Donald Trump is not worthy of your vote. He is manifestly unfit to be the president of these United States; he is perhaps the least qualified, most unqualified candidate to ever secure a party’s nomination. Nothing that happens between now and Election Day can possibly change this. He has proven himself irredeemably incompetent for the presidency. You should not vote for him.
You should vote for Hillary Clinton instead.
My colleague Tom Nichols made the conservative case for Hillary earlier this year. The case still stands. Hillary would be an awful president—incompetent in her own right, self-serving, scheming, inept on the world stage and heavy-handed at home—and she would also usher in another four to eight years of screeching, grating identity politics, this time on behalf of America’s professional, perpetually aggrieved feminist class. Even one term of Clinton would be awful.
Yet there are two reasons to vote for her. The first is that she would provide a useful rallying point for conservatives; nothing could prove the necessity of conservatism like eight years of American government with Hillary Clinton heading the executive branch. The first election after Hillary’s tenure has ended will be tailor-made for a Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, or Scott Walker.
The second and most important reason to vote for Hillary is this: she is not Donald Trump. Rather than dance around it, it is more worthwhile to simply make the case that Trump is radically unsuited for the presidency and should be kept from it at all costs.
1. Donald Trump Is a Serial Liar
Trump is perhaps the most serially dishonest person to have ever sought the presidency; he makes Bill Clinton look like a cherub in comparison. He lies easily and with an unstudied grace, as if it were a second language taught to him from an early age.
To take just a small sampling of his profound and profligate dishonesty: he lies about posing as his own P.R. flack. He lies about the woman his campaign manager assaulted. He lies about accusing other people of lying. He lies about the size of his winery. He lies about his knowledge of the Klu Klux Klan. He lies about his position on tariff policy. He lies about black-on-white crime. He lies about the Ford Motor Company’s manufacturing decisions. He lies about how many books he’s sold. He lies about the gross domestic product.
He lies about self-funding his campaign; he lies about the amount of money spent opposing him; he lies about how much money he contributes to his own campaign. He lies about the September 11 terrorist attacks. He lies about his position on American detainees in Iran. He lies about American infrastructure. He lies about ISIS. He lies about his net worth. He lies about Muslims in New Jersey. He lies about U.S. tax policy. He lies about the number of votes he’s received. He lies about the campaigns of his competitors. He lies about the unemployment rate in Wisconsin. This list is not exhaustive.
Perhaps more than anything, Trump’s serial lying makes him unworthy of your vote if for no other reason than this: if you’re voting for him because of his position on a certain issue, you can be virtually certain he is lying about it in some way. This is what he does: he lies repeatedly to rise a little bit in the polls and get a few more primary votes. He simply cannot be trusted.
2. Donald Trump Is Not a Conservative
Let us imagine for a moment that Trump has stopped lying and will tell the truth for the rest of the campaign season. He is still unfit to be president under the banner of the Republican Party, for the simple reason that he is not a conservative. He himself admitted almost as much a short while ago: after assuring us that he is in fact a conservative, he recently told George Stephanopoulos: “This is called the Republican Party. It’s not called the Conservative Party.”
A great many of his policies—although they could easily be lies, every one of them—are hardly conservative and even anticonservative. To name a few: he telegraphed his support for raising the minimum wage. He called for raising taxes. He is an economic protectionist. He believes health care and education are two of the top priorities of the federal government. He praised the Supreme Court’s decision in Kelo v. New London, which allows the government to take private property and hand it over to another private entity for private development. He expressed support for government-run health care.
Pursuant to his inane idea to make Mexico pay for his stupid border wall, Trump pledged to “impound all remittance payments [to Mexico] derived from illegal wages,” which is code for “spy on all U.S. mail and wire transfers going into Mexico.” Trump lambasted Citizens United, the Supreme Court decision that forbid the government from censoring free speech under the First Amendment. Trump has called Super PACs—which are simply organizations of American citizens expressing their right to free speech—a “scam.” Regarding legalized abortion in the United States, Trump claimed: “At this moment, the laws are set. And I think we have to leave it that way.”
So, to recap: Trump wants to raise taxes, inhibit free trade, keep health care and education in the federal government’s hands, seize private property for private use, spy on U.S. mail, proscribe or at least denigrate free speech, and leave pro-abortion laws firmly in place. Some conservative.
3. Donald Trump Promotes Political Violence
Trump has brought disgrace upon the presidential primary process by inciting and promoting violence throughout his campaign. At a rally in Missouri earlier this year, Trump lamented that “nobody wants to hurt each other anymore.” At another rally he tacitly encouraged violence against protestors: “If you do [hurt them], I’ll defend you in court.” In Las Vegas he said of a protestor: “I’d like to punch him in the face.”
In Iowa he told his fans: “If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you?” (He again promised to pay legal fees if his fans were taken to court.) After a protestor was removed from an event in Birmingham, Trump mused: “Maybe he should have been roughed up.” When faced with the possibility of a brokered convention in Cleveland, Trump implied that his fans could get violent: “I think you’d have riots,” he said.
Let’s be brutally honest: a man who pits Americans against one another—who encourages American citizens to hit, punch, and strike each other, as well as destroy property and cause domestic mayhem—has disqualified himself from being considered for president. He is not fit to be even a clerk at a city council meeting. This is a stain upon the American ethos and a debasement of our political system. And Trump revels in it.
4. Donald Trump Is a Gleeful and Unrelenting Debaser of Women
These days we’ve become used to the usual feminist shrieking every time a man says something they don’t like. We’re all sick of liberals wining about “male privilege” and the “War on Women.”
But Trump is different: he is historically crude, mean, nasty, and wholly ungentlemanly towards women. As The New York Times recently reported, he has a history of insulting, harassing, and demeaning the women who have worked for him and the women he has found himself around. When he felt Fox News host Megyn Kelly had unfairly questioned him, he blamed it on her menstrual cycle. He also retweeted a tweet calling Kelly a “bimbo.”
The insults he has levied at various women include: “slob, “dog,” “grotesque,” “unsexiest woman alive,” “fat, ugly face,” “disgusting.” He once told a contestant on his reality show, “It must be a pretty picture, you dropping to your knees,” a thinly veiled reference to oral sex. During a deposition, a lawyer requested a break to pump her breast milk for her baby, and for this Trump called her “disgusting.” Regarding Trump’s philosophy of women, the man himself claimed: “You have to treat ‘em like shit.”
This is, once again, a disgrace, a political and a societal stain on our country. One of the problems our society faces today is an astonishing lack of gentlemen: a great many young men of my generation have forgotten how to be courteous, respectful, attentive, and kind towards women. We need a gentleman’s renaissance in this country—a revitalization of chivalry—and the last thing that will help such a project is a Donald J. Trump presidency. He would encourage countless young men to be simply terrible towards women.
5. Donald Trump Is An Unabashed Flip-Flopper
Over a decade ago, Republicans rightly derided John Kerry for flip-flopping on a great many important political issues. Yet now the GOP is poised to nominate a man who is just as bad as Kerry, if not worse.
Years ago Trump used to be very strongly pro-choice; now he claims he is pro-life. The pro-life movement of course welcomes anyone with a commitment to stopping abortion, especially people who used to be pro-choice. But Trump can’t even keep his own abortion opinions straight: earlier in the spring he took five different positions on abortion within three days.
That’s not his only flip-flop, however: he is guilty of plenty of them. He flipped his position on the war in Afghanistan. He flopped on ordering the military to torture terrorists and kill their families (thank goodness he changed his mind, but then again he could be lying). He walked back his previously hardline immigration stance in March: “Everything is negotiable,” he said. He changed his mind on the H-1B visa program. He changed his mind on Syrian refugees. He changed his mind on the minimum wage.
These are not small changes to minor details; these are major policy considerations that Trump just cannot make up his mind about. At best, we can assume that he is simply very stupid and incapable of forming a coherent position on these critical issues. At worst—and far more likely—he is simply willing to change his position on any given issue whenever it suits him. How could we trust him on anything once he was in the Oval Office?
The answer is simple: we could not.
6. Donald Trump Is Avowedly Anti-Free Speech
As noted above, Trump takes a dim view of Citizens United, the Supreme Court decision that correctly decided for free speech and against censorship. Any politician that sets himself up against Citizens United has also set himself up against the First Amendment.
But Trump’s opposition to Citizens United is not the only indication that he is anti-free speech. He has vowed, once in office to “open up” libel laws to make it easier to sue newspapers that write negative things about him. Taking a cue from Trump’s demonstrable hostility to free speech, Roger Stone said that, as president, Trump should “turn off CNN’s FCC license.”
Years ago, an author wrote some critical things about Trump; Trump sued him not because he had a legitimate grievance but simply “to make his life miserable.” Frivolous, expensive lawsuits are a common tactic people use to censor their critics. This is what Trump does; he admits it, proudly and unabashedly.
Trump is signaling to the American people that he is pro-censorship and anti-free speech. Free speech is one of the most precious, inestimable civil rights in the United States Constitution. To hand over the executive branch to a man so manifestly opposed to the First Amendment would be catastrophic.
7. Donald Trump Could Ruin the Reputation of Conservatism
It is clear, as I wrote above, that Trump is no conservative: he is simply a liberal who has seized upon conservatism because it is convenient for his own selfish purposes. With Trump in office we might be treated to something along the lines of a third Obama term: government-run health care, heavy-handed federal involvement in education, hostility to free speech, an invasive and overbearing government.
But because Trump is an unreliable, abrasive, and egomaniacal crackpot of a politician, he could do serious damage to American conservatism simply because people will come to associate conservatism with Trump.
Just think: in addition to all the insane, cruel and unbalanced behavior listed above, Trump entertained and promoted wild-eyed conspiracy theories about Cruz’s father; he intimated that Mexico is “sending” rapists to the United States; he mocked a decorated war veteran for being captured by enemy forces; he called for banning the entirety of Muslim immigration to the United States; he promoted the idea that Jeb Bush’s immigration policies were inspired by Bush’s wife’s ethnicity; he indirectly praised the Chinese government for the Tiananmen Square massacre; he stoked fears that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was murdered; he openly and gleefully mocked a journalist with a physical disability; and he has in general comported himself with narcissism, self-aggrandizement, vanity, and deliberate boorishness.
A man like this—a man with these psychological hang-ups, these awful tendencies, and this kind of reckless behavior—would do incredible if not fatal damage to American conservatism. For at least four years, if not more, the media and the Left (but I repeat myself) could point to Donald J. Trump and say, “That’s what American conservatism is. That’s what conservatives are all about.”
Many, many people would believe it. Come 2020 or 2024, conservatives would be up the creek, and liberals could be looking at a generation of smashing victories at the federal, state, and local levels. All because of Trump.
Clinton Is Horrible; Trump Is Worse
There is no good reason to vote for Donald Trump. There is not a single, solitary good reason to cast your ballot for this dangerous and unstable person. There is, of course, the opportunity to vote “third party:” if you simply cannot bring yourself to vote for Hillary, then you can perhaps vote for the Libertarian candidate or else just do a write-in. That’s perfectly defensible.
Then again, the principal electoral purpose of the 2016 campaign season, for every good and decent American, should be keeping Donald Trump out of the White House. The best bet for doing that? Voting for Hillary Clinton.
It should be clear at this point that I think Hillary Clinton would be a bad president. She would probably even be a terrible one. But she would also be what Trump is not: predictable, arguably sane, able to be reasoned with to a certain degree, unlikely to order soldiers to torture and kill women and children, and so forth.
Under Hillary Clinton our country would probably get poorer, less pleasant, and less free. But under Trump all of these things would still happen—and we would have the added horror of being ruled by a strongman with a quick temper, an insanely delicate ego, and a penchant for inciting violence. Plainly, Hillary is the better and safer option of the two.
This might have been a difficult choice even a few months ago. But the choices are very clear at this point. Trump is a man unfit for any office. He is dangerous, he is reckless, and his candidacy should scare us all.
Walker, Bush, Rubio, Cruz—they all fell by the wayside. Now there is only one person with any hope of keeping Trump out of the White House. Her name is Hillary Clinton. And you should vote for her in November.