Ralph Lopez majored in Economics and Political Science at Yale University. He has been published in the Boston Globe and the Baltimore Sun.
Now that Bernie Sanders has shown he'll believe a bridge in Brooklyn is for sale by believing anything Hillary says about the Democratic platform, and endorsing her, it is time to examine the issue: Who is really more dangerous, Hillary or Trump, as president?
After thoroughly cheating her way to her pledged delegate count and stealing primary after primary, Hillary Clinton is now cast as the bad alternative to an even worse prospect, that of Donald Trump as president of the United States. In what Americans have gotten used to as the "lesser-of-two-evilisms," Donald Trump is now the boogyman "fascist" extraordinaire, straight from central casting to scare voters in swings states into "sucking it up" and voting for the Wall Street, Monsanto, and fracking industry favorite.
In the meantime the real fascists, the Bush administration Neocon architects of the Iraq invasion, are lining up behind Hillary, not Donald Trump. Project for a New American Century members Eliot Cohen, Richard Perle, and Robert Kagan have all sung Clinton's praises. Upon hearing that Obama had nominated Clinton as Secretary of State in 2008, Perle said he was "relieved," and remarked “There's not going to be as much change as we were led to believe.”
Clinton's Secretary of State predecessor Condoleeza Rice said Clinton was doing a "fine job" as the top diplomat as Clinton ran guns to opponents of Muammar Gaddafi.
There has been no other candidate in many a year with Clinton's virtuoso talent for saying one thing and doing another, a talent which will be required in abundance to push through the next round of wars, and to complete once and for all the slow Chinese torture of dismantling the American middle class for the benefit of the one percent.
Hillary is bad, the cocktail party meme goes, but Trump is dangerous. As with many memes worked by Team Hillary, the truth is exactly the opposite. During the primary campaigns, Hillary repeatedly claimed that she was the most "electable" against Trump, when every poll showed Bernie Sanders to be the candidate who beat Trump soundly, while Hillary lagged.
Saying the opposite of the truth is simply no problem, ever.
Regardless of how mean and nasty Donald Trump is, making all kinds of offensive and obnoxious utterances on almost a daily basis, the fact remains that there are three branches of government in our system. What Trump is running for represents only one. It is historically true that the Executive Branch is the weaker of the two law-making branches of government, the Congress having the power of the purse, as the Founders intended, from which all legislation must originate and be passed if it survives the endless wrangling.
At Salon.com, which describes itself as an "Online journal of arts and culture and politics with a liberal bent," Walker Bragman writes in "The Liberal Case for Donald Trump":
"his wall — paid for by Mexico — is never going to happen. Ban all Muslims from entering the U.S.? Not a chance."
Trump is an outsider to Washington and a stranger to its ways, in a town where even savvy political operators find it a challenge to get what they want.
But most importantly, Trump is a man without a party. The Republican establishment hates him as much, if not more, as the Democrats do, and no one man in Washington can pass legislation, or even put someone on the Supreme Court, which requires a two-thirds majority confirmation of the Senate.
As politically popular as Ronald Reagan was, he failed to get confirmation for his Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork, when Republicans crossed party lines to stop him. In the present Senate, Democrats have more than enough votes to block any Supreme Court nomination, even if all Republicans lined up behind Trump, which would be unlikely.
The fact is that Trump, with the enemies he has made in both parties, would be fairly lucky not to get impeached within a year, as the language of Article II is deliberately vague enough to make staying in office virtually a popularity contest. You can tick off one party, or you can tick off the other, but you can't tick off both.
The situation Trump would find himself in would be similar to the one Jimmy Carter found himself in, the last partyless president. Although a Democrat, the governor of Georgia was very much an outsider, and his own party would do nothing for him except sabotage his program, led by crafty House Speaker Tip O'Neill. This culminated in a primary challenge to a sitting president, by Senator Ted Kennedy.
There are a million and one ways to stop a president from doing what he wants, and the political animals in Washington know all of them.
On the other hand, as Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein says, many of the "scary" things Trump has said, Hillary actually has a "track record" for. Stein said:
"Trump says very scary things—deporting immigrants, massive militarism and ignoring the climate. Hillary, unfortunately, has a track record for doing all of those things,"
Hillary has blood on her hands, as an enthusiastic cheerleader for US intervention in Libya and the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi, when she joked gleefully, "We came, we saw, he died." Hillary's gun-running for Syrian rebels, and role in creating ISIS is well-known, as is her influential vote for the Iraq invasion.
Clinton upon hearing of death of Gaddafi
The famous economist and Harvard professor Jeffrey Sachs said of Clinton's claim to have brokered a peace deal in the Syrian bloodbath:
"This is the kind of compulsive misrepresentation that makes Clinton unfit to be President. Clinton’s role in Syria has been to help instigate and prolong the Syrian bloodbath, not to bring it to a close."
In Ukraine, Hillary's protégé in the State Department, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, under orders from Hillary, financed and encouraged the Ukrainian civil war. This was likely punishment for Putin's lack of sympathy for US efforts to destabilize the Middle East and to attack Iran. In a preview of Russian - US relations to come under Hillary, she has said Putin has "no soul."
In contrast to Trump, Hillary does have friends in Washington, in fact a well-oiled machine, ready to do whatever is necessary to carry out Hillary's barely disguised eagerness to attack Iran, which she has said she would not "hesitate" to strike militarily.
This power would reside in the hands of a person with a documented lack of what most people call a conscience. In her days as a public defender in Arkansas, Clinton won freedom for a guilty child rapist, who raped a 12-year-old girl, by lying in a court affidavit that the little girl "fantasized" about older men. Clinton now responds that her client was "entitled to the best defense." But the "best defense" doctrine does not include violating professional ethics codes, such as lying in an affidavit, as the victim now charges Clinton with doing. This would be like bribing a judge and then saying you were merely acting in best interests of your client.
The laundry list of Clinton Family scandals is too long to repeat here, and entire websites are devoted to it. Despite Clinton's claims that such repeated attacks on her and her husband amount to a "vast right wing conspiracy," many questions in their deep past have yet to be satisfactorily answered. Many voters do not know about the two boys murdered on the railroad tracks in Arkansas after witnessing a drug drop, when Bill Clinton was governor of Arkansas, the staging area for Reagan administration Iran-Contra arms-for-drugs transactions. Whatever else we don't know, we do know that Governor Bill Clinton sent independent autopsy experts out of the state before they could testify that the boys were indeed murdered.
And though Hillary supporter taunts of "conspiracy theory" inevitably follow any mention of Vince Foster, the Clinton friend and family attorney who knew everything there was to know about the Clintons' business dealings, including the Whitewater land deal scandal, the details of his death still remain enormously puzzling. Recall, this was a time when an aura of scandal surrounded the Clinton White House, starting with Whitewater and culminating in the Monica Lewinsky trial. This leads us to the famous Clinton "trail of bodies," some of which are far-fetched, but others, unfortunately, less so.
The framers of the US Constitution, it is sometimes theorized by political scientists, created a recipe for gridlock and inaction in Washington, by setting three co-equal branches in opposition to each other. The Founders reasoned that a hamstrung government was usually for the best, and that when politicians of all stripes got their heads together and agreeing on something, it was usually a bad sign for the common man. Trump does not know the levers of power nor how to use them.
Salon.com's Bragman writes:
"Trump will not transform America’s oligarchy into a fascist dictatorship, nor is he the second coming of Hitler. Our political culture precludes such a shift within any one presidency."
Recall, in Germany, the country had not long emerged from a feudal, monarchical tradition, in which people were accustomed to ceding all power to one man. The notion that Trump will become a "dictator" is beyond ridiculous, and strictly for the purpose of herding Americans into accepting someone they really, really do not want: Hillary.
Hillary knows both the levers of power and how to use them, as the result of a lifetime in Washington, and has been ambitious to use them all her life. Man or woman, such ambition, tempered by none of the lofty idealism or impeccable character of a Bernie Sanders, spells danger for any republic. Trump will be manageable. Hillary Clinton, the consummate inside player and wanna-be Warrior Queen, will not be.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
Eleanore Ferranti Whitaker from Old Bridge, New Jersey on April 06, 2020:
The days of men always demanding this is a Man's World is over. The men who hate Hillary very likely are sociopaths like Trump who have no real empathy with any human much less women.
Sociopaths are proven to always gravitate to each other. Their need to always be the sole power of heaven and earth is one of their main objectives.
They will only bend toward each other when and if the end satisfies their means.
So division among others is a must for them. Degrading women who are threats to their power is the hallmark of their dysfunctional personalities.
Most intelligent women are practiced in the art of social distancing these kinds of men.
I live in NJ. NO one in NJ will vote for Trump and especially not now that he is using our federal tax dollars for HIS economy.
We are not an economy. We are human lives he has proven he will credit his epidemic policies as "good" if "only 100,000 Americans die.
If that doesn't prove WHY he has to go, what more is needed?
Kate on April 05, 2020:
I did not vote for Trump I the year 2016 and I’m not voting for him in the year 2020. He’s arrogant and pompous. The fact that he named
his son Baron says it all...that would be like him having a daughter and naming her Baroness. He thinks quite highly of himself when at the end of the day he’s a Human being like the rest of us who are not perfect.
Don Shepard on January 25, 2020:
So, Trump was not impeached within a year, but just over two years. I wonder what the Constitution's framers would say about the excuses given for not calling witnesses in the Senate trial? My understanding is that the framers assumed that love and duty for country would outweigh partisan politics in an impeachment process. I don't think either party can claim this as the truth.
As far as the notion that Trump will become a dictator being ridiculous. I don't like a guy being President who even "jokes" about being dictator as Trump has done. Well written piece here though.
Timothy Arends from Chicago Region on February 06, 2017:
I don't agree that they're going to succeed in impeaching Trump, but I definitely agree that Hillary Clinton, with her war mongering rhetoric against Russia, would have been a far more dangerous president than Trump will ever be. Trump is mainly going to be dangerous to the agendas of Washington's liberal elite.
munkle on February 05, 2017:
Kt: More Hillary robot hyperbole. Trump has not "destroyed" the country, even though I am no fan of his, and Hillary hardly was a model for respecting the Constitution. Remember when Hillary said about Assange: "Can't we just drone him?"
Your latte liberal blinders blind you to what a horrible, warmongering candidate she was, with all three branches of government twisted around her corrupt little finger. If you don't like Trump get active and start working to impeach him, not whining that Americans refused to have Cheating Hillary crammed down our throats, after she stole the nomination from Bernie Sanders. If you don't want Trump, pick a Democrat we can vote for. Read my lips: Never Hillary.
Kt on February 02, 2017:
Thanks for helping to destroy our country by encouraging people to vote for a man who does not believe in the principles of the Constitution and wants to turn the US into a fascist state for the sole benefit of his ego and business profit. At least Hillary is a politician who wouldn't have destroyed our relationships with countries we've had long friendships with. At least with Hillary we could have had stability and complained about normal political issues instead of living in fear for our basic rights to things such as free speech being taken away. Thanks a lot. If you have any conscience at all you would seek to reform this party from an alternative facts party and encourage people to vote Democrat until the Republican party is reformed to a party that has morals.
munkle on January 31, 2017:
reply to: "Cough** 2 days ago
You were saying?"
It is interesting that the system is working as it is supposed to for the first time in years. Courts are challenging the president and congress is finding some spine, not much but a little. It is a 3 branch system of checks and balances and the Founders wanted them at each others throats, not agreeing. When rich men all agree it is always bad news for the common man.
With Hillary we would be marching lockstep to nuclear war with Russia and Iran right now. This is fun.
Cough** on January 29, 2017:
You were saying?
EdwardLane on November 24, 2016:
What an extraordinary article! One of the best articles I have read about the 2016 election so far. The characterizations of the candidates is very perceptive. I agree our constitution precludes a president from morphing into a dictator.
Tom on November 06, 2016:
I love how democrats and liberals are so blindly loyal to their candidates that they will even plug their ears and yell when they're being told of proven failures of said candidates. Trump is definitely brazen, but he's far more competent than Hillary whose successes can be counted on one hand and whose time as the Secretary of State was defined by failure, incompetence, and shady deals to promote war. Say what you will about Trump, Hillary is a tyrant, and her agenda would destroy America.
munkle on October 26, 2016:
Mike - So you just ignore Clinton's history of supporting coups like Libya and Syria, and voting for the Iraq War. Typical Hil-tard.
Mike Scarborough on October 24, 2016:
Here's the Cliff Notes for this article in case you don't want to bother reading it. I wish I hadn't. It goes something like this:
Let's elect Trump instead of Clinton because he will be totally powerless and therefore harmless. Clinton on the other hand is a dangerous female who will have too much power and will use that power to start more wars because she just loves starting wars.
That's why I wish I hadn't bothered reading this clickbait trash.
K.L on October 20, 2016:
Trump wants to build a wall but Hillary just wants to let Mexican's in now don't even get me started that is far to dangerous Trump doesn't want to build a actual wall he just wants Mexicans to follow the law and rules of being a American citizen bu most of them do but most of them don't so he wants us to be safe just in case some one bad from a different country comes in to kill us which i think Hillary wants.
Randy Godwin on October 19, 2016:
I agree. I can't stand the lady
Ken Burgess from Florida on September 25, 2016:
Excellent piece, I believe you may indeed be correct, Trump may find it hard to do anything... simply because he is an outsider and no one will want to work with him... where as Hillary may prove to be far more tyrannical than anyone could imagine.
Either way, the chances that four years from now, things are more chaotic, and more dire than they are today are certainly good.
Kieth on September 11, 2016:
In a worst case scenario - Hillary might start WW3, which Trump will and can never do.
munkle on August 17, 2016:
SenorScience: Pence will not set domestic policy anymore than Joe Biden did. The VP is a powerless position, and policy is not dictated in America but has to get through a vote of an unruly Congress. Clinton means war with Iran, war with Russia, and possibly nuclear war. She has connections deep in the political system and will know how to get it done.
Carolyn Fields from South Dakota, USA on August 14, 2016:
"Saying the opposite of the truth is simply no problem."
Cherry Harris on August 09, 2016:
liar Trump say he would call all the Top Brass in the Military to the WH and ask them what would be the best way .
SenorScience on July 21, 2016:
Trump may be manageable, but he's indicated that he's going to leave the job of setting domestic and foreign policy to the vice president, which would only raise some eyebrows...if he hadn't picked Mike Pence for his running mate.
The prospect of a right-wing theocratic ideologue like Mike Pence setting domestic policy is far more terrifying to me than suffering through a Clinton presidency.