Last Friday night, after the orgy of horror called the Republican National Convention was finally over (and bravo to the great city of Cleveland for surviving it intact), there was a pleasant surprise on Stephen Colbert's "The Late Show"; his friend and former Comedy Central colleague, Jon Stewart, made a surprise appearance to (a) help Colbert celebrate the decline and fall of Roger Ailes (more on him in another post), and (b) offer his take on the aforesaid orgy of horror. He did this largely by using the transparent hypocrisy of Sean Hannity (more on him in the aforesaid other post) to skewer Trump, a man who begs to be skewered and thereby produce more sizzle than any of his self-named steaks. Needless to say, it was hysterical (and don't take my word for it; just take a look here).
Now that Trump's nomination is official, and polls show very little if any statistical space between Trump and Hillary Clinton, I'd like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to Colbert's predecessor, David Letterman, and list my top 10 reasons for NOT voting for Trump. These are not necessary in any particular order; frankly, I think any one of them are bad enough. Taken together, in any case, they illustrate why this pathetic excuse for a man shouldn't be president of a restroom, let alone the nation. And, since it's a Letterman tribute, I'll start counting backwards.
10. Donald Trump is a racist. Not someone who occasionally says racist things, such as his Mexican diatribe at the beginning of the campaign. Not someone who occasional acts in a way that could have a racist meaning or context. No, when it comes to racism, Donald Trump is the real thing; a person who uses all of his resources to effectively declare war on people of color. I could easily give you a typewritten list, but Nicholas Kristof has spared me the trouble.
9. Donald Trump is a sexist. Again, not someone who occasionally does or says questionable things with reference to women. Someone who is the proverbial real deal. Again, this is not just me saying this; to borrow a phrase from "The X Files," the truth is out there. Personally, I think that his three marriages are bad enough. They reflect the planning of a man who uses women for specific reasons. The first marriage was for children, the second was the consequence of an affair he had to keep his middle-age fears at bay, and the last was to have arm-candy for corporate purposes. Poor Melania! Bad enough that she was given someone else's words to say, but what was worse is that she was clearly uncomfortable as a public speaker. What kind of man forces his wife to humiliate herself that badly for the sake of his ego?
8. Donald Trump is a child abuser. Only a man who needs to be treated as an unquestioned authority would put his children in charge of his campaign, with no one else given input. What child is seriously going to question the word or decision-making of his father? No child should have to do that, not even if the child has been raise to be a cog in his or her father's machine. And there's no evidence that Trump's children were raised for any reason except to flatter Trump and make him feel powerful. And I don't just mean politically powerful; what decent father puts his hands on his grown daughter's hips in public? The same father who "hit" on the same daughter on his overrated prime-time TV show.
7. Donald Trump is a thief when it comes to his creditors. When it comes to his business dealings with the powerful and the powerless, Donald Trump treats them both the same way: he steals mercilessly from both. By his own admission, he has used bankruptcy law as a vehicle form defrauding hundreds of creditors, destroying businesses, families and lives in the process. And again, folks, I'm not making this up: it's all right here. And here. You know where Donald's national debt reduction program is coming from, folks? Right out of your Social Security checks.
6. Donald Trump has wasted his own assets. Like so many Republicans, he was born on the financial equivalent of third base. Had he done little more than put his inheritance in the stock market, he would have created more jobs and income than he has through all of his misguided adventures in self-promotion. Again, I'm not making this up. There's just one problem: had he done this, no one would ever had heard of Donald Trump. And that's the point. Do you want a President who puts self-interest above the national interest?
5. Donald Trump has done 7. and 6. with the help of public officials. He likes to brag about how business thinking needs to be used to combat government waste and cronyism. He's not so upfront about admitting how much of that waste and cronyism he's generated himself. Take a look. A classic state capitalist, much like--well, I can't mention his name without being considered an extremist, but I'll put it this way: a celebrated Broadway musical celebrated his "springtime."
4. Donald Trump is a destroyer of his home town and its historic buildings. The construction of overpriced, overrated, ugly buildings for the 1% was the beginning of turning New York from a city that made things possible for everyone into a city that made them possible only for billionaires. And, in the process, he destroyed valuable parts of New York's architectural and cultural heritage. I'll take the Bonwit Teller building and the Commodore Hotel over the buildings that replaced them any day.
3. Donald Trump is an open formentor of civil unrest and physical violence. Listen to his rhetoric about Mexicans. Look at the footage from his rallies, and see how protesters are treated. And listen, if you can do it without having your stomach turn, to his so-called acceptance speech, in which he deliberately lied not only about crime statistics but about the source of gun violence. It's about easy access to guns, stupid!
2. Donald Trump is an unrepentant, pathological, serial liar. See my previously-cited reasons.
1. In short, Donald Trump is a world-class narcissist and bully who can’t be trusted with
the nuclear button. He'll become frustrated with having to deal with an entire country full of people who won't bow down to him, just because he's Donald Trump. So, he'll either walk away from the job, if we're lucky (and leave us with Mike Pence, which makes us no-so-lucky), or he'll change the national conversation by starting random wars. Perhaps even nuclear ones. Don't forget: he's a real estate developer. To him, nuclear war is just another form of site-clearance.
And the bonus reason for voting for Hillary? SHE'S NOT TRUMP! Maybe she is the lesser of two evils, but there's still an argument to be made for voting for that.
Enjoy the saner convention that starts tomorrow. And remember: NEVER, NEVER, EVER TRUMP!