Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president this year, visited Washington State Saturday. State Sen. Steve Litzow (R-Mercer Island) of the 41st Legislative District (Southern Sammamish) took a strong stand against his own party’s nominee. So did Rob McKenna, a Republican, the former attorney general and candidate for governor here and then Chris Vance, former chairman of the state Republican Party and candidate opposing incumbent US Sen Patty Murray (D-Washington).
Sammamish Deputy Mayor Ramiro Valderrama, running as a Republican for the State House in the 45th District (northern Sammamish), as yet hasn’t taken a position supporting or opposing Trump.
I’ve been following presidential elections since 1968 and voting in them since 1972. I’ve seen George Wallace, then the Alabama governor, run against “pointy-headed” liberals, appealing to racist instincts. I’ve seen then US Sen. George McGovern (D-SD), a former World War II US bomber pilot in Europe, run on a far-left campaign. I’ve watched the two major parties go in wrong directions (by my standards). I watched outsider Ross Perot in 1992 and 1996. I like outsiders who are squeaky wheels (hence, supporting Valderrama for City Council last year).
But I’ve never seen anything like Trump. His destructive approach to everything and everybody is mind boggling.
I understand the desire for an outsider. I voted for Perot, twice, because I didn’t like the Republicans or Democrats way back then. But there has been no positive campaign messaging from Trump, only platitudes, often contradictory. He doesn’t stand for the American values I grew up understanding. Trump is the biggest self-proclaimed victim in American politics and the biggest crybaby since Newt Gingrich didn’t get the seat he wanted on Bill Clinton’s Air Force One.
Especially disturbing are his constant attacks on those who criticize him and even those who don’t.
- Attacking POWs: Trump’s attack on US Sen. John McCain (“he’s a hero only because he got captured”) and POWs in general (Trump only “likes people who don’t get captured”) was not just an insult to McCain, it denigrated all POWs who ever fought for their country and were captured by the enemy. Veterans should be appalled by Trump’s attitude toward them.
- Supporting torture: The United States fought several wars in which our servicemen were tortured. If Trump knew our history—which has become obvious he does not—he would know the Japanese used water boarding against our POWs (and much worse), which our government and people condemned. Nazi Germany tortured. Torture was used in the Korean and Vietnam wars. Supporting torture techniques is the antithesis of what America is supposed to be about.
- Lies and more lies: Trump notoriously labeled rival Sen. Ted Cruz as “Lyin’ Ted.” Trump may have had a point, but his own veracity is mind-boggling.
- Libel Laws: Stung by criticism and critical stories, Trump said he wants to change the libel laws so he can sue the media more easily.
- Backflips: Trump should be a gymnast. He was pro-choice before he was against it. He was for punishing women for abortions before he was against it. He was for Planned Parenthood before he was against it before he was for it. He was friends of Bill and Hillary before he wasn’t. It’s enough to make you dizzy.
- Admiring a Despot: He claims he’s good friends with Russia President Vladimir Putin because they appeared on the same 60 Minutes program. But they never met; the segments were filmed separately. Trump praised, one of today’s most notorious thugs–and accepted Putin’s praise.
- International experience: Trump points to his “international experience” through his ownership of Miss USA.
The list can go on and on and on.
We have terrible choices this year for president. It’s enough to make one a Libertarian.