Monday, November 7, 2016

For anyone still considering voting for Trump

Honestly, I doubt anyone reading ShrinkRap is still undecided about whom to vote for.   But, just in case, let me add one final reason not to vote for Donald Trump -- a reinforcement that he is unfit temperamentally to handle the crises of the office.  It's been remarked before, but an incident at a Trump rally in Reno, NV on Saturday reminded us of (1) how good the Secret Service really is and how much we need to show them our appreciation.

But (2) it also reminded us of how reactive and how quick to escalate a crisis the Trump team is.   To be fair, I thought Trump himself kept his cool in this particular situation, and I'll acknowledge that.   But his team didn't -- and he apparently did nothing to guide them otherwise, even in calmer moments later.

Here's what happened.   Trump was speaking to a crowd at a Reno rally, when suddenly there was a commotion in the crowd;  and two Secret Service men rushed to protect Trump and get him off stage.   Later he returned and reassured people, saying:  “Nobody said it was going to be easy for us but we will never be stopped. Never, ever.”   And then he thanked the Secret Service, saying they are "fantastic" and "don't get enough credit" -- before launching back into his "crooked Hillary" tirade.

So what prompted this?    A man in the crowd held up a sign that said "Republicans Against Trump."   According to him in a later interview with the Guardian, he was just standing there holding his sign as a quiet protest, when some others in the crowd started kicking and punching him and wrestled him to the ground.  Someone had yelled, "Gun."  

Well, no, there was no gun.   Police searched the area and found no gun;  they questioned the man, did a background check, and eventually released him.   In a live interview on tv afterward, the man, Austyn Crites, who is from Reno, said that he is a registered Republican but cannot support Trump.   He just wanted to come and express his disagreement by holding his sign.   He did not try to stir up the crowd or make any trouble.    He seemed to be a well-educated, articulate man, not the type we often see getting physical at Trump rallies.

And what was the Trump campaign's response?   First, Trump himself encourages this kind of fighting.   In earlier rallies, he has told supporters to attack protesters;  he has himself yelled "through them out."   He leads chants of "lock her up."   It's true, his new campaign team has gotten him to tone it down, but the crowds know what he wants to hear from them.

Soon after the event, both the campaign's social media director and Don Trump, Jr. tweeted out that it had been "an assassination attempt."   At a later rally in Denver, the introducing speaker said someone had tried to "murder" Trump in Reno.  Sunday morning, campaign manager Kellyanne Conway went on FoxTV to declare the sign-holder  a Democrat and "probably a plant."

These are the people Trump chooses to be his team -- and they are the presentable ones.   Behind the scenes are the Breitbart crowd:   Steve Bannon, who headed Breitbart News;  David Bossie, who made a career of digging up anti-Clinton conspiracy theories, whose anti-Clinton film led to the Citizens United decision (it was basically a free-speach issue for the court.)   And lurking around as informal advisers are the Alt-Right Roger Stone and the man who wrote Clinton Cash, both of whom know no bounds when it comes to wild accusations and conspiracy theories.

And then there's Chris Christie who, were it not for his own political and possibly legal troubles at home over Bridgegate, would have been either Trump's Vice President or his Attorney General.  Instead he is heading the Trump Transition Team -- the important job that does all the preliminary work in choosing a Trump Cabinet and a Trump White House staff.   

This is the same Chris Christie, who has just seen the conviction in federal court of three of his choices to help run his administration as governor.   They went down as the sacrificial lambs to Christie's vindictive abuse of power in the Bridgegate scandal.  But they are also the people Christie chose to be his staff.

So . . . who could we expect to be there just outside the Oval Office or inside the Situation Room when a President Trump faces a crisis . . . and needs knowledged-based advice and calm, wise judgment?   So who would Christie choose for Trump's staff?

Please, folks -- if anyone is wavering -- use that thinking organ that's located inside your skull. 


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