We are four days from the end of the weirdest and most vitriolic presidential election in my lifetime. Four days from either President-elect Clinton or President-elect Trump. Our choices are the most qualified candidate possibly in history, or a man who was recently endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan. A candidate with a steady hand, or a man who Tweeted out at 3 AM about a sex tape. A candidate who has fought for children her entire adult life, or a man who may have raped a child. But if you listen to conservatives, that man is a perfect choice for president.
Donald Trump is so many things, none of them presidential. He’s crass, he’s a boor, he’s a bully, he’s a racist, he’s a xenophobe, he’s a misogynist, he’s a coward. Donald Trump has mocked POWs, women, the disabled, and Mexicans. He believes more countries should have nuclear weapons. He wants our military to commit war crimes. He refuses to release his tax returns. He has financial ties to Russia. His running mate supports conversion therapy for the LGBT community, and has stated Trump will relegate Roe v Wade to the “ash heap of history.” Donald Trump is a draft dodger who, after receiving a Purple Heart from a veteran, stated he had always “wanted one,” and getting it this way was “easier.” And conservatives are performing feats of mental gymnastics to defend him.
Listen to any right-wing radio program, or watch Fox, or pay a visit to a conservative Facebook page, and you will see firsthand the lengths conservatives are willing to go in order to defend the indefensible. All the women accusing Trump of sexual assault are lying. He was joking when he said John McCain was not a war hero. He apologized for what he said on that bus, so it doesn’t matter. He’s a brilliant businessman, and that’s why he filed for bankruptcy. He loves women. He’s a “baby Christian.” He had flat feet, and that’s why he didn’t serve in the military.
About that last one: My dad has flat feet, and somehow managed to join the Navy. He was on active duty on a ship during Vietnam. I managed to join the Army with a partially reconstructed knee. But Donald Trump didn’t serve because of flat feet, just as Pat Buchanan didn’t serve because of a knee injury (but somehow went on to become an avid jogger). Kenneth Starr had psoriasis, and Jack Kemp was unfit due to a knee injury, which strangely did not keep Kemp from enjoying a career as a quarterback.
Conservatives claim to love women, yet have absolutely no problem with a candidate who has said some truly deplorable things about women. Trump has called women fat, ugly, told Howard Stern it was alright to call his daughter, Ivanka, a piece of ass, committed adultery, suggested menstruation affected Megyn Kelly’s ability to moderate a debate, and said some of the women accusing him of sexual assault aren’t pretty enough for him to sexually assault.
Conservatives claim to love children, yet adore Donald Trump for his tough stance on immigration, including banning children fleeing ISIS. Trump wants to overturn the ACA, which would result in tens of thousands of children being without access to healthcare. Many of Donald Trump’s products are made in other countries, including countries that use children as slave labor.
Conservatives claim to love the Constitution, yet they support a candidate who wants to violate the basic tenets of that document. Donald Trump has said we should kill families of suspected terrorists, he supports torture, he wants to sue members of the press for doing their job, and he wants to erase Section 1 of the 14th Amendment.
We are four days away from possibly electing the most unqualified candidate in our nation’s history to the Oval Office. Which begs the question: Why would anyone support him? What kind of person would look at Donald Trump, and say “Oh yes, him, he’d make a fantastic president!” The adoration Trump is receiving from white nationalists, neo-Nazis, homophobes, Islamophobes, misogynists, xenophobes, conspiracy theorists, and ammosexuals, gives us a clue. Trump supporters are, by and large, scared. They are scared of other religions, other cultures, other languages, powerful women, and anything and everything that is outside their narrow comfort zone. Trump is just the guy to keep them safe from all that. He’ll ban Muslims, he’ll nominate Supreme Court justices who will reinstate DOMA and DADT and overturn Roe v Wade, he will deport millions of brown-skinned immigrants, he will make ignorance, war mongering, racism, and paranoia, great again.
That’s what he means by Make America Great Again. It’s not the country in which we live now, it’s 1950’s America. When white, heterosexual men ruled, black people couldn’t vote, women stayed home, we put God on our money, and in our pledge, changed our national motto, and LGBT men and women were frequently institutionalized. Add in 1930’s Hitler, and the impending threat of nuclear war, and you’ve got President Trump’s vision for our country.
If Tuesday results in President-elect Trump, I can honestly say I will be ashamed of my country. I have been ashamed of the government many times, but never ashamed to be an American citizen. That will change if we elect Donald Trump to the presidency.