Tonight, I voted to not send our country back decades

In 2009, I moved from New Jersey to Washington State, for a variety of reasons. One of those reasons wasn’t that you vote via mail (or you can drop your ballot off in person), although it’s turned out to be a pretty cool “perk” of living here. Tonight, I filled out my ballot, and tomorrow I’ll walk it up to the county ballot box. I’m not here to provide conversation filler about voting methods, however.

Tonight, I voted for Hillary Clinton.

I’m not a one-topic voter, nor am I always a “straight down the ticket” voter. While I typically vote for a Democrat, that’s not always the case.

This year, however, I might be a one-topic voter when it comes to who is in the Oval Office for the next four years. That topic is ensuring someone I consider abhorrent – as a businessperson, prospective politician, and honestly, as a person – is never given the keys to the United States of America. Ever.

You see, I’m no stranger to Mr. Trump and his shenanigans. Growing up on the Jersey Shore, “The Donald” was a regular fixture in the local newspaper, the Asbury Park Press. I remember seeing his name and face emblazoned on the front and inside pages of the paper throughout most of my life living in the area. It wasn’t usually good, either.

In the 1990s, this was the type of story that many of us were reading on the regular about Trump. For every story like that, imagine 10-20 smaller ones in local or regional publications. I guess you’ve got to give the guy credit, for this bit from a 1992 Bloomberg piece has turned out to be fairly prescient and could be in a story today.

Trump’s capacious ego also remains largely intact. With typical bravado, he says: “You’ll never see me sitting in the corner sucking my thumb. The name Trump will be hotter than ever.”

Seeing Donald Trump rise through the ranks with voters has genuinely made me sad for America. You see, Atlantic City had problems of its own that Trump could have done something about. But he didn’t. AC was, for him, a gamble. One he lost. He’s not alone in failing Atlantic City over the long term, but he is most certainly the poster child, mostly because of that ego that put his name on his properties. He rode the wave that was gambling and hospitality, just as any businessperson might do in any industry. He was not any sort of “for the people” employer, in my opinion, at any point. There are probably hundreds of stories like this one where he “renegotiated” a deal on the fly, just because he could be a bully. That business owner reported almost going out of business because of it. Is that who should be running this country?

This isn’t to say you don’t want someone as President who can push around an opponent. You do. You want a direct, focused individual who’s smart enough to hire people smarter than them to do various jobs within the government. At face value, sure, Donald Trump brings that to the table. But are we just going to leverage this country to a point where he thinks he can hit the do-over button if we fall into financial disaster? I’m not trying to be base about it, but he hasn’t shown that he thinks otherwise.

Let’s forget about business for a second, however, as that’s not even the worst of it.

Donald Trump is, by many, many, (many) accounts, either actually racist, or simply an complete and total idiot when it comes to interacting with anyone that doesn’t look like him. Err, aren’t white. That is, unfortunately, apparently appealing to a lot of people who live in the US of A.

Before you say “Tom, it’s not appealing to some people in this country, they are behind him for his other policies,” I’ll just stop you. White nationalists aren’t supporting Trump “just because.” He has gained so much momentum by leaning on some people’s fears. By simply stating he wanted a “total and complete shutdown” on immigration of Muslims to the United States, he reached a segment of Americans he knew would go all-in on that. At a rally in South Carolina the day that announcement came out, he said, “I have friends that are Muslims. They are great people — but they know we have a problem.” Apparently, “I have Muslim friends” is The Donald’s “I have black friends.”

No. Just no.

This isn’t about saying I voted for Hillary Clinton while not saying anything positive about her or engaging in “the lesser of two evils” trash conversation. This is about voting for someone who isn’t going to be an abject embarrassment on America across the world.

The Dallas Morning News published an editorial in September about how Donald Trump “is no Republican” and “has displayed an authoritarian streak that should horrify limited-government advocates.” That newspaper has not recommended a Democrat for President for more than 75 years. The opening line to “part two” of their recommendation says it all:

There is only one serious candidate on the presidential ballot in November. We recommend Hillary Clinton.

And with that, I will leave you to your own devices. Literally.

Borders. Again.

In the ongoing saga about the US borders, some reporters from ABC have “tested the system” again, in what seems to be a very easy thing to do, and brought 15lbs of depleted uranium all the way from Jakarta, Indonesia, all the way to Los Angeles, California. The Feds, of course, have just decided to discuss pressing charges. Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) has a great comment, stating that “While embarrassed government bureaucrats may not think so, the country benefits from government mismanagement being exposed.”

’nuff said.

Fake ID

After seeing some comments on little green footballs regarding some folks having fake IDs and working at the WTC before 9/11. The fact is, some men did get fake IDs in Memphis, and the person who set them up with the IDs did die in a suspicious car “accident”. Whether it has anything to do with 9/11, or that one of the men had been at the WTC – I don’t know if that’s true or not is.

What IS true, is that the process of getting a fake driver’s license is probably one of the easier things out there, even in our post-9/11 world. I had posted something earlier this month about how rules were changing in some states like New Jersey on what you would need to present to get a license. While I think some security things are absolutely outlandish, some need some serious work. How about we concentrate on the gaps, and not try and infringe on what people consider near and dear to themselves. Just a thought.

Arnold for Gov.

Saw Arnold Schwarzenegger briefly tonight on Fox News’ O’Reilly Factor, and I actually thought he was pretty good. He had solid answers to Bill’s questions, and didn’t go too far off track at all, like I kind of suspected he would. I was happy that O’Reilly gave him his space to speak and didn’t “step on him” or anything.. He definitely pressed the issue with the candidate about the immigration situation in California, and Arnold stated that he would get rid of the law that Gray Davis put into effect recently allowing for illegal immigrants with some documentation to acquire drivers’ licenses. He also said he would band together with other neighboring governors to petition the Federal gov’t about help with the border patrolling. Bill pushed a little here, but didn’t get too far. I thought he really held his own. Here’s the transcript of the interview.

While we’re speaking about the border situation – on Tuesday night, I heard a gentleman on Laura Ingraham‘s show on WABC 770AM in NYC who was the head of a group of citizens concerned about the borders. I believe he was from the American Border Patrol, which you can find out more about at the link right here. Apparently, this group is using unmanned aerial vehicles to survey the areas around US borders, and reporting people they see crossing back and forth. Their cameras link to a page here, but I haven’t seen anything yet, just a reference to being on WABC. Found this highly interesting, and am curious to see what the government’s view on such an organization would be.

Independence for Taiwan?

Changing your country’s name isn’t something that happens every day. Nor is it something to be taken lightly. Today, protesters in Taipei, Taiwan’s capital, marched in the streets to formally change their name from part of the “People’s Republic of China” to “Taiwan”. This has been a huge political debate for years, and this could be the first step in some dramatic changes for mainland China.