If you would like to ascertain a candidate’s fitness for high public office, it behooves you to listen very carefully to what they say and what they don’t say. Take, for example, the detonation of a bomb in New York last night and the respective responses of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump to that event. Donald Trump immediately responded with his typical intemperate bluster and hyperbole as if someone pressed “play” on a tape recorder. In contrast, Hillary Clinton’s response was measured, appropriate, reasoned and articulate with an eye towards learning the truth and to obtain all the facts before making a determination or passing judgement. This singular event and the responses of the two candidates should be sufficient for any thoughtful individual to decide who they want to lead the nation for the next four years in an increasingly volatile and unstable world. One has to remember, they have to remember, that whomever they choose will be this country’s Commander in Chief with access to the Nuclear Launch Codes! Do you want someone who is intemperate and prone to rash judgement or remains cool, calm and collected under fire in that position?
The scope of Donald Trump’s lack of fitness to become this country’s next President is far too extensive to be described and discussed within a single article and I’m not going to attempt that (again) with this piece. In a previous article, I outlined what I saw at the time as disqualifying personality traits, traits that should have eliminated him from the nominee pool (and he should have been eliminated long ago, long before the RNC), let alone becoming the Republican Party’s nominee for President. Since this blog is primarily devoted to Astronomy specifically and science generally, it really isn’t the place to expound on partisan politics so I wrote that article from the perspective of a scientist, more or less. In this article, I am attempting the same. In a recent Guardian piece, Dana Nuccitelli points out glaring similarities between Climate Change Denial and Support for Donald Trump; more on that later.
This country’s current election cycle has degenerated to the level of farce with the daily drama now nothing more than cheap theater. I long ago decided who I’m voting for and don’t even bother looking at the headlines or follow the nonsense that plays out on our national news networks on a daily basis. The mainstream “news” programs in this country are nothing but cheap entertainment and I don’t waste my time with them. Having said that, choosing the country’s next leader is a hard-won privilege that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Sadly, most Americans who were born after 1980 don’t realize that, what it was like in the 1960s and 1970s, the battle for basic civil rights, for women’s suffrage and equality, battles that continue to this day. We fought a revolutionary war of Independence so that we could be free to choose our leaders and determine our own destiny, a great experiment in self governance that continues to this day with its ultimate success still undetermined. If Donald Trump is successful in winning the election, this great experiment will have failed even before he steps foot in the White House. It will have failed as this electorate will have abrogated its duty to thoughtful introspection, of choosing our next leader with care based on merit and a careful consideration of the nominee’s qualifications and credentials. Donald Trump lacks class and is completely devoid of any character or integrity consistent with that of a national leader or Head-of-State. He is demonstrably uneducated, an individual who appeals to the basest inclinations; the electorate will have chosen nothing more than a loud-mouthed circus clown with the ability to spread sound bytes far and wide to the naive and gullible. Voting is more than a right or a privilege, its a sacred duty, one that has to be undertaken with the utmost care. One cannot at the same time claim to be of sound mind and body and vote for Donald Trump.
Shame on the Republicans for choosing Donald Trump; for shame! That the Grand Old Party, the party of Abraham Lincoln, one of this country’s best presidents and probably one of the few who actually told the truth, has selected Donald Trump as their nominee for President is an utter disgrace. They disgrace the name and legacy of Lincoln and have lost the claim to any moral legitimacy, no less than to claim they are followers of Abraham Lincoln. Their candidate is a racist, pure and simple; he is anathema to the memory and legacy of Lincoln. Shame on them! That Hillary Rodham Clinton has spent 30 years immersed in government, that it was her job as Secretary of State to interact with Heads of State and World Leaders on a daily bases, that she was a United States Senator from New York, she is eminently qualified on day one to be president that, by comparison, Donald Trump is barley capable of forming complete sentences as evidenced during the debates, she is the clear choice for president, lest we relinquish control of this country to a madman with access to the nuclear trigger.
Immigration and “The Wall”
If elected, Donald Trump vows to build a wall along this country’s southern border with Mexico. If constructed, this wall would remain in perpetuity for hundreds of years after we and the next five generations are long gone; it will remain as a permanent blight, a stain on this country’s memory and long tradition of welcoming the beaten and downtrodden, those looking for respite, a stark contradiction to that great Lady in the Bay given to us by the French, holding high the welcoming torch of Ellis Island. Are we to allow this? In a case of twisted irony, appalling as it is ironic, this legacy would be Donald Trump’s as President, representing the party of Lincoln, the president who freed the slaves.
Donald Trump believes climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese to manipulate US Manufacturing. He’s insane, really; the man has lost his mind and almost half the people in this country are just fine with that. Back in November, 2012, he tweeted the following:
“The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive”
In point of fact August, 2016 was the hottest August on record ever recorded -ever, since record-keeping began in 1880. Each month in succession now is getting that designation; previous to that, it was July, then June. From the Huffington Post:
“Surprise, surprise: Last month was the hottest August ever recorded, marking the 11th straight month that global heat records have been shattered, according to NASA data.”
No worries, Donald isn’t going this route of insanity alone; he has a lot of company in congress, most notably in the House of Representatives. Most of them are scientifically illiterates shills or bought-and-paid for errand boys for big oil and coal. Some sit on the boards of major oil interests or were high-paid executives for the same. Take Lamar Smith, (R-TX, Exxon-Mobil), for example. In my previous piece, I point out that he’s currently holding hearings, seeking communications between environmentalists and state attorneys general who were investigating Exxon Mobil Corp.’s work on climate change. He’s also persecuting NOAA, claiming they’re deliberately manipulating climate data in an attempt to manufacture the continued rise in global temperatures. What he doesn’t realize is that it isn’t just NOAA or NASA, the scientific climate consensus is multi-national so it would have to be a worldwide conspiracy. Donald Trump is just an insurance policy for these powerful oil interests, to insure that the planet continues to burn (literally) while they continue to line their pockets. For them, its business as usual. This is the stuff you make movies about, really; you can’t make this up. That we’re continuing to have this discussion borders on the criminal in-so-far as its impeding the implementation of real solutions -now. We cannot wait any longer, solutions need to be implemented now! For a moment, lets put climate change aside. We’re running out of petroleum, -period- literally. It’s academic, if we don’t find real, workable solutions for our global energy needs, the world will come to a screeching halt sometime between 2035 and 2050. There will be more aggressive military interventions in those regions of the world where the last vestiges of petroleum remain – more suffering and more displaced populations. We’re going to increasingly greater lengths to maintain the supply – just look at the rise in “fracking”. If natural gas and other petroleum products were in such plentiful supply, there would be no need for fracking.
The Future of Science and Space Exploration
In a word, it doesn’t exist in Donald Trump’s vision for America. How could it if he believes climate change is a Chinese hoax? But then, since he is a pathological liar, how can anything he says be believed, a serious problem really for us, the American electorate and he, someone who is applying for the most powerful job in the world. The onus is on us to choose wisely! In a recent piece in Gizmodo, Trump was clear that NASA, science and space exploration aren’t a priority for him. It has to be going forward into this century. If it isn’t, America will quickly become a scientifically-illiterate, third-world backwater. From Gizmodo:
“…Trump’s comments on NASA suggest that he has no plans to prioritize its funding. “Right now, we have bigger problems — you understand that? We’ve got to fix our potholes,” Trump told a 10-year-old boy who asked about NASA during a town hall last year.
Trump also seems excited about the privatization of space exploration, saying during the town hall that he “likes that maybe even better” than a public space program. He also suggested that a manned mission to Mars is a lower priority than infrastructure. “Honestly, I think it’s wonderful; I want to rebuild our infrastructure first, ok? I think it’s wonderful.”
As Trump’s campaign continued to gain legitimacy with its growing delegate count, Aerospace America asked both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump 10 questions about space exploration. While Sanders was much more detailed, Trump did give some insight into what he thinks about NASA. When questioned on NASA’s budget, for example, Trump said “our first priority is to restore a strong economic base to this country. Then, we can have a discussion about spending.”
This is a pivotal election and will decide this country’s future for at least the next twenty years. Everyone should vote but before they do, they should inform themselves and think carefully about their choices. Although they have to choose between a madman and a calculating liar with a dubious record, both candidates arguably the worst this country has to offer, it should be clear who they shouldn’t send to the White House.
I have written much about a bright, hopeful, inspired vision of the future. Let us remember that we’re not just selfishly deciding for ourselves in this election, we’re deciding the futures of our children, our grandchildren and our progeny for generations to come. Let us choose wisely.
Rally Held at Nation’s Capital Ahead of Exxon Subpoena Hearing
Some Thoughts About Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
Juno, The Essence of Celestial Harmonic Motion
Environmentalists Manage to Kill the Last Nuclear Power Station in California
Scientific American Joins Push for Emission Free Nuclear Power
What Will Become of Us?
Applause for President Obama on Historic Hiroshima Visit
In Defense of Sound Science, Bill Nye and Climate Change
Going to the Stars, Riding on a Beam of Light!
Pale Blue Dot
Ivanpah, Solar Power and Inverted Logic
Carbon Emissions Highest Since Demise of Dinosaurs
Solution to Failing Math and STEM Grades
Trump Presidency Worst Possible Outcome of 2016 General Election
Science Must be Priority For Next US President
All our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike-and yet it is the most precious thing we have
An index of all articles in this blog can be found here.