A few things every voter should remember as we select the next leader of the free world:
If you care about peace and diplomacy, remember that Donald Trump’s unrestrained anger has led to repeated calls for violence. Among many examples, he asked people to “knock the crap out of” protesters and said he would “take out” terrorists’ family members. He has already shattered international diplomacy so severely that England, Germany, Ireland, the Philippines and Mexico have considered banning him from setting foot on their soil.
If you care about crime, remember that his claims of doom and gloom are mythical. Over the past decade we have enjoyed decreases in every major category of crime at the national level.
If you care about the economy, remember that under the current administration the unemployment rate has fallen below 5 percent. Economists can’t realistically hope for lower rates. Beyond that, the stock markets are near record highs and median inflation-adjusted household income levels are higher than they were under Ronald Reagan (although not as high as they were under Bill Clinton).
If you think everyone should have some skin in the game when it comes to paying federal income taxes, remember that Trump said, “That makes me smart” when Hillary Clinton pointed out times when he did not pay any federal income taxes.
If you are a woman, or care about women, remember his ceaseless disrespect for women. He criticizes their weight and calls them names.
If you care about honesty, remember that his tall tales eclipse Clinton’s few fibs. The fact checkers at Politico report that in speeches over a five-day period, Trump averaged one falsehood every three minutes and 15 seconds. Politicus USA described Donald as the biggest liar in U.S. political history. Clinton was far behind in the race of falsehoods, providing one every 12 minutes.
If you care about jobs and energy, remember that the solar-energy industry already provides more jobs in this country than oil and gas extraction or coal mining. Clinton wants to continue this win-win for workers and the environment by “creating millions of good-paying jobs” in the clean energy sector. Trump supports fossil-fuel pipelines such as the Keystone XL pipeline, which the State Department reports would create jobs for just 35 permanent employees and 15 temporary contractors after the construction phase.
If you care about the debt, remember that, according to the non-partisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, Trump’s tax plan would add $5.3 trillion to the federal debt. That is money that we must repay, or pay large amounts of interest on, with tax dollars.
If you care about experience, remember that Clinton has been the secretary of state, a U.S. senator, and our first lady, while Trump has no experience in public service. And don’t believe claims about Barack Obama being light on experience. Before his first term as president he spent 20 years in public service, including work as a community organizer, a state senator and a U.S. senator.
If you care about business leadership, remember that Trump’s businesses have declared bankruptcy six times.
If you care about the environment, remember that he has said he wants to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency.
If you are an immigrant, or care about immigrants, remember that Trump plans to suspend the issuance of green cards for legal immigration for an undisclosed period.
If you are a Muslim, or care about Muslims, remember that he talks of deporting Muslims.
If you are Hispanic, or care about Hispanics, remember Trump’s series of attacks on Hispanics. These included nasty rants about people from Mexico being criminals and attacks on the Hispanic winner of his Miss USA pageant, calling her “disgusting” and “Miss Housekeeping.”
If you are African-American, or care about African-Americans, remember that Trump was sued by the Justice Department for reportedly not renting his apartments to African-Americans.
If you care about America, remember that uncertainty is our enemy, that violence begets violence, that untested policies often fail, and that experience matters.
Remember the deadly dangers of hatred and isolationism.
Above all, remember to vote.
David Anderson is an economics professor at Centre College.