This presidential election, we somehow ended up with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, 2 candidates that most people equally dislike. If you’re in that boat, who should you vote for?
[bctt tweet=”Should You Vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton If You Hate Both?” username=”stevenlma”]
In previous elections, I saw a lot of Obama stickers, McCain stickers, and Romney stickers. In this election, I’m seeing a very small amount of Trump or Clinton stickers. That’s because even though people know who they’re voting for, no one is proud of it.
Some people love Trump and will vote for him no matter what. Some people love Clinton and will vote for her no matter what. But a vast majority of Americans dislike both candidates and are deciding which is the lesser of two evils. In fact, the primary reason that most people are voting for either Trump or Clinton is that they don’t want to see the other person win.
So if you’re in the same boat trying to decide whether you should vote for Trump or Clinton to prevent the other from winning, or you want to go third party to salvage your conscience, I’ll hopefully help you make a decision.
First, let’s start with why both candidates are disliked so much.
Why Do People Hate Hillary Clinton?
Hillary Clinton has had decades of political experience serving as a senator and Secretary of State. Based on her resume, she’s more qualified than anyone else to be president, so why do people hate her?
She is untrustworthy.
This comes primarily from her changing stance on various issues, Benghazi, and her email scandal.
Clinton has a long history of switching her views on issues. Many see this as her pandering to various groups where it’s convenient. This includes her changing views on same-sex marriage, immigration, and trade deals. Her vote in 2002 for the war on Iraq may have been the biggest one, though there were many others who voted for the war and have now reversed their positions.
During her time as Secretary of State, an attack on US compounds in Benghazi left 4 Americans dead, including a US Ambassador. Though the 8 different committees that investigated the incident found no wrongdoing in the State Department or Obama administration, public opinion largely blames her for the security failure.
The biggest critique is her email scandal. While she was Secretary of State, she used a private email server and did not tell anyone about it. The discovery came out after her Benghazi hearings. Former Secretaries of State have also used private servers and the FBI investigation found no illegal activity (but did note that it was extremely careless). However, her decision to hide her private server and mismanagement of classified information casts a shadow on her trustworthiness.
The last 2 events certainly make Hillary Clinton questionable in terms of being trustworthy. Yet she is also criticized for many aspects that are common in other politicians, including her elitism, ties to corporations, or political ambition.
Why Do People Hate Donald Trump?
Donald Trump is an ‘outsider’ to politics and successful billionaire who’s built a loyal Republican fan base, so why do people hate him?
He is unfit for the presidency.
This comes primarily from his language that incites hate, his immature temperament, his lack of understanding for foreign policy, and his general disconnection with reality.
The most obvious critique is his continuous racist, sexist, and bigoted language reflected in his policy proposals and everyday speech. This is reflected in his famous statements of Mexicans being rapists, putting a ban on Muslims, and promoting ‘Stop and Frisk’ which singles out black and Latino individuals, in addition to disparaging remarks towards women about their looks. However, many of his supporters write it off as simply being politically incorrect.
When journalists and reporters do confront him, he exhibits a very poor temperament that is easily picked up in his interviews and social media. He gets angered easily by opposition and usually ends up engaging in personal feuds. This is particularly evident in his personal attacks on reporters such as Megyn Kelly, and the Khans, a Gold Star family who’s son served and died in Afghanistan. He also handles protesters poorly, kicking them out and even encouraging his supporters to be violent towards them. Ironically, Trump claims his temperament is his best trait.
Statements like this highlight the critique that he is out of touch with reality. His overly inflated view of himself makes him come across as arrogant. But he also out of touch with reality in terms of the world and events. He says things on a daily basis that are factually untrue with no regard to the consequences of his words. He contradicts himself continuously, and even when confronted with video recording, he vehemently denies things and acts as if they don’t exist. This leads many to wonder whether he is a perpetual liar that simply doesn’t care, or if he is truly unaware of what is real and what is not.
This leads to the final critique in which people fear his lack of awareness with reality will be dangerous in foreign policy. He doesn’t seem to understand how the international community works, as evidenced in his statements on killing the families of terrorists, abandoning NATO, requiring allies to pay for protection, or questioning why we can’t use nuclear weapons.
Though Donald Trump and his supporters claim his business experience can transfer over to the presidency (despite the bankruptcies, lawsuits, tax evasions, and failure to pay contractors), many don’t believe he has adequate knowledge (nor the desire to learn) of how government and international relations work in order to be president.
What is Most Important in a Presidency?
So with the 2 candidates being highly unfavorable for the office, what exactly is needed and important for the presidency?
First, let’s talk about what the president doesn’t have control over. Despite many people believing that the president has control over the economy and vote based on economic issues, this is simply untrue. The president has no control over the economy, oil prices, or your job. The Federal Reserve influences economy. Oil prices depend on consumer spending and international events. Jobs depend on market growth and may be influenced by taxes – which comes from legislation written by Congress. So even though there’s a lot of talk about economy, ignore it. The president can’t get you a better job or fill your gas tank.
So what does the president influence?
The president can veto legislation, appoint Supreme Court Justices, and convene Congress. But the primary one is foreign policy. The president is Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. This covers everything from military action to sanctions to diplomacy and treaties.
Sure, the president does influence domestic policy. They have to work together with Congress to implement new laws. But it’s Congress writing legislation that impacts your everyday life, not the president. The president determines our role in the world, and whether we contribute to making a safer world for everyone, or a more dangerous world. That’s what should matter most when you vote.
Who is Worse for the Presidency?
So since who most people hate both candidates and are only voting for one to prevent the other from becoming president, who would be worse for the job?
Here’s my opinion. To qualify myself, I consider myself an independent, objective voter. I have voted for both Republican and Democratic presidents, as well as congressman and local officials. I’m an informed voter – I research the history and stances of candidates prior to voting – even local city council members or district judges. And I have an adequate knowledge of foreign policy – I got my master’s degree in international relations.
The answer to me is clear.
[bctt tweet=”Donald Trump is by far the worst candidate for any office, much less the highest office.” username=”stevenlma”]
His complete disillusionment with reality and constant denial of the facts makes him untrustworthy by the country and by the international community. His lack of control over his temperament and need to personally retaliate for every criticism makes him unpredictable and dangerous in foreign affairs. When you put someone with the emotional maturity of a 10-year-old and the reality perception of a 5-year-old in charge of the military, he’ll end up alienating the United States, destroying allies, creating enemies, starting wars, and making the world an even more dangerous place.
But Hillary Clinton is a liar!
Yes, she was dishonest about her emails, and she admits to it. But if you’re using that as an excuse, Donald Trump is a serial liar. He ignores truth and reality. The majority of what he says are lies. Even when presented with video evidence, he rejects it and continues to lie. He is literally making shit up on a constant basis, but for some inexplicable reason, his supporters don’t care. There is no comparison there.
But Hillary Clinton is a criminal!
Technically, no. But you may believe the things she has done should be illegal. Of the 8 Republican-led committees that investigated Benghazi, none found anything illegal. The FBI that investigated her emails found nothing illegal. But if we’re looking merely at investigation, Trump is currently undergoing an investigation for fraud with Trump University.
But Hillary Clinton got American lives killed in Benghazi!
Yes, she was Secretary of State at the time, so responsibility falls under her. But like the investigations reviewed, nothing wrong was done. It was a poorly managed situation of an underfunded State Department which resulted in understaffed and under-protected consulates and embassies around the world, along with poor communication and delayed responses among agencies.
No, Hillary Clinton is not a preferred candidate. I personally would vote for John McCain, Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, or John Kasich over Clinton. But Donald Trump is what the Republicans produced.
Despite her flaws, she is a qualified candidate. She has more foreign policy experience than anyone. She is intelligent and calculated. She would be able to adequately handle the responsibilities of the presidency.
Any flaw that you find in Hillary Clinton, you find exponentially more in Donald Trump. He is a much bigger liar. He is far more untrustworthy. He is much more arrogant, greedy, and corrupt.
[bctt tweet=”Any flaw that you find in Hillary Clinton, you find exponentially more in Donald Trump.” username=”stevenlma”]
Yet many of his supporters seem to ignore it or be oblivious to it. For some reason, the bar is set way lower for Trump. He’s created a loyal base of followers who don’t care about facts, logic, or reality, but simply support him based on enraged emotion.
You don’t prefer either candidate. Same here.
You’re voting only to prevent one from becoming president. Me too.
So who should you vote for?
I hope you see that Trump doesn’t care about the presidency, isn’t prepared for the presidency, and doesn’t really seem to want the presidency. Any hesitations you have about Clinton are justifiable, but realize those same hesitations are so much worse in Trump, and then some.
In any other election, I would say vote third party. In this election, the stakes are too high.
If you’re undecided and need some direction, vote for Clinton. She may not be your preferred candidate or the best president, but she’ll at least do the job and things will go on with business as usual. The alternative is Trump, who’s narcism, immaturity, and recklessness will have a negative influence on international relations and cause conflict and instability with global consequences that will last for decades. You’d be playing Russian roulette (pun intended) with our country’s and our world’s future.
Suck it up, vote for Clinton (you don’t even have to tell anyone), and be politically active over the next four years so we end up with better options and a stronger third party.
But above all, just vote. Do your research, keep an open mind, and get all sides. Then vote your conscience, to the best of your understanding. No one can fault you for that.
[bctt tweet=”Just vote. Vote your conscience, to the best of your understanding. No one can fault you for that.” username=”stevenlma”]