Vail Daily column: Arguments for and against
July 24, 2016
The rap on Hillary is that she's untrustworthy; the rap on Trump is, well take your pick … he's not a serious political figure, he's a sexist, he's a bigot, he's not really a good businessman, he's not intelligent and as an outsider he doesn't understand the issues. So putting ideology aside, I thought it might be interesting to examine the veracity of those contentions.
Hillary has a history of being untruthful to the American people. One of her earliest untruths was her infamous "I remember landing under sniper fire" statement when subsequent news video revealed that she and Chelsea were actually greeted by a young girl holding a bouquet of flowers at the Tuzla airport in Bosnia — not a sniper with an AK-47.
We know she lied to the American people and then to the parents of two of the Americans murdered during the Benghazi attack. Ed Stoner will surely receive emails citing the congressional committee's report that there was no wrongdoing on Hillary's part.
But that's a false argument because what's really important in this matter is the fact that she told the American public and the grieving parents one thing, i.e., the attack was the result of an Internet video, but texted her daughter and the Egyptian prime minister telling them the event was actually perpetrated by an al-Qaida affiliate.
It's now common knowledge that Hillary lied about mishandling classified information, using multiple devices, not returning work-related emails, etc. She also said she takes classified information seriously, but FBI Director Comey said, "She was extremely careless in her handling of very sensitive classified information." As the FBI's investigation revealed, most of HRC's statements about the server, the emails and the classifications were categorically not true.
And then there's her husband. If past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior, then does anyone actually believe skirt-chasing Bill will go four (or eight) years without bringing more scandal (Monica Lewinsky, Paula Jones, etc.) and controversy to the White House?
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Meanwhile, the most common criticism I hear about Trump is that he's not a serious political figure. But that's opinion, not fact. Besides, wasn't it "serious political figures" that gave us a $19 trillion national debt, a worldwide immigrant crisis, the targeting of cops and the expansion of Islamic terrorism?
Some say Trump is a sexist, but if that were true, why then are more than half of the executives in Trump's companies' women? Another contention is that he's bigoted, but which of his actions or deeds support that assertion?
Others would have us believe he's not really a good businessman citing the multiple bankruptcies of some of his companies. But according to Inc. Magazine, more than 90 percent of all businesses fail within 10 years. Moreover, there are many sound reasons companies declare bankruptcy, not the least of which is to allow the business to reorganize.
And while we're on the subject of bankruptcies, I find it astounding that Hillary, Obama and much of the media condemn Trump for his business setbacks, while the current administration has added nearly $10 trillion to the national debt in seven years — so who really presents the greatest threat to the solvency of the nation?
I've heard people question Trump's intelligence, but in 1973 and again in 1986 The New York Times reported he graduated first in his class at Wharton — unintelligent people don't graduate at the top of their class at Wharton.
Others say he doesn't understand the issues; but again, that's speculation. A chief executive's job is to organize, orchestrate, motivate and lead by example. Matters about war and peace, the economy, health, education, law enforcement, etc., are the domain of presidential advisors and cabinets. Meanwhile, our current president has appointed an additional 45 czars to run many functions of the government, yet the critics never seem accuse President Obama of not understanding the issues.
Hillary was first lady for eight years, then a hard-working senator from New York and finally the secretary of state. But holding office and actually accomplishing something are very different concepts; and candidly speaking, I cannot recall a single Hillary accomplishment other than one truly excellent speech she made in Beijing when she was secretary of state.
Meanwhile, we can see, touch and feel Trump's accomplishments. But perhaps even more telling about the man and his character is his family. Vice presidential candidate Mike Pence said it best, "You can't fake good kids." And after watching and listening to Ivanka, Tiffany, Eric and Donald Jr. during the convention, it would be difficult to not to admit that Trump has instilled a strong work ethic, a sense of fair play and decency, along with noble ideals and values in his children.
When it's all said and done, perhaps gaining a measure of a candidate's character and accomplishments vs. his or her ideology isn't a bad place to begin when deciding whom to support this November.
Quote of the day: "Children have never been very good at listening to their parents, but they never fail to imitate them." — James Baldwin
Butch Mazzuca, of Edwards, writes regularly for the Vail Daily. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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