A few articles you may want to read:
Why do Americans care more about Trump and his disrespectful (and likely criminal) actions against women than Clinton and her support for government intervention overseas?
In Episode 120 of CTIR, I discuss Donald Trump. Specifically, I review Trump’s positions as the 2016 US Presidential candidate for the Republican Party.
What Donald Trump said about women is just plain wrong. There is no way around it. It's disgusting and just plain wrong.
What Donald Trump may have done to women is not only wrong, but also immoral. Contact with another that is unwanted and not consensual is called battery. Battery is illegal and a violation of the non-aggression principle.
It really is that simple.
But what frustrates me the most about this situation is the increasing outrage and anger at Donald Trump. And most of it isn't even geared towards the actual non-consensual parts of the story but more towards the disrespectful comments he said both to individuals (aka "locker room talk") or to the media when discussing the weight of pageant contestants.
Again, this kind of talk is wrong. Indeed, that is why Donald Trump can easily be called an "asshole." Just as someone who doesn't think women should be in the workplace or thinks black people are lazy.
But, let me remind you, Hillary Clinton - Donald Trump's adversary - actually took part in not just wrong acts, but highly immoral acts. Indeed, she participated in some of the worst acts in modern history.
Let's put aside the email scandal, her vote for the Patriot Act, her dutiful support towards her husband who was an "asshole" almost as much as Trump, and any issues with the Clinton Foundation for now.
In 2002, Hillary Clinton voted for the authorization of the use of force in Iraq (you can watch her speech on the Senate floor if you think she thought President Bush wouldn't invade Iraq). As a result, over 20,000 American military members have died (many more injured), over 4 million people have been displaced, and, depending on the sources, anywhere from 100,000 to over a million people have been violently killed in the region.
Her vote, while maybe well-intentioned, directly led to these negative consequences. These consequences are not merely wrong, but immoral. Especially the deaths of numerous human lives.
One could argue that these consequences - and her vote - was merely self-defense. But self-defense is a reasonable and proportionate response to violence. Iraq took no part in violence towards Americans (at least not in 9/11). And even if somehow Iraq did, the invasion and violence that followed was not reasonable or proportionate in any way.
In addition, Hillary Clinton's actions as Secretary of State were not simply wrong but immoral. She supported the use of violence in Syria including calling for the ousting of Syrian President Al-Assad. She continues to support the fight against ISIS(even though our "self-defense" created this entity, which evolved from another entity we created). Indeed, part of Clinton's presidential platform is for not only "defeating" ISIS, but also supports the continued use of military force (through bombing and military aid) in the Middle East region (specifically, Syria).
As a reminder, while Donald Trump is an "asshole" and likely took part in non-consensual contact with women (though this should be determined through in-depth investigations and, if found, should be punished in some fashion), Hillary Clinton's actions actually led to the death of human lives (with no punishment - not even the possibility of it).
And yet, the American people (at least those polled) tend to think Trump's actions are worse than Clinton's. In the past two weeks, support for Clinton has jumped 6% as a result of Trump's recent scandal (there are more than one). While I definitely don't support Trump - and would never vote for him - I find this current situation entirely depressing.
The non-aggression principle is pretty easy to understand: violence against another is immoral. Violence is the use or threat of physical violence against another. The non-aggression principle should be valued. Lives should be valued. Especially when the end result is death.
Yet, the American people don't see it this way. Will they ever?
How do you explain to a very young child our system of deciding who wins the presidency?
Specifically, in regards to the individuals whose candidate loses and in what system they live under when the new president begins.
In Episode 119 of CTIR, I discuss Hillary Clinton. Specifically, I review where she stands on major policy issues as a candidate in the 2016 US Presidential elections.
There are many ways that American voters are limited in options when it comes to electing president of the United States. For example, gerrymandering, voter ID laws, difficult-to-understand voting ballots, straight-ticket voting, public financing, and carefully conducted polls - just to count a few.
Another way we as American voters are limited in choosing the president of the United States is from what we see and hear (or don't see and hear) on TV - especially when tuning in to see and hear the presidential debates, which occurs every four years.
The presidential debates are relatively new. Major presidential nominees did not generally debate publicly until 1960 when Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy faced one another on network television. While the 1960 debate could have had additional candidates present, Congress intervened and suspended the equal time provision of the Communications Act of 1934. Interestingly enough, this law stated that a broadcasting station permitting a candidate use of its facilities also had to grant the same opportunity to all other candidates, including minor candidates. But the government - especially the two major parties in charge - didn't want the public to see and hear different options; thus the oddly timed suspension of a federal law.
In 1970, Congress - again, with the two major parties leading charge as always - attempted to repeal the equal time provision of the Communications Act. But Nixon, oddly enough, vetoed it. Two years later, the U.S. Senate attempted to repeal it, but the House of Representatives, again, oddly enough, said no. The government, still had to find a way to limit what we see and hear; so, through the use of the Federal Communications Commission, it created a loophole so broadcast networks could get around the equal time provision.
Later, in 1987, the two major parties erected another barrier to choices when it comes to electing president of the United States. A bi-partisan effort by the Republican and Democrat parties led to the creation of the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). With the goal to provide the "best possible information to viewers and listeners," the CPD (sponsored by some of the largest corporations including Sprint, JP Morgan, Southwest Airlines, and Anheuser Busch) gets the honor of choosing the number of debates that will take place, who will ask the questions, and what questions will be asked for the presidential debates. In other words, it is the two main parties - not we the people - who determine everything about the presidential debates.
The main reason for these constant interventions, of course, is to limit what we see and hear. It's to limit options to the American people, so it makes voting for the lesser of two evils easier to stomach.
Fast forward a few more years. In 1992, independent candidate Ross Perot ran against the two main candidates and was included in the presidential debates. It made sense to include Perot, after all he polled at around 18% of the popular vote. Plus, voters wanted another option; especially after the Iraq war and failing economy (sound familiar?). Indeed, almost 70 million voters tuned in to see and hear the debate (one of the highest watched presidential debates in American history).
Perot's inclusion led to traction for a third party candidate and so the two major parties had to put this to a stop. In 1996, Perot was excluded from the presidential debates as the CPD felt he had no realistic chance of winning. The FEC upheld the exclusion with no explanation (even though the FEC's own general counsel concluded that the CPD violated the law by excluding Perot).
Going one step further - and to justify the exclusion of any third party candidates in the future - the CPD established a rule in 2000, which requires that for any candidate to take part in the presidential debates, he or she must have garnered 15% of voter support in major polls (these polls are conducted by the leading mainstream news that don't often include questions about third party candidates).
And this rule is the justification why only Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton can participate in the 2016 presidential debates. It's not enough that Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson have consistently garnered almost 15% of American support (at least according to these carefully worded and controlled polls).
But this all makes sense. After all, the two main parties have a major bi-partisan goal: to stay in power. And nothing does this better than limiting what we see and hear.
Hello. My name is James. And I am a critical thinker. [Hello James]. Well, at least I think I am. Let me think about it some more.