Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, July 23, 2016

MVNews this week:  Page B:4


Susan Henderson 
Dean Lee 
Joan Schmidt 
LaQuetta Shamblee 
Richard Garcia 
Patricia Colonello 
John Aveny 
Chris Leclerc 
Bob Eklund 
Howard HaysPaul CarpenterKim Clymer-KelleyChristopher NyergesPeter Dills 
Dr. Tina Paul 
Rich Johnson 
Merri Jill Finstrom 
Lori KoopRev. James SnyderTina Paul 
Mary CarneyKatie HopkinsDeanne Davis 
Despina ArouzmanGreg WelbornRenee Quenell 
Ben Show 
Sean KaydenMarc Garlett 
Pat Birdsall (retired) 
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By The Washington Post EditorialBoard July 22 at 3:59 PM - Reprinted by 

DONALD J. TRUMP, until now a 
Republican problem, this week became 
a challenge the nation must confront 
and overcome. The real estate tycoon is 
uniquely unqualified to serve as president, 
in experience and temperament. He is 
mounting a campaign of snarl and sneer, 
not substance. To the extent he has views, 
they are wrong in their diagnosis of 
America’s problems and dangerous in their 
proposed solutions. Mr. Trump’s politics 
of denigration and division could strain 
the bonds that have held a diverse nation 
together. His contempt for constitutional 
norms might reveal the nation’s twocentury-
old experiment in checks and 
balances to be more fragile than we knew.

 Any one of these characteristics would 
be disqualifying; together, they make 
Mr. Trump a peril. We recognize that this 
is not the usual moment to make such a 
statement. In an ordinary election year, 
we would acknowledge the Republican 
nominee, move on to the Democratic 
convention and spend the following 
months, like other voters, evaluating the 
candidates’ performance in debates, on the 
stump and in position papers. This year we 
will follow the campaign as always, offering 
honest views on all the candidates. But we 
cannot salute the Republican nominee or 
pretend that we might endorse him this fall. 
A Trump presidency would be dangerous 
for the nation and the world.

 Why are we so sure? Start with experience. 
It has been 64 years since a major party 
nominated anyone for president who 
did not have electoral experience. That 
experiment turned out pretty well — but 
Mr. Trump, to put it mildly, is no Dwight 
David Eisenhower. Leading the Allied 
campaign to liberate Europe from the Nazis 
required strategic and political skills of the 
first order, and Eisenhower — though he 
liked to emphasize his common touch as 
he faced the intellectual Democrat Adlai 
Stevenson — was shrewd, diligent, humble 
and thoughtful.

In contrast, there is nothing on 
Mr. Trump’s résumé to suggest he could 
function successfully in Washington. Hewas staked in the family business by awell-to-do father and has pursued a career 
marked by some real estate successes,
some failures and repeated episodes of 
saving his own hide while harming peoplewho trusted him. Given his continuingrefusal to release histax returns, breakingwith a long bipartisan tradition, it is onlyreasonable to assume there are aspects ofhis record even more discreditable than 
what we know.

 The lack of experience might be overcomeif Mr. Trump saw it as a handicapworth overcoming. But he displays nocuriosity, reads no books and appearsto believe he needs no advice. In fact,
what makes Mr. Trump so unusual is his 

combination of extreme neediness and 
unbridled arrogance. He is desperatefor affirmation but contemptuous of 
other views. He also is contemptuous of 
fact. Throughout the campaign, he hasunspooled one lie after another — thatMuslims in New Jersey celebrated after 
9/11, that his tax-cut plan would not 
worsenthe deficit, that he opposed theIraq War before it started — and when 
confronted with contrary evidence, he 
simply repeats the lie. It is impossible toknow whether he convinces himself of his 
own untruths or knows that he is wrongand does not care. It is also difficult to know 
which trait would be more frightening in acommander in chief.

 Given his ignorance, it is perhaps notsurprising that Mr. Trump offers no 
coherence when it comes to policy. In 
years past, he supported immigrationreform, gun control and legal abortion; 
as candidate, he became a hard-line 
opponent of all three. Even in the course 
of the campaign, he has flip-flopped onissues such as whether Muslims should 
be banned from entering the UnitedStates and whether women who have 
abortions should be punished . Worse than 
the flip-flops is the absence of any substancein his agenda. Existing trade dealsare 
“stupid,” but Mr. Trump does not sayhow they could be improved. The IslamicState must be destroyed, but the candidateoffers no strategy for doing so. Elevenmillion undocumented immigrants must 
be deported, but Mr. Trump does not tell 
us how he would accomplish this legally orpractically.
What the candidate does offer is a series of 
prejudices and gut feelings, most of themerroneous. Allies are taking advantage of the 
United States. Immigrants are committingcrimes and stealing jobs. 
Muslims hate America. In fact,
Japan and South Korea are major 
contributors to an alliance that has 
preserved a peace of enormousbenefit to Americans. Immigrantscommit fewer crimes than native-
born Americans and take jobsthat no one else will. Muslims 
are the primary victims of 
Islamist terrorism, and Muslim 
Americans, including thousandswho have served in the military,
are as patriotic as anyone else.

[Fareed Zakaria: America would 
be Trump’s banana republic]

The Trump litany of victimizationhas resonated with manyAmericans whose economic 
prospects have stagnated. They 
deserve a serious champion,
and the challenges of inequalityand slow wage growth deserve aserious response. But Mr. Trump 
has nothing positive to offer, onlyscapegoats and dark conspiracytheories. He launched his 
campaign by accusing Mexico ofsending rapists across the border,
and similar hatefulness has 

surfaced numerous times in the year since.

 In a dangerous world, Mr. Trump 
speaks blithely of abandoning NATO,
encouraging more nations to obtain 
nuclear weapons and cozying up to 
dictators who in fact wish the United 
States nothing but harm. For eight years,
Republicans have criticized President 
Obama for “apologizing” for Americaand for weakening alliances. Now they 
put forward a candidate who mimics 
the vilest propaganda of authoritarianadversaries about how terrible the United 
States is and how unfit it is to lecture 
others. He has made clear that he would 
drop allies without a second thought. Theconsequences to global security could be 

 Most alarming is Mr. Trump’s contempt 
for the Constitution and the unwritten 
democratic norms upon which our systemdepends. He doesn’t know what is in the 
nation’s founding document. When askedby a member of Congress about Article I, 
which enumerates congressional powers,
the candidate responded, “I am going toabide by the Constitution whether it’s 
number 1, number 2, number 12, number9.” The charter has seven articles. 
Worse, he doesn’t seem to care aboutits limitations on executive power. Hehas threatenedthat those who criticize 
him will suffer when he is president. Hehas vowed to torturesuspected terroristsand bomb their innocent relatives, no 
matter the illegality of either act. He hasvowed to constrict the independent press.
He went after a judge whose rulingsangered him, exacerbating his contemptfor the independence of the judiciaryby insisting that the judge should bedisqualified because of his Mexican 

heritage. Mr. Trump has encouraged and 
celebrated violence at his rallies. The 

U.S. democratic system is strong and hasproved resilient when it has been testedbefore. We have faith in it. But to elect 
Mr. Trump would be to knowingly subject 
it to threat. 
Mr. Trump campaigns by insult anddenigration, insinuation and wild 
accusation: Ted Cruz’s father was involved 
in the assassination of President John F. 
Kennedy; Hillary Clinton may beguilty ofmurder; Mr. Obama is a traitor who wants 
Muslims to attack. The RepublicanParty has moved the lunatic fringe ontocenter stage, with discourse that rendersimpossible the kind of substantive debateupon which any civil democracy depends.

Most responsible Republican leadersknow all this to be true; that is whyMr. Trump had to rely so heavily on 
testimonials by relatives and employeesduring this week’s Republican convention. 
With one exception (Bob Dole), the livingRepublican presidents and presidentialnominees of the past three decades all stayedaway. But most current officeholders, eventhose who declared Mr. Trump to be an 
unthinkable choice only months ago, havelost the courage to speak out.

The party’s failure of judgment leavesthe nation’s future where it belongs, in 
the hands of voters. Many Americans donot like either candidate this year . Wehave criticized the presumptive Democraticnominee, Hillary Clinton, in the past and 
will do so again when warranted. But we do 
not believe that she (or the Libertarian andGreen party candidates, for that matter)
represents a threat to the Constitution.
Mr. Trump is a unique and present danger. 

DICK Polman 



CLEVELAND - I knew it would be a long night when Donald
Trump launched his acceptance speech with a promise
to speak “honestly,” telling the crowd, ”There there will be
no lies. We will honor the American people with the truth,
and nothing else.” As if. When a con man offers to sell you
Arizona land with a view of the ocean, it’s best to guard your
Trump’s inspiration was clearly that canny fearmonger of 1968, Richard Nixon. Trump
borrowed heavily from Nixon’s “law and order” template - he bellowed, “I am the law
and order candidate!” - but, perhaps more importantly (and oh so predictably), he
emulated Nixon’s well-honed gift for shameless lying. Not that Trump actually needs
any help in that department, from anyone. 

And by the way, it’s a bit rich that a guy with a record of mob ties and a looming trial
for his fraudulent university, has the gall to parade himself as the candidate of law and

If credibility still means anything, if we still have any standards, then his portrait of a
dark America begs to be challenged. It’s hard to know where to begin. 

He harangued a lot about “the crime and violence that today afflicts our nation,” about
the “lawlessness that threatens their communities.” What he didn’t say - and this is
what the FBI stats say - is that violent crime has steadily fallen over the past 25 years,
and that crime today is much lower than it was in ‘68 when Nixon campaigned for law
and order. 

He was particularly incensed that a “border-crosser” had recently killed a young
woman in Nebraska. He assailed the “nearly 180,000 illegal immigrants with criminal
records (who) are tonight roaming free to threaten peaceful citizens.” What he didn’t
say - and this is from a Department of Homeland Security Study - is that you have a
far greater chance of being killed in this country by a white citizen. Between 2010 and
2014 a grand total of 121 people released from immigration custody were later charged
with murder. That’s roughly one-thousandth of a percent of all the undocumented
immigrants in America. 

Another Trumpian scare: Syrian refugees. In his words, “there’s no way to screen these
refugees in order to find out who they are or where they came from.” Truth is, we’ve
had a vetting system since 1980. Multiple federal intelligence and security agencies vet
the refugees, and the process for each one typically takes one to two years.
Trump also riled up the crowd with Clinton’s supposed legacy of “death, destruction,
terrorism, and weakness.” In his version of history, Clinton is the reason we have ISIS,
because “in 2009, pre-HIllary, ISIS was not even on the map.” The truth is that ISIS was
birthed in Iraq in 2006 - three years before Clinton became Secretary of State. It was
a byproduct of George W. Bush’s disastrous American invasion. And even though it’s
true that ISIS gained steam during the Syrian civil war, Secretary Clinton had pushed
at the time - unsuccessfully - for the delivery of arms to rebel forces. 

During his speech, the lies and cons took a number of forms. Early in the speech he
took a stab at substance, promising to “outline reforms” that would bring America
“millions of new jobs and trillions of new wealth.” He said, “these reforms...I will
outline tonight.” But somehow he never got around to the outline. As usual, hewing
to the Great Man Theory of History, he simply said, “Nobody knows the system better
than me, which is why I alone can fix it” - just like he vowed to erase crime by dint of
his Oval Office presence. Someone outside his fawning family cocoon should remind
him that there are three branches of government and the separation of powers.
Did his speech resonate beyond his credulous fan base? Can he craft an electoral
majority with his magical thinking? We’ll soon find out. But it appears that he has
long prepared to test that proposition. 

As he boasted nearly 30 years ago in a best-selling book, “I play to people’s fantasies....
That’s why a little hyperbole never hurts. People want to believe that something is the
biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular. I call it truthful hyperbole.”
I call it something else. 

JOHN L. Micek 

CLEVELAND — U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc) wantedto talk about a bunch of stuff during his primetime address at theRepublican National Convention.

But Donald Trump wasn’t high on that list. He barely mentionedhim at all. 
Instead, the ever-wonkish Ryan focused on the House GOP’slegislative agenda.
He hammered home how important “a conservative governing majority” was to its chancesand how Republicans needed the win the White House to ensure its success.

“There is a reason people in our country are disappointed and restless,” he said. “Ifopportunity seems like it’s been slipping away, that’s because it has. And liberal progressiveideas have done exactly nothing to help. ... It’s the latest chapter of an old story: Progressivesdeliver everything except progress.”

Ryan’s embrace of Trump, with whom he has publicly differed even as he supports him,
was reluctant at best. 

“We Republicans have made a choice,” Ryan said, seemingly trying to convince himselfthat it was a good idea - as much as he was the thousands of delegates crammed onto thefloor of the Quicken Loans Arena here.

Ryan, at least, was animated.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell looked like he was filming a hostage video whileundergoing a root canal.

To be fair, the disdain was mutual. The Kentucky Republican was booed as he took thestage. But he managed to warm up the crowd with some scathing criticism of DemocratHillary Clinton.

“There is a clear choice before us, and it is not Hillary,” McConnell said. “You know whatthe next four years will look like with Hillary. And you know that if Hillary is president, wewill continue to slide, distracted by the scandals that follow the Clintons like flies.”

The most McConnell could offer for Trump was that, unlike Clinton, at least, he wouldn’tveto or disregard the bills that Senate Republicans send to his desk.

The party leaders’ continued reticence in the face of the Trump juggernaut is a reminder ofthe challenges the billionaire could face in dealing with a Congress that mostly acknowledgeshim as a Republican, but not a conservative fellow traveler.

“These guys never saw Trump coming,” Phil English, a former Republican Congressmanfrom Erie, Pa., said. “He’s not their flavor of Republican and they don’t agree on manyissues.” 
Still, McConnell’s and Ryan’s speeches “were good tactics,” English said.

By focusing on policy and the GOP down-ballot, “it’s not putting them on a collisioncourse [with Trump],” he noted.

U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, a Republican from northeastern Pennsylvania and an early Trumpsupporter, said he thinks Ryan has a “much higher confidence level” in Trump than he didwhen he first announced his support in early June.
Trump’s “willingness to work with Paul Ryan gives him a greater confidence level and thatwill be good,” Barletta said. “He knows that if the House sends legislation to Ryan’s desk,
[Trump] will sign it. If Ryan takes our proposals to Hillary Clinton, it will go from her deskto the wastebasket.” 
But according to at least two veteran observers, Ryan and McConnell have their eyes on agreater set of concerns than whether Trump is ideologically simpatico to their respectiveagendas.

“Their most important goal right now is protecting the House and Senate,” Kyle C. Kopko,
a political science professor at Elizabethtown College said. “They’re very aware that the[national] polls have it at an advantage for Clinton or are close.”

For Ryan, who has one of the biggest GOP advantages in recent memory, that’s less of a 

But for McConnell, it’s an animating concern: a swing of just five seats in November couldhand control of the Senate back to the Democrats. Among the seats on the line is Toomey’s.
And to make sure it stays Republican, both need a motivated GOP base.

“That was very much their focus - the whole ticket,” Terry Madonna, a political scienceprofessor and pollster at Franklin & Marshall College, said. “The last thing they want to dois lose the Senate.” 

And if that means that Ryan and McConnell have to give clearly reluctant support toTrump, then that’s what’s going to happen, Kopko added.

“The people may have spoken [at the convention], but Ryan and McConnell need tothinking about governing for more than just four years,” he said.
But first they have to survive November - which seems very far away, indeed. 

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