November 7, 2016

I'm #NeverTrump: The Rest of the Story
In Sunday's post, I looked at Donald Trump's positions on immigration and health care, two reasons I cannot vote for him.  Those are not the only ones.

On Guns:
Trump proudly notes that we're the only country with a Second Amendment, and he subscribes to the "individual right to bear arms without any infringement" mindset. He's got a concealed carry permit, which may be the six most frightening words I've ever written, and he believes concealed carry here should be concealed carry there. As do many others, Trump draws a parallel between a concealed carry permit and a driver's license. To me, the fact that you can actually see the car is but one important difference.

One of the big pieces of his Second Amendment plan is that we expand mental health treatment programs because "most people with mental health problems aren't violent, they just need help." For those who are violent, he notes, "a danger to themselves or others" we need to get them off the street before they can terrorize our communities. As I noted in the previous post, he plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which brings with it expanded care for mental health and substance abuse diagnoses, would counteract whatever he wants to expand here, right? Furthermore, how is it possible that every American mass shooter (and by that, you know, I mean non-Muslim) in recent years had some kind of mental health red flag that was ignored, but the ones committed by those other Americans, well, those are terrorism? I don't support calling one terrorism and the other a mental health issue, sorry.

On Education:
I do not support "immediately adding an additional $20 billion to school choice" and allowing the money to be put into private schools. Parents are welcome to send their children to private school; they can save their own hard-earned money to pay for it, they can participate in a car washes or bake sales, or they can hope their child can get a scholarship - but we should not be paying them to leave the public education system.

On Child Care and Maternity Leave:
Trump's child care plan is designed to allow working parents to deduct from their income taxes child care expenses for up to four children (and elderly dependents). The plan allows stay-at-home parents the same deduction. So, you deduct child care expenses when you have them, and you deduct child care expenses when you don't have them?

Trump's maternity leave plan makes changes to unemployment insurance law to allow paid maternity leave at the same level as a laid-off employee would receive. It would only come into play if a company didn't already offer maternity leave. There will be unquantified 'reductions' in the unemployment programs to pay for the maternity leave. The plan also notes that "employers in a competitive marketplace" should not get rid of any existing maternity leave plans to participate in the new unemployment insurance maternity leave program.

Similarly, companies should not have eliminated company sponsored health insurance to move employees to the health insurance exchanges; they shouldn't have dropped people to just below the minimum hours requirement to avoid having to pay for insurance and, well, you get the drift. It's hard to imagine that businesses would only be unscrupulous when it comes to insurance, but not when it comes to maternity leave. Silly me.

On the plus side, he has clarified that the plan would cover same sex couples provided their marriage was recognized by their state. Same and opposite sex couples who are not married? SOL. Paternity leave? SOL. Adoption? Not sure, it's not spelled out - but the whole plan seems to be predicated on a married lady getting preggers, and all other circumstances be damned.

On the Military:
Trump wants to make the military YUGE, even YUGER than the military wants it to be, which always makes me wonder what the politicians think they know that the military experts don't. As noted in the article, Trump's plan is reminiscent of Mitt Romney's, which called for a bigger Navy and which led to the classic debate moment where Obama noted we have fewer bayonets and horses in the military than we did back in 1916, when we have a big Navy.  Ah, the good old days.

On the Rest of the Constitution:
The Second Amendment is the first amendment to Trump and others. He does plan on protecting our constitutional liberties, and freedom of religion and of speech and of the press. Which is ironic, given we have him on tape talking about how we need to limit the press, and how he's limited the press throughout his campaign.

He will fill Supreme Court vacancies in the 'originalist' manner, a la Antonin Scalia, which puts at risk rights owned by members of my family and by my friends. I cannot support those changes.

So: immigration, health care reform, guns, the military, child care and maternity leave, education, the Supremes, and more -- I don't agree with and can't support his positions.

And, of course there's the whole issue of what his America looks like: maybe we abide by treaties, maybe not; maybe we pay our debt, maybe not; maybe we support our allies, maybe not; maybe we defend our freedoms, maybe not; maybe we're a global citizen, maybe  not; maybe we punish women who have abortions, maybe not; maybe this, maybe that, maybe something else. Or maybe not.

And, finally, there's his assassination of our democratic process. When you pronounce our whole system as being rigged well before the election even occurs, well before a decision has been made, you belittle us before the rest of the world. On purpose. I can't support that either.

So the decision, for me, to be #NeverTrump is an easy one.

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