WARNING: This is something of a rant

My brother, who leans to the right politically, often engages me in political conversations. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I lean to the left. The conversations infuriate me and make my blood pressure go up. But I appreciate both my brother and the political disagreements we have. He forces me to think through my own positions, which sometimes results in a blog post (like this one). So, thanks Carl for being a part of my life. I really do appreciate you and our conversations, and I happily grant you permission to hold beliefs that are obviously wrong.

donald-trumpThe other day, he asked me WHY I will likely vote for Hillary Clinton rather than Donald Trump in the general election this year (assuming they are the nominees, as seems likely now).

I offered two reasons, which I have decided to share here because I am sure I have friends out there who wonder the same thing. The first reason has to do with the disaster that has befallen the Republican Party over the last twenty years. The second has to do with who is the most qualified person for the job.

I will not be offended if you disagree with me, dear reader, and I would welcome such disagreements in the comments section. I will, however, be disappointed if you take to calling me vile names, which seems to be the norm in today’s political climate. Name calling is just plain childish; it’s what people do when they run out of rational arguments. Don’t do that.   

The dysfunctionality of the Republican Party

Although I have voted for Republicans in the past, at the present time I will not vote for any Republican as a matter of principle. The Republican party has, in my opinion, forfeited it’s right to govern. Their behavior since Gringrich’s Contract with America in 1994 has been appalling. They have demonstrated time and again since then that they are committed to putting ideological interests ahead of national interests. One has only to look at the Bush administration’s disastrous neo-conservative economic and foreign policies to see what happens when the current Republican Party is in power. For example, two badly bungled wars, at least one of which should never have happened, and the most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression seventy years ago.   

Consider the refusal of the Republicans in Congress to reach compromises with the other party in Congress to govern the nation (Democracy cannot function without compromise). Consider their willingness to bring the entire government to it’s knees, a unbelievably irresponsible and juvenile thing to do. Consider Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s declaration in 2008 that the number one goal of the Republican caucus was to make newly elected President Obama fail as a President. Consider the fact that the demagogue Donald Trump (the most mean-spirited, xenophobic, race-baiting, unknowledgeable and unqualified Presidential candidate in my memory) is now the leader of the Republican Party. Examples like this demonstrate that Republicans no longer has the ability to govern the Republic in a responsible manner.

With Donald Trump at the helm, the Republican party’s dysfunctionality has reached almost comic proportions. It’s like watching a soap opera or a reality TV show. This makes them not just incompetent to govern, but a potential danger to the Republic itself.

I will not vote for any Republican in any race, even if he/she is the most qualified candidate in that race. Not until the Republican Party gets its own house in order and becomes a responsible party again. Which I hope they do soon, because the alternative is a one-party system, which would spell the end of the Great American Experiment.

Who is the most qualified person for the job?

The second reason I will vote for Hillary Clinton is not because I especially like her, but because she is the most experienced, most knowledgable, most honest (see http://www.politifact.com/personalities/hillary-clinton) candidate on the field today. Her views are obviously left-leaning, but basically centrist. As were her husband’s. She knows how to lead and she understands how governments work. She knows the players internationally and is a known quantity to them. She understands how the economy works.

Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican candidate, can claim none of these things. He has no relevant experience, is abysmally ignorant on economic matters and embarrassingly ignorant on foreign policy matters. The few policies he has proposed that have any coherency at all are destructive and dangerous. Whatever you might say about Hillary Clinton, she’s not likely to destroy the economy and alienate the rest of the world. Donald Trump, based on everything I have heard him say and do so far, is likely to do both.

Hillary Clinton is not a perfect candidate, and will not be a perfect President. But she is competent and qualified. Donald Trump is neither competent nor qualified. In fact, he might turn out to be down-right dangerous to the health of the United States of America. The last Republican we elected President destroyed our economy and damaged our relations with nearly every country in the world. Let’s not repeat that mistake. Show me a competent and qualified Republican candidate for President, and I’ll vote for him. Donald Trump is not that candidate.

So, there you have it. That’s why I will most likely vote for Hillary Clinton in the general election.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know via the comments section. And thanks for taking the time to read my blog.