Despite his triumphant domination of the Republican Party as he charmed and strong-armed his way to its nomination for president, the list of reasons to vote against Donald Trump, derived from multiple sources, continues to grow. It now totals 84, making him Hillary Clinton’s best chance.
Many Republicans, including from Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Sen. Ron Johnson and Reps. Sean Duffy, Paul Ryan and James Sensenbrenner are shucking their principles as they fall into line behind him. Very sad. But some important, long-standing GOP leaders are holding out
For reasons why they are refusing to all into line, here is the latest list of reasons to vote so Trump fails in his egotistical lurch toward the Oval Office:
1. A major league narcissist, probably a sociopath, Trump believes he can “make us great.” It’s the contributions of individual Americans American people who make this country great. Leaders come and go.
2. Some contributors to this analysis go further, seeing him as a megalomaniac.
3. Some see him as delusional, as in his promise to make the sovereign Mexican government pay for his infamous wall between our two countries. A former president of Mexico told him where to park that one.
4. During the Vietnam War, he got four student deferments, a medical deferment and finally 4F status for heel spurs to avoid the draft. He had gone to a military high school, so he had something to offer the armed services. This not a good track record for someone who aspires to be commander in chief,
5. As the old joke goes, he was born on third base, with a million dollars (in today’s dollars) in his jeans on getting out of college, and he thought he got robbed of a home run.
6. As an heir later to a huge fortune, he is unable to relate to the average American. “He doesn’t represent me,” said one early contributor to this blog. Narcissists don’t relate to other people unless it serves their purposes. For them, it’s all about “me.”
7. He constantly brags about how rich he is, as if that were the major measure of a human being. My heroes are elsewhere, including great humanitarians like Mother Theresa, Lincoln, Martin Luther King and Gandhi and great innovators like Franklin, Edison, Gates and Salk. Some ended up rich; some didn’t. There are rich people who are saints and rich people who are jerks.
8. He has an identity problem: He was a Democrat from 2001-2009 and before 1987; a Reform Party candidate from 1999-2001; an Independent from 2011-2012; and Republican from 2012 to the present, 2009-2011 and 1987 to 1999. That’s six switches.
9. His position on health care reform is so vapid that it amounts to gibberish. He is spectacularly uninformed on one of the largest issues facing the United States. He once favored universal, government-run health care as a replacement for Obamacare.
10. He has been on many sides of big issues, the ultimate flip-flopper. He is the definition of inconsistency.
11. A loose cannon, who throws out outrageous positions, he gives you no idea of what kinds of decisions he will make out of the Oval Office.
12. He’s got lots contractors, including small business people, who won’t do business with him again. He stiffed them.
13. Major bankers won’t lend to him again after getting flushed when he went to bankruptcy courts. Would you lend your money to him? His four bankruptcies cost lenders and shareholders more than $5 billion. That means he is a welcher.
14. He likes to sue people. Would he use the Department of Justice to go after opponents? Would he send the IRS after them? Per his book, “The Art of the Deal,” he practices deal making by intimidation. He is perhaps the most litigious American, having been involved in some 3500 legal suits and actions.
15. At his rallies, he excuses violence toward protesters as displays of patriotism. He instigates those outbursts. He doesn’t walk away from dumb fights; he picks them.
16. His business of hotels and casinos adds little value to the American economy. His products are not essential. Casinos are just transfer payments, from losers, often people of meager means, to casino owners.
17. The Economist points out that he, though rich, did not create a great company, raised no permanent capital on the public markets, did not go global to any significant degree and did not successfully diversify his holdings. His wealth creation trailed market averages.
18. Trump was fined for hiring illegal immigrants for the Trump Tower. Do you get the contradictory irony from someone who wants to deport them all? More contradiction: he once favored a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
19. He has cratered more businesses than he has led to success: His losers include an airline; two magazines; a travel booking website; Trump University, which was rated as low as D minus before going out of business; a mortgage company launched with exquisite timing in 2006; a liquor brand; a line of “the world’s greatest steaks”; a condo project in Mexico; and Trump Plaza, a casino and hotel combination in Atlantic City. Further, putting up buildings is a narrow business skill set.
20. Specializing in personal attacks, he insults and demeans. No religion condones that kind of conduct.
21. He is a divider, not the unifier he says he is.
22. Though he obviously communicates well with many people on an emotional level, he has a language deficit and a limited vocabulary. Some experts put his language at 6th grade level. Good speech is a function of clean thinking, and vice versa. He specializes in incomplete sentences.
23. He obfuscates as he puts out reasons for not making his income tax filings public. If his 2015 return is still being processed by staff, OK. But he could release the 2013 and 2014 returns.In May, he said he would not release his 2015 return before the November election. He will be the first presidential candidate in a long time who has stonewalled on release of his or her return. He obviously has lots to hide.
24. He quotes Mussolini and makes no apologies for doing so. He likes despots. Would he like to become one?
25. He is backed by David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan.
26. He said praise from Vladimir Putin is a “great honor.” In another quote, he said, “I have always felt fine about Putin. He’s a strong leader. He’s a powerful leader.” He is a Putinophile.
27. His combination of tax cuts and spending proposals would sharply increase the federal debt. Like a lot of today’s pols, he has trouble with ways and means, with solving fiscal equations.
28. Trump wrote 10 checks for campaigns for Hillary Clinton. He backed her in 21008. He wrote checks other Democrats, as well. How does he explain his opposition to Clinton now?
29. His hip-shooting style could trigger dangerous interactions with dictators in countries like North Korea and Iran, which have some nuclear capacities. It’s doubtful he could be diplomatic in foreign policy.
30. He belittled a physically disabled person.
31. His focus is always on doing whatever it takes to win, not on doing the right thing. He lacks the ethics that most Americans ascribe to in their own lives.
32. In a private meeting with high-level executives, he repeatedly used the F-bomb and voiced a high level of vindictiveness as he described his deals. My source described his presentation as vulgar. Further, over-use of the F-bomb points to a language deficiency.
33. One blogger cited court records to show that he has had connections to mob figures.
34. Though experienced in deal making, he has no experience in holding elective office or in governing. He would be a rookie president.
35. In a country that has made huge strides in gender equality, he has disrespected multiple women in a coarse manner. One was insult was Heidi Cruz in a twitter showing her in an unflattering photo.
36. He has not listened to the business community that says it cannot function without immigrant labor.
37. One parent wrote in to say she had to pull her kids away from the TV during the presidential debate because of the coarse nature of his language and behavior.
38. He made inflammatory, prejudicial pretrial statements about Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Whatever his opinion of the soldier, such comments from a man who could be president subvert the due process of our legal system. It is for the courts to decide. Remember also, Trump chose not to serve.
39. Though New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie endorsed him, Trump trashed him publicly for spending too much time in New Hampshire before the primary there. So much for loyalty and gratitude.
40. To his enemies list, he has added “disgusting reporters.” Those same news people have made his campaign, giving him far more ink and air time, both positive and negative, than all the other candidates.
41. At 70, he looks over-weight and out of shape. He doesn’t exercise. Could he stand the rigors of the presidency?
42. Three Politico reporters fact-checked 4.6 hours of Trump speeches and press conferences and found more than five dozen untrue statements — one every five minutes. In their Truth-O-Meter scorecard. PolitiFact rated the five remaining candidates for the percentage of time they made statements that were true, mostly, true, half true, mostly false, false and Pants on Fire false. Clinton and Sanders rate 51% on true or mostly true, Kasich 50%, Cruz 22% and Trump 9%. Trump rated 42% false and 19% Pants on Fire false for a total of 61%. Like many narcissists, he says whatever he needs to say to make his point and get what he wants, true or untrue.
43. The ultimate outsider, Trump will have a hard time getting anything done in Congress if elected president. He may snag a few Democrats for some of his initiatives, but will not be able to bring along the many Republicans he trashed on the way to the Oval Office. They will not forget.
44. With disapproval ratings of nearly 70% of the overall electorate, he will a hard time being elected president, which should give pause to GOP primary voters.
45. He blurted in a debate that he would condone torture of terrorist suspects and the killing of their family members, both violations of international law. He backed off, but his final position is unclear.
46. For a builder with a Wharton degree, Trump has trouble with math. His first estimate for building 1000 miles of “beautiful wall” between the U.S. and Mexico was $4 billion. He later estimated $6-7 billion. The then he took it up to $8 billion. Then he estimated $10 billion. His latest estimate is $12 billion. John Oliver, the TV pundit, found expert construction sources that put the real total at about $25 billion, not counting operating costs to maintain the wall. Usually, it’s Democrats who can’t do math. Trump can’t either, which may explain his bankruptcies.
47. Ann Coulter, an archconservative writer who backed Trump early and aggressively, developed. She likened his attack on Heidi Cruz as that of a repeatedly errant 16-year-old.
48. Trump complained about GOP convention rules early in the primary seasons and then, when ahead, insisted they be followed in July in Cleveland.
49. Trump called the North Atlanta Treaty Organization (NATO) “obsolete” and too expensive for Americans. With his usual lack of depth on policy matters, he offered no alternatives.
50. A special education aide, a Democrat who crossed over to vote for Cruz to stop Trump, pointed out that Trump uses mockery as a standard form of insult, often against fellow Republicans like Jeb Bush and Gov. Walker after they lost to him in the primaries. That makes him an ungracious winner.
51. His disagreement with Rep. Paul Ryan on Social Security and Medicare again shows his lack of depth on the major issues facing the nation. Economists of all stripes agree that both entitlement programs need to be reworked so they stay solvent for the long term. Ryan has been one of the few politicians to face up to that looming challenge. Trump proposes to leave the two entitlement programs alone without any plan for their long-term viability. He is ducking the fiscal realities of both programs. Real leaders deal with tough issues.
52. He once supported a statement by Nancy Pelosi calling for impeachment of George W. Bush.
53. He once bought a full page ad that criticized the foreign policy of President Reagan as having no backbone. Reagan arguably won the cold war.
54. When he makes a big goof, he doesn’t correct it, as when he repeatedly said Wisconsin is losing lots of jobs (it has been gaining jobs, though at a below average pace and has a low unemployment rate). He simply doesn’t care about getting his facts right.
55. Some of his statements are so absurd that you have to wonder where in that wonderful brain of his they came from. How do you even conjure up an idea that a woman who had an abortion should be punished. He recanted quickly. But where in that muddled gray mass did the idea even germinate? Scary. What else is in there?
56. He made a muddled statement on the use of tactical nuclear weapons. He told newspaper people that he would not rule them out. His rationale appears to be that he wants to be unpredictable if commander in chief. As a former Marine artillery officer with a top secret clearance in tactical nuclear weapons, I know the colossal damage they can cause. I have been to Hiroshima. I believe the United States should be very clear about when we are going to use or not use nukes. We need to send clear signals, not muddled thoughts. If they are used against us or there is an imminent threat of them being used against us, nuclear weapons have to be an option for the president. But you don’t bandy about their use like a drunk stumbling out of a bar.
57. He is self-destructive. As Peggy Noonan suggests, only Mr. Trump is capable of bringing down Mr. Trump, and, with his string of goofs, gaffes and gutter talk, he still could do just that.
58. He brought up his genitals in a presidential debate, a new low for presidential debates.
59. On trade, he is two-faced. He takes a hard line on imports into the United States. He criticizes companies that out-source. But his Trump-branded products, such as neckties, suits and shirts, are almost all produced abroad in countries like Bangladesh and China. His daughter Ivanka’s line of clothing and accessories are virtually all made elsewhere, mostly in China. His wife Melania’s line of jewelry is produced in China. So, he is saying: “Do as say, not as I do.” He has floated a 45% tariff on all incoming goods from China. I wonder if he has thought what that would do to his out-sourced businesses. To be fair, he stopped eating Oreo cookies because Nabisco moved some production to Mexico. He is doing his part for balanced trade.
60. In his swings through Wisconsin, he has criticized Gov. Walker on job creation. If he had done his homework, he would know that Wisconsin is one of the few states with a positive trade balance. We export (mostly agricultural and manufactured products) more than we import. Ergo, trade creates more jobs in Wisconsin than we lose because of trade.
61. He claimed that Medicare could save $300 billion if it negotiated for lower drug prices. His facts are so off as to be absurd. Medicare spends only $78 billion per year on drugs and the whole bill in the country for drugs is about $300 billion. He doesn’t do a stitch of homework before shooting from the lip. And this is a guy who has a staff.
62. In his tantrum after losing in Wisconsin, Trump attacked the convention process. He says he can buy the delegates. That constitutes an outright insult to chosen delegates and potential delegates. Maybe a few could be bribed by a few nights in one of his fancy resorts, but most will go to the convention to try to do the right thing by the party and the country. They should be furious with his cheap shot at their integrity.
63. He confuses reality and image, vowing: “At some point, I will become so presidential that you people will be so bored.” He thinks you can put lipstick on a pig and fool the world. But we all know that you are who you are. No amount of lipstick can change the core of who he would be as president. Since saying he will be more presidential, he has continued to rely on invective and insult. He is incapable of a dignified interaction.
64. He has flip-flopped on the issue of H-1B visas for highly skilled foreign workers, but mostly has flat out opposed them. How does he explain that his Trump Model business has used H-1Bs to bring in foreign models, including his Slovenian wife? He can’t and doesn’t.
65. When things aren’t going his way, as with some of the rules for the GOP convention on at-large delegates, he plays the victim. The establishment, he says, is out to get him. How does a high-flier like him get away with victimhood? It is unbecoming at a minimum.
66. Trump relishes the endorsements of a rogues gallery of sports nut cases, like Bobby Knight, Mike Tyson, John Daly and Dennis Rodman. Would he put these geniuses in his cabinet because they are “tough, really tough”?
67. According to boxing luminary Oscar Da La Hoya, Trump cheats at golf, big time. De La Hoya played with him and watched his ball movements first hand.
68. Though promising some presidential gravitas, he played fast and loose last week within the stability of global financial markets when he floated the idea of defaulting on U.S. Treasury bills in a crisis. Those notes are the backbone of the international financial markets. He cited his experience with his bankruptcy debts as his credential. Brilliant.
69. So much for personally financing his campaign so he wouldn’t be beholden to billionaires. He has hired a former Goldman Sacks banker to raise funds for his general election campaign. He had previously excoriated Goldman Sachs.
70. His flip-flps on issues keeps growing in number. He once flat-out opposed raising the minimum wage; now he is open to raising it. Who knows where he will come down on that one?
71. Whether he fully intends it or not, his campaign brings out the dark side of the American electorate, including anti-semitism, insults of Mexicans and Muslims and prejudice of all sorts. His campaign is getting ever uglier.
72. Terrorists groups are using his anti-Muslim statements for recruiting.
73. He is sketchy on conservation and the environment. He has called for abolishing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). While many Americans feel that EPA has over-reached under President Obama, most Americans still want clean air and water. Trump has been devoid of statements that show he would protect natural resources. Republican presidents led the passage of laws to conserve our national parks and protect our air and water. He is out of sync with that GOP history. What would replace the EPA? Further, while labeling global warming as “a total and very expensive hoax,” his agents in Ireland filed for a permit to construct a sea wall to protect his Trump International Golf Links in County Clare, citing global warming and its consequences, rising sea levels and extreme weather as chief justifications.
74. Friends of Trump say he is not a racist. But his loose-lipped trash-talking about a judge, an American native of Mexican descent, who is presiding over suits against Trump University, come off as racist. His anti-Mexican presidential campaign and his legal defense of his questionable university practices are separate matters. Any judge of good standing, whatever descent, would keep them separate. The judge will have to disregard Trump’s disparaging comments as he makes his decisions on the allegations against Trump University.
75. He fear mongers on alleged American weaknesses and vulnerabilities and uses McCarthyism tactics to smear his opponents.
76. Trump’s disheveled and underpowered campaign organization brings into question his executive and management capabilities. If you can’t run a disciplined, effective campaign or convention, how can you run the country? President Obama, also a rookie politician when he ran for the first time, got to the White House with a well-oiled campaign and fund raising machine.
77. Through cynical questions and comments, Trump has cast aspersions on the faiths of his opponents: Mitt Romney and his Mormon faith; Hillary Clinton and her Methodist faith; Ben Carson and his Seventh-day Adventist beliefs; President Obama’s Christianity. In a land where freedom of religion is foundational, a person’s religion should be largely his or her own business, even when running for office. Trump’s commentary is out of line.
78. Instead of pushing to assimilate the Muslim world, Trump’s loose cannon comments (“I think Islam hates us.”) will alienate the moderate Muslins that we need on our side against the jihadists. As Sen. Lindsay Graham put it well, Islam and Muslims are not our enemies; they are the solution. The 40,000 jihadists (Graham’s number) are our enemies and they need to be killed. We need Muslim help to eliminate them.
79. One of his former chief operating officers, John R. O’Donnell, wrote that Trump’s “attention span was so limited that it is impossible to discuss problems with him in any detail.” Problems that hit the president’s desk are complex. They do not lend themselves to the broad-brush strokes that are Trump’s modus operandi.
80. Post winning a majority of GOP delegates for the July convention, he has little effort to unify the Republican Party. Hillary Clinton will be running with a unified Democratic Party behind her; Trump says he can run and win without many of the leaders of GOP behind him. He will be a general without a full complement of lot of troops.
81. Some leaders of the Republican Party have made the hard, principled decision to defect from the Trump campaign. Two stand-up leaders in Wisconsin, Mike Grebe, former national committeeman, and Scott McCallum, former governor, resigned as delegates to the national convention so they didn’t have to become part of the Trump circus. The Bush family will not be at the GOP convention. Columnist George Will resigned from the Republican Party. If you can’t pull party leaders to your breast after winning the nomination, you are flawed in major ways.
82. Trump’s “Pocahontas” taunts at Elizabeth Warren aim at her personal credibility, but they are also a clever slam on affirmative action and smack of racism. At a minimum, they are racially charged.
83. Trump supported the war in Iraq in 2003, a war that turned out to be a strategic blunder. He now has good things to say about Saddam Hussein because he killed a lot of terrorists without due process. But Saddam indiscriminately killed a lot of people who got in his way. He killed terrorists to opposed him, not ones who did. Saddam is not a praiseworthy character in any dimension.
84. After pledging to be hard on hedge fund managers, Trump’s latest tax plan actually lowers their tax rate on capital gains to 15% from 20% if they are organized as partnerships. Many hedge funds are partnerships.
85. Trump is uncoachable. Family members and advisors have tried to get him to stick to a more temperate script. It obviously hasn’t worked. He is constitutionally unable to control his outbursts. The family must be giving up in their efforts to have him come off as “presidential.”
86. His loose lips, whether advertently or inadvertently, could have sparked a thought in a Second Amendment gun nut to use one on Hillary Clinton. His “white out” corrective statement was that he was encouraging Second Amendment advocates to vote, not shoot. Who knows what inarticulate comments would come out if he were in the Oval Office?
87. His biographer, Tony Schwartz, spent 18 months in Trump’s hip pocket and never saw a book on his desk, in his office or in his apartment. He said Trump’s attention span is so short that it left him with “a stunning level of superficial knowledge and plain ignorance.” He said the biography “The Art of the deal,” should have been titled “The Sociopath,” because Trump is totally self-centered.
88. Trump and his children portray him as an exemplary family man. His biographer said he spent very little time with his family and had no close friends. He has been quoted as saying he had little time for child care.
89. Most damning of all from Schwartz was this assessment: “I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes, there is an excellent possibility that it will lead to the end of civilization.” That’s a damning evaluation from a man who knows the Trump DNA.
90. As he sinks in the polls, insiders are reported as saying he is starting to sound like an inevitable loser. As supporters jump a sinking ship, it could become a stampede. His thin skin would not serve him well in the presidential hot seat.
91. Trump, a prolific Tweeter, issued no congratulatory tweets – as in zero — to U.S. Olympians who are hauled in record numbers of medals. Their multi-ethnic march to the podiums didn’t fit his narrative that America is crippled and only he can make it great again. His rival, Hillary Clinton, was effusive about American wins. Several medal winners are children of immigrants, including one wearing a hijab. That didn’t fit his narrative either. In sports, America is still great.
92. He hired a political pit bull as his campaign CEO, one Stephen Bannon, a political operative and former Wall Streeter who has made it his mission to rip up the leadership of the Republican Party. While Trump was making gestures toward healing wounds with the establishment of the GOP, Bannon was backing a challenger to House Speaker Paul Ryan in his home congressional district in Wisconsin. If Trump is sincere about wanting GOP support, why did he make Bannon his third campaign manager right after the West Bend speech? The answer is that he is not sincere on that matter.
93. Trump is doing a major flop, a belly flop, on immigration, his core attack point against Republican challengers in the primaries. Then, he said that all 11 million immigrants, including their American-born children would be forced to leave the country. On Aug. 25, he said, “You can’t take 11 (million) at one time and say, ‘Boom, you’re gone’.” No one knows where he will end up on this issue, probably not even Trump himself. There is a logical GOP position: give work permits, but not citizenship ever to illegal immigrants, if they have behaved well while here. Give citizenship to kids born here. As Rep. Glenn Grothman of Wisconsin said as Trump flipped and flopped this week: “You have to use some common sense.”
94. None of the 45 economists who have advised the past eight presidents, Republican and Democrat, support Trump. Six of the 17 advisors to Republican presidents oppose Trump outright; the rest have declined to comment. Greg Mankiw, who headed the Council of Economic Advisors under George W. Bush, wrote, “I have Republican friends who think things couldn’t be worse than doubling down under Hillary Clinton. But they are wrong: things could be worse. And I fear they would be under Mr. Trump.”
95. Trump has steered some $15 million of his modest campaign war chest to spending at businesses owned by him or his family, such as rentals at his hotels and resorts. He is not funding his own campaign. Quite the contrary: he is using campaign donations to make money for his family. It is not illegal, but it sure is slick.
96. He loves debt. And, as a developer, he loves the subsidization of that debt by the federal government. His tax proposals would lower the tax bill for developers, and other corporations, from the current capital gains tax of 20% to a general corporate tax of 15%. In addition, he has proposed an immediate write-off of capital expenditures, instead of depreciation schedule that runs for part of the life of the building or asset, say, 20 years for a building. Further, several of his advisors reportedly want to keep the deduction for the interest on the loan to buy the building, in effect a double dip of subsidies. Even GOP economists hate the idea. In short, his tax plan would add several layers of lard for developers, like himself. Trump’s business debt has been estimated at $650 million. He is a king of debt. Because he refuses to release his tax records, the impact of those subsidies on his personal finances won’t be known prior to the election.
97. In the face of Trump claims that he had given millions to charities, a Washington Post reporter dug deep into his actual donations since 2008. The reporter could find only one personal donation of between $5,000 and $10,000 from the “billionaire.” This is not a generous man.
Keep your No-Trump reasons coming to me at this website or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Refer to my website Johntorinus.com for the previous list of 74 reasons gathered from many sources. And contact me at email@example.com with additional reasons that need to be added to the list.
Will it hit 100 before the election? Unfortunately, it seems so.
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We have more to learn about this accomplished TV performer. Please keep sending me your reasons to send him back to Trump Tower, not the Oval Office. Send them to this blog as a response or to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.