Fred LaSor: This sorry presidential campaign
November 4, 2016
This year's presidential nominees are the worst in living memory. Not "nearly the worst," or "possibly the worst" — just flat out, hands-down, the worst possible candidates our parties could put at the top of their respective tickets. If you've decided which candidate you'll vote for, chances are good your decision was made from party loyalty or because you think their opponent is worse, not because they're the best.
When Donald Trump erupted on the scene it was hard to take his candidacy seriously. Here was someone who was barely a Republican, proudly NOT a politician, and scornful of those who were. He vowed to finance his own candidacy in order to avoid ties to special interests. And from the outset he stirred up intense energy: Supporters showed up in much larger numbers than for any of the other Republican candidates and waited hours for him to arrive, while Democrats hired thugs to start fights at his rallies. His lack of support from the party establishment was a badge of honor, and when he won the primaries with more votes than anyone before him, party elders feared they had lost authority with their base.
Trump started out appealing to Americans who felt the government no longer cared about them. The first issue was government allowing a limitless stream of undocumented immigrants into the country, including criminals who should (under existing American law) have been deported. Democrats called him a racist. His supporters loved him.
Then he targeted Hillary's lawlessness, surrounding herself with loyalists who worked for her family foundation at the same time they worked for the State Department, ignoring laws requiring her to preserve official government records, and maintaining her own email server so she could hide personal and official communication from Congressional oversight. The FBI gave her a pass, not because she didn't break the law, but because "no reasonable prosecutor would prosecute," according to the FBI Director, following a private meeting between his boss, the Attorney General, and Bill Clinton.
Hillary's large speaking fees were another red flag: What was she promising to audiences willing to pay her a quarter million dollars for a 30-minute speech?
There was never a time in the past decade when Hillary Clinton wasn't a candidate and honesty was always her biggest hurdle. She has been running for president since 2007 and her party elders considered it "her turn," to the extent of colluding against Bernie Sanders. One DNC chair has been forced to step down over this collusion, and another will likely follow; all examples of Hillary's royal status. And still she can't break 50 percent in the polls.
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Now we learn from Wiki Leaks Hillary's closest staff are elitist, racist back-stabbers while her theme is she "cares about you." Yeah — until you vote. If Trump is any better it's only because his staff are mostly family, and he raised a good family — by Hillary's own admission in the second debate.
I can't bring myself to vote for an elitist, corrupt, soulless politician with no core beliefs, whose personal motto is "send money." And a vote for either of the two minor-party candidates is, in fact, a vote for Hillary. So I will vote for Trump in the hope he can surround himself with good staffers.
Every four years our presidential candidates promise change; after each election we return to an ever more imperial government, where the president announces transparency and integrity on day one, then begins to sell access. We need real change, and Hillary doesn't offer that. I will support Trump.
Fred LaSor retired from the U.S. Government 19 years ago and lives in the Carson Valley.