karl merrittWe are in the throes of a painful 2016 presidential election. This is an election where Americans must be careful and give detailed thought to how we should individually respond in this situation. My wife and I recently spent a weekend visiting with a 2-year-old and her mother. The father, the mother’s husband, was not with us due to his work schedule. As I watched this little girl move about in freedom, filled with excitement and expectation, I was saddened to realize she might not get to grow up in the great America that I have experienced. This election could result in a country that my generation would not recognize and over which we would despair and even cry.

That possibility exists because our choice for president is between two people who offer very different courses into the future. They are Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Our choosing one over the other is complicated and is challenged by questionable comments and alleged unacceptable actions by these candidates. In the haze of this situation, it is very difficult to slow down, examine the facts and thoughtfully decide how to vote or even if one will vote.

Recently, an audio tape was released in which Donald Trump, some eleven years ago, made comments about being able to grope and otherwise inappropriately touch women. This being possible, he indicated, because of his status in the world of business and entertainment. He also recounted his efforts to seduce a married woman. Let the record be clear, I find his comments far beyond the pale and reflecting an attitude that is disgusting. A few days later, several women came forward accusing Trump of unwelcomed touching and kissing, one from 30 years ago. The question is do we choose the Hillary course based solely on Trump’s totally unacceptable comments and alleged actions toward some women. I contend if that 2-year-old could look into the future and see the calamity that such a choice on our part would bring, she would cry out, “Please, do not put my future and that of others like me in the hands of Hillary Clinton.”

What follows are a few of the considerations that cause me to conclude Hillary Clinton is by far the wrong choice for president. Start with Supreme Court appointments. There is one vacancy now, and given the advanced ages of some justices, more vacancies are likely over the next four years. In an article titled “Hillary Clinton Has a Vision for the Supreme Court, and It Looks like Sonia Sotomayor,” Cristian Farias writes that when asked during the Oct. 9 debate how she would go about selecting justices, Clinton said, “‘I want to appoint Supreme Court justices who understand the way the world really works, who have real-life experience, who have not just been in a big law firm and maybe clerked for a judge and then gotten on the bench, but maybe they tried more cases’” I read this statement to mean Hillary Clinton wants justices who will legislate from the bench. I watched the second presidential debate and in talking about these appointments, not one time did she mention upholding the Constitution. On the other hand, Trump’s response addressed upholding the Constitution.

Clinton makes attractive promises regarding free college, government investment in infrastructure that will produce jobs, along with a myriad of other government spending programs. She proposes to pay for this additional spending by increasing taxes on the wealthy. As does Barack Obama, she argues that the wealthy must pay their “fair share.” The question Obama and Clinton never answer is what is a fair share for the wealthy? The Summary of the Latest Federal Income Tax Data, 2015 Update says:

“In 2013, the bottom 50 percent of taxpayers (those with AGIs below $36,841) earned 11.49 percent of total AGI. This group of taxpayers paid approximately $34 billion in taxes, or 2.78 percent of all income taxes in 2013.

”In contrast, the top 1 percent of all taxpayers (taxpayers with AGIs of $428,713 and above), earned 19.04 percent of all AGI in 2013, but paid 37.80 percent of all federal income taxes.”

Is widening the spread above fair or even productive? The national debt is approaching 20 trillion dollars and Clinton wants to spend more. Trump proposes reducing taxes. This approach has a record of stimulating economic growth. 

Then there is the matter of religion in America. In an article titled “Hillary Clinton Is a Threat to Religious Liberty,” Marc A. Thiessen writes:

“In a speech not long before she launched her 2016 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton made a stunning declaration of war on religious Americans. Speaking to the 2015 Women in the World Summit, Clinton declared that ‘deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.’” 

Couple this with emails among various Clinton staff persons where they disparage Catholics and Evangelicals and a picture of war against religion is clear. The emails were released by WikiLeaks along with thousands of others that reflect badly on Hillary Clinton. 

An article by Pamela Engel titled “Leaked Emails Show State Department Gave Special Attention to Bill Clinton’s Friends after Haiti Earthquake” adds another item for thought. The article’s title states a conclusion. Engel supports that conclusion by quoting from various emails, especially those of Caitlin Klevorick, who was one of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s senior aides.

In one email, Klevorick wrote, ‘“Need you to flag when people are friends of WJC,” referring to William Jefferson Clinton. “Most I can probably ID but not all.” 

She wrote in another email: ‘Is this a FOB [Friend of Bill]! If not, she should go to cidi.org,” “referring to a general government website.” 

The person was emailing to offer medical supplies in the wake of the earthquake.

Beyond special attention to some people is Clinton’s use of a private server at her home instead of using the State Department’s email system as required by Department rules and with all the associated security risks. Emails were destroyed after a Congressional subpoena had been issued for those emails. Then she changed her message to fit the audience, saying one thing before wealthy donors and something different to other groups. 

These negative revelations continue to flow from WikiLeaks and other sources. There were reports on Oct. 17 of another disturbing incident. Budhaditya Bhattacharjee writes following in an article titled “Patrick Kennedy ‘Quid Pro Quo’: Facts to Know.”

“Documents released on Monday show that the State Department official tried to make the FBI back down on classifying the contents of an email from Hillary Clinton’s private email server. He offered a ‘quid pro quo’ to the FBI while trying to get the Bureau to shift a single classified email to “unclassified.” However, the FBI claimed that it refused the request.” 

There is disagreement regarding who between State and the FBI proposed the quid pro quo. No matter who proposed it, this is not reassuring behavior. 

An article by Right Rally News titled “Hillary Clinton Favors ‘Open Trade and Open Borders’” quotes Clinton as saying the following in a speech for which the transcript was released by WikiLeaks. The speech was given Brazilian bank in 2013.

“‘My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere.”’

She dreams of an America with no borders and trade that flows freely. Donald Trump says, “A nation without borders is not a nation.” This is a point on which the difference between these two candidates could not be clearer.

What I have presented is miniscule when compared with the totality of negatives regarding Hillary Clinton. What is equally dangerous is that the vast majority of media outlets give little attention to Clinton’s negatives while religiously focusing on every possible negative of Donald Trump. We must be careful, America…think, then vote. While thinking, remember that 2-year-old and the millions of others like her.

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