Why I Will Vote Against Donald Trump

It’s hard to be angry all the time and I’m sure it just makes me sound crazy to people who are not as angry as I am, so I thought I would try to lay out as dispassionately as I can why I think Donald Trump is an unacceptable choice for reelection in November. Make of it what you will.

  1. He maliciously lied to the public about the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths, far more than any other developed country, misrepresenting its magnitude because he thought public knowledge of the disease’s true scope would hurt his re-election campaign, and in an effort to avoid making difficult decisions. He said he knew early on that the disease was catastrophic. “I always wanted to play it down,” he told Bob Woodward. He also knew that the disease was airborne, but refused to encourage mask use. He has refused to extend federal financial benefits to Americans out of work as a result of the pandemic and has instead proposed cuts to federal aid to “Democrat cities” where protests of police brutality—largely peaceful, except for the constant beatings by the police themselves—are ongoing. Because of this neglect, the country faces economic ruin and mass death on a scale not seen since the Second World War.
  2. Within a week of taking office, he ordered ICE and the Customs and Border Patrol to detain people who had committed no crime by the tens of thousands daily, expanding the deportation regime to such a radical extent that the US has built camps for detainees all over the country, including “tender age” prisons for babies and toddlers, many forcibly separated from their parents, all maintained at huge public expense in deplorable conditions where guards “systematically” sexually assault detainees, including children, and COVID-19 has spread unchecked. He separated thousands of immigrant children, including babies, from their parents at the border at the encouragement of his advisor, white nationalist Stephen Miller, and refused asylum seekers who were then murdered by the people they had fled their homes to escape. The children in many cases did not recognize their parents when they were returned to them and have experienced permanent and extensive psychological trauma. Some were not returned to their parents at all. Children as young as three were asked to represent themselves in court. A good summary can be found here.
  3. He has successfully solicited violence, both directly and indirectly, against his enemies since the beginning of his campaign. He told his supporters to “knock the crap out of” protesters and that he would foot legal bills; he specifically told supporters to beat a black woman at one of his rallies, which one of them did. When George Floyd was killed, Trump told followers to shoot looters using the protests, and a young man who attended one of his rallies drove across state lines with his AR-15 to join the right-wing counterprotesters, and murdered two people. In general, counterprotesters themselves have been horrifically violent, undoubtedly due at least in part to Trump’s encouragement of police violence. He told NYPD officers at an address on Long Island near the beginning of his presidency, that he enjoyed seeing arrestees mistreated and encouraged them not to be “too nice” and has since defended police misconduct in every conceivable scenario. Under his leadership, the GOP has held armed rallies to shut down Democrat-controlled statehouses trying to pass life-saving legislation. Trump is not discovering racism now that he is an elected official; he was well-known for discriminating against black tenants, a practice he learned from his father. He took out a full-page ad in the New York Times calling for the execution of the five black teenagers wrongfully accused of raping a woman in Central Park in 1989 and refused to apologize after they were exonerated. When neo-nazis rallied in support of him in Charlottesville and killed a woman, he called them “very fine people.” I have personally witnessed neo-Nazis with swastika and SS tattoos holding a Trump rally on the streets of Boston, and I have seen the police he emboldens beat the locals who came out to peacefully protest their presence.
  4. He actively encourages US servicemen to commit atrocities. He pardoned Eddie Gallagher, a Marine sniper who was, according to his squadmates, a serial killer, undoing the sacrifice of the men who turned him in and placing those men in danger. He also pardoned Matt Golsteyn, who hunted down and killed an Afghani man, and Clint Lorance, who ordered his platoon to open fire on three unarmed men. Trump overrode the decisions of experienced soldiers and their commanding officers in every one of these cases, preferring the counsel of his favorite TV show.
  5. He appears to be a serial rapist and has used his powers of office and your money and mine to shield himself legally from the consequences of rape, to say nothing of suits and accusations from dozens of women who have accused him of lesser, but still criminal, sexual molestations.
  6. He has helped Saudi Arabia prosecute a genocidal war in Yemen, declaring a state of emergency in order to grant himself the necessary powers to give the Saudis $8 billion in arms they then used to conduct more than a hundred airstrikes during a ceasefire and bomb hospitals being used to treat the tens of thousands of children under 5 who have cholera as a result of the war. When the State Department’s Inspector General opened an investigation into the declaration, Trump just fired him. Mohammad bin Salman, the ruler of Saudi Arabia, had a Washington Post columnist critical of the war in Yemen killed by dismemberment in Istanbul; in response, Trump issued a statement “standing with Saudi Arabia.”
  7. His campaign has directly employed violent neo-fascists including Enrique Tarrio, the head of the Proud Boys, a far-right street gang that has carried out multiple stabbings and beatings in the president’s name. Tarrio can be seen here in a place of honor behind Trump at one of his rallies.
  8. His cabinet appointees are corrupt and unsuited to their work. Betsy Devos, a right-wing heiress whose primary business is pseudoscientific quackery, is the Secretary of Education. Wilbur Ross, accused of stealing millions, is the Secretary of Commerce. Trump tried to make Andy Puzder, the chairman of Hardee’s, a company famous for wage theft, his labor secretary until Puzder withdrew after his history of spousal abuse was uncovered. Steven Mnuchin, his secretary of the treasury, was the “foreclosure king of California” during the 2008 financial crisis. His Attorney General, William Barr, was previously most famous for negotiating the pardons of war criminals implicated in the atrocities of the Iran-Contra scandal.
  9. He deployed what appears to be his own private security force, under the command of the Attorney General, in unmarked uniforms in the nation’s capitol during the George Floyd protests, where he violently dispersed protesters so he could attend a photo shoot in front of a church holding a Bible.
  10. He used chemical weapons on American citizens.
  11. He tried to deploy 10,000 active duty US troops on American soil and was only stopped by pushback from the Pentagon.
  12. His election was itself illegitimate. Trump solicited and then received help from a foreign adversary’s intelligence service after his campaign clandestinely met with its representatives while they were in New York. That outreach was part of a broad campaign by the Russian Federation to suborn Republicans in an effort to weaken the transatlantic alliance and NATO so that Russia could continue to prosecute its proxy wars in Africa and the Middle East and wars of expansion along its borders unimpeded. Apparently in return, Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort altered the Republican party platform to make it softer on Russian military aggression, and the Trump administration has weakened previously existing sanctions. I did a lot of this reporting personally.
  13. He is uniquely unfit for public office in the history of presidency. Trump is a career swindler and white-collar criminal, with decades-long ties to New York’s organized crime families and recent connections, again, documented by me, to the Russian mob that extend into his first presidential campaign. Given that Trump refused to put his personal holdings into a blind trust, he probably still has those ties, and the best we can hope for is that they are dormant, though they probably aren’t. Beyond this, he has no experience in government or public service, in fact his life in the private sector is one of criminal greed, the effects of which have been felt long into his presidency, including a fine in the tens of millions of dollars for defrauding students at his “Trump University” that he bragged about because it was lower than he knew it should have been.

Anyway I hate him. I hate the motherfucker. If you still want to vote for him I assume it’s because you think all of the above is hilarious and you’ve had your brains turned inside out by right-wing media, which, fair play to you, is not an uncommon condition in this country. Maybe you’re really angry about trans people or abortion or something. I don’t care any more. I wish you every happiness. Except this one. Stay home on November 3. Marathon your favorite Dinesh D’Souza movies or reread The Turner Diaries. Just don’t vote for him. He does not care if you die. He will think it’s funny, if he thinks about you at all. I will call you up and personally beg you and cry liberal tears if you want. I will be so owned. It’ll be so funny. It’ll be such a great joke on me, guys, if you just don’t vote for this monster.

Author: samthielman

Sam Thielman is a reporter and critic based in Brooklyn, New York. His blog is samthielman.com, his twitter handle is @samthielman, and if you can't find him you should check The Strand.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: