2016 Presidential Election

Unless there’s a huge surprise at the Democratic convention, or some other major event happening, our choices for President this fall, at least in the major parties, will be either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.

For a variety of reasons, there’s no way I’ll even vote for Hillary.  And to those on the left, none of them have anything to do with her gender.  I’d be willing to support, or at least consider, a woman like Susanna Martinez or Nikki Haley.

Her actions when First Lady in replacing the White House Travel Office are troubling.  ‘Cattlegate‘, Hillary’s extraordinary success in trading cattle futures, something she had no experience in, is another area of concern.  The Clinton Foundation was placed on Charity Navigator’s ‘Watch List’ last year.  While Charity Navigator didn’t directly rate them, they did warn about potential problems with the Foundation.  Charity Navigator removed them from this list at the end of the year.  The Foundation’s track record in donations has been somewhat spotty.  In 2013, only about 10% of their money went to charities.  Other ties between the Foundation and businesses & foreign governments raise questions.  And of course there are the problems with her use of a private server to conduct government business.  According to CNN, a State Department Inspector General report says she didn’t follow rules regarding e-mail.  More on her use of email here and here.

While I’m not 100% pro-life, I also believe there need to be restrictions on abortion.  Limit the practice to 18-20 weeks, then only if the life of the mother or child is at risk after that.  I’d certainly make an exception for cases of rape.  While the child is no less innocent, the victim of a rape shouldn’t have to continue to be reminded of what happened to her through the 9 months of a pregnancy.  While Hillary’s certainly ‘better’ on the issue than Sanders is, she’s too much in favor of the practice.

She’s also a strong advocate for gun control.  Like many on the left, Hillary would, at least in part, use the ‘No Fly’ list as a basis for who can purchase a gun.  Unfortunately, there’s no due process for this list, and it’s apparently very difficult to get off the list once placed on there, even if done in error.  Surprisingly I agree, to a degree, with this column from Slate  on the issue.

While not as bad as Sanders on government spending, Hillary’s proposing nearly $1 trillion in new spending, to be paid for by higher taxes on the wealthy. (also here).  Typically, these calls for higher taxes on the rich ignore the fact that the rich already pay the lion’s share of federal taxes.

Hillary, like Obama, doesn’t appear to believe that businesses create jobs.

And I don’t trust her on foreign policy.  From a ridiculous ‘reset’ button given to Putin while Secretary of State to agreeing with Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran to millions of contributions to the Clinton Foundation from Middle Eastern countries, (and here) some of whom got weapons deals from the US State Department, she’s far too much in the pocket of those who aren’t our allies.

I reviewed Donald Trump last fall.  He wasn’t my first choice for the office, and some of his actions since then haven’t given me much reason to be a huge Trump backer.  He is, however, the Republican nominee and despite his many flaws, he’s a better choice than Hillary is, in my opinion.

While I’m concerned over his comments today that he’d consider banning people on the ‘No Fly’ or ‘Terrorist Watch’ lists from buying guns, I wonder if he’s fully aware that there is no due process for being placed on these lists.  What’s to stop an administration, any administration, from putting its opponents on such a list out of spite?  And what’s to stop an administration from taking other rights away from its opponents?  Furthermore, why aren’t those on the lists either banned from coming in, deported or, in the case of citizens, jailed if they are indeed a threat to the security of the country?  Will Trump change his mind after meeting with the NRA?  Time will tell.

I agree we need to improve the process for vetting those coming to America, regardless of where they’re coming from.  Trump’s limiting his moratorium to Muslims, but that doesn’t go far enough.  We need to take a closer look at all immigrants to at least make an effort to ensure they haven’t been radicalized.   Obama’s current goal of allowing 10,000 Syrian refugees in this year (about 40/day based on 5 days a week), doesn’t seem to give much time to interview them, especially since this is only the Syrian refugees, and doesn’t include the 75,000 other immigrants Obama wants to allow in.  That brings the daily number to just under 326 people who need to be checked out.    The administration claims there’s a rigorous screening process, but given the problems that have developed in Europe over the massive influx of immigrants, I have my doubts over its effectiveness.  Even liberal enclave Michigan is pushing back against this.  Of course, there are people who’ve been in this process for some time, and the increase won’t happen over night, any more than someone who requests asylum tomorrow will be here next week.

Trump’s complaint over Hispanic judge Gonzalo Curiel may or may not have merit.  The judge is a member of a group called “La Raza Lawyers Association“.  While the group claims to have no affiliation with the group, ‘National Council of La Raza’, the fact that they share a part of their name raises some potentially troubling questions.   A black or Hispanic would be just as justifiably concerned about a white judge belonging to a group called ‘Lawyers of the White Brotherhood’ or ‘Aryan Lawyers’ being unbiased towards them.  One of La Raza Lawyer’s founders, Mario Obledo, said that California would become a Hispanic state, and that whites should go back to Europe.

I don’t like his ties with the Clinton family either.  Still, Trump is our candidate, and like it or not, I’ll be voting for him, or at least voting against Hillary, come November.

Yes, there are 3rd party candidates like Gary Johnson.  But Johnson’s far too weak on immigration for me.  And immigration is too important an issue for me to compromise on.


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