Why Donald Trump Doesn’t Deserve Even One Vote
Clark University Professor Jude Fernando believes that Donald Trump is not qualified to assume the Presidency.
The Hill reports:
Donald Trump is professionally unqualified and psychologically unstable and too unpredictable to be the president. Enabling Donald Trump to win the election — either by voting for him or for a third-party candidate, or abstaining from voting, makes one complicit in creating the social order a Trump presidency would spearhead. One far more depressing and dangerous than the dystopian America he currently portrays.
Trump’s campaign behavior clearly demonstrates his inability to provide leadership in a deliberative democracy. Trump not only lacks the knowledge and experience to discuss just about any subject that matters in governance, but his unpredictable temperament and lack of self-control make him vulnerable to deflections and baiting by his opponents.
One wonders whether Trump suffers from a multi-personality disorder: his self-aggrandizement, the unabashed repetition of disproven claims (acknowledged even by his closest allies), his continued apologies for or denial of allegations against him, threatening to sue his accusers, condemning them as conspirators, and utilizing the same media he condemn as biased, to bolster his claims.
Trump’s narcissism, built on wealth made with little regard to rules of law and decent civic conventions, and his fame built on reality shows, makes it impossible for him to accept defeat. He will ensure that if he loses, everyone loses, and has even expressed a willingness to invoke ‘Second Amendment rights’ to undermine his opponent, discarding the basic conventions of democracy.
Rather than focusing on winning the election, Trump is preoccupied with spreading unsubstantiated allegations of rigged elections to rationalize his likely loss and creating paranoia among voters, without regard to the damage he does to people’s faith in the democratic process.
Trump is already an outcast in a world that holds inclusiveness and diversity as virtues of responsible leadership. His untruths and half-baked apologies for sexism reflect his inability to treat people with respect and dignity, including his family members.
Trump is irredeemable of his sexism. “This is who Trump is. He was always bombastic. He always rated women. He always talked in a misogynistic, sexist kind of way, but he did it sort of proudly and out in the open, “says Howard Stern.
Referencing Bill Clinton’s extramarital affairs and parading the women involved to the debate hall was used to deflect or minimize his own transgressions and intimidate Hillary Clinton, insinuating that she was complicit and hypocritical and to imply that women are responsible for the crimes of their partners.
His inability to comprehend the gendered complexities of partners’ infidelities is ludicrous, and certainly disqualifies him as a leader who could address the gendered inequalities persistent throughout the society.
Trump’s racism extends beyond immigrants. After insulting the Muslim American soldier who died in the line of duty and continued deplorable comments regarding Muslims, his campaign manager declared a five-point plan to deal with the “Muslim question.” His refusal to accept District Judge Gonzalo Curiel’s verdict because he was Hispanic is evidence of his belief that he represents a “superior race” of the country.
Trump’s economic policies are a barrage of rhetorical statements that rely on populist fear and bigoted nostalgia. The economic growth and employment benefits of tax cuts lack robust theoretical and empirical credibility, and are disputed even by economists committed to neoliberal capitalism.
As a matter of fact, his proposed tax cuts will add to the deficit he will inherit from the current administration. Typically, tax cuts are balanced by spending cuts. Trump’s approach will suppress investments in areas necessary to stimulate the economy.
Trump’s trickle-down economic policies will not address the fundamental causes of low growth and high unemployment. First, NAFTA was a response to domestic limits to capitalism: limits to expansion of its profits due to rising labor and input costs, saturation of domestic consumer markets, and restrictions on racist, sexist, and anti-environmental labor and production practices in the United States.
Second, the low growth and high unemployment are driven more by overproduction, technology-induced unemployment, competitive integration of the global economy, decline in real wages, and massive personal and national debt, rather than to high taxes, “big government,” and an influx of “illegal immigrants.”
Trump is likely to incentivize investors to bring jobs back to the U.S. by suppressing unions and reducing minimum wage increases. The proposed wall across the Mexican border is yet another example of racializing corporate capitalism for the benefit of — not minority Americans, but a minority of Americans.
The Mexican government will refuse to pay for the wall, as it knows that the U.S. economy depends on Mexicans more than vice versa. In a world where production systems are integrated and interdependent across borders, Trump’s restrictive trade policies could precipitate a trade war and a recession that would do more harm than good.
Apart from his racist economic policies, Trump might pursue the type of divide-and-rule policies implied in the way he pitted China against India during a Bollywood fundraiser, running the risk of war. Only naïve voters should expect any kind of socially responsible economic ‘deals’ from Trump — who bragged about exploiting legal loopholes to justify not paying taxes, trading steel from countries that he considers enemies, and employing illegal immigrants, not to mention bankruptcies, and controversial business deals that defied trade embargos.
His optimistic idea of dominating the world hinges on nostalgia about a past U.S. hegemony over the rest of the world — hegemony that today could only be restored by further militarizing the world order and isolating the U.S.
Furthermore, Trump’s misplaced and demoralizing dystopian narrative invokes fear, bigotry and xenophobia, deflects his supporters from any rational analysis of his credentials to be the President.
His alternative nostalgic utopian narrative of “America the Great” ignores historical truths of bigoted and discriminatory policies. He will treat dissent with what George Orwell and Aldous Huxley described as the “totalitarian will to relinquish the promises and ideals of liberal democracy and perverts the ideals of justice and freedom.”
In contrast, if Clinton does not compromise with the Republicans as Obama did, and honors her pledges to the progressive section of her support base, the prospects for creating an inclusive and safer political culture seem at least plausible. Such a political culture is a prerequisite for changing oppressive economic and political forces that entrap both Republicans and Democrats.
Fernando is a Professor at the Department of International Development, Clark University, Worcester, MA. He can be reached at [email protected]
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr.