Hardly a Choice

This is by far the easiest Presidential voting choice I have ever faced. The President has two primary functions: Foreign Policy and acting as the national figurehead (the Head of State). Trump’s poisonous persona and incompetence at both of these basic Presidential tasks override almost any potential opponent’s shortcomings.

On foreign policy, Trump has been quick to trash our traditional allies while praising our rivals. In an attempt to increase European defense spending, Trump has publicly discounted the importance of NATO. Convincing Germany to spend a few billion dollars more on arms is not worth the long-term rhetorical and diplomatic damage. 

Meanwhile, Trump has gushed about his “love-letter” relationship with the world’s worst dictator in North Korea and has praised President Xi’s as a “good man.” His administration has taken some good actions to counter China’s growing influence, but the rhetoric at the top is crucial and has been severely lacking. A recent example is Trump’s refusal to condemn China’s crackdown on pro-Democracy protestors in Hong Kong. He is quick to sell out human rights and America’s interests if he thinks he might get some praise from an authoritarian or sell more soybeans.

Perhaps even more than foreign policy, Trump utterly fails in his role as Head of State. Remember when Trump used to promise he was going to be “so Presidential” after the 2016 election? Ha. 

Once in office, Presidents should speak for the whole country and recognize the weight of their words. Instead, Trump is consistently and intentionally divisive. He is erratic and has no filter, some of the worst qualities for a role where words are one’s primary power.

In addition to the “big ones” like the Access Hollywood tape and mocking the disabled reporter, there are an overwhelming number of specific examples of terrible Trump behavior. Buried in the avalanche of misdeeds, Trump mocked Elijah Cummings for being the victim of a burglary and publicly tweeted about his niece being “scorned and mocked her entire life.” There are also examples of him just being a sad and bizarre man, like when he speculated about whether his infant daughter Ivanka would have breasts like her mother‘s, said the thing he and Ivanka most had in common was “sex,” and said “if Ivanka weren’t my daughter perhaps I’d be dating her.” 

Biden is not at all my ideal candidate. Although I left the GOP in 2018, I still have several right-leaning policy views. I would prefer a candidate that will push back hard on China and be skeptical of low-skilled immigration. Republicans spend a lot of time and energy warning about the “radical left” and there are some genuine concerns there. Perhaps if they take the threat so seriously, the Republican Party will nominate a serious candidate next time? I would certainly appreciate having to think about my choice again…