Sometimes There's no Lesser of Two Evils

Supporters of Donald Trump are valiantly trying to replace #nevertrump with #getoverit. Many are chanting the mantra that not voting for Trump is a vote for Hillary Clinton. One wonders if the corollary is also true. Since I am not voting for Hillary Clinton, by their logic not voting for Hillary should be a vote for Trump, right?

One wonders if this faulty logic is just an attempt to guilt the never-Trumpers into voting for him, or an attempt to lay the groundwork to blame those who cannot bring themselves to vote for, dare I say it, the mouth that roared, for a loss in November. True, a Clinton win would carry with it disastrous consequences for the nation, from Supreme Court picks to the setting in concrete of ObamaCare. But let us not concede for a minute that we should hold our nose and vote for Donald Trump just because he is allegedly the proverbial lesser of two evils.

Hillary Clinton is certainly the devil we know. The problem is that Donald Trump is the devil don’t know, a political chameleon who admittedly gets his information from the Sunday talk shows and writes his policies on an Etch-A-Sketch. As Breitbart reported, Trump told NBC’s Chuck Todd:

Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” when host Chuck Todd questioned Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump on his military positions, Trump said he watches television shows for military advice…

Todd asked, “Who do you talk to for military advice right now?”

Trump answered, “Well, I watch the shows. I mean, I really see a lot of great -- you know, when you watch your show, and all of the other shows, and you have the generals, and you have certain people --”

Meet Donald Trump -- Presidential Apprentice, whose stream-of-consciousness foreign policy utterances make little sense such as this gem on what we should do about ISIS:

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stated the US should let ISIS and Bashar al-Assad fight and “take over the remnants” and “let Russia fight ISIS” in Syria in an interview broadcast on Wednesday’s “Erin Burnett OutFront” on CNN.

Russia is not fighting ISIS and any credible candidate seeking access to the nuclear codes would know that. Russia has been bombing the Syrian resistance with one goal in mind -- keeping the murderous Bashar al-Assad in power. At best, this is an isolationist endorsement of President Obama’s abandonment of America’s leadership in the world.

Trump would create power vacuums all over place which the bad guys would gladly fill, such as President Obama left in Iraq.

Trump considers Iraq a failure by President George W. Bush, yet it was a great victory. Both Shiites and Sunnis learned to work together under an America that had both their backs and acted as referee in disputes. Women proudly held their purple fingers aloft after voting for the first time in a free Iraq. Yes, we were propping up a Baghdad incapable of defending itself, just as we prop up South Korea and Japan seven decades after World War II. And just as we prop up a NATO incapable of defending itself without our help.

We do it because it is in our national interest to do it. Let France and Germany be “free-riders”. Let America also be what it used to be -- leader of the Free World. Trump’s view that NATO is “obsolete” and American participation in it questionable is a Putin dream come true, one that would throw away President Ronald Reagan’s Cold War victory. His statements reveal a glaring naiveté about the world:

I think NATO is obsolete. NATO was done at a time you had the Soviet Union, which was obviously larger -- much larger than Russia is today. I'm not saying Russia is not a threat.

But we have other threats. We have the threat of terrorism. And NATO doesn't discuss terrorism. NATO's not meant for terrorism. NATO doesn't have the right countries in it for terrorism…

And if you look at the Ukraine, we're the ones always fighting on the Ukraine. I never hear any other countries even mentioned and we're fighting constantly. We're talking about Ukraine, get out, do this, do that.

And I mean Ukraine is very far away from us.

How come the countries near the Ukraine, surrounding the Ukraine, how come they're not opening up and they're not at least protesting?

Perhaps they are intimidated by a rapidly rearming Russia and dismayed by an America that let Russia annex the Crimea and let Russia invade Ukraine to pull it back into a reconstituted Soviet-style empire, an empire Ronald Reagan rightly called “evil” and which Trump seems not to want to do anything about. All we’re doing about Ukraine is talking. Would Trump push for Ukraine’s admission into an “obsolete” NATO? I think not. Terrorism is a threat, but these days it is not the top threat to Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, which are also “very far away from us”. Trump should know we are no longer protected by two oceans and a the 600-ship navy Reagan built. Russian, and Chinese and, soon enough, Iranian and North Korean ICBMs have made the world a very small place.

Trump’s view of former KGB chief Putin is naïve and dangerous:

After Putin praised Trump on Thursday as "bright and talented" and "the absolute leader of the presidential race," the billionaire trumpeted Putin's praise as a "great honor" and even shrugged off widespread allegations that the Russian president has ordered the killing of journalists and political dissidents.

"He's running his country and at least he's a leader, unlike what we have in this country," Trump said Friday morning on MSNBC. "I think our country does plenty of killing also."

Yes, like other expansionist despots before him, Putin is a leader who runs his country. I’m sure the Moscow subway runs on time too. Reagan would have stood up to Putin, just as he stood up to Gorbachev and told him to tear down the Berlin Wall. Somehow I can’t imagine Trump doing that. Nor was there any “Art of the Deal” at Reykjavik in 1986. As Investor’s Business Daily noted:

When Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev met Ronald Reagan in Reykjavik, Iceland, in October 1986, he hoped the U.S. president would be willing to trade his Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) away in exchange for arms-control agreements and vague promises of making nice with America.

Reagan refused to negotiate the SDI away. He opposed the proposed nuclear freeze and put Pershing missiles in Europe to counter the Soviet SS-20s that were targeted on Western Europe. He put America’s security in the hands of American technology, not the goodwill of its enemies.

Would Trump have countered Soviet expansionism by means of deploying SS-20s, or would he have dealt away the U.S. missile defense in its infancy? Or would he have played “Let’s Make a Deal” with Gorbachev? Trump is a dealmaker unlikely to have a strategy of “we win, they lose” as Reagan did.

Trump likes to fancy himself as a new Reagan and claims his mantle even as he trashes him, referring to him in his book, Art of the Deal as a “conman” who couldn’t “deliver the goods”. ThinkProgress noted in 2011, Trump’s professed admiration for Reagan was merely a head fake:

… in his bestselling book, Art of the Deal, published at the conclusion of the Reagan presidency, Trump cited Reagan as an example of someone who could “con people” but couldn’t “deliver the goods.” Trump said Reagan was “so smooth” that he “won over the American people.” But at the conclusion of his presidency, “people are beginning to question whether there is anything beneath that smile,” Trump writes.

I am not #NeverTrump. I am “none of the above”. Hillary Clinton is dangerous because of what she would do. Donald Trump is dangerous because he doesn’t know what he is doing or saying. I will vote with my feet and stay home. If the Almighty really does look after drunks, children, and the United States of America, I’ll put my faith and my vote there. But I will not sacrifice my core principles and vote for a dealmaker who doesn’t appear to have any.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.               

Supporters of Donald Trump are valiantly trying to replace #nevertrump with #getoverit. Many are chanting the mantra that not voting for Trump is a vote for Hillary Clinton. One wonders if the corollary is also true. Since I am not voting for Hillary Clinton, by their logic not voting for Hillary should be a vote for Trump, right?

One wonders if this faulty logic is just an attempt to guilt the never-Trumpers into voting for him, or an attempt to lay the groundwork to blame those who cannot bring themselves to vote for, dare I say it, the mouth that roared, for a loss in November. True, a Clinton win would carry with it disastrous consequences for the nation, from Supreme Court picks to the setting in concrete of ObamaCare. But let us not concede for a minute that we should hold our nose and vote for Donald Trump just because he is allegedly the proverbial lesser of two evils.

Hillary Clinton is certainly the devil we know. The problem is that Donald Trump is the devil don’t know, a political chameleon who admittedly gets his information from the Sunday talk shows and writes his policies on an Etch-A-Sketch. As Breitbart reported, Trump told NBC’s Chuck Todd:

Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” when host Chuck Todd questioned Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump on his military positions, Trump said he watches television shows for military advice…

Todd asked, “Who do you talk to for military advice right now?”

Trump answered, “Well, I watch the shows. I mean, I really see a lot of great -- you know, when you watch your show, and all of the other shows, and you have the generals, and you have certain people --”

Meet Donald Trump -- Presidential Apprentice, whose stream-of-consciousness foreign policy utterances make little sense such as this gem on what we should do about ISIS:

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stated the US should let ISIS and Bashar al-Assad fight and “take over the remnants” and “let Russia fight ISIS” in Syria in an interview broadcast on Wednesday’s “Erin Burnett OutFront” on CNN.

Russia is not fighting ISIS and any credible candidate seeking access to the nuclear codes would know that. Russia has been bombing the Syrian resistance with one goal in mind -- keeping the murderous Bashar al-Assad in power. At best, this is an isolationist endorsement of President Obama’s abandonment of America’s leadership in the world.

Trump would create power vacuums all over place which the bad guys would gladly fill, such as President Obama left in Iraq.

Trump considers Iraq a failure by President George W. Bush, yet it was a great victory. Both Shiites and Sunnis learned to work together under an America that had both their backs and acted as referee in disputes. Women proudly held their purple fingers aloft after voting for the first time in a free Iraq. Yes, we were propping up a Baghdad incapable of defending itself, just as we prop up South Korea and Japan seven decades after World War II. And just as we prop up a NATO incapable of defending itself without our help.

We do it because it is in our national interest to do it. Let France and Germany be “free-riders”. Let America also be what it used to be -- leader of the Free World. Trump’s view that NATO is “obsolete” and American participation in it questionable is a Putin dream come true, one that would throw away President Ronald Reagan’s Cold War victory. His statements reveal a glaring naiveté about the world:

I think NATO is obsolete. NATO was done at a time you had the Soviet Union, which was obviously larger -- much larger than Russia is today. I'm not saying Russia is not a threat.

But we have other threats. We have the threat of terrorism. And NATO doesn't discuss terrorism. NATO's not meant for terrorism. NATO doesn't have the right countries in it for terrorism…

And if you look at the Ukraine, we're the ones always fighting on the Ukraine. I never hear any other countries even mentioned and we're fighting constantly. We're talking about Ukraine, get out, do this, do that.

And I mean Ukraine is very far away from us.

How come the countries near the Ukraine, surrounding the Ukraine, how come they're not opening up and they're not at least protesting?

Perhaps they are intimidated by a rapidly rearming Russia and dismayed by an America that let Russia annex the Crimea and let Russia invade Ukraine to pull it back into a reconstituted Soviet-style empire, an empire Ronald Reagan rightly called “evil” and which Trump seems not to want to do anything about. All we’re doing about Ukraine is talking. Would Trump push for Ukraine’s admission into an “obsolete” NATO? I think not. Terrorism is a threat, but these days it is not the top threat to Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, which are also “very far away from us”. Trump should know we are no longer protected by two oceans and a the 600-ship navy Reagan built. Russian, and Chinese and, soon enough, Iranian and North Korean ICBMs have made the world a very small place.

Trump’s view of former KGB chief Putin is naïve and dangerous:

After Putin praised Trump on Thursday as "bright and talented" and "the absolute leader of the presidential race," the billionaire trumpeted Putin's praise as a "great honor" and even shrugged off widespread allegations that the Russian president has ordered the killing of journalists and political dissidents.

"He's running his country and at least he's a leader, unlike what we have in this country," Trump said Friday morning on MSNBC. "I think our country does plenty of killing also."

Yes, like other expansionist despots before him, Putin is a leader who runs his country. I’m sure the Moscow subway runs on time too. Reagan would have stood up to Putin, just as he stood up to Gorbachev and told him to tear down the Berlin Wall. Somehow I can’t imagine Trump doing that. Nor was there any “Art of the Deal” at Reykjavik in 1986. As Investor’s Business Daily noted:

When Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev met Ronald Reagan in Reykjavik, Iceland, in October 1986, he hoped the U.S. president would be willing to trade his Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) away in exchange for arms-control agreements and vague promises of making nice with America.

Reagan refused to negotiate the SDI away. He opposed the proposed nuclear freeze and put Pershing missiles in Europe to counter the Soviet SS-20s that were targeted on Western Europe. He put America’s security in the hands of American technology, not the goodwill of its enemies.

Would Trump have countered Soviet expansionism by means of deploying SS-20s, or would he have dealt away the U.S. missile defense in its infancy? Or would he have played “Let’s Make a Deal” with Gorbachev? Trump is a dealmaker unlikely to have a strategy of “we win, they lose” as Reagan did.

Trump likes to fancy himself as a new Reagan and claims his mantle even as he trashes him, referring to him in his book, Art of the Deal as a “conman” who couldn’t “deliver the goods”. ThinkProgress noted in 2011, Trump’s professed admiration for Reagan was merely a head fake:

… in his bestselling book, Art of the Deal, published at the conclusion of the Reagan presidency, Trump cited Reagan as an example of someone who could “con people” but couldn’t “deliver the goods.” Trump said Reagan was “so smooth” that he “won over the American people.” But at the conclusion of his presidency, “people are beginning to question whether there is anything beneath that smile,” Trump writes.

I am not #NeverTrump. I am “none of the above”. Hillary Clinton is dangerous because of what she would do. Donald Trump is dangerous because he doesn’t know what he is doing or saying. I will vote with my feet and stay home. If the Almighty really does look after drunks, children, and the United States of America, I’ll put my faith and my vote there. But I will not sacrifice my core principles and vote for a dealmaker who doesn’t appear to have any.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.