Donald Trump ‘cannot be allowed to win’

Christian Gonzalez/Staff Writer

The long, torturous election cycle will at last come to a close tomorrow. At this point, the overwhelming majority of people have decided the person for whom they will cast their ballot. In a very literal sense, everything that could possibly be said about each candidate has already been said.

On the eve of the election, I am certain of only one thing — Donald Trump cannot be allowed to win the presidency. When Hillary Clinton says this election is about who we are as a people, she’s right. Fundamental American values are at stake, and Trump almost invariably stands on the wrong side of the debate on those values.

Trump and his ideology, insofar as he has one, cannot be coherently supported by conservatives. Liberals, to their credit, already overwhelmingly reject Trump; there is no need to belabor the point there. Echoing the sentiments of the National Review, I will attempt to make one last-ditch case against the right-leaning arguments in support of “The Donald.”

Essentially all right-wing arguments for Trump are different manifestations of the same premise: Trump, despite his considerable problems, remains a lesser evil than Clinton.

For example, conservatives like Deroy Murdock of the National Review have pointed in horror to how Clinton would nominate at least one liberal to the Supreme Court, thereby effecting a significant left-wing shift in the Court’s ideology.

Like him, I share concerns about such an event taking place, but we must juxtapose the nomination of a liberal to the Court to what Trump’s alternative would be. And, when compared, a left-wing Court is far more desirable than a president who espouses positions blatantly irreconcilable with the Constitution.

Specifically, two of Trump’s pronouncements regarding how he plans to prosecute the War on Terror are flagrant transgressions against international law, United States law and elementary morality.

First, Trump stated he would “bring back waterboarding, and a lot worse.” What Trump means by “a lot worse” is unclear, but by no means reassuring. Waterboarding is already considered torture by the U.S., which is why it was banned by both the Bush and Obama administrations.

Anything “worse” than waterboarding is sure to constitute torture — and is therefore banned by the Geneva Convention, to which the U.S. is a signatory. Article six of the Constitution declares that all treaties signed by the U.S. also become the “supreme law of the land,” meaning that violations of the Geneva Convention are also infractions of United States law.

Second, Trump said we ought to “take out” the families of terrorists. In other words, he holds the curious position that to combat terrorism we must employ terrorism. Targeting civilians would not merely be a despicable war crime, it would also blur and perversely invert any moral distinction between America and groups like al-Qaida or ISIS.

For the constitutionally minded especially, a liberal Supreme Court should be a far better alternative to the election of a candidate brazenly calling for violations of the Geneva Convention(s) and the U.S. Constitution.

Another argument in favor of Trump is that Clinton would cause irreparable harm to this country by continuing President Obama’s legacy and shifting this country even more to the left. Ironically, however, many of Trump’s positions are actually to the left of Clinton’s. On several issues, he sounds more like Noam Chomsky than William F. Buckley.

Take, for instance, his foreign policy. Trump isn’t so sure about the merits of the NATO alliance. He’s also made his opposition to free trade quite clear, opposing everything from North American Free Trade Agreement to the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Clinton, despite walking back her support for the TPP, is far more committed to the international liberal order.

This order, created by the United States after World War II, is responsible for the Pax Americana: an era of nearly unprecedented peace and prosperity, which never would have survived without America’s commitment to upholding it.

To pro-Trump conservatives, then, I ask the following questions: Who is the candidate that wants to move America to the left? Is it the one calling for the dismemberment of the capitalist institutions of unfettered trade along with the security apparatus of the free world, or the one largely committed to maintaining and expanding them?

Also heard when discussing Trump is that the “establishment” is greedy and inefficient. Trump, his supporters claim, is an outsider who really cares for the common American. After years of effective disenfranchisement, Trump is going to swoop in, smash political correctness, and put politicians in their place.

All of this sounds great, and it would sound even better if there existed even a shred of evidence to support those assertions. Trump is the physical embodiment of the alleged greedy and corrupt establishment — an out of touch businessman with some rather shady business practices, supremely ignorant on many important issues of policy, who for many years was funding the campaigns of, among others, Hillary Clinton.

It is true, I suppose, that Trump is against political correctness. Yet, it is one thing to be opposed to it on the principled grounds of protecting free speech, and it is something quite different to oppose it just so one can have the liberty to spout mindless garbage.

Supporters of Trump often say, fair enough;, he sometimes says ridiculous things. Yes, his proposals about such matters as immigration border on the delusional. But, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter because he doesn’t really mean most of what he says; he is simply using abrasive rhetoric in order to get elected.

There are innumerable objections I could raise to this lamentable line of thinking, but I will submit only the following inquiries.

If a candidate can get away with, for instance, calls for willful homicide and still be excused for it because he “doesn’t really mean it,” is there anything at all Trump can say that would make his backers reconsider their support? Moreover, what mechanism do they possess that allows them to know when Trump means or does not mean what he proposes?

Even if Trump wins the presidency, it would only be a Pyrrhic victory for conservatism. The Republican Party would be, and this time not without reason, forever associated with sexism, racism, and all the other awful “isms” and “phobias.”

As minorities become a larger share of the population, the GOP will die a painful death, receiving votes only from disconcerted whites.

It is for these reasons, and others upon which I did not touch, that voting for a man who so clearly disregards basic moral norms, such as that against ridiculing disabled reporters, is unjustifiable.

Voting for a person who is running on a platform that blatantly violates his own country’s law is a tacit support for criminality. Voting for Trump in full knowledge of his proposal to intentionally murder innocent people is an act almost beyond simple descriptions of good and evil.



The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of FIU Student Media Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.


Image retrieved from Flickr.

1 Comment on "Donald Trump ‘cannot be allowed to win’"

  1. Hasselhoff El'Montoya Houdini | November 7, 2016 at 3:01 PM | Reply

    If Trump has more votes, he wins. That’s how Democracy works.

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