Sunday, November 06, 2016

If Trump wins, I hope he lied...

Immigration: Trump vs Republicans figureheads    
Ronald Reagan, 1984:
“I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and lived here, even though sometime back they may have entered illegally.”
Donald Trump, 2015:
“They have to go.”
George W. Bush, 2006:
“It is neither wise nor realistic to round up millions of people, many with deep roots in the United States, and send them across the border.”
Donald Trump, 2015:
“You’re going to have a deportation force, and you’re going to do it humanely. Don’t forget…that you have millions of people that are waiting in line to come into this country and they’re waiting to come in legally. And I always say the wall, we’re going to build the wall. It’s going to be a real deal. It’s going to be a real wall.”

George H.W. Bush, 1980:
“I don’t want to see … six- and eight-year-old kids, being made, you know, one, totally uneducated, and being made to feel that they’re living outside the law. Let’s address ourselves to the fundamentals. These are good people, strong people. Part of my family is a Mexican.”

Immigration: Mexico                                                             

TRUMP: "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. (...) They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."

TRUMP: "The Mexican government (...) they send the bad ones over"
TRUMP: “If you look at the statistics of people coming, you look at the statistics on rape, on crime, on everything coming in illegally into this country it’s mind-boggling!”

His statements are not supported by facts from credible sources:
"Data on immigrants and crime are incomplete, but a range of studies show there is no evidence immigrants commit more crimes than native-born Americans. In fact, first-generation immigrants are predisposed to lower crime rates than native-born Americans"

"Foreign-born individuals exhibit remarkably low levels of involvement in crime across their life course"

"Mexico has never had a policy of pushing migrants toward the United States, (...)Mexican migration is tied to social and economic circumstances on both sides of the border"

Turns-out that Trump completely misread an article he read in Fusion about immigrant women being raped on their way to the U.S. But rather than recognizing he was wrong, Trump instead proposes a "solution" for this non-problem:

TRUMP: "I will build a great wall -- and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me --and I'll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words."

So much for sound immigration policies. But, what will that wall cost, knowing that Mexico most definitely won't pay for it?

"A roughly 2,000-mile fence on the Mexican border would cost tens of billions"

TRUMP: "Last year alone nearly half a million individuals overstayed their temporary visas. Removing these overstays will be a top priority of my administration"
Problem with such as drastic policy is that most of these individuals have no intentions of staying in the U.S. permanently, they simply have overstayed their visas. Who are these individuals?

"It’s a tricky population to track, but the numbers available might surprise you. European citizens represented 123,729 of the foreigners who overstayed their visas last year, while Canadians represented 93,035, according to government numbers. By comparison, only 42,114 Mexicans overstayed their visas, government data shows"

"A Washington Post analysis of the possible cost found that Trump’s plan could add $51.2 billion to $66.9 billion in immigration enforcement costs over the next five years"

My comments: Ineffective policies that will cost a lot of money

Immigration: Muslims                                                                      

TRUMP: "I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down, and I watched in Jersey City, N.J., where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering
There were people that were cheering on the other side of New Jersey, where you have large Arab populations. They were cheering as the World Trade Center came down"

TRUMP: Are you unequivocally now ruling out a database on all Muslims?
"No, not at all, I want a database for the refugees that -- if they come into the country. We have no idea who these people are. When the Syrian refugees are going to start pouring into this country, we don't know if they're ISIS, we don't know if it's a Trojan horse. And I definitely want a database and other checks and balances. We want to go with watchlists. We want to go with databases. And we have no choice."

TRUMP: "I would certainly implement that. Absolutely"

TRUMP: "Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on"

Some facts and reactions to Trump's statements:

On the thousand and thousand of people cheering as the towers came down:
"The Associated Press, on Sept. 17, 2001, described 'rumors of rooftop celebrations of the attack by Muslims' in Jersey City. But the same report said those rumors were 'unfounded'
Nor is there any evidence Trump saw these events play out in any way, be it on TV or in person
Pablo Guzmán, the reporter in the newscast, later tweeted that his reports did not back up Trump’s claim of “thousands” cheering on the roofs."

"Calls to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. are offensive and unconstitutional"
Governor Mike Pence, candidate for vice-presidency with Donald Trump

"You talk about internment, you talk about closing mosques, you talk about registering people. That's just wrong. I don't care about campaigns (...) It's not a question of toughness. It's to manipulate people's angst and their fears. That's not strength, that's weakness."
- Jeb Bush, Former Republican governor of Florida

"Pew Research Center estimates that there were about 3.3 million Muslims of all ages living in the United States in 2015. This means that Muslims made up about 1% of the total U.S. population"

"Terrorist attacks and attempted attacks in the United States have become less frequent since the 1970s — though September 11 was a huge exception
In the last five years, the odds of an American being killed in a terrorist attack have been about 1 in 20 million"

"During the past decade we have witnessed dramatic changes in the nature of the terrorist threat. In the 1990s, right-wing extremism overtook left-wing terrorism as the most dangerous domestic terrorist threat to the country. During the past several years, special interest extremism—as characterized by the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and the Earth Liberation Front (ELF)—has emerged as a serious terrorist threat. The FBI estimates that ALF/ELF have committed approximately 600 criminal acts in the United States since 1996, resulting in damages in excess of 42 million dollars"

My comments: You may agree that we need to be concerned about radical Islam, but is there a justification to make stories up, then to leverage the amalgam being made between Islam and U.S. terrorism to define policies that will curb freedom for American citizens? Isn't it precisely what terrorists want, to change our way of life? Trump's knee-jerk reaction to this problem is only meant to shock, is uninformed and dangerous to the U.S.' democratic institutions. Islamic terrorism is real and is an international threat. How is alienating U.S. citizen of Muslim faith and exacerbating tensions between citizen going in any way help resolving this issue?
Let's even suppose that closing the borders would make the U.S. completely safe from Islamic terrorism - which a ridiculous proposition to start from - Americans are still about 800 times more likely to get killed by a firearm and twice as likely to get killed... by lightning, or a dog bite. Trump has yet to announce a ban on firearms, lightning, and dogs!

Economic Plan and the U.S. Debt                                                   

"Hillary Clinton proposes raising taxes on high-income taxpayers, modifying taxation of multinational corporations, repealing fossil fuel tax incentives, and increasing estate and gift taxes. Her proposals would increase revenue by $1.1 trillion over the next decade. Nearly all of the tax increases would fall on the top 1 percent; the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers would see little or no change in their taxes"

"His proposal would cut taxes at all income levels, although the largest benefits, in dollar and percentage terms, would go to the highest-income households. The plan would reduce federal revenues by $9.5 trillion over its first decade before accounting for added interest costs or considering macroeconomic feedback effects. The plan would improve incentives to work, save, and invest. However, unless it is accompanied by very large spending cuts, it could increase the national debt by nearly 80 percent of gross domestic product by 2036, offsetting some or all of the incentive effects of the tax cuts"

"...we found the same directional changes — families paying more or less or the same..."

As a result, the duties did not protect U.S. workers or industries from foreign competition. This finding indicates that Donald Trump’s proposal to impose tariffs on China, Mexico and Japan would meet a similar fate
We find that a Trump tariff proposal against all countries would cost U.S. consumers $459 billion annually and $2.29 trillion over five years. Our analysis finds that the Trump tariffs would manifest themselves as a 30.5 percent increase in the price of competing domestic producer goods and therefore, as a cut in real wages.”

"Donald Trump’s trade war could kill millions of U.S. jobs"

"It would take years for U.S. industry to rebuild supply chains devastated by sudden tariff hikes on Chinese and Mexican goods and any retaliatory measures"

My comments: If you thought that Trump is fighting for the middle-class, think again. That's what he's selling, but the bottom line is that the typical family will see very little changes under either the Clinton or Trump plans. However, Trump brings back the trickle-down economic concepts that have failed to do anything but boost the debt. And, interestingly enough, Trump believes in a policy that will lead him to pay less taxes by favoring the largest cuts in his tax bracket. His anti-free-trade policies would be a disaster to the U.S. economy and for its poorest and middle-class citizens which Trump claims to want to protect

What people say about Trump: Libertarians                                 
“A President of the United States operates every day under a great deal of pressure — from all sides, and in furtherance of many different agendas. With that pressure comes constant criticism.

After careful observation and reflection, I have come to believe that Donald Trump, if elected President of the United States, would not be able to stand up to this pressure and this criticism without becoming unhinged and unable to perform competently the duties of his office.

Mr. Trump has some charisma and panache, and intellectual quickness. These qualities can be entertaining. Yet more than charisma, more even than intellectual ability, is required of a serious candidate for this country’s highest office. A serious candidate for the Presidency of the United States must be stable, and Donald Trump is not stable.

This is not the time to cast a jocular or feel-good vote for a man whom you may have briefly found entertaining. Donald Trump should not, cannot, and must not be elected President of the United States"
Bill Weld, Candidate for Vice-Presidency of the United States, Libertarian party

What people say about Trump: Economists                                 

"Donald Trump is a dangerous, destructive choice for the country. He misinforms the electorate, degrades trust in public institutions with conspiracy theories, and promotes willful delusion over engagement with reality. If elected, he poses a unique danger to the functioning of democratic and economic institutions, and to the prosperity of the country. For these reasons, we strongly recommend that you do not vote for Donald Trump"
Letter signed by 370 professors of economics at various universities

"Donald Trump has no record of public service and offers an incoherent economic agenda. His reckless threats to start trade wars with several of our largest trading partners, his plan to deport millions of immigrants, his trillions of dollars of unfunded tax cuts, his casual suggestion that the United States could threaten default on its debt in order to renegotiate with our creditors as if Treasuries were a junk bond—each of these proposals could jeopardize the foundations of American prosperity and the global economy"
Letter signed by 19 Economics Nobel prize winners

What people say about Trump: Scientists                                    
"A large group of the nation’s top scientists penned an open letter railing against Donald Trump for his stance on climate change and his suggestion that the U.S. walk away from the landmark Paris climate agreement
Among the 375 scientists signing the letter released Tuesday was noted physicist Stephen Hawking, along with 30 nobel laureates "

"Thus it is of great concern that the Republican nominee for President has advocated U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Accord. A “Parexit” would send a clear signal to the rest of the world: 'The United States does not care about the global problem of human-caused climate change. You are on your own' "

What people say about Trump: Republicans                       

“I’ve spent much of my life serving in the military where I stood beside some of the bravest men and women this country has to offer — willing to put themselves in harm’s way to protect the freedoms upon which this country was founded. They live by a code of honor, of decency and of respect.
As a husband and a father, I strive to bring that same code of honor into my personal life.
I believe any candidate for President of the United States should campaign with common ethical and moral values and decency. I accept that none of us are perfect. However, I can no longer look past this pattern of behavior and inappropriate comments from Donald Trump
I believe our only option is to formally ask Mr. Trump to step down"
- Joe Heck, Republican candidate for the Senate, Nevada

"Enough! Donald Trump should not be President. He should withdraw.
As a Republican, I hope to support someone who has the dignity and stature to run for the highest office in the greatest democracy on earth"

- Condoleeza Rice 

"Donald Trump’s behavior this week, concluding with the disclosure of his demeaning comments about women and his boasts about sexual assaults, make it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy. Cindy, with her strong background in human rights and respect for women fully agrees with me in this. Cindy and I will not vote for Donald Trump"
- John McCain

"So I will vote for the candidate who rejects my preferences and offends my opinions. (In fact, I already have voted for her.) Previous generations accepted infinitely heavier sacrifices and more dangerous duties to defend democracy. I’ll miss the tax cut I’d get from united Republican government. But there will be other elections, other chances to vote for what I regard as more sensible policies. My party will recover to counter her agenda in Congress, moderate her nominations to the courts, and defeat her bid for re-election in 2020. I look forward to supporting Republican recovery and renewal.
This November, however, I am voting not to advance my wish-list on taxes, entitlements, regulation, and judicial appointments. I am voting to defend Americans' profoundest shared commitment: a commitment to norms and rules that today protect my rights under a president I don’t favor, and that will tomorrow do the same service for you.
Vote the wrong way in November, and those norms and rules will shudder and shake in a way unequaled since the Union won the Civil War


Surely the American system of government is more robust than the Turkish or Hungarian or Polish or Malaysian or Italian systems. But that is not automatically true. It is true because of the active vigilance of freedom-loving citizens who put country first, party second. Not in many decades has that vigilance been required as it is required now.
Your hand may hesitate to put a mark beside the name, Hillary Clinton. You’re not doing it for her. The vote you cast is for the republic and the Constitution"
- David Frum

"For the first time since I became a citizen in 1983, I will not vote for the Republican candidate for President (...) But as proud as I am to label myself a Republican, there is one label that I hold above all else – American.
So I want to take a moment today to remind my fellow Republicans that it is not only acceptable to choose your country over your party – it is your duty"
- Arnold Schwarzenegger 

A president with a steady hand, making decisions based on facts            

What do you want the president of the most powerful country in the world to be focused on? Concerns of internal trade, or whether miss Universe gained weight? How to deal with the Chinese governments' position on the South China Sea, or whether Rosie O’Donnell should stay on "The View". But more importantly, would you trust a president - who gets flustered in Twitter fights and supports wild conspiracy theories - with the nuclear codes?

  • Since 2012, Trump has claimed that Barak Obama wasn't born in the U.S., until this fantasy became untenable:

    TRUMP 2012-AUG-07: "
    An 'extremely credible source' has called my office and told me that @BarackObama's birth certificate is a fraud
    TRUMP 2014-SEP-06: "Attention all hackers: You are hacking everything else so please hack Obama's college records (destroyed?) and check 'place of birth' "
    TRUMP 2016-SEP-16: “President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period”
  • Spoken like a frustrated, if slightly delusional ten-year-old
    " is unattractive both inside and out. I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man- he made a good decision"
    "While @BetteMidler is an extremely unattractive woman, I refuse to say that because I always insist on being politically correct"
    TRUMP: "
    [Angelina Jolie’s] been with so many guys she makes me look like a baby... And, I just don’t even find her attractive"
    “Cher is somewhat of a loser. She’s lonely. She’s unhappy. She’s very miserable.”
    “All of the women on ‘The Apprentice’ flirted with me — consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected.”TRUMP: "Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?! I mean, she's a woman, and I’m not s'posedta say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?". On Republican presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina
  • During the second debate! Really, that's what America needed to hear from you Donald?
    TRUMP: "Rosie O'Donnell -- I said very tough things to her, and I think everybody would agree that she deserves it and nobody feels sorry for her"
  • During the 3rd debate, when Hillary brought up his pattern of refusing to accept other losses, like the Emmy Awards, and claiming that the system is rigged:Hillary Clinton: "Every time Donald thinks things are not going in his direction, he claims whatever it is, is rigged against him. The FBI conducted a yearlong investigation into my emails. They concluded there was no case. He said the FBI was rigged. He lost the Iowa caucus. He lost the Wisconsin primary. He said the Republican primary was rigged against him. Then Trump University gets sued for fraud and racketeering. He claims the court system and the federal judge is rigged against him. There was even a time when he didn’t get an Emmy for his TV program three years in a row and he started tweeting that the Emmys were rigged"
    TRUMP, interrupting: "Should’ve gotten it"In pure Trump, he never loses, he gets cheated, then gets nasty, personnel, and unhinged
  • Trump University is currently under a civil fraud and racketeering lawsuit. In his typical sanguine self, Trump attacks the judge's character instead of the merit of the lawsuit, questioning the very foundation of separation of powers in the U.S.
    TRUMP: "Mr. Trump said U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel had 'an absolute conflict' in presiding over the litigation given that he was 'of Mexican heritage' and a member of a Latino lawyers’ association
  • Trump attacking members of his own party. In this case, John McCain, on his war record of being captured, tortured, and detained 5 years in Vietnam after his plane was shut down:
    TRUMP: "He's not a war hero. He's a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren't captured, OK?"It is to be noted that Trump did not go to Vietnam because he claimed to have had some medical reason not to
  • The 10-year old makes a comeback in the final debate:TRUMP: "Look, Putin from everything I see, has no respect for this person"
    CLINTON: "Well, that's because he'd rather have a puppet as president of the United States"
    TRUMP: "No puppet. No puppet"
    CLINTON: "And it's pretty clear..."
    TRUMP: "You're the puppet!"
    CLINTON: "It's pretty clear you won't admit..."
    TRUMP: "No, you're the puppet"

What people say about Trump: The Press                                     

"The Columbus Dispatch, Arizona Republic and Richmond Times-Dispatch, which had endorsed Republican candidates in the last nine presidential elections, opted for Hillary Clinton. Only one newspaper in the historical archive (...) has endorsed the Republican nominee"

But, in Trump's mind, despite close to 40 years of the press endorsing Democratic or Republican candidates more-or-less equally, the current snub of his candidacy becomes a concerted plan to rig the elections against him...

Trump vs Democracy and the U.S institutions                 
If you are a democrat, and/or a conservative, the U.S. institutions should be the foundation you don't want to see compromised. While there's no indication that Trump has any dictatorial tendencies, he does show authoritative tendencies which are exacerbated when institutions don't go his way.

From the debates:

Wallace: "Do you make the same commitment that you will absolutely — sir, that you will absolutely accept the result of this election?"
Trump: "I will look at it at the time. I’m not looking at anything now, I’ll look at it at the time"

Wallace: "But, sir, there is a tradition in this country — in fact, one of the prides of this country — is the peaceful transition of power and that no matter how hard-fought a campaign is, that at the end of the campaign that the loser concedes to the winner. Not saying that you’re necessarily going to be the loser or the winner, but that the loser concedes to the winner and that the country comes together in part for the good of the country. Are you saying you’re not prepared now to commit to that principle?"
Trump: "What I’m saying is that I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense. O.K.?"

The claim that voter fraud is prevalent has been widely debunked. But that is beyond the point. What is important here is that past elections have seen Democrats and Republicans win, but only Trump is putting forward the case that if he loses, it will be because the American democratic system is rigged, and rigged against him.

TRUMP: I'll tell you what. I didn't think I'd say this, and I'm going to say it, and hate to say it: If I win, I'm going to instruct the attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation because there's never been so many lies, so much deception … A very expensive process, so we're going to get a special prosecutor because people have been, their lives have been destroyed for doing one-fifth of what you've done. And it's a disgrace, and honestly, you ought to be ashamed.
CLINTON: Let me just talk about emails, because everything he just said is absolutely false. But I'm not surprised … It's just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law of our country.
DT: Because you'd be in jail.

This is a clear violation of separation of powers. That Trump would bring this up shows his lack of understanding of democratic institutions, or his willingness to bend the rules if it suits him and enable him to get even

Final word                                                         

If Trump wins on November 8th, I hope he lied about his pledges because America, the leader of the free-world, the #1 super-power economically, militarily, and as the leading democracy, is going to take a turn for the worse.

Hopefully, based on his track-record, he probably is lying...

"...fact checkers rate Trump's statements as entirely false 52% of the time compared to Clinton's 12%"

Some people are upset, feel powerless to change things so they align to what they believe is "right", and, to them, Hillary represents everything that is wrong with politics and America today. That is understandable but I ask these people to look past their emotions and consider the consequences: if you think you have it tough, that immigrants are stealing your jobs, or that "negotiating better deals" with China and Mexico is a great idea, please consider the possibility that globalization is not a trend that can be reversed without some serious consequences that will not benefit you.

And if you want to "stick it to the man" and show your disapproval, just don't vote for Hillary but please, don't vote for Trump. You have seen Clinton do "her thing" for the past 30 years. There's no indication that she would do anything differently, which is what you don't want, but hardly the end of the world.

Meanwhile, if Trump enacts his policies, we can expect a world-depression like never before and an increase in international tension that could realistically lead to conflicts in the hand of an unstable, authoritarian  leader.
Trump would let that happen because he acts on impulse, not on facts. He will work for Trump, not for America, and certainly not for you.

And Trump's flagrant disregard for the democratic institutions when they don't favor him should be the biggest red flag to any American citizen caring for America's democracy.

Sure, Clinton will still win if you vote for a 3rd party, but it will force the Republican party to change as it clearly no longer reflects the will of a large percentage of the electorate.

And if you weren't planning to go vote, you are tacitly supporting whoever wins.

Source notes: Charts and graphs are from the referred sources