By Blaine Winship
Millions of Americans share a deep regret over the presidential election choices before us. They don't want Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, yet they acknowledge that one of the two will be our next president. So, while they lament "the evil of two lessers" (to borrow from a clever campaign button), they also understand that they must choose the lesser of two evils. Who is the lesser, from a moral standpoint, is clear.
Trump has no track record of public service by which to assess him. To many Americans that is a good thing. They want an outsider. But he is subject to criticism for being rude and insensitive, racially and ethnically and sexually bigoted, unprepared on the issues, impulsive, and prone to flip-flopping on his positions. Liberals see him as too conservative, and conservatives worry that he is too liberal.
His supporters like the fact that he has intimate knowledge of how government legislators and regulators can be "bought" through contributions, while his detractors see him as sullied by having participated in this process. Then there are his bankruptcies. Opponents say he left employees and creditors stranded, while supporters note that the folding of his casinos was largely the fault of others. Indeed, his supporters also note that, in his bankruptcies and his tax returns, there is no hint that he broke any laws.
But Trump has largely succeeded in becoming a billionaire the right way: by building businesses in highly competitive markets through providing goods and services that customers actually want and have chosen to buy. In doing this, he has created huge amounts of wealth for himself and others, including vast numbers of employees. Trump's background in business could prove invaluable to us at a time when Big Government has been turned against our private sector, killing small-business growth with reams of costly regulations, and driving large businesses overseas to escape from the highest corporate tax burdens in the so-called free world. Trump may itch to start a regrettable trade war or two, but presumably he'd have a Republican Congress to rein him in. And if he sticks to his published list of potential Supreme Court nominees, we'll have much cause to be thankful.
Clinton, on the other hand, has a long and sordid history of life in public service. Her scandals from the 1990s and her vilifying of the many women victimized by her husband's inappropriate behavior are well known. But they pale in comparison to her misuse of her State Department position to amass a fortune in donations to the Clinton Foundation and speaking fees for her spouse. It is painfully obvious that this "pay-to-play" scheme was the real reason why she ignored all of those warnings about running classified emails on her private server. Never mind the risks to national security and to our soldiers and spies; there was real money to be made. To put it bluntly, Clinton is the single most immoral human being ever to receive a major party's nomination for the presidency.
That Clinton has gotten the Democratic Party's nomination, despite all of her immoral baggage, speaks volumes about the other, even bigger immorality afoot here: namely, that of continuing President Obama's policies. They've been disastrous for almost everyone. Our economy is in tatters, our schools are outlandishly awful, our immigration process is a disaster, our debts are skyrocketing, our children can't find jobs, our allies are deserting us, and our enemies are laughing at us. And with one more solid liberal Supreme Court justice, we'll be untethered from our Constitution. So much for the First and Second Amendments: not only will be denied guns to protect ourselves, we won't even be allowed to complain about it.
America is humankind's last, best hope. We may deserve better than Trump, but he is our last, best hope. So let's elect him and hope that he will rise to the occasion.