Apart, that is, from the extraordinary damage he’s already done — coarsening the public discourse and demeaning people; undermining confidence; retweeting white supremacists; stoking division, fear, and discontent; and just overall Debasing American Politics, as The Economist argues in its current cover story.

For one thing, he would widen the toxic inequality gap still further.  His tax plan — to the extent he has any real plans at all — would totally explode the deficit and provide a huge windfall for the wealthy.  The top tenth of one percent (those with income above $3.7 million) would pick up an extra $1.3 million a year — a nearly 19% tax cut. And for billionheirs?  He would eliminate their estate tax altogether, saving his own family $4.5 billion if his net worth is what he claims.  (It isn’t, of course, but just suppose.)

The Germans know a thing or two about running an economy.  Read this:  German Gov’t Thinks Trump Would Wreck US Economy.

The Washington Post takes a wider view. “How much damage could a President Trump do?” it asks. “We can only begin to imagine.

Barbara Bush “doesn’t know how women can vote for” him, and Colin Powell calls him “a national disgrace.”  Not a single major newspaper, save the National Enquirer, has endorsed him. USA Today has never endorsed in a presidential race — until this one: Hillary.

He promised on tape in 2014 he would “absolutely” release his tax returns if he ran for president. He lied.

And lied that he couldn’t release his returns while they were being audited — of course he can.

And lied because his 2015 return — which was probably filed today if he waited until the last day — surely cannot yet have been selected for audit.

In one corner, we have a professional wrestler, playing crudely for the crowd; a Putin admirer who kept a book of Hitler’s speeches by his bedside; an entertainer who feeds off the adulation of his audience.

Mussolini meets Don Rickles — except Don Rickles was kidding.

In the other corner, a steady, brilliant woman, deeply caring and eminently qualified for the job — with a lifetime of serious work to make a better world.

I’m sorry if 30 years of vilification and eight Benghazi hearings have you feeling otherwise (and believing Gore said he invented the Internet, Kerry shot himself to get a medal, there’s no link between smoking and cancer, climate change is a hoax, Iraq was part of 9/11, Obama was not born here, or any of the other untruths tens of millions can be led to believe) . . . but the Republican-led Benghazi hearings wound up debunking the charges* . . . and while all including Secretary Clinton agree it was a mistake to have used a private server, the “email thing” is wildly overdone.  The three little “C’s” out of tens of thousands of emails amounted to nothing — and were arguably less telling than the scores of huge “C’s” affixed to Trump housing applications.

The frustrations both Trump and Sanders supporters feel are legitimate. But the solution is a Democratic Congress willing — where the Republicans were not — to put Americans to work rebuilding our infrastructure, to increase the minimum wage, to pass the comprehensive immigration reform that the Senate passed 68-32, and to allow refinancing federal student loans at today’s low rates. Those four things, taken together, would turbocharge the economy and — by continuing to improve people’s personal finances (median income rose a record 5% last year, after decades of stagnation) — gradually, I hope, assuage at least some of the anger and fear that, understandably, grip so many of our fellow citizens.

Click here to vote, here to volunteer, here to contribute (and here to see what Republicans are saying about Trump and Clinton).

 


*WASHINGTON (AP) — A two-year investigation by the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee has found that the CIA and the military acted properly in responding to the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, and asserted no wrongdoing by Obama administration appointees. . . . “

 

 

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