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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Think Donald Trump is not a plausible presidential choice. God save America.

Wake Up America!
It's impossible to believe Americans (Republicans alert!) will choose to vote for a leader of the free world who's completely disrepected, and disdained by his own political party and world leaders alike.

Here's a "wake up" perspective from the Bangor Daily News from contributor David Treadwell:

Wake up America!

OK, the die is cast: The presidential election will pit Donald Trump against Hillary Clinton. Most people know how they’ll vote. Let me address the undecided, those who believe that Trump remains a plausible choice to serve as the president of the United States.

Are you troubled that the last five presidents United States who still are living (Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George Bush, George W. Bush and Barack Obama) believe that Trump is unqualified to be president?

Can you casually dismiss Trump’s outrageous statements about Mexicans, blacks, Muslims and women?

Consider what Pulitzer Prize winning author Richard Russo had to say: “Donald Trump is speaking in a less coded way than some others in the Republican party, but he’s saying, ‘Make America White Again,’ not ‘Make America Great Again.’ And I think unfortunate working class people have bought that. And that’s why my heart is broken.”

David Duke, white nationalist and former Ku Klux Klan member, got the message. He said, “Voting against Trump is treason to your heritage.”

Sadiq Khan, London’s new Muslim mayor, offered his take on Trump: “Donald Trump’s ignorant view of Islam could make both our countries less safe — it risks alienating mainstream Muslims around the world and plays into the hands of the extremists.”

How would Trump do in keeping America safe? Read what members of the Republican national security community wrote in an open letter: “His vision of American influence and power in the world is wildly inconsistent and unmoored in principle. He swings from isolationism to military adventurism within the space of one sentence … He would use the authority of his office to act in ways that make America less safe, and which would diminish our standing in the world.”

Concerning Trump’s position on nuclear proliferation, Jeffrey Lewis, the director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, said, “Trump’s plan would sound half-clever if he was sitting on a bar stool.”

Conservative icon George Will minces no words: “Trump is a presidential aspirant who would flunk an eighth-grade civics exam.” There’s more: “Like all bullies, Trump is a coward, and like all those who feel the need to boast about being strong and tough, he is neither.”

Surely, Trump’s business experience would serve him well in dealing with America’s debt, right? Er, wrong. He said on CNN that as president he would find ways to renegotiate the public debt and pay less than 100 cents on the dollar if the economy went bad. Such commentary led Michael Strain, an economic policy expert at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, to say, “Mr. Trump doesn’t have a coherent idea of what he’s talking about. This is the bond market equivalent of ‘We’re going to build a wall and have Mexico pay for it.'”

You can’t pin down Trump on specific issues, because he changes his positions at the drop of a hat. There’s no there there with Trump. No True North. Is that the kind of person you want as president?

Had enough? No? OK, consider the character of those who strongly support Trump. Maine Gov. Paul LePage, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Fox News Commentator Sean Hannity, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. and convicted rapist Mike Tyson. How do you like them bedfellows?

During the McCarthy era, Maine Sen. Margaret Chase Smith bucked her party and castigated McCarthy in a ” Declaration of Conscience,” noting that, “We are Republicans. But we are Americans first.” Maine’s “moderate” Sen. Susan Collins has suggested that Trump must simply tone down his rhetoric to get her support. Sen. Collins, you are no Margaret Chase Smith.

New York Times columnist David Brooks, a moderate, says it well: “Donald Trump is epically unprepared to be president. He has no realistic policies, no advisors, no capacity to learn. His vast narcissism makes him a closed fortress. He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know and he’s uninterested in finding out. He insults the office Abraham Lincoln once occupied by running for it with less preparation than most of us would undertake to buy a sofa.”

If you really think about it, the choice is clear. Either vote for Hillary Clinton or, if you just can’t do that, leave the top of the ticket blank.

Let’s get serious. There’s too much at stake. Otherwise, we’ll have to replace “God Bless America” with “God Save America.”

(Donald Trump is unqualified to be leader of the free world!)

David Treadwell is a Brunswick Maine writer.

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