Talking about Trump

With the holiday season of 2016 upon us, conversations will turn to President Elect Trump.  The following is my list of reasons why he is not a good choice for president.  I’ve tried to state them in a way that would not be inflammatory for a supporter of Donald Trump.

1. Temperament

Donald Trump lacks the temperament to be president. Politicians who speak their minds are refreshing, but there is a reason in diplomatic circles that people are expected to be very careful about what they say and how they say it. Think of complex international disputes and difficult negotiations between countries. Trump’s style and temperament just don’t fit in that space.

2.  Bigotry

Donald Trump may not be a homophobe, bigot, or a misogynist asshole… but his public statements expressing such sentiments have empowered such groups to come out and freely express themselves. There is documented evidence showing an increase in homophobic and islamophobic activities since Trump normalized such behavior.

3.  Tax non-disclosure

He did not publicly share his tax returns. This is a huge problem which is why all presidents of both parties in the modern era have done so. It is deeply disturbing that the republican party has allowed him to get away with this. We have no way of knowing what conflicts of interest he may have. Note… you are not allowed by law to work in the executive branch without blind trusts to manage your assets or without allowing full analysis of tax records. Yes, a president is not forced to do so by law, but by tradition the president subjects himself (or herself) to the same rules. We have broken that tradition.

4.  Truth and lies

Trump has a loose relationship with truth. NEVER in the history of our country has a candidate lied so much on the campaign trail without paying a price at the ballot box.  He lied about his opponents in the primaries and about Hillary Clinton. Fact checkers documented his lies; his loose connection to reality has been independently validated. The fact people voted him into office in spite of these lies says very scary things about the future of America.

5.  Business experience?

He claims his background in business qualifies him for the white house.  Well, take a look at his business. He makes big bets with other people’s money. When things go bad (as they did, for example, with his Atlantic city casinos) he collects huge fees and leaves his investors holding the bag. He defaults on loans and fails to pay contractors. He represents the worst of capitalism.

6.  Government understanding

He displays an utter lack of understanding of how government works. Even if you want big change in Washington, you still want someone who understands our nuclear policy (he doesn’t based on interviews with the man). You want someone who understands how government debt works (his claim that we can bargain down our debt … a sleazy tactic he uses frequently in his business… would be a disaster on international finance scene). You want someone who understands how NATO works and that when you threaten to not defend NATO countries when attacked, you empower Russia and encourage mischief (hence why Putin and the Kremlin is so pro-Trump… that fact alone should scare people). I could go on and on… but the point is clear.  The man does not understand the workings of government.

7.  Economic policies

His economic policies are based on failed supply side economics. History has shown time and again, if you cut taxes and increase spending, you do long term damage to the economy and concentrate wealth at the top. This is not a matter of policy difference but a clear reflection of how our system works.   

8.  Climate change

Global Climate change is a real threat. He has indicated that he is open to supporting U.S. carbon emission commitments, but it is unclear what he will do on this count. If you encounter any climate change skeptics, tell them that anyone who understands high school level chemistry would have the background needed to understand what happens when you put too much carbon in the atmosphere. Visible light passes through the atmosphere from the sun.  It is absorbed and readmitted as infrared radiation which we know form very basic experiments is absorbed by CO2. This holds heat in the atmosphere and heats up the system. This is well established. And note, I have a Ph.D. for my work in energy transfer in molecular systems. This is my area of specialty so unlike climate change deniers, I really do know what I’m talking about.

9.  Manufacturing jobs

Donald Trump doesn’t understand what has happened to our jobs in the manufacturing sector. Immigrants and global trade are scapegoats. The real problem, and this is well known by anyone who’s taken the time to study the problem, is automation. He can’t bring back manufacturing jobs that are lost to technology. But all indications are that he is too ignorant of what is happening in our economy to understand how wrong he is.

10.  Immigration

He is contributing to an anti-immigrant mentality. It is important to note; immigrants are the backbone of our economy. I’m not talking just about the agricultural workers from Mexico that we are so dependent on. But in the high tech sector, many of our technical workers come from over seas. Our high tech business sector would collapse if we didn’t openly welcome immigrants. 

11.   False news

Trump was supported by “false news” and Hillary Clinton was skewered by “false news”.  Once again, this isn’t my opinion. This is based on analysis of the content of social media.  Hillary Clinton’s foundation has passed audits for transparency and proper behavior (a test Trump’s foundation has FAILED). She was not guilty of wrong-doing in Benghazi. Her email fiasco was a mistake but it broke no laws and actually was a practice followed by prior secretaries of state. Once again, the abuse she has suffered in the press is a scary reflection of life in post-truth America.

There is more, but this is enough for now. Donald J. Trump is not fit for president. Maybe the electoral college will do it job and deny the presidency to the man. That is unlikely, however, so we’ll need to watch him closely and be ready to react should he step out of line.