For the next 100 days, beginning today with the next post here, this site will provide 100 reasons Donald Trump never should become president of the United States.
This is an unusual break for this site, but this is an unusual situation.
In delivering last week the first major newspaper presidential endorsement this year, the Houston Chronicle said, “the choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is not merely political. It is something much more basic than party preference. ... Any one of Trump's less-than-sterling qualities - his erratic temperament, his dodgy business practices, his racism, his Putin-like strongman inclinations and faux-populist demagoguery, his contempt for the rule of law, his ignorance - is enough to be disqualifying. His convention-speech comment, "I alone can fix it," should make every American shudder. He is, we believe, a danger to the Republic.”
In my lifetime, 15 presidential contests have been held, featuring 30 major party nominees for the high office. They have been a widely varied group, and some have been better than others. Until now, until this year, none of those candidates has struck me as so dangerous to this country that our national future, the America we have known and celebrated for a quarter-millennium, was at actual risk. I believe it will be now, if the voters of the United States make the terrible mistake of electing Donald Trump.
Through four decades of writing about politics I have avoided flatly recommending for or against candidates. But: As Edward Murrow said of Joseph McCarthy – a true precursor to Donald Trump - “This is no time for men who oppose Senator McCarthy’s methods to keep silent - or for those who approve. We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.” If men like Trump, or McCarthy, ultimately prevail, there will one day be no independent journalism to practice.
I do not argue that the candidate on the other side of the ledger arrives without problems of her own. But the nature of Donald Trump is so broadly and deeply flawed, so very dangerous, that the specific risks he poses to the country numbers into the dozens, into the scores. Those various risks have been noted in many places by many people, by Republicans not much less than by others. Those risks should not be forgotten as people begin to consider their voting options. I hope that in its small way this list will serve as a reminder of what we have seen that may hang around just a little bit longer, after one day’s Trump outrage has been replaced by the next.
This is not intended as a list of statements or actions or incidents that I consider disqualifying; most such events taken in isolation could be considered not so terribly serious. This is intended to be a list of aspects of Trump, his character and persona and projection, as illustrated by those incidents, that would lead to a disastrous presidency and a very bad stretch for the United States.
What kind of human being is Donald Trump is the question animating this list.
These 100 disqualifications (not legal disqualifications, of course, but rather what should be voter disqualifications) are numbered, but they aren’t placed in a strict rank order – how could they be? While I have reserved some of what I consider the most overwhelmingly worst of them for the later entries, the serious problems he would evoke start right from the beginning with number 100.
One further note: If you have suggestions, comments, questions, or just want to get in touch, write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Randy Stapilus