Thursday, October 22, 2020

Voting for Trump? Some things to consider

Trump is a Pathological Liar. Trump has made hundreds of documented statements which are provably false. According to fact-checkers at the Washington Post, Donald Trump made 1,318 false claims in his first 263 days as president -- over 5 per day.

Trump is Anti-First Amendment. Trump says that his opponents have "no right" to criticize him. Regularly claims "fake news", claims that news media is an "enemy of the American People!"; for a time the White House press room barred CNN, the New York Times, and Politico while allowing Fox News and Breitbart News. The White House banned the use of encrypted messaging apps (like Signal) by staff. After two MSNBC news anchors gave Trump some unfavorable news coverage, he sought an apology from them, and blackmailed them by threatening to have Trump's friend at the National Enquirer publish an article about their relationship. When Trump’s niece published a book about him (“Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man”), Trump said she was "not allowed" to write the book because of a nondisclosure agreement she signed in 2001.

Trump is Pro-Censorship. The EPA has been systematically removing all references to "climate change" from all documents, and canceling their own speakers who were going to speak on the topic. For all official documents, staff at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were instructed not to use the terms "transgender," "vulnerable," "entitlement," "diversity," "fetus," "evidence-based," or "science-based."

Trump is Anti-Privacy. The Trump administration created a new questionnaire for all visa applicants that asked applicants for their social media handles. Under Ajit Pai, a former Verizon Counsel appointed by Donald Trump, the FCC repealed net-neutrality, which would have required internet service providers to get consumer permission before sharing or selling the consumer's private information. As part of Trump's allegations of voter fraud, his commission requested private voter information from every state, most of which refused -- the information was to include every registered voter's full name, address, date of birth, last four digits of social security number, political party, and which elections they had voted in. The Trump administration finalized a new rule that would allow law enforcement authorities to collect DNA from immigration detainees in federal custody, to be stored in the FBI's CODIS database; under the rule, the privacy rights of migrants would no longer be protected. Trump's administration said that all data about patients with the coronavirus must be sent by hospitals to a central database in DC, bypassing the CDC.

Trump Acts and Speaks Like a Dictator. About COVID19, Trump said that the power to reopen the country rested solely with him, not governors. A direct quote: "When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total, and that's the way it's got to be." When not getting his way, Trump tweeted "our country needs a good "shutdown" in September to fix this mess". The next year, as Trump stonewalled Congress over funding for a border wall, the government entered a partial shutdown which left about 800,000 federal workers without pay, and lasted for thirty-four days - the longest in the nation's history. When asked about the US Constitution's checks and balances on power, Trump said "It's an archaic system... It's really bad for this country." Trump's lawyers said protesters at his rallies had no rights to express dissenting views. Trump called those who oppose him "dishonest, crooked people… They're scum - and I say it a lot, they're scum, they're human scum." After dozens of federal officers captured local protestors in Portland, taking them away in unmarked vans, Trump defended the clampdown saying "These are not protesters … these people are anarchists. These are people that hate our country. And we're not going to let it go forward." Protesters in Washington were sprayed with tear gas so that Trump and entourage could walk to a photo-op (at which Trump held up a Bible in front of a church). After Democrats withheld their applause during his State of the Union Address, Trump wondered aloud whether they had committed treason: "Can we call that treason? Why not? I mean, they certainly didn't seem to love our country very much." Trump said he might not accept the results of the 2020 presidential election if he loses; direct quotations: "You don't know until you see. It depends. I think mail-in voting is going to rig the election.", and "The only way we're going to lose this election is if the election is rigged.", and "Well, we're going to have to see what happens." Trump encouraged his supporters to illegally vote twice in November, by mailing in an absentee ballot and then voting in person on Election Day: "Let them send it in and let them go vote, and if their system's as good as they say it is, then obviously they won't be able to vote".

Trump is a Bigot. Trump consistently speaks negatively of immigrants, women (as anything but sex objects), Native Americans, Muslims, and veterans. Trump often praises his violent supporters who assault minorities. He instituted the travel ban, which was ostensibly against terrorism, but did not originally include any countries from which terrorists have originated. Trump tweeted about four non-white congresswomen that they "originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all)", and Trump suggested that they "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came."; three of those women were born in New York, Detroit, and Cincinnati.

Internationally, Trump makes American Look Both Aggressive and Idiotic. Trump alienated Mexico, started a trade war with China, made friends with Russia, and lied about Kuwait visa policy. In 2016, Trump urged Russia to hack Hillary Clinton's email servers. Trump said "we are very much behind President el-Sisi", the president of Egypt who had just imprisoned 17 Egyptians for protesting his regime. Trump expanded the CIA's power to include carrying out anti-terrorist drone strikes on its own discretion, which then were doubled that year in the middle-east. Trump withdrew America from the Paris Agreement (about the environment), becoming only the second country to abstain from it. Trump withdrew from NAFTA. During a speech at the UN, Donald Trump said "Nambia's health system is increasingly self-sufficient" -- there is no such country. In a meeting with members of Congress on immigration, Trump referred to Haiti, El Salvador, and nations in Africa as "shithole countries". Trump withdrew the US from the Iran nuclear deal, which included seven countries and took over two years, and then imposed pre-deal sanctions on Iran. Trump suggested that the U.S. purchase Greenland; when Denmark's prime minister Frederiksen responded "Greenland is not for sale," Trump canceled his planned visit to Denmark, attacked NATO, and called Frederiksen "nasty" and her remarks "inappropriate." Trump, already under investigation for applying political pressure on Ukraine, publicly called for China to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden. Trump frequently blames China for COVID19; his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pushed agencies including the CIA for proof that the virus originated in a lab in China -- meanwhile China counters with propaganda that the virus was created by the US military. In their first presidential debate, Trump interrupted Biden almost every time the Democratic candidate spoke.

Trump Supports Human Rights Violations Against Immigrants and Foreigners. Trump has frequently referred to illegal immigration as a national crisis which, "hurts American workers; burdens American taxpayers; and undermines public safety; and places enormous strain on local schools, hospitals, and communities"; however, at the Trump National Golf Club, undocumented immigrants worked as housekeepers, groundskeepers, wait staff and stonemasons. After Trump passed the "zero tolerance" policy, at the Mexico border over a period of 42 days, almost 2000 children were separated from their family, who were held for illegal border crossing. Then Trump blamed the Democrats for this atrocity: "The Democrats are forcing the breakup of families at the Border with their horrible and cruel legislative agenda"; Trump later claimed that the Obama administration was responsible for the child-separating policy, which he had created. Under Trump, more migrant children have been in government custody than at any time in American history, some of them being children kept in cages. After US Border Patrol sprayed tear gas at migrants, Trump said, "First of all, the tear gas is a very minor form of the tear gas itself. It's very safe"; tear gas is banned even in war by the Chemical Weapons Convention. In five months, three children died in the care of the U.S. immigration authorities. Customs and Border Protection detained 18-year-old Francisco Erwin Galicia for twenty-six days; he is an American citizen, and was carrying a Texas ID, a Social Security card, and a copy of his birth certificate. DHS updated their policy to allow detaining migrant families with children indefinitely -- the large majority of these children having already experienced recent trauma.

Trump is a Terrible Commander-in-Chief. Trump regularly insults military veterans, especially POWs, while he personally evaded military service. Trump canceled a 2018 visit to an American World War I cemetery in France, saying, "Why should I go to that cemetery? It's filled with losers." Trump said the Marines were "suckers" for getting killed.

Trump is a repeated Sex Offender. At least 25 women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct, several of them actual sexual assaults. Michael Cohen, Trump's former lawyer, plead guilty to campaign finance violations, for paying hush money to women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump. Trump has also solicited prostitution.

Trump is Responsible for Massive Corruption in Government. Trump fired many appointees, for either not being loyal to Trump above duty to their own appointment, or as scapegoats; these include FBI Directory Comey, Attorney General Yates, and national security adviser General Flynn. When Texas Senator Hinojosa opposed civil asset forfeiture (which is an evil and corrupt practice), Trump told Sheriff Eavenson "We’ll destroy his career". Trump hired three lobbyists for agencies they had lobbied against, in direct violation of ethics rules which Trump himself had put in place. Trump eliminated the ethics course for incoming White House staff. After the massive email hacking scandal of Hillary Clinton, Trump ignored when Pence's personal AOL account which had been used for state business was also hacked. Trump tried to cultivate a personal relationship with a federal prosecutor Bharara, who was investigating Fox News and Trump's head of Health and Human Services stock trades; the final call from Trump was ostensibly to "shoot the breeze" which Bharara found unethical and reported to Attorney General Jeff Sessions; Bharara was fired the following day without any cause. Two senior intelligence officials told Robert Mueller that Donald Trump had approached them separately and requested they use their position to publicly announce the Trump campaign had not colluded with Russian operatives. Trump ordered the firing of Robert Mueller in June 2017, but backed off when his own counsel threatened to step down if he did so. Michael Cohen admitted to rigging online polls during the 2016 campaign to make it appear as though the presidential candidate had more support than he did; Cohen said he acted "at the direction of and for the sole benefit of" Trump. Trump directed at least five members of his administration to not cooperate with the Congressional inquiry for Trump’s impeachment; all of them defied their subpoenas to testify. The White House also did not to send representative counsel to the impeachment hearings, and refusing to hand over documents. With COVID-19, the White House banned its pandemic task force from testifying before Congress; the White House also explicitly prohibited Fauci from testifying before a House committee. Michael Flynn, Trump's first national security adviser, pleaded guilty twice to lying to the FBI in an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election; after which, the criminal case against him was dropped by the Justice Department. Trump fired federal prosecutor Geoffrey Berman, whose office prosecuted Michael Cohen (Trump’s former lawyer) and was investigating Rudolph Giuliani (Trump's attorney). Just days before Roger Stone was to begin a 40-month prison sentence, Trump commuted the sentence of his friend and political adviser; Stone had been convicted of obstructing a criminal investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 U.S. election. While New York State's attorney general investigated whether Trump and his business overstated assets "to secure loans and obtain economic and tax benefits", Eric Trump canceled an interview with the attorney general, and the Trump Organization said it would not comply with seven subpoenas that it was sent. The Trump administration violated the Hatch Act by using government property (the White House lawn) for a political convention.

Trump is Also Heavily Involved with Economic Corruption. The reported incidents are too numerous to detail, and most of them are not 100% attributable to real corruption, but the trend is very clear; follow the link at the bottom for many examples. Some simply have no honest benefit, and so only a corrupt one can be attributed. For example, oil companies had been required to provide data on purchases of foreign oil; Trump removed this regulation. When the Federal Reserve projected 1.8% growth, Trump asked the Council of Economic Advisers to predict a 3.5% growth -- which they warned would do "real damage". The Trump administration secretly withheld roughly $4 million from a program that helps New York City firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics who suffer from illnesses related to the 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks.


Trump Has Used His Presidency to Profit Himself and His Company. Trump has committed several blatantly illegal acts (violations of the emoluments clause), and numerous acts of direct conflicts of interest (which are mostly not illegal). The US military rented space in Trump Tower, amounting to a $2.4 million yearly expense, just in case Trump decided to sleep there. In visiting his own properties 271 times as president, Trump and Secret Service agents netted the Trump Organization more than $900,000. According to the Washington Post, Trump's business also brought in at least $3.8 million in fees associated with 37 political events held at Trump's properties. Trump's properties took in more than $1.1 million that it charged the government while he was in office. The Trump Organization made some of that money off of room rentals at Trump's club in Bedminster, N.J., when the business was shut down during the pandemic. Before assuming office, Trump vowed to "completely isolate" himself from his business. While in office, however, he visited his properties 274 times. Prior to the election, 2% of Trump properties sold went to anonymous LLC's rather than identified people; since the election this rose to 70% (as of 6/13/2017).

Trump is Personally Bad with Money. Trump boasted that his tax returns were “very big” and “beautiful,” but he has refused to release his returns for years. Of 18 years being investigated, Trump paid zero federal income taxes in 11 of those years. In 2017, after he became president, his tax bill was only $750. Trump received an income tax refund of $72.9 million after declaring large losses, which is now being audited by the IRS. Trump paid $70,000 for hairstyling. Trump is estimated to be $421 million in debt.

Trump’s Administration is Contributing More to Pollution than Anyone Else in the Western World. The following is mostly actions of the EPA, led by Scott Pruitt, whom Trump appointed -- regardless of your views on climate change, massive increases in pollution will poison both people and wildlife, and make the world a worse place for generations to come. They removed regulation of mercury disposal. Removed regulation preventing dumping mining operation debris into rivers. Lifted moratorium on coal mining of federal land. A study from the Environmental Protection Agency had concluded that an Alaskan mining facility could decimate salmon populations; under Trump, the EPA withdrew mining restrictions. Cut EPA workforce by 15% and the EPA budget by 31%. Rolled back EPA protections that ensured drinking water was clean and safe for consumption. Rolled back emissions standards for cars and light trucks. Trump rolled back offshore drilling regulations put in place after the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill which, in 2010, had killed 11 people and released millions of barrels of oil into the ocean. Proposed allowing oil drilling for 94% of what is currently protected American shorelines; of the 22 governors of the affected coastal states, 15 of them disagreed with this plan. Trump appointed former oil lobbyist David Bernhardt to be Secretary of the Interior, a role responsible for the management and conservation of federal land and natural resources.

Lastly, Trump has all of the "normal" horrors of a US president; the nation seems to accept these traits from a president, but I think they are also unacceptable. Extrajudicial killing (raid in Yemen), nepotism (too many instances to count), extreme egotism, and general double-talk.

Personal conclusion: The above is mostly my summary of the extensive aggregation of the misdeeds of Trump’s presidency, at:

Now, I do not believe that all news is trustworthy – it is often inaccurate, or simply misleading. But while compiling this, I did some googling of many of the above points. And I believe that a large majority of the above is absolutely true. Furthermore, even if only 10% of it were true, it would still be grounds to not only not re-elect Trump, but to impeach him, remove him from office, and prevent him from holding any position of leadership for the rest of his life. If you do not believe any of the above, please look into the specific points for yourself. If you believe in all of the above, and still choose to vote for Trump, I am curious how you can sleep at night.

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