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Sunday, November 6, 2016

Tuesday's election choice is not between Hitler and Satan

Hyperbole has hit a peak in the 2016 American election. If you were to interpret it in the way it's described by partisans, it sounds like Satan is running for the Democrats and Hitler for the Republicans.

Despite Wikileaks revelations of Hillary Clinton's campaign manager John Podesta being invited to a Satanic "Spirit Cooking" ritual, and a Catholic parish declaring that a vote for Hillary is like pulling the lever on a trap door to Hell, it should not be necessary to explain why the former Secretary of State is not literally or even figuratively the devil incarnate.

Clinton, while not Satan, is neither the only "sane" choice her proponents make her out to be. She is demonstrably venal and mired in a variety of corruption scandals which would follow her into the White House if she were elected President. There is also no evidence that she's particularly competent at anything as a public official other than in her ability to be a public official. As First Lady, her efforts to commence a national public health insurance program were a failure. For all Obamacare's flaws, Barack Obama was able to make it happen where Hillary could not.

Despite her experience as a Senator from New York and as Secretary of State, she made no notable achievements in those roles, and some of her work, like the groundwork for the disastrous Iran deal, are negatives. As Trump said of Hillary, "she has experience, but it's bad experience."

That gives rise to a comparison to the political scene in Canada from 2006 to 2015, when Stephen Harper was Prime Minister. He instituted policies that people on the far left of the political spectrum didn't like,  they preposterously insisted Harper was a "dictator" and there were even some who,just as is the case with Trump, seriously likened him to Adolf Hitler. Harper actually made strides in giving Canadians more liberties, like removing state compulsion to complete the long-form census and eliminating the Orwellian Section 13 Hate Speech component of the Human Right Act from the Criminal Code.

During Harper's tenure as Prime Minister, Canada had been consistently ranked by independent bodies as one of the freest and most tolerant countries in the world, sometimes topping the list. But leftist political partisans, many of whom are clearly emotionally unbalanced, could not overcome their cognitive dissonance and continued to insist Harper was a dictator and threat to democracy.

Well, now it's 2016, Harper lost the federal election last year and did not suspend civil liberties to retain power, and the Liberal Party's Justin Trudeau has been in office for over a year. In that time, Trudeau's government has introduced a thought crimes bill, Bill C-16, which can make it a crime if a person doesn't use pronouns the government says it should for self-described "non-binary" people, despite their being no scientific evidence that such a biological condition exists. It's essentially the same thing as the government threatening to put you in jail for refusing to say "two plus two equals five," because insisting it equals four might hurt some people's feelings.

In the US, comparisons between Donald Trump and Hitler have become abundant. The comparison is absurd, to put it mildly. Trump is not proposing genocides or segregation. He is proposing the enforcement of existing immigration laws that the current government chooses to ignore. He is supporting immigration restrictions from countries he thinks have cultural values at odds with the United States. Muslim reformers, like Professor Salim Mansur at Western University, have made those exact same proposals. Does that make Professor Mansur Hitler too?

Some of Trump's rhetoric could be interpreted as encouraging xenophobia. However, it's far less inflammatory than anti-Muslim rhetoric used by Czech President Milos Zeman, yet democracy and civil liberties continue to abide in that country years after his election.

Anyone seriously suggesting that Trump is like Hitler is either completely ignorant of the history of Nazi Germany or needs their head examined. Or both.

The reason that many people intend to vote for Donald Trump is because they have a strong desire for change. Trump isn't going to undo democracy or the constitution. But he likely will clear out some of the entrenched political detritus from Washington. That's why the political establishment on both sides of the aisles view him as such a tremendous threat. His policies may work, or they may not. But they will bring about something different.

Clinton is likely to be a slightly more conservative, and possibly a slightly more effective president than her immediate predecessor. But in essence, she will be a continuation of the last eight years. Hillary is the establishment and she represents the establishment.

At the core of things, on Tuesday, Americans will vote either for change in the form of Trump, or the status quo in the form of Clinton. A person can think one or the other are Hitler or Satan. But that says nothing about how bad the candidates are and everything about the disturbed mental state of the person making those claims.

1 comment:

Jaedodrax said...

You also left out that the media is likely to restrain any excesses that Trump might show, whereas they will ignore and cover up any Clinton transgressions.