Better Writers Than Me

A couple weeks ago I was having lunch with a friend who also blogs on occasion. We were discussing our free-floating anxiety around Donald Trump and he made the observation that it was hard to find something to say about the Republican nominee that wasn’t already being said – and said better – by others.

He’s right. Everywhere I turn reporters, columnists, editorialists, op-ed authors and others are describing in detail every aspect of Donald Trump’s unsuitability for elected office – any elected office truthfully but most especially the oval one at 1600 Pennsylvania.

As an excellent example of this phenomenon, I offer you today’s Washington Post editorial:

WP - Editorial

The whole editorial is well worth the two or three minutes it will take to read it. It’s worth sharing with your friends, family and neighbors. It’s worth printing out, highlighting and taking door to door in Eden Prairie, Chanhassen, Elk River or any other place with a high concentration of Republican voters.

Here are a couple of excerpts:

“Mr. Trump’s politics of denigration and division could strain the bonds that have held a diverse nation together. His contempt for constitutional norms might reveal the nation’s two-century-old experiment in checks and balances to be more fragile than we knew.”

“[T]here is nothing on Mr. Trump’s résumé to suggest he could function successfully in Washington. He was staked in the family business by a well-to-do father and has pursued a career marked by some real estate successes, some failures and repeated episodes of saving his own hide while harming people who trusted him.”

“[H]e displays no curiosity, reads no books and appears to believe he needs no advice. In fact, what makes Mr. Trump so unusual is his combination of extreme neediness and unbridled arrogance. He is desperate for affirmation but contemptuous of other views.”

“He also is contemptuous of fact. Throughout the campaign, he has unspooled one lie after another — that Muslims in New Jersey celebrated after 9/11, that his tax-cut plan would not worsen the deficit, that he opposed the Iraq War before it started — and when confronted with contrary evidence, he simply repeats the lie. It is impossible to know whether he convinces himself of his own untruths or knows that he is wrong and does not care. It is also difficult to know which trait would be more frightening in a commander in chief.”

There’s more. Annotated, fact-based, sober in tone and language.

I submit that the best thing you can do for our democracy this evening is share this editorial with everyone you can reach. Send it to your contact list. Post it to Facebook, Tweet it, paste it on construction sites. Don’t just send it to the people who agree with you, send it to your uncle who’s wearing the Trump hat or the coworker who keeps forwarding you the “Hillary for Prison” e-mails. You don’t have to argue, debate or persuade; just ask them to read it.

As the Post notes, Mr. Trump is everyone’s problem now. The Republicans have made their choice – as Paul Ryan noted – and they chose poorly. Now the rest of us have to clean up the mess. There’s two ways to do that: 1) to turn out every possible vote in November for Hillary Clinton and, 2) to give those who might be inclined to support Donald Trump every possible reason to reconsider.

– Austin



3 thoughts on “Better Writers Than Me

  1. Dennis Lang says:


    Can anyone recall such a stunning denouncement of a major party Presidential candidate from one of the two most influential newspapers in the country? And it’s only July!

    How persuasive might commentary like this be for those voters still on the fence?

  2. pm1956 says:

    Look, I agree completely, but….I will absolutely guarantee that Trump will get at least 40% of the vote, and probably closer to 45% (note that a 55/45 split would be one of the largest landslide victories ever–which just emphasizes my point). Politics is so divided and tribalized in this country that Bozo the Clown (aka Donald Trump) running with a major party endorsement would get at least 40% of the vote.

    Some people (40% of the population, minimum) will vote Republican (or Democratic) no matter what. They will find a reason to discount any evidence that you might give them concerning the fitness for office of their tribal candidate.

    There are a relatively small number of people who actually investigate political choices with an open mind, people who have actually voted for both Republicans and Democrats, who are really independents. And, frankly, most people who say that they are Independents are not (based on their actual behavior).

    Probably the best that we can hope for is that Trump’s behavior (3 wives, mistresses and affairs, his vulgarity/profanity, meanspiritedness, pettyness, etc.) will turn off enough Republicans that they will stay home and not vote. And, we can also hope that Trump’s inattention to details, lack of a ground game and fundraising effort will lead him to make all sorts of mistakes in the basics of running a campaign.

    Hillary needs to turn out her base (ground game), convince independents (policies and behavior), and magnify Trump’s mistakes (advertising–use his own words to hurt him, like his statements on our NATO allies, or his taunting of a reporter). And not make any mistakes of her own.

    But save your breath and shoe leather–do not go out to Lakeville and try to convince Republicans to vote for Hillary. It won’t happen. Best we can hope for is that they stay home.

  3. My great fear about this election is that Trump will con a coalition of the disaffected (those who’ve given up on voting and participating), the people who are trapped on the other side of the economy (the people who are losing ground or barely holding on and doing so only with heroic effort), the nativists, the latent racists and the people who cannot vote for Clinton into a bloc big enough to win. If that happens, I want to be able to say I did something to prevent it.

    I’m actually considering moving to Ohio for the last month of the election.

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