By Dale Lucht
Labor Day has passed and we’re in the middle of an election where once again we are on a downward spiral to dissension, depravity and destruction. Both sides are guilty of character assassination, exaggeration and name calling. I always hope for a legitimate debate on the issues of our day, but the adults are again on recess and we again find ourselves deciding between the lesser of two evils.
Let us not forget that we have more than two choices on our ballots. Two of the other parties are the Libertarian and the Green parties. The Green Party is the party that Ralph Nader headed in 2000, that cost Al Gore the presidency. Currently it is headed by Dr. Jill Stein, a medical doctor who lives in Lexington, Massachusetts. Of all the people running I think that I would enjoy knowing her the most. She is an activist who also plays guitar, conga and djembe drums. She belonged to a band called Somebody’s Sister. She currently has an arrest warrant issued against her for misdemeanor criminal trespass and criminal mischief charges for entering private property and spray painting graffiti on a bulldozer at a pipeline confrontation with the Standing Rock Sioux Nation. Previously guard dogs were set loose on demonstrators and the Morton County Sheriff’s Department did nothing about that, but they decided spray painting a bulldozer was a much more heinous crime. But enough about the Green Party, they don’t have a chance.
Neither does the Libertarian Party. Gary Johnson is the nominee for this fiscally conservative and socially liberal party. Johnson promised to refrain from marijuana while he was running for the presidency. If he was elected, he promised not to indulge in grass or alcohol. He feels that the position requires a clear head. However, the other day Johnson was on a morning talk show and he was asked the question, “What would you do about Aleppo?” Aleppo is a town in Syria which has been under attack during their civil war and has many refugees. Gary Johnson’s answer to the question was, “What is Aleppo?” On a later program he explained that he thought Aleppo was an anagram for something.
Now to get to the two evils. The Republican Party has nominated a deeply flawed individual. Donald J. Trump, the New York business tycoon, says that he is a billionaire but will not deliver his tax returns. Four of his businesses have declared bankruptcy, nobody knows how many people he has sued or how many people have sued him. He also has a habit of contracting for work and then not paying the bill. Many of the small business construction companies end up suing Trump because they don’t get paid, and some of them have gone bankrupt. Trump calls this good business.
In January at a Trump rally in Florida, Trump’s campaign hired a trio of young singers called USA Freedom Kids to warm up the crowd before he spoke. Trump stiffed them, he wouldn’t even pay their travel expenses. Also in Florida, Pam Bondi the state Attorney General said that she might be investigating Trump University, then Trump made a donation to her and the investigation never materialized. But the $25,000 contribution came from the Donald J. Trump Foundation which is a charity; the foundation paid a $2,500 fine to the IRS and Trump had to reimburse the foundation. Speaking of the foundation, it was set up to disburse money to other charities. The Trump Foundation receives donations from other people and corporations and then disburses the money to various charities. Mr. Trump has not donated any of his own money to his foundation since 2008.
One of the biggest problems that I have with Trump is his derogatory name calling, such as “Lying Ted, Little Marco and Crooked Hillary.” Another problem that I have is with some of his followers. They appear to be extremely angry and also mean. At the convention, one of the conventioneers yelled at a reporter for being in his way, other reporters have been spit on, and there often are fights if protesters are in the crowd. What happened to decorum? Why are republicans so angry? They say that they want things to go back to the way they used to be. What does that even mean? Specifics are never given. Do they mean we should go back to “Father Knows Best” or “Leave it to Beaver”? I’m old enough to remember the fifties and although I have many good memories of that decade, such as the Milwaukee Braves winning the World Series, I also remember the McCarthy hearings and Civil Defense drills. Do you remember “Duck and Cover”?
When the Republican Party gives concrete examples of what programs they want to implement, then maybe I’ll listen to them. All I’ve heard so far are the same old methods and programs of a decrepit party that took the country to the edge of financial and moral bankruptcy. The trickle down economy has been siphoned off by the ‘Robber Barons’ of the 21st Century. By the way, previous presidents have put their investments into a blind trust while in office. There is no law requiring that. If you were hired for a cabinet position, you would legally be required to put your money into a blind trust. A President or Vice President is not required to do this.
The Democrats don’t have much to boast about. Hillary Clinton is also a flawed individual, who is to secretive about her emails, health and the Clinton Foundation. Did she give preferential treatment to those who donated to the foundation while she was Secretary of State? Many Americans don’t like her, I don’t know why, but she is extremely secretive. Wouldn’t you be secretive if your every act has been attacked for thirty years? Plus she’s a lawyer and lawyers have to lie at times, or at least maybe not tell the whole truth. Hillary Rodham worked on the House Judiciary Committee’s Watergate Investigation and she forgot the basic truth that came out of that investigation. It’s always the cover up that will do you in.
The biggest problem that I have with the current nominees is the personal attacks that they use on each other. Attack their views or record, but don’t attack them personally. I should add that you shouldn’t attack their followers. Recently Clinton attacked Trump’s followers, calling them deplorable. Years ago I had a neighbor who called his kids stupid when they did something stupid. That always bothered me. Call what they did stupid but don’t call them stupid. Clinton should say his followers have deplorable views, not that they are deplorable.
The election is on November 8th, and you need a picture ID. You can register then, but give yourself extra time. Early voting starts 5 to 6 weeks before then but check with your municipality for the dates, it can vary. Go to myvote.wi.gov for info. Whoever gets elected let us hope that a mantle of statesmanship gets thrown over them.