Saturday, October 15, 2016

There Can Be Only One

Opinion |

It seems like only yesterday that one of the favorite right-wing talking points was “only one candidate is under FBI investigation.” Well, that investigation has come and gone, with no criminal charges recommended or brought. But there’s still one candidate who’s unique in so many ways:
Only one candidate’s skin is so thin that he gets up at 3 in the morning to engage in a Twitter feud with a former Miss Universe and to insist that he was completely justified in cruelly humiliating her in public 20 years ago because she was really, really getting fat.
Only one candidate completely loses his mind, his temper, and all sense of decorum and proportion every time you mention Rosie O’Donnell.
Only one candidate thinks it’s a legitimate campaign tactic to attack his opponents’ spouse, both in the primary and the general elections.
Only one candidate has mocked a disabled person on camera.
Only one candidate’s foundation has received a “cease and desist” letter from the New York attorney general because of raising funds without being legally certified as eligible to do so.
Only one candidate’s foundation has used $258,000 donated allegedly for charitable purposes to settle the candidate’s legal problems and over $30,000 to pay for huge portraits of the candidate.
Only one candidate used money from his charitable foundation to pay big contributions to two attorneys general to get them to lay off a fraud investigation, while bragging that when he gives money to politicians, they do what he wants.
Only one candidate has repeatedly expressed admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Only one candidate says he wants to “run the government like a business” after losing nearly a billion dollars in his own companies and putting them through multiple bankruptcies.
Only one candidate says that people who don’t pay taxes are “a problem” in society but then says that not paying taxes because he lost all that money just shows how “smart” he is. Guess that makes those of us who do pay taxes and don’t lose hundreds of millions “dumb” in his eyes.
Only one candidate says he wants to “run government like a business” after stiffing multiple small business people, daring them to sue, and fighting them tooth and nail in court to avoid paying the money he owed.
Only one candidate has longstanding and well-documented ties to the New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia mobs, including paying double market value to Philly mobster Salvatore Testa for land upon which to build a casino.
Only one candidate paid far over market value for ready-mix concrete to New York Mafiosi Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno, the boss of the Genovese crime family, and Paul Castellano, head of the Gambino family. Only one candidate has been proven to have used illegal immigrant Polish workers in a demolition project on one of his New York building projects, mysteriously without any backlash from the unions.
Only one candidate has an upcoming court date in a civil fraud and racketeering case.
On the other hand, only one candidate was secretary of state when four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador, were murdered by terrorists in Benghazi, Libya. And that candidate is the only one who’s undergone scrutiny by a total of 10 government committees, including highly partisan House and Senate select committees, in regard to the tragedy.
Those committees have generated thousands of pages of reports at a cost of millions of dollars, in order to find absolutely no evidence of personal wrongdoing by that candidate.
Only one candidate has been the focus of more prolonged, highly partisan investigations than any other in U.S. history, investigations which have turned up exactly zero criminal activity.
And yet only one candidate gets the benefit of “innocent until proven guilty” in the court of media and public opinion. After all, where there’s that much smoke, there must be some fire somewhere, right? But only for one candidate.
Both candidates supported the Iraq War. And only one voted for it, because only one was in a position at the time to do that. The other one was apparently busy losing millions of dollars in his businesses. But only one candidate is honest enough to admit that support and only one now says it was a mistake.
To paraphrase one of my favorite quotes from the late Hunter S. Thompson: Hillary Clinton may have made some stupid mistakes, but they pale in comparison to what Donald J. Trump does every day, on purpose, as a matter of policy and a perfect expression of everything he stands for.
I started this year as a Bernie Sanders supporter, and I’m still not totally thrilled about Hillary Clinton. But when you weigh the pros and cons — the longtime political pro versus the shameless con artist — the choice is clear. There can be only one.