardly. She sarcastically boasted “Like, with a cloth?” when asked if she wiped the server clean. You can debate the merits of the taxpayer-funded investigations into Benghazi all you like, but the fact remains: asking “What difference does it make?” was callous, short-sighted, reckless, absurd, and disrespectful. It was infuriating. That clip infuriates me to this day. Many of her actions (AND inactions) around the globe infuriate me to this day. Red-lines were drawn, crossed, and never followed up on, and now this ever-changing world gets more dangerous by the day. We’ve toed the fickle line between intervention and, what I call “ostriching” (having our collective heads in the sand) when it comes to foreign policy. This also infuriates me. Every. Single. Day. Because we’re doing a disservice to our allies, and to our men and women in uniform, by being indecisive. Indecision is not welcome in the war room.

My identity as a republican is solidified by Ms. Clinton. She is everything that I do not want to be. I want smaller government. I want the sanctity of life to be protected. I want freedom and equality. I want American leadership in the world. I want success. I want capital investment. I want a booming economy. I want conservatism to be the beacon of light that draws immigrants to our shores. I want honesty, trustworthiness, common sense, perseverance, and ingenuity. I want the American Dream, and the “rising tide” to lift every boat in America, from the smallest rural town, to the largest inner city. I want these things for myself, I want them for my unborn children, and I want them for my unborn grandchildren. Ms. Clinton’s indistinguishable foreign policy, combined with her lack of substantive or realistic domestic policy, would be a disaster for this nation. Her indiscriminate, willful ignorance of the law, and constitutional principles, make her a disaster for the presidency.

A non-race-baiting, non-misogynistic candidate, with a modicum of human decency, solid policy, and a good team, could run a good convention, prove his/her worthiness, and would be unceremoniously crushing Ms. Clinton across all demographics. In any other year, she’d be five, six, maybe even ten points behind right now, and falling. That is not our current reality. We have someone just as power-hungry about the constitution, and just as unpredictable (and somewhat liberal) on foreign and domestic policy as the former secretary. Two candidates; neither defend American strength globally, neither defend beneficial free trade, nor do they show any restraint when dreaming of the powers of the executive branch.

Public perception be damned, chances are, on November 9th, 2016, Ms. Clinton will gleefully celebrate a victory that should have been impossible. She will wield the power of the leader of the free world, and she’ll do it with a 56% disapproval rating. The GOP will dream of what could have been: President Rubio, President Bush, President Kasich, President Cruz, President Fiorina, President Walker…..

Sadly, the lesser of two evils is still evil. God help us, that we couldn’t nominate a better alternative.

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