10 Aug '16     home | previous

Supporting Hillary

We should want a president who does her homework, who reads with comprehension and fast, who listens to what others think and believes she has to apply thought in making decisions rather than riding on the magic of instant insight from her gut. Mike Morell, former director of the CIA, says he has known Hillary Clinton "a long time," that he has spent a lot of time with her in the Situation Room, at the State Department and overseas, and he says "She was always prepared." She bothered to read through the thick books to prepare herself for meetings. "She knew what she was talking about. She asks really good questions." He says Hillary Clinton was not locked into her view, that she would change her view if someone made a compelling argument, that "she didn't automatically take the bureaucratic view of her department."

Donald Trump, on the other hand, doesn't read, listen or ask good questions intended to provide himself with important information. With power, Trump would be another one of those egomaniacs (like Mussolini) who believes in his intuitive genius, as in his claim that he knows "more about ISIS than the generals do." And Trump allows himself a strange logic, as when he said the generals "don't know much because they're not winning." (Not winning can be the result of a number of factors.) A president needs help or stimulation from advisors. With President Trump this is not likely to work very well.

Exercising his inability to evaluate, Trump complains about "crooked Hillary." Trying to win support from former Sanders supporters he postures virtue and complains about Clinton's ill-gotten wealth. Months ago Trump said he favored raising taxes on the most wealthy, but he has changed his mind, apparently to attract the support of conservatives – people still wedded to trickle-down economics. If you google Trump's economic advisors you will find billionaires and special interest advocates, not one of whom is well recognized or experienced as an economic advisor.

Trump describes his tax plan as reducing personal income taxes on the most wealthy, to give them incentive to invest. Hillary thinks the super-rich don't need a tax break. According to the Wall Street Journal, she wants to fix our infrastructure with money acquired from "higher taxes on top earners" while suggesting "he would tolerate wider deficits to spend more on infrastructure, Veterans' health and national defense at the same time that he reduces taxes."

Something like 10 percent of Sanders supporters are not supporting Clinton (according to Pew Research). They put her with the super-rich. They complained of her speaking to Goldman Sachs employees for a high fee. In this speech she is reported as having told them "we're in this together," and she was right in the sense that a better functioning economy and society would benefit all. These anti-Clinton people were demonizing financiers and big business and celebrating their moral and political purity, overlooking that financiers and big businesses function in Sweden and Denmark. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is not that dumb.

Some who dislike Hillary and Trump have the Libertarian Party or the Green Party presidential candidate they can support. Politics of more than two parties works well in parliamentary systems. We don't have a parliament. Our politics in presidential and congressional elections split between those who gather together to the right of center (wherever that happens to be) and to the left of center. (A third party candidate, Jesse Ventura, won as governor of Minnesota in 1998, but what some hoped was a trend turned out to be an exception.)

Trump is known for denying global warming. There is nothing that the Green Party candidate would be able to do for the environment that Hillary Clinton is against doing, and Hillary will likely win against Trump. There is hardly a possibility that the Green Party candidate or the Libertarian Party candidate will be elected.

The Sanders supporter Noam Chomsky is among those who says he is reluctantly supporting Clinton, because she would be better for the planet. Chomsky sees electoral politics as a strategy against disaster.

The Republican Chris Shays, a Connecticut congressman says today that Hillary Clinton will be getting his vote:

She has made some mistakes and I would love it if she had done some things differently. But this I know: Clinton does her homework, and she learns from her mistakes. She is smart, tough, highly knowledgeable and has shown she is genuinely willing to work with Republicans and anyone else to address the countless problems that confront our nation.

Some associate Clinton with what some are calling The Establishment – a phrase that fails to illuminate the differences between those who want reform and more influence from common people and, on the other hand, those who defend the status quo. These anti-establishment politicos adhere to their sectarian strategies, and some think of themselves as revolutionaries.

I'm with the effective reformers. I'm with Hillary Clinton.

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Copyright © 2016 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.