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By John Cappelletti
Last May in a letter to the editor I wondered why the Democrat establishment was backing the political dynasty by giving Hillary a 541-superdelegate head-start over Senator Sanders and putting the Democrat National Committee at her disposal and at his expense. The senator had a double digit lead over Trump whereas Hillary could only manage a tie with him.
Now a week before the election two of the most unlikeable, untrustworthy and unbelievable candidates of any U.S. presidential campaign ever, Hillary and Trump are still running neck and neck and many questions remain unanswered. Trump will not release his taxes and Hillary will not release her speeches to Wall Street. Is Trump the sexual predator Hillary’s husband was when she defended him against his accusers like Melania is defending Trump now? Will Weiner-gate hurt Hillary as voters wonder why emails pertinent to her FBI criminal investigation would end up on her top aide Huma Abedin’s husband’s computer? How did they get there? Furthermore, did her husband Anthony Weiner who’s been known to do stupid things for all to see online, read and/or divulge the contents of these emails? Who’s responsible for this poor judgment, Hillary, Huma or…? And what’s Trump hiding in his tax return or in his foundation? And what about the Clinton Foundation? Lots of cash from all kinds of sources goes into these two foundations. Are they laundries?
Wouldn’t it be a blessing if the Democrats had played fair and let Bernie run unobstructed by biased superdelegates and the shenanigans of the DNC. He had no baggage of dishonesty or untrustworthiness. But, alas, voting for a candidate you can believe in is no longer an option. So voters will have to hold their noses and vote for the candidate they dislike least. So what’s a voter to do?
Since we are creatures of habit, perhaps we can judge candidates in the present on how they have acted in the past. For example, Mr. Trump is a businessman who prides himself on being a billionaire. In addition to buildings, he sells steaks, wine and other products made in foreign countries. And buys cheap products from China. This is what business people do. They pursue their goals of gold as long as their tactics are legal, such as using bankruptcy laws.
If elected, Mr. Trump will no doubt reduce taxes because that will benefit him in a million ways. But I doubt he will spend tax dollars on anything he considers a drain on the economy such as military operations or weaponry. Also, I think he will reduce our armed forces significantly. Our returning soldiers will be jobless, but to avoid massive unemployment benefits, Trump hopefully could use them to assist police in fighting crime and terrorists. Or they could improve infrastructure. As long as he was making money perhaps Businessman Trump would build houses for the poor and homeless by employing welfare recipients. What legitimate business people do not do, however, is use military tactics to make money.
Politicians, however, have long been known to use such tactics to sell democracy and freedom to countries run by dictators. Didn’t Dick Cheney persuade George W. to invade Iraq and kill Saddam? Didn’t Hillary persuade Obama to invade Libya and kill its dictator, Gaddafi? After Gaddafi’s horrifying murder, Hillary, like Julius Caesar telling a joke, is recorded saying, “We came, we saw. He died.” As a result of Gaddafi’s departure, ISIS or ISIL has spread from Iraq to Libya where life for Libyans is now hell on earth.
Remember that in 1998 Clinton warned Congress that Saddam was building an arsenal of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons and instituted a no-fly zone and under his Iraq Liberation Act a policy of regime change against Saddam. Perhaps this is why Hillary has adopted her husband’s philosophy of regime change, bombings and no-fly zones.
In Hillary’s nomination acceptance speech she quoted the famous FDR line, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Then she tried to instill fear in her audience by asking of Donald Trump, a man who takes umbrage with tweets, could be trusted with nuclear weapons. She also rhapsodized about America’s present and future. FDR’s first inaugural address also included: “A host of unemployed citizens face the grim problem of existence and an equally great number toil with little return. Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment.”
It might seem I favor the hawkish monetary policy of The Donald over Hillary’s hawkish “militarism,” to borrow Ralph Nader’s appellation, because with The Donald in charge we could lose money whereas with Hillary we could lose lives.
So we have two major parties and two major candidates who have been called reckless and can’t be trusted because they appear to be hiding something. Bernie’s slogan was “A Future to Believe in.”
But I can’t believe in a future chained to our two-party system which doesn’t seem to be working for We the People. Maybe it’s time for a new party, a fresh party. That might take time, a “yuge” amount of time.
And it isn’t easy being Green, but if a third party can presents its position at future presidential and congressional debates, it’ll be worth it. And luckily we New Yorkers can vote for Jill Stein without hurting Hillary’s chances for the necessary 270. So hold your nose and vote Dem or GOP. Or go Green, support a three-party system and smell the roses.
John Cappelletti is a resident of Stuyvesant Town and a retired teacher at La Guardia, the performing arts high school. He’s also worked as an actor, director and host of a children’s puppet show on TV, “The Marquee and Stagedoor Show,” at WTTW-TV, the PBS of Chicago, and is now trying to write plays.