Trump is Uneducated

I don’t necessarily think he’s dumb since he certainly has been successful in life, but the ignorance he shows on a near daily basis is just dangerous. He makes decisions that show that he either does not understand the potential impact of his actions, or just just does not care.

I firmly believe that the world is incredibly complex,with every little factor impacting every other in ways that may not be seen or fully understood. If you’re unfamiliar, read up on the Butterfly Effect if you want to understand my point.

Really understanding the views of others is critical if you’re going to be able to determine if you’re missing something or not. Even to disagree with someone you need to understand their perspective or they’ll never listen.

From my perspective, he does not seem to explore outside of his own views, and he surrounds himself with people who tell him what he wants to hear. He is not capable of understanding perspectives other than his own, which is a big problem in a leader.

To me it looks like Trump considers this his strength. He talks about his own “great instincts” or “common sense”. From my perspective that just means that he bases his decisions on his own view, which he is unwilling to look beyond.

Trump is Dishonest

Yes, I know it’s common knowledge that politicians lie, but I believe that the majority of politicians are generally honest. Sure, they’ll get caught in something and tell a lie to get out of something. That’s unfortunate, but human. We just need to make sure they’re punished when they’re caught or things will get worse.

Trump is a different beast. He plays with the truth like it’s clay, molding it to what he will. He lies about STUPID things. The size of crowds. He’ll even lie about things that he previously admitted to on the record.

A large number of his supporters I talk to generally respond with something like “politicians lie, but at least he’s honest about lying”. If you think DC is bad now, just wait until every autocrat wannabe realizes that truth isn’t even relevant anymore.

Trump’s Real Views are Unknown

When someone is obviously dishonest on a regular basis, you cannot know what their real opinions are. When they’re wrong, you don’t know if they’re intentionally misleading people or just spouting dumb shit.

I believe a good example is all of his tweets about the stock market being up. Yes, it was up, and still is up from where he took over the presidency. There’s a few things he’s implying here, a number of which are either misleading or downright lies.

He’s implying the stock market being up is a good indication of the strength of the country and the economy. It can be, but the truth isn’t always so simple. For a simple example, look at the stock market right before any large crash. It was high until it was not, and then lives were destroyed.

For a less simple example, let’s assume the stock market will keep going up. That will create a lot of wealth. But that wealth only helps investors (including 401Ks) and the businesses themselves. Most people won’t see a dime of that increase in capital. My 401k plan has increased a lot. Most other people in my family don’t have 401k plans.

He should understand this, and yet he continues to keep pushing these talking points. Does he not understand? Or is he misleading people? I have no idea, but his perspective is dangerous.

Trump Appears to be Racist

Personally, I believe Trump is racist due to a number of factors including his stance on Muslims, his handling of black NFL players protesting, his housing policies going back to the 1970s, his Birther bullshit around Obama, and various rumors of things he has said off of the camera.

But at the end of the day, seeming racist is enough, especially when he takes insufficient steps to disprove those allegations.

Do you think American citizens who are of African, Mexican, Native American ancestry believe they can trust the US government right now? I suspect the answer for a majority of them is no. Do you think Muslim Americans think they’ll be treated fairly?

Worse than how minorities view him is how hardcore racists view them. There has been a large increase in hate crimes since Trump took power. Members of groups like the KKK have made it very clear that they believe that Trump is on their side. Even if they’re wrong, they feel empowered by his words and actions.

It certainly doesn’t help when he does things like re-tweet things like ultra-nationalist groups like Britain First. That is some scary value signaling.

Or worse, when he fails to condemn racist murderers. Trump’s statement on the tragedy in Charlottesville should have been simple and straightforward. Condemn the use of violence to achieve political goals. That it terrorism.

Even if he believed the liberals involved (including any members of Antifa) is also worth condemning, it could be achieved by condemning violence without referencing individuals. His statement made it sound like he was equating the two groups, even though one of them took a life. Maybe that was his intention, maybe it was not. Either way, the message heard from both sides of the political spectrum was pretty clear; Trump does not condemn crimes against liberals. While his more moderate followers argue against this point, the far right strongly believes he supports them.

This belief is reenforced by Trump’s commitment to comment on any act of violence by the left or Muslims, but speaks very reluctantly about any violence on the right.

In 2017, a racist asshole murdered Timothy Caughman, a black man, in NYC. This was a practice run for an attempted murder spree of black men due to his opinion that black men should not mix with white women. This was an act of terrorism, but was ignored by Trump.

Also in 2017, an islamaphobic asshole harassed two young girls on a train due to one of them being Muslim. Due to their attempts to intervene, he murdered John Best, a veteran and father of four, as well as Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, a 23 year old college graduate. 21 year old Micah David-Cole Fletcher was also injured. This was also an act of terror. Trump responded this time, but waited three days before doing so.

2017 held case after case of White Supremacist Terror attack attempts. Some didn’t even make the news. Trump certainly didn’t comment on them. Terror attacks attempts from Muslims always prompted an immediate condemnation. No casualties needed.

I support condemnation of terror attacks of all varieties. If you pick and choose which ones are worth commenting on, your criteria needs to not be based upon their ethnicity or religion.

Then there’s the more straightforward things Trump not wanting to accept immigrants from Haiti and parts of Africa due to them being “shit-hole countries”.

Some people point to issues within those countries, which can be quite extreme (poverty, terrorism, dictators, corruption) as evidence that his stance is correct. Here’s the thing though, the dictator isn’t moving here. The corruption won’t be accepted here by our laws (or if they are, we have larger issues that need to be dealt with first), the terrorism is more commonly perpetrated in our country by Americans, and we have plenty of both poverty and excess here due to our own ever increasing income disparity between the rich and poor in our country.

So yeah, those aren’t the issues. If you say that you don’t want people from shitty countries moving here, what you’re really saying is that those people are shitty. That’s fucking racist. I believe that people are people.

Someone from another country has a very different foundation that their life was built upon. Their entire perspective on how the world works is different due to every single difference their country has from our own. That can be language, religion, political views, race or exposure to others with different values for each of those things. A Muslim from a predominantly Muslim country likely behaves very differently than a Muslim from a majority Christian country or in Israel. Their experiences provides a lens through which they see the world. This is true for all of us.

Someone who moves to another country has a tough balancing act. It’s not possible to just suddenly be “an American”, assuming it would be possible to define a generic set of values that qualify for all Americans, it would mean changing all of those little core beliefs that you’re not really consciously aware of. Depending on their country of origin, there may or may not be a language barrier. There will almost certainly be an accent calling them out as someone different.

Telling people to learn the language if you hear them speaking another is disingenuous when you just find another fault when you learn they speak English. A vocal subset of people who say this shit would never accept any change than an immigrant was able to make, up to and including major cosmetic surgery. And I suspect everyone would agree with me on that as long as I wasn’t implying they were part of that vocal fraction of a fraction.

Trump Puts Loyalty Over Everything Else

If you say nice things about Trump, he’ll love you and want to please you. If you say bad things about Trump, you’ll have a target on your back. From what I can tell, the content and the individual does not matter, just if it’s positive or negative.

Even scarier is the foreign relations aspect of this.

Trump is burning through our allies at an astonishing rate and undoing decades or longer of good will. I believe he is removing the US from a position of authority in the world.

While he ignores or insults our allies, he is also acting chummy with countries with active human rights violations.

Trump and Putin have a good relationship considering the leeway he gives Russia. There are people claiming there could be something more to what we’re seeing as well, but even the public stuff makes me think there’s a bias. Officially sanctioned killings or not, his detractors keep dying.

He has a good relationship with Duterte in the Philippines, who is actively murdering people in his own country. Duterte is trying to solve drug usage, even in minor cases, with death. This is not a behavior we can accept.

I am a firm believer in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Declaration was signed by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10th, 1948, following the atrocities committed in the first half of the century. We do not get to define exceptions to this rule, no matter what. We cannot support other leaders who do either. Trump is more concerned with how large they say his crowds are.

Trump is not taking Russia seriously

There has been so much talk of collusion on both sides, but I think the more serious issue is that Russia is interfering with our country. Last year congress voted nearly unanimously to put additional sanctions on Russia. Trump signed this into law, which put into place a deadline for making those sanctions active. He let the deadline pass without action.

What does this mean? Well, it could mean he has been colluding with the Russian government. Or it could mean he unilaterally decided to change his mind, regardless of the law. Or maybe he just doesn’t want people to do what they say he should do.

The reason seems secondary to the action to me. Our president is the head of the executive branch of a government that enforces checks and balances. Trump cannot be allowed to unilaterally make decisions like that. To ignore laws put in place by our congress and that he himself signed. That is ignoring the way our democracy functions, and a democracy cannot let that happen and still survive.

My personal opinion (as a guy with no particular skills or training in the area of international diplomacy, nor any sort of social knowledge) is that it’s very likely that he’s being manipulated by Putin. I don’t know if Russia gave him any intelligence or not, but they certainly seem to have attempted, and made the Trump campaign look guilty as hell by doing so. Donald Trump Junior even admitted that he thought he was going to be getting material information from his Russian contacts, but says that the Russian lawyer who contacted him did not have any dirt.

I suspect Russia is playing both sides here. Various Russian diplomats met with everyone they could manage, and weren’t at all secretive about it. In May, they even met with Trump in the Oval Office in a meeting that was closed to US media, but allowed in Russian media. I’m not sure why Trump didn’t see how that looks, but I’m sure Russia did. They get to leverage him while watching him destroy his own reputation.

Trump is literally destroying our government

Trump is either incredibly incompetent, or has escalated the conservative “Starve the Beast” strategy to an extreme with how agencies are currently being run.

Scott Pruitt sued the EPA 13 times prior to being put in charge. He sympathises, if not agrees with, people who think the agency should be dismantled. He has eliminated a large number of regulations which were put in place to protect our citizens. Rules that protected our waterways, our air quality, our climate, our environment and our national parks.

Betsy DeVos was put in charge of the Department of Education which she wanted to defund or eliminate. The president of the National Education Association (NEA), an organization with 3 million members, issued a statement that was rather harsh on her qualifications.

Educators believe America is a country where all children have the right to a public education that helps them reach their full potential. We know that their opportunity to succeed should not depend on living in the right ZIP code. Our public schools are open to all students no matter their backgrounds. And every student deserves the best this country can offer.

Betsy DeVos, who has spent decades working to dismantle public education and privatize public schools, is dangerously unqualified and lacks the experience we should all demand in America’s secretary of education. If confirmed, she would become the first secretary of education with zero experience with public schools. She has never worked in a public school. She has never been a teacher, a school administrator, nor served on any public board of education. She didn’t even attend public schools or send her children to public schools. She is out of her league when it comes to knowing and doing what works for public school students.

NEA President Lily Eskelsen García

I, personally, also distrust her due to obvious differences between how I view the world and how she does. Just being the daughter-in-law of an Amway founder is enough. The idea of building billions for yourself on the backs of others runs against the grains of my heart. And then to screw with the things that the rest of us depend on? That seems heartless.

Trump’s nominee to be the EPA’s Chief Scientist was a conservative talk show host with a PhD in a non-scientific discipline, a.k.a. not a scientist. He is also someone who I would consider to be a right wing extremist.

It looks to me like these are rich people who seem to have been able to suck up or buy their way into their own pet projects. Or maybe just really agrees with their approaches. In my opinion, they’re both bad options.