Clinton & Trump & America’s Future

| March 9, 2016 | 0 Comments

George Mitrovich

HILLARY CLINTON HAS A PROBLEM, AND IT’S NOT GOING AWAY. But if you think I intend here a Hillary screed, read no further. I do not.

There are substantive reasons to oppose Mrs. Clinton for president; but they should be principled not personal.

But before outlining my concerns about her candidacy, let me pay tribute to her remarkable life, for she is a greatly accomplished woman – First Lady of the United States, United States Senator from New York, Secretary of State, and twice candidate for President.

I think I’m well within the mark when I say, no woman in the 240-year history of our republic has accomplished more in public life – none.

And, if she were elected president, her qualifications for that office would exceed those of her three immediate predecessors, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.

So, what’s not to like?

The overriding issue for me is Mrs. Clinton seems tone deaf on the greatest single threat we face as a democracy – the ever widening wealth divide.

A face reflected in her ties to Wall Street; ties she cannot untie.

In 2013 alone, Mrs. Clinton received $8,900,000 in speaking fees (source: her campaign disclosure statement).

When she was asked by a reporter why she had accepted the money, she answered, “Because it was offered.”

On the night of the New Hampshire primary, when Mrs. Clinton lost to Senator Sanders by 22.4 percent the vote, a group of women correspondents for NBC-News sat with Brian Williams for a discussion of the campaign they were covering.

I was greatly taken by what Andrea Mitchell said about Secretary Clinton.

She spoke of the times she had traveled with the secretary on trips abroad, of the private times she and other reporters had with the secretary on those long flights, that in those moments they experienced Hillary’s authentic self, and that she, Ms. Mitchell, had lovely memories of those times.

Andrea Mitchell then said, she could not understand why Mrs. Clinton, knowing she would become a candidate for president, took all that money in speaking fees.

I share Ms. Mitchell’s bewilderment.

One aspect of Mrs. Clinton’s income from speaking fees that national media has overlooked is the more than $750,000 Mrs. Clinton received from the three public, tax supported public institutions of higher learning – UC Berkeley, UNLV, and the University of Connecticut. (It has been pointed out by her supporters the commencement fees were funded by private parties. Sorry, I don’t think that changes the equation.)

In fairness, since 2007 the Clintons have contributed more than $14,000,000 to charity; consistently giving away more that 10 percent of their income, which is what a good Methodist, Mrs. Clinton, and a good Southern Baptist, President Clinton, would do, honoring the Biblical standard.

Finally, for now, in the matter of Hillary Rodman Clinton, I must state my profound disappointment with the candidate over her refusal, if elected president, to reinstate Glass-Steagall; which, as an issue, is not going away, since Senators Elizabeth Warren and John McCain, have now introduced legislation to bring it back.

The greatest single failing of Bill Clinton’s presidency was his repeal of Glass-Steagall; from that would ensue the near death of America’s economic system.

Bill Clinton won’t apologize for it and Mrs. Clinton won’t bring it back if elected.

(Vice President Biden has said the one vote he most regrets having cast in his U.S. Senate career was his vote to repeal Glass-Steagall – Joe Biden was in the Senate 36-years).

I am also troubled by her failure to endorse the call for a $15 minimum wage, which Senator Sanders supports, and The New York Times criticized her for opposing (she subsequently amended her position and now favors it).

Yes, I know, Wall Street hates it, but do the math; there are more people working for minimum wages than there are Wall Street millionaires.

It is my considered view on Glass-Steagall, that unless Mrs. Clinton recants her position, she will not be elected president because she will not be the nominee of the Democratic Party.

The campaigns continue.

The only certainty ahead, uncertainty.

Speaking at Duke Seminary recently, I was asked by a young seminarian what I thought of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz?

I answered by saying, “Donald Trump is evil” and, in the history of the U.S. Senate, no senator has ever been more disliked by his colleagues than Senator Cruz.”

But I here need to modify what I said about Mr. Trump:

Rather than saying he’s “evil” I would say the words he has spoken have evil consequences.

When you call for the banning of all Muslims from the USA; when you have denigrated, demeaned and dehumanized 1.6 billion people; when you pledge to build a wall to keep Mexicans out, people you describe as rapists and drug dealers, you have insulted 122.3 million of our brown brothers and sisters; men and women who live, by the way, just steps away along our shared border, not 5,883 miles distant in the Middle East.

No candidate for president of the United States, while perusing the world’s highest elective office, has repeatedly insulted more people more times in one campaign than Mr. Trump – no one.

Not just Muslims. Not just Mexicans. Not just His Holiness, Pope Francis. Not just his opponents for the Republican presidential nomination, as in all of his opponents. Not just Senator John McCain, a true American war hero. Now just women. Not just media (of course, he wins on that). But anyone and everyone who dares suggest that Mr. Trump is anything other than the nice guy he consistently and repeatedly references himself as being.

That said, has Mr. Trump said anything I approve of?


In order:

He was against the Vietnam War (as I was). He opposed the war in Iraq, saying it would “destabilize” the Middle East (care to disagree?). He said the Bush Administration lied about “weapons of mass destruction (they did). He has said, often, America must “take care of its own (indeed).” He has said we must save the Middle Class (yes). He has said America must rebuild its infrastructure (which no sane person doubts). And, he gave the best answer I have ever heard from any candidate for any public office on “eminent domain”; because we have a whole lot of people who believe “property rights” more sacred than human rights (they’re not).

If he, Donald Trump, had not scandalized the world with his anti-Muslim and anti-Mexican hysteria; if he were not guilty of an ever growing litany of insults, he might otherwise be a candidate acceptable to vastly greater numbers of people than already support his campaign for president.

But weighing the positions he supports vs. those he opposes, is like saying if only Hitler had not invaded Poland.

But, the man has said what he has said and said and said, and absent a Saul like road to Damascus conversion, he will go on saying what he has said, and while that may get him the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, it will not gain him the presidency of the United States of America.

So help me God!

George Mitrovich is a San Diego civic leader. He may be reached at

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