Bill Britton: “Clinton or Trump? The Impending Verdict.”

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IN A FEW DAYS, AMERICANS WILL HAVE DECIDED TO HAND THE PRESIDENCY OVER TO EITHER HILLARY CLINTON, WHO PLAYS FAST AND LOOSE WITH EMAILS, OR DONALD TRUMP, WHO PAYS FAST AND LOOSE WITH FEMALES.  IT’S EITHER CLINTON, THE GREAT DISSIMULATOR, OR TRUMP, THE GREAT DISTORTER AND MISOGYNIST.

How did America reach the point where we must choose between two dislikable candidates running for the highest office in the land—indeed, in the world?  We could blame the political process itself which seems unable to put forth candidates exhibiting both personal integrity and native intelligence. But I believe the fault lies within ourselves: an innate laziness to not look beyond our little worlds of social media and biased and unreflective televised sound bites.

Daily newspapers once provided a combination of straight news and editorial content that certainly had a political predilection; but at least readers had to invest time and effort when forming an opinion. In all likelihood, newsprint will be a thing of the past in a decade or so, and local dailies will disappear even sooner. (What will I do if The Guardian Weekly no longer appears in my mailbox each week?)

The same is true for the general interest and news magazines in their hardcopy versions; will The Atlantic, Time, and Harper’s, among others, only be available electronically where they will be read erratically at best? It’s obvious that I, in my eighth decade of life on this planet, am a dinosaur (and you thought they were extinct) for preferring to turn pages rather than to click and swipe.

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(“The Guardian Weekly is a weekly British-based (London) English language newspaper published by the Guardian Media Group and is one of the world’s oldest international newspapers. It has readers in 173 countries.[citation needed] It was founded with the aim of spreading progressive British ideas into the United States after the First World War.”) Source: Wikipedia

 But choose a President we must.

To my mind the choice is obvious: either we go forward under a moderately progressive agenda, or we go backward under an extremely conservative one.

The progressive route offers some hope of dealing with the threats inherent from climate change and wealth concentration, while the conservative alternative will likely see a Supreme Court evolve into an instrument bent on destroying one of the prime reasons why the republic was formed in the first place: to separate church and state.

The conservative alternative’s policies (or lack thereof) will also see increased flooding in places like Miami and Jacksonville, to say nothing of the millions of lives displaced here and abroad by inundating floodwaters over the next 50 to 100 years. The pleadings by the mayors of the two Florida cities for funding to abate rising sea waters’ effects on their vulnerable coastlines have fallen on deaf Republican ears at both the state and federal levels.

Similarly, the flood of money into the coffers of the 1 percent will only increase as the tax burden is shifted further away from them and onto the shoulders of the middle class.

This is a secular nation. The early immigrants came here to escape church/state tyranny. Many of the Founding Fathers were deists, not theists. They believed in the Creator, but not in a god who embroiled itself in human affairs.

 

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Trump is a “conservative” out of convenience, not conviction. He has manipulated Republican conservatives and evangelicals by using snake-oil rhetoric: forgive me my sins and I will restore Americans’ faith in themselves as the Chosen People (“great again”). The illusion of a people being chosen by God (or gods) is nothing new; the ancient Greeks and Romans, to say nothing of Nazi Germany, lived under the same illusion. Look at what happened to them.

And Trump and his Republican minions have manipulated Clinton’s carelessness with emails into something approaching a national tragedy. By contrast, the same Republicans have said nothing about the private email servers in the Bush White House, nor have they expressed concern about the 22 million messages “lost” during that administration’s tenure.

Then, too, over the course of decades, Trump’s companies have systematically destroyed or hidden thousands of emails, digital records, and paper documents demanded in official proceedings, often in defiance of court orders. These tactics–exposed by a Newsweek review of thousands of pages of court filings, judicial orders, and affidavits from an array of court cases–has enraged judges, prosecutors, opposing lawyers and the many ordinary citizens entangled in litigation with Trump.

Then there is Benghazi, where four embassy personnel were tragically killed. I should remind the reader that, as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton asked Congress to increase funding to beef up embassy security but was turned down.

I should also remind the reader that, during the George W. Bush administration, there were thirteen embassy attacks with a total loss of sixty personnel. No Congressional inquiry ensued costing taxpayers millions of dollars to no purpose except to later enhance Trump’s claims that Clinton is “soft on national security.”

A national polity based on democratic principles is a delicate proposition, contrary to what American nationalists would have you believe. To survive, it depends on an informed populace aware of both its rights and its obligations.

Those obligations include respect for minorities, whether classified by skin color, ethnicity, or opinion. Trump has trampled on that obligation with vindictive bigotry.

Another obligation is to treat all Americans with common decency, a trait that gathers no purchase in Trump’s world view. Trump’s inability to absorb criticism with not a shred of introspection makes for great Greek tragedy where hubris defines the plot, but in present millennium, it is nothing less than extremely dangerous.

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Bill Britton is a Vero Communiqué Contributing Editor and a freelance writer for John Hopkins University.

15 thoughts on “Bill Britton: “Clinton or Trump? The Impending Verdict.”

  1. Mr. Britton is not dealing with all the facts and is obsessed with form over substance.

    It would be a travesty to elect Hillary Clinton, the most dishonest, corrupt, unprosecuted criminal ever to seek the Presidency. This nation could not survive the constitutional crisis of a criminal President in office for four years. Neither could it survive Clinton’s selection of Supreme Court justices.

    Despite “110 emails in 52 chains” with classified information found by the FBI, Hillary Clinton has the audacity to claim there exists “no evidence of wrongdoing”!

    The recent revelation of 650,000 email messages discovered on Huma Abedin’s computer are not really needed to prosecute and convict Hillary Rodham Clinton on charges of espionage against the United States, a crime punishable by imprisonment in a federal penitentiary. If charged and convicted on each count documented by Director James Comey in July, Clinton could spend the rest of her life in prison. That seems a fitting reward for Clinton’s multiple incidents of callous disregard for the national security of the United States.

    To understand why, read: http://www.webcommentary.com/php/ShowArticle.php?id=websterb&date=161101

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  2. Of all the lies and distortions in this column, the one I must address is the Benghazi statement. Hillary Clinton and Obama knew exactly what was happening during the 13 Hours in Benghazi and did NOTHING to help American citizens on the ground there. We know from Hillary’s emails that she knew full well who and why they were attacking our installations there and that ‘there would be more deaths by morning.” She went to bed.

    To suggest that those 4 Americans died for any reason but the truth is thoroughly disgusting but par for the Progressive course. To make matters worse she lied to the families and to the nation – and the world – about the cause and never explained why our Ambassador was there in the first place. If the readers do nothing else, they should see the movie “13 Hours” as an honor to the dead and understand that the heros there that day protected many Americans in the CIA combound with their lives.

    Thomas, I’m sorry that you felt compelled to publish this under your masthead. It is not up to your usual standards and reflects badly on your blog publication.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Susan,
    As always, you are a great inspiration for my writing. In this case, it seems Vero Commuinique ranks with the New Yorker, who’s editors spent four pages endorsing Hillary Clinton. But as opposed to the New Yorker, I did not write an endorsement. Mr. Britton wrote his own article. Vero Communique seeks positions of all sorts. As I said in my header, “With regard to politics, mind you that we strive to encourage a free and open exchange of opinions from other contributors. Through discussions like these we can all learn more about the topics themselves and the perspectives of others.” If you wish to write a rebuttal, we would be happy to publish it.
    Thank you for your continued support and ideas.
    Thomas

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  4. No, Thomas, you didn’t write it, but I do believe that you created this forum so you bear some responsibility for its content. To me, that you chose to enter the fray with this article speaks volumes. We have seen from all of the emails released by the State Depart., FBI and Wikileaks that the MSM and even the Justice Dept have been politicized. The truth has become hard to find and this column doesn’t contribute anything to that search.

    As I said in my comment, this column is lies and distortion and does nothing to advance a discussion of the issues facing Americans. I thought you prided yourself on your efforts to get to the truth. It appears you abdicated that effort here.

    Here’s some undeniable truths – Hillary Clinton is under investigation by no less than 5 FBI teams, she is the only one to blame for the mess and she should not be a candidate for President of the United States.

    I can get Bill’s BS every day of the week by turning on MSNBC or CNN. I just don’t expect it from your blog magazine.

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  5. PS – Since Bill believes that Obama has been holding back the flood waters and a Trump presidency means that Mar a Lago will be underwater, I suggest he next report on this new method of saving the planet from his fellow travelers: “At one end are those who try to use sustainable sex products, or who enjoy skinny-dipping and naked hiking. At the other are “people who roll around in the dirt having an orgasm covered in potting soil,” she said. “There are people who fuck trees, or masturbate under a waterfall.””
    http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/11/03/bored-of-lgbtqi-try-ecosexuality/

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    • Susan (if I may),

      Fellow traveler! My goodness. I haven’t heard that term since I was in league with the Rosenbergs in the heady days of the Joe McCarthy era in the 1950s. But why don’t you let it all out and call me a Commie/Pinko. Just kidding. As I said to Mr. Webster (below), it’s been fun, but I best leave the conversation at this point. But, say, how about lunch sometime?

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  6. To begin with, Vero Communique gives voice to a wide range of opinions. As far as I can determine, Tom Hardy does not filter the content but, rather, allows all voices to be heard. Given that the Vero Beach area is quite conservative politically, it would be easy to accommodate only that part of the political spectrum and be praised to the hilt for doing so. However, Mr. Hardy has chosen instead to publish a forum that is open to all points of view. The respondents who have taken issue with my comments have expressed opinions, nothing more, just as I have. To revise an old cliché, truth lies in the eyes of the beholder. In other words, there are no absolutes, least of all in politics.

    Second, yes, I am a Progressive. Given my ancestral background of chauffeurs, cooks, and other household help beholden to wealthy English landowners, I had no other choice. Other members were coalminers and common seamen, so I tend to cast a gimlet eye upon wealthy politicians from right or left who claim fidelity with the working class. In addition, the works of Orwell have added to my skewed world view.

    As I indicated in my article, I am not enamored of either presidential candidate, to wit, “How did America reach the point where we must choose between two dislikable candidates running for the highest office in the land . . . ?” Certainly, Hillary Clinton has shortcomings, and failings, that have emerged over 30+ years of public service. Her secretive nature led directly to the email controversy, and she and Bill should separate themselves from the Clinton Foundation to remove any conflict of interest (more below).

    And now for the list, which will surely raise the hackles of some readers, but which, in total, disqualifies Donald Trump from the Presidency. However, should he win, he will be my president as well as yours. I will not take to the streets and riot, as a few of Trump’s supporters have promised should he lose. I might be a Progressive, but I am not an anarchist:

    1. Trump belittled John McCain, who spent 5 years in a North Vietnam prison camp, as not being a hero “because he was captured.” He also mocked army Captain Kahn’s mother, whose Muslim son gave his life in service of his country. As a Marine veteran, I find all of this highly offensive.
    2. Donald Trump bragged in vulgar terms about kissing, groping, and trying to have sex with women during a 2005 conversation caught on a hot microphone in an interview with Billy Bush, saying that “when you’re a star, they let you do it.” Twelve women have confirmed this behavior. Indeed, two of his previous wives have confirmed that he cheated on them.
    3. In violation of guidelines for charitable organizations, Trump used donor money given to his foundation to pay personal legal fees, fines, and even a life-sized portrait of himself now hung in one of his facilities. The amounts total $285 thousand. By contrast, 87% of funds raised by the much-maligned Clinton Foundation goes to programs, earning a “10” rating by Charity Navigator and an “A” rating by Charity Watch.
    4. Trump’s companies have been involved in over 4,000 lawsuits over the years; almost 100 are now pending. In addition, he has refused to pay part or all of services rendered by companies both small and large, even not paying lawyers he has hired to defend him in court. The most publicized instance is Trump University, which had to change its name because it was operating without an education license. New York State brought suit claiming that students were bilked out of $40 million (now pending).
    5. Trump’s companies have filed for bankruptcy protection at least six times. In addition he has begun a number of ventures that failed: Trump Steaks, GoTrump (online travel site), Trump Airlines, Trump Vodka, Trump Mortgage, Trump: The Game, Trump Magazine, Trump University (above), Trump Ice (bottled water), The New Jersey Generals (pro football team), Tour de Trump (bicycle race), Trump Network (nutritional supplements), Trumped! (syndicated radio spot). It seems once he wanders from real estate, his business acumen falters.
    6. To construct Trump Tower in 1980, 200 undocumented Polish workers were hired by the Trump organization to tear down the existing structure. They were paid $5 per hour, when paid, slept on site, and were threatened with deportation if they complained.

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    • You conveniently overlook REAL issues:

      Obamacare: Trump wants to repeal and replace with a fiscally sustainable program that addresses the truly needy and gives choice to those who want to preserve their right to choose their health care. Clinton wants to double-down on stupid.

      Border security: Trump wants our border laws enfoced and an end to Sanctuary Cities. Clinton wants open borders and is willing to ignore Sanctuary Cities.

      National security: Trump wants to bring our defense capabilities up to standard after eight years of decline. Clinton has committed espionage against the United States by violating U.S. Code (Title 18, Part I, Chapter 37, § 793 and § 798) at least 110 times by her intentional use of nonsecure email servers and devices that the FBI has determined were 99% certain to have been hacked by at least five foreign intelligence agencies. Those criminal offenses are sufficient to put Clinton in jail for the rest of her life. Only the corrupt intervention fo the DoJ to block warrants and empanelment of a Grand Jury has kept this from being resolved much earlier. Now the “pay to play” scandal is breaking with new information, including a video, that was found in the recent trove of undisclosed email documents.

      Jobs: Trump knows how to create REAL jobs, not public works jobs that merely spin tax dollars. Trump knows how to get things done and hold people responsible for failures and reward those who succeed. Clinton has never created a single job in her life (other than work for her attorneys).

      Executive capability: Trump has demonstrated superb executive skills. Clinton has a lifetime of corruption and scandal as her only “experience”.

      Character: Trump has helped bring out the best in many of his minority and female employees who constitute a greater portion of his executive employees than Clinton had as her staff when she was in public office (Senate, Secy. of State). Trump has quietly helped many ordinary people whose misfortune he learned about (example: the couple whose farm mortgage was paid by Trump when he learned they were about to lose their ancestral farm). Clinton’s career is rife with corruption and criminal activity. She has ample experience at corruption, helped by her background as a mediocre attorney. Whitewater Development scheme that defrauded middle-class/lower-middle-class Arkansans; her impossible Cattle futures “trade” that turned someone else’s $1000 into a $100,000 windfall for her; her project to defame all the women who came forward in the 1990s with concrete evidence of her husband’s unwanted sexual advances and sexual assaults, including rape; her lifetime of lies and deceit, including every one of her statements about her illegal nonsecure email servers and devices used to compromise US National Security as evidenced by the FBI investigation that found “110 emails in 52 email chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received. Eight of those chains contained information that was Top Secret at the time they were sent. Thirty-six of those chains contained Secret information at the time, and eight [chains] contained Confidential information at the time.” Each one of those 110 findings violates either U.S. Code, Title 18, Part I, Chapter 37, § 793 or § 798 or both, any of which constitutes (according to U.S. Code, Title 18 – Crimes and Criminal Procedure, Part II, Chapter 204, § 3077) an act of espionage against the United States for which “intent” is NOT required.

      You get the picture.

      There is no comparison between the magnitude of Clinton’s corrupt criminal history and her unabashed and incessant lies with your litany of conerns about Mr. Trump.

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  7. Bob (if I may),

    We could go round ad infinitum, but at this point, I think I’ll leave the discussion. However, I must admit, it’s been fun.

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    • Bill,

      Yes, it has.

      Two parting questions (rhetorical, need not respond):

      If a Grand Jury is empaneled (“pay to play” and/or espionage), would you then lean toward Trump?

      Can this nation endure another round of Clinton Fatigue?

      Best regards,

      Bob

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  8. Bob,

    No matter who wins, we will become fatigued. The middle ground has been hollowed out and civil discourse obliterated. Once upon a time, there were both moderate Republicans and Democrats, who reached for common ground. Now we only know extremes, with both political parties catering to a base irrepresentative of their (onetime?) majorities. As my hero Kurt Vonnegut would say, “And so it goes . . .”

    Your first question only leaves me more fatigued.

    Best,

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Vero Communiqué is Rebuked for Publishing Bill Britton’s Article “Clinton or Trump, The Impending Verdict” | Vero Communiqué

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