Today's screed is brought to you by the flood of hyperbolic posts that have flooded facebook since Friday. The theme today is Feelings are not Facts, Feelings ARE NOT Evidence! If you cannot wrap your mind around this simple fact, please do not read this post.
You may FEEL that Hillary Clinton is dishonest – but that is not evidence. And the low-information voters who think that accusation of impropriety are tantamount to the actual impropriety (or somehow indicate that the impropriety must have existed or there wouldn’t be accusations), well – what if we take a look at that position.
Hillary Clinton has been in the public scrutiny for thirty years and under sustained attacks by the right for that entire time. What do we have to-date? She refused to divorce her womanizing husband; she was implicated (and exonerated) in a land scandal. She was accused (by fringe conspiracy theorists) of murder – no charges were ever filed. She is accused of impropriety in her use of an email server. She is not the first secretary of state to have used private email; she is vilified for deleting email – this is hardly rare. She is accused of somehow being complicit in the death of the diplomats and others in Benghazi or of covering it up; there is no similar outrage over the earlier deaths under previous administrations - But to be far to her accusers, this is not a comparison between Hillary Clinton and her predecessors, this is (somehow) a an indication that election of Donald Trump is somehow better.
So, let’s look at the facts – and by that (using the same level of proof that is applied to the Clintons) I mean the accusations – that you should be considered. Shortly after the election, Donald Trump will go on trial for the alleged rape of a thirteen-year-old girl.
There are at last count nearly a dozen women who have accused Donald Trump of sexual misconduct against them. Some of these are simply hearsay; some have some level of corroboration. But, as the level with the Clintons seems to be the accusation and not the fact, does this make you FEEL that Donald Trump is a Rapist or at least misogynistic?
Donald Trump is a Shady Businessman. He contracts for business and then stiffs his contractors. He bankrupts small businesses that he works with by filing frivolous lawsuits in order to avoid paying them. And more than a few of those contractors had to sue him to get paid. This is not one or two disgruntled “poor quality” workers as Trump would have you believe. There are HUNDREDS of these accusations. The Trump Organization has bankrupted four different operating units three of which were CASINOS. As a developer, he sells his name to projects to lend them an air of credibility – projects that often go nowhere leaving investors (but not Trump himself) holding the bag. Do these allegations make you FEEL that Donald Trump is lying to you about being a great businessman?
Trump claims to be for the little person but he is repeatedly sued for :
Trump claims to be a Philanthropist, but the evidence seems to indicate differently. Multiple stories show he bilks the public and misuses charitable donations. Stealing from charitable donations, does THAT make you FEEL that Donald Trump is a slimy person?
Then there is nothing I can say to you, you FEEL that you are right even though this evidence is not supported by the facts. I wish you well and can only home that for every one of you there are two who are willing to look past their personal feelings to what facts actually exist. Mind you – I am NOT in this column saying the Clintons are completely blameless – nobody is (or as mom used to say: “the last person who was died on a cross”). But the facts should be the basis for the belief that someone is qualified or unqualified for a position and not the hearsay and innuendo that seems to be passing for fact these days.
Wherever you are today, please take a moment to THINK before you post. Ask yourself this: “is this TRUE, is this supported by FACT, or is this just something that I FEEL might be true?” If everyone would do this one simple thing, our political discourse may be a bit more civil.
Don Bergquist – October 30, 2016 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA