Not Wong: US Presidential Election

In this week's Not Wong, Brian collects the Truths, Opinions and Falsehoods circulating around the rapidly approaching US Presidential election.

 The Basics
FACT #1: The 2016 US Presidential Election is due to happen on November 8, 2016.
OPINION #1: The Apocalypse is due on November 8, 2016.
FALSEHOOD #1: Supporters of either candidate can vote for their candidates on November 28, 2016.

On the World
FACT #2: Clinton brokered international backing for sanctions on Iran, assisted with the US diplomatic opening towards Iran and Myanmar, but also cast votes in favour of the Afghanistan and Iraq War resolutions during her office as a Senator.
OPINION #2: Clinton is a war criminal, will become a dangerous foreign policy hawk, wishes to start World War 3, and transform America into a continually warring state; at the same time, ISIS will take over US if Clinton wins.
FALSEHOOD #2: Clinton founded ISIS (Abu Musab al-Zarqawi =/= Hillary Clinton); she actively funded ISIS (she took money from Saudi Arabia, who was allegedly funding ISIS – there’s a difference); she caused $6 billion to disappear from the State Department.

FACT #3: Trump has never been a member of the American administration’s foreign policy staff, with 0 years of working as a diplomat in negotiating deals with foreign countries. He does share Clinton’s positions on easing tensions with Russia, expanding American presence in Asia (although the two differ with respect to degree and methodology), and managing the rise of China. On ISIS, Trump’s positions range from “Destroying the oil!” to “Troops on the ground!” to “Do more with computers!” to “A really, really good plan!”
OPINION #3: Trump “has more experience than virtually anybody” in foreign policy (No.), and is more trustworthy and consistent than Clinton on foreign policy issues.
FALSEHOOD #3: The USA is allowing “tens of thousands of terrorists into its country” (direct quotation from Trump); Hillary “will bring hundreds of thousands of refugees, many of whom have hostile beliefs about people of different faiths and values, and some of whom absolutely and openly support terrorism in our country.”

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On America
FACT #5: Clinton promises to introduce comprehensive immigration reform, with a focus on ending unjust immigration restrictions and enforcing immigration laws humanely (it is unclear, of course, whether such reforms will be possible); she was the former Healthcare Task Force Leader and played a role in facilitating Obama Care. She has displayed inconsistencies with respect to both trade policies and civil liberties issues – but has advocated for the expansion of marriage rights to homosexual couples and against the TPP.
OPINION #5: Clinton is a poor advocate for the rights of ethnic and racial minorities (having previously endorsed welfare and employment reforms that have disproportionately impacted people of colour; and having backed expansionist prison policies that specifically targeted young, black men).
FALSEHOOD #5: Clinton orchestrated the sexual assault allegations directed towards Trump, and openly endorsed her husband’s alleged sexual assault history; Clinton seeks to let “650 million illegal immigrants flood in”; Clinton endorses the “killing of babies” carried out by Planned Parenthood.

On Personal Decisions
FACT #6: Clinton did not strictly adhere to defined state protocol concerning emails, but it was unlikely that she broke the law. The latest letter from Director James Comey (FBI) to Congress did not claim that Clinton had broken the law. In addition, Clinton was found innocent in the Benghazi incident, in spite of the 10 congressional committees that have participated in Benghazi Investigations.
OPINION #6: Clinton deliberately leaked emails to facilitate the Libyan murder of four American officials at Benghazi;  Clinton refused to take responsibility for her actions in the Benghazi incident; Clinton has continued using her personal email for official correspondence.
FALSEHOOD #6: Clinton “refused to respond to the 500 or 600 times of wiring from the ambassador in Benghazi to her”; Clinton’s email systems were fully breached by international hackers; Clinton left the Libyan Ambassador to die on his own on purpose.

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FACT #7: Trump filed for bankruptcy four times (although he is not entirely to blame for them); Trump’s companies regularly deleted important documents (and have been called out far less than Clinton for it); Trump has hitherto refused to publish his tax returns, breaking with a 40-year Presidential election tradition in the process.
OPINION #7: Trump has been confirmed to be a serial rapist (there exist allegations which, although unproven, have  a high probability of being true); Trump has not been loyal to Republican conservatism and never been in favour of liberal positions about abortion; Trump is a Russian crony.
FALSEHOOD #7: “The concept of global warming was invented by the Chinese”; “Obama is not a natural-born US citizen.”; “Muslims in the US were celebrating the 9/11 attacks.”; “Abortions mostly occur at 9 months into pregnancy.” – Mind you, all claims produced by a man who is seeking to contest the White House in a little under a weeks time.

On the Future
FACT #8: The Future is inherently difficult to predict, and this election has been riddled with lies and half truths from both campaigns. Claims that either a Clinton or Trump presidency will be apocalyptic are inherently unfounded.
OPINION #9: Yet this does not warrant a neutral approach to this election, which is about choosing between a misogynistic, unreliable, unscrupulous, incompetent, and dangerously populist megalomaniac; and a competent, informed, and highly successful – albeit imperfect – diplomat and public administrator.

This isn’t an election about choosing the lesser of two evils. This is an election about choosing between a good option, and a terrible one. There is every reason to vote proudly for Clinton – without the need to make a single reference to her competitor. I’m with Her.

Are you?