Trump Takes the Doubt Out Of Voting


It’s one of those “What’s the shortest book in the library?” jokes, and the answer is “The Best of Donald Trump.” One of the most convenient sources is, a fact checking service which has evaluated Mr. Trump’s statements. Of the statements evaluated, 11% were either true or mostly true, while 40% were simply false and 19% got the special accolade “Pants On Fire.”

By way of comparison, Hillary Clinton was true or mostly true 51% while she was rated false 11% of the time and Pants On Fire 1%. had a useful report, “141 Things Donald Trump Has Said and Done That Make Him Unfit to Be President” and Dana Milbank in the Washington Post offered “For Trump, it’s (white) America First: A catalogue of Trump’s racial animus.” Mr. Milbank ran out of space before he ran out of examples.

Martin Amis said it in Harper’s: “Trump can sense when an entity is no longer strong enough or lithe enough to evade predation. He did it with that white elephant, the Grand Old Party...whose ruins he now bestrides ...” We can see, if not Trump then at least the signs of rot and decay, in the Republican Party Platform. The opinions of the presidential candidate, no matter how self contradictory, are his own, but the platform extends down the ballot and applies to senators and members of Congress. So, it seems worth looking at some of the provisions of the Republican platform.

“Our goal is a tax system that is simple, transparent, flatter, and fair. In contrast, the current IRS code is like a patchwork quilt, stitched together over time from mismatched pieces, and is beyond the comprehension of the average citizen.” Okay, so their solution is “Extend the 2001 and 2003 tax relief packages-commonly known as the Bush tax cuts-pending reform of the tax code, to keep tax rates from rising on income, interest, dividends, and capital gains …” These fine Republicans don’t want to ask the Koch brothers or Walton heirs for a cent more than they’re already paying.

Their energy policy is easy to understand: “Unlike the current Administration, we will not pick winners and losers in the energy marketplace. Instead, we will let the free market and the public’s preferences determine the industry outcomes. In assessing the various sources of potential energy, Republicans advocate an all-of-the-above diversified approach, taking advantage of all our American God-given resources.”

In other words, keep using fossil fuels regardless of the fate of the planet. Of course there are already more jobs in solar and wind power than there are in coal mining and, as clean energy grows, the more economical it becomes, and the cleaner the air and water become.

Education: “Maintaining American preeminence requires a world-class system of education, with high standards, in which all students can reach their potential. Today’s education reform movement calls for accountability at every stage of schooling. It affirms higher expectations for all students and rejects the crippling bigotry of low expectations. It recognizes the wisdom of State and local control of our schools, and it wisely sees consumer rights in education – choice – as the most important driving force for renewing our schools..” And none of that evolution stuff either.

Health: “Obamacare has been struck down in the court of public opinion and is falling by the weight of its own confusing, unworkable, budget-busting, and conflicting provisions. It would tremendously expand Medicaid without significant reform, leaving the states to assume unsustainable financial burdens. If fully implemented, it could not function; and Republican victories in the November elections will guarantee that it is never implemented.” Why should poor people get to see a physician? There are 18 million people whose health care depends of Obamacare and the Republicans have yet to present a realistic alternative.

The full platform includes Donald’s plan to build a wall that would cover “the entirety of the southern border and must be sufficient to stop both vehicular and pedestrian traffic.” The platform doesn’t say who’s going to pay for the wall, but perhaps Mexico is growing increasingly anxious to keep us out.

There’s more of course. According to the platform, pornography is a public health problem, but guns aren’t. Same sex marriage is banned in the platform, even if the Supreme Court has silly ideas about equal rights. The Bible may be taught in schools, and of course there’s a balanced budget amendment, which is bad economics since it blocks a Keynesian solution to an economic downturn. It’s all the usual.

So, if anyone has the notion to split the ticket and vote for a Republican running for the Senate or House, take a look at the party platform. This is the part that runs down the ticket, and it’s a full bucket of misogyny and xenophobia. The one thing that can be said about Donnie and the Republican Platform is that they take the doubt out of voting.

Sam Uretsky is a writer and pharmacist living on Long Island, N.Y. Email

From The Progressive Populist, August 15, 2016

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